What we know so far:
- Terrorists killed at least 129 people in a series of apparently coordinated attacks across Paris involving gunfire and explosives.
- Three teams of individuals carried out the attacks, and all were heavily armed and wearing vests packed with explosives.
- Seven assailants were killed, with some dying after detonating bombs, officials said Saturday.
- On Sunday, authorities released the image of Abdeslam Salah, who is wanted in connection with the attacks.
- One of the suicide bombers was identified by a French elected official as Ismaël Omar Mostefaï. On Monday, two more were identified as Samy Amimour and Ahmad al-Mohammed.
- One hundred and four people have been placed under house arrest following 168 antiterrorist raids overnight, France’s Interior Ministry said Monday.
- Names of some of the victims have been released.
- For continued coverage of the Paris attacks please click here.
CIA chief discusses ISIS threat
CIA chief John Brennan addressed Washington, D.C.’s Center for Strategic and International Studies early Monday morning, a previously scheduled public appearance that took on new significance in the wake of Friday’s devastating terrorist attack in Paris.
“My opening remarks this morning are different from those I reviewed and finalized in early afternoon last Friday,” Brennan opened solemnly, offering condolences to Paris.
The spy chief, whose public appearances are few and far between, said the attacks, which have killed 132 and counting, were one of the few threats that international intelligence organizations let slip through the cracks.
“While many terrorist operations have been thwarted as the result of strong international teamwork, tragically, not all terrorist plans are uncovered in time,” Brennan said. “[It is] absolutely imperative that the international community … recommit to achieving an even greater and unprecedented level of cooperation, collaboration, information sharing and joint action. The ISIL threat demands it.”
Brennan stressed that the U.S. continues working very closely with the French and several other European intelligence partners to address Europe’s foreign fighter problem, as hundreds of Western Europeans have traveled to Syria to fight for the extremist Islamic State group. Refusing refugees from those regions though, Brennan said, is not the answer.
“What we don’t want to do is have these terrorists succeed in taking away the freedoms and liberties that we pride ourselves on, whether it be here in the United States or in Europe,” he said. “And I know that there is a rush by some to say the borders should be closed, that we should isolate ourselves. That is inconsistent with what I think our societies have been founded on over the last hundreds of years.” —Ali Watkins
Two charges in Belgium with terrorism, after raid produces no new arrests
BRUSSELS — Two people arrested in Belgium have been charged with terror-related offenses, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement, though a raid Monday morning in the neighborhood of Molenbeek did not produce any additional arrests.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed in a statement that five of the seven people who were arrested over the course of the weekend have been released, while two continue to be held on charges of participating in the activities of a terrorist group.
The statement also confirmed that a raid in Molenbeek, where some of the Paris attackers came from, on rue Delaunoy had produced no arrests related to the attacks.
Police laid siege to a building on rue Delaunoy on Monday as part of the manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspected Paris attackers, who is currently on the lam. For hours, balaclava-wearing policemen carried out the raid while the streets surrounding the site were blocked.
A spokesman for Françoise Schepmans, the mayor of Molenbeek, told BuzzFeed News that five people had been arrested on Saturday, including at the home of the Abdeslam family in Molenbeek, and that two arrests had been made on Sunday. The spokesman said that loud bangs heard during the raid were not shots, but firecrackers used to warn residents about the ongoing operation. He also said that Schepmans was following the raid “minute by minute,” but would not confirm details of the investigation beyond confirming that Salah Abdeslam was sought.
Abdeslam’s brother Ibrahim was identified as one of the Paris attackers; he reportedly blew up his suicide vest at the Comptoir Voltaire during the coordinated attacks on Friday night.
Abdeslam’s other brother Mohamed was held over the weekend and was among those released. —Rosie Gray
“France is at war,” President François Hollande said Monday while addressing an extraordinary session of Congress, including the upper and lower houses of Parliament.
Check here for more on the rare address. The French president generally addresses joint sessions of the Senate and National Assembly only in times of crisis.
President Obama spoke about Paris terror attacks at the G-20 Summit
Obama, speaking from Antalya, Turkey, on Monday announced a new agreement that would streamline the process to share intelligence with France.
“We are united against this threat. ISIL is the face of evil,” Obama said.
The president also addressed the ongoing concerns with accepting refugees from Syria. While, he said, all refugees will be subjected to rigorous screening and security checks, the door must remain open to accepting refugees.
“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values,” Obama said.
For more on Obama’s speech click here.
Watch the whole speech here:
Le Pen calls for France to stop accepting migrants
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Front National party, on Monday called for France to no longer accept migrants and refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks.
France and other EU nations have agreed to resettle 160,000 refugees in the coming years, as the continent struggles to deal with a months-long tide of people fleeing conflict.
But in a statement on the Front National website, the party pointed to revelations that one of the attackers arrived in France after traveling through Greece and Serbia last month.
“Our fears and our warnings on the possible presence of jihadis among the migrants coming into our country are thus unfortunately made real by these bloody attacks,” the party said.
Le Pen, whose political support has grown in France in recent years, is now demanding “the immediate end of all migrants welcomed into France and the immediate end of their spread in French communes,” the party said.
Belgian armed police raid Brussels suburb
Armed police in Belgium have launched a raid in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, as the manhunt for Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam continues.
Both Abdeslam and Abdelhamid Abaaoud — linked to planning the attacks — have links to Molenbeek. Earlier reports Salah Abdeslem had been arrested proved to be false.
Belgian Federal Magistrate Eric van der Sypt said, “Salah has not been arrested, no one has been arrested, the operations are continuing. There is still an operation continuing right now in Molenbeek,” the New York Times reported.
The Belgian prosecutor said five out of seven suspects arrested in Brussels in connection to Friday’s attacks in Paris have been released. This includes Mohammed Abdeslam — brother of Salah and suspected attacker Ibrahim Abdeslem — who was released without charge, AFP reported.
A spokesperson for the Molenbeek mayor told BuzzFeed News the raid had concluded, with no injuries.
ISIS video reportedly threatens further attacks
Reuters reports that a new video purportedly from ISIS has threatened further terror attacks after Paris, including on Washington:
Islamic State warned in a new video on Monday that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington. “We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France’s and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington,” one man in the video said.
It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the video.
Images of France’s minute’s silence to commemorate Paris victims
No words can express the level of sadness we feel.
Our thoughts go to the victims, to those injured and to their loved ones. Many of you want to come to the Bataclan, but unfortunately the authorities still need to work on site. We will keep you informed as soon as it’s possible for you to come and mourn in front of the concert hall.
Thank you for your support, which deeply affects us.
Turkish authorities said they warned France twice in the last year about one of the suspects involved in the terrorist attack in Paris, suggesting an intelligence lapse on the part of French authorities.
French national Ismaël Omar Mostefaï’s fingertip was reportedly found at the scene of the Paris’s Bataclan concert hall, where armed men killed at least 89 people in a massacre that was part of a coordinated terrorist strike on several sites in the French capital. Read more
Minute’s silence held in France and across Europe
BuzzFeed News’ Siraj Datoo is in Place de la République in Paris, where hundreds of people have gathered to remember the victims of Friday’s attacks, despite warnings against mass public gatherings.
The silence there was ended with a spontaneous rendition of the French national anthem.
More than 100 people under house arrest following French police raids
France’s Interior Ministry said it conducted 168 antiterrorism raids across the country and placed 104 people under house arrest.
A further 23 people were taken into custody for questioning. The raids found 31 weapons, including four military-grade weapons.
Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud linked to Paris terror attacks
A French official with knowledge of the investigation has identified Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud as being involved in the planning of Friday’s attacks in Paris, according to AP.
The official requested anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly, AP said.
Abaaoud had also been mentioned in Belgian newspapers including de Standaard in connection with the attacks Monday, citing Belgian security sources.
He had previously been connected with the foiled attacks on a Paris-bound Thalys train in Verviers in August, as well as a foiled attack on a church.