Remembering the victims, police raids, Belgian connections, and more.
Still reeling from that heinous terrorist attacks that shook Paris Friday night, here’s the latest.
Mincing no words, France remains devout to plans to, “destroy terrorism.”
Hollande: We are going to extinguish terrorism. Terrorism is not going to destroy the Republic. The Republic is going to destroy terrorism.
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) November 16, 2015
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 15, 2015
“France is at war.”
Speaking to a joint session of Parliament Monday, French President Hollande declared, “France is at War.” He encouraged Members of Parliament to extend the country’s state of emergency for another three months. Calling the Paris attacks, “acts of war,” Hollande the murderous acts represented an attack of aggression, “against our country, against its values, against its youth, and against its way of life.”
Hollande’s speech is here (in English) and is worth a listen:
Declaring that “France is at war,” President Francois Hollande on Monday proposed sweeping new laws and more spending on public safety in response to Friday’s terror attacks in Paris — promising to eradicate terrorism, but not at the expense of France’s freedom.
A suspect in the Paris attacks have been in ISIS propaganda
The Long War Journal writes:
European officials have identified Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian man whose parents are from Morocco, as a key suspect in last week’s coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. Abaaoud has been featured by the Islamic State in its propaganda for plotting terrorist attacks in Europe in the past.
French authorities say Abaaoud is “the presumed mastermind” of the coordinated assault, according to the Associated Press. And he is also thought to have been involved in earlier plots targeting France, the AP reports, including an attack on a Paris-bound train in August and another on a church in the suburbs of Paris.
Abaaoud has not kept a low profile despite his suspected involvement in plots against the West. The Islamic State interviewed Abaaoud in Dabiq 7, the seventh issue of its English-language magazine, which was released in February 2015. The cover of Dabiq 7 mocked Muslims who stood in unity with France over al Qaeda’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Dabiq described Abaaoud as “a mujahid being pursued by Western Intelligence agencies for his jihad in Belgium.” Two members of Abaaoud’s cell were killed in a shootout with Belgian police during a raid on their safe house in Verviers on Jan. 15, just one week after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s offices.
French Police authorize 168 raids
23 people were arrested and 104 others were held for questioning. From NBC News:
French police launched dozens of raids overnight as part of a colossal manhunt following the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls told the RTL radio more than 150 raids were carried out across the country.
“We are at war with terrorism,” he told the station. “The terrorists can strike again.”
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that 23 people had been arrested — while 104 others detained for questioning — over a 48-hour period. He added that guns, bulletproof vests and even a rocket launcher had been seized.
“This is just the beginning,” Cazeneuve said. “The response of France will be total. Those who attack France, we will catch them and we will be unrelenting with them … Terrorists will never destroy the Republic, because the Republic will destroy them.”
A total of 168 raids took place throughout the country, including some in the cities of Toulouse, Grenoble, Bobigny and Lyon.
Remembering the Victims
The BBC has a great article detailing the lives of individuals who were murdered Friday. France24 also covered the victims:
Mother of suspected jihadi says her son, “may have been stressed.”
“He didn’t mean to kill anyone,” says suicide bomber’s family. I’m going to have to disagree here. The Independent writes:
The mother of one of the Paris suicide bombers has claimed her son “did not mean to kill anyone”, adding that he may have blown himself up because of stress.
Brahim Abdeslam, 31, detonated a suicide vest outside the Comptoir Voltaire café, yards from the Bataclan concert hall where more than 80 people died on Friday night.
Abdeslam was one of three brothers from Belgium suspected of being linked to the attacks which killed 129 people.
Salah Abdeslam, 26, became France’s most wanted man after being stopped and let go by police.
The third brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, a former council worker, was arrested in Molenbeek in western Brussels, a day after the attacks in the French capital.
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