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Paris Attacker Traveled To United Kingdom To Meet With Terror Suspects

BuzzFeed News reporter Joshua Hersh is reporting from Brussels; the BuzzFeed France team are in Paris.

What we know so far:

  • French President François Hollande called for a global coalition to come together in the fight against ISIS. "France is at war," he said.
  • Three teams of attackers 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
  • Alleged attack ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed during a seven-hour raid on the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. Three bodies were recovered from the Saint-Denis apartment that was raided.
  • The U.N. Security Council condemned ISIS and called on the world's nations to "take all necessary measures" to fight it.
  • Military presence increased on the streets of Brussels and the city's Metro closed for four days following "quite precise information about the risk of an attack."
  • As of Dec. 3, Belgian authorities had eight people in custody in connection with the attacks, but fugitive Salah Abdeslam remained at large.


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One of the terrorists behind the Paris attacks visited the UK and had links to people in two British cities, according to reports.

Counter-terrorism officials have established one of the attackers, who has not been named, entered the UK and travelled to London and Birmingham before traveling back to Europe, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In both cities the attacker is suspected of having met with people suspected of plotting or assisting terrorist activity.

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Two more terror suspects arrested in Brussels

From the AP:

Belgian authorities said Thursday they have put two more suspects in the Paris attacks in custody facing terrorism charges.

The federal prosecutor's office said that at dawn on Sunday, a French national, identified only as Samir Z., was detained at Brussels national airport as he was seeking to fly to Morocco. The Frenchman had already tried twice to travel to Syria this year.

The suspect is said to be part of the entourage of Bilal Hadfi, one of the suicide bombers at the Stade de France on Nov. 13.

Prosecutors also said that a second man, identified as Pierre N., was arrested during a raid only hours after the detention at the airport early Sunday.

Both men hail from Molenbeek, a Brussels neighborhood linked to at least three other attackers in Paris.

Both men were charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist organization.

In all, Belgium now has eight suspects linked to the Paris attacks or a possible attack in Brussels behind bars.

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Another French mosque shut due to alleged links with Islamist radicalization

A total of three mosques have now been shut down and 232 people have been arrested under emergency laws passed in the wake of last month's Paris attacks, France's interior minister said Wednesday.

Bernard Cazeneuve said police on Wednesday morning had raided and closed as mosque in Lagny-sur-Marne, in Paris' eastern suburbs.

The mosque will remain closed "at least until the end of the state of emergency," Cazeneuve said.

Two other mosques in Lyon and Gennevilliers have already been shuttered under the state of emergency laws, the minister said.

"Operations are being carried out against hate preachers, self-proclaimed imams and pseudo-cultural associations that are calling for hate," he said.

Police have carried out 2,235 raids across the country since the November 13 attacks and have seized 334 weapons, including 24 military-grade weapons, France 24 reported.

The current state of emergency will remain in place until at least February.

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According to the White House pool report, Obama paid a surprise visit to the Bataclan with French President François Hollande and Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris.

The three stood in silence for several minutes in front of the concert hall. Hollande left and didn't answer any questions. After putting his arm around the French president, President Obama went back silently to his limousine.

Obama was in Paris for Monday's U.N. summit on climate change.

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Belgian authorities charge sixth man with terror offenses

A judge in Belgium charged a man with terrorism offenses over the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, prosecutors said Friday.

"Yesterday (Thursday), a person has been arrested in Brussels for interrogation. The investigating judge has remanded him in custody and charged him with terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization," the federal prosecutor said in a statement to Agence France-Presse.

The man's identity was not immediately made public.

The development came the same day the French government held an official memorial service for the victims of the attack.

The service, at the Paris' Les Invalides monument, was attended by some 2,000 people, including President François Hollande and relatives of those who died in the attacks, as well as some of those who were wounded.

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Schools and the Metro system in the Belgian capital Brussels started reopening Wednesday morning, having been closed for four days following a city-wide security lockdown.

Public transport was due to restart at 6 a.m. local time (12 a.m. ET), but some Metro lines remained closed.

The city was placed on the highest terrorism alert after authorities feared Paris-style attacks could be carried out. At least one of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks lived in Brussels, and there were reports fugitive Salah Abdeslam had returned to the city since the attacks.

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Terrorism charges sought against Paris attacker's landlord

"J'comprends pas, ils m'ont dit Daech,j'ai pensé ils sont à la Dèche, du coup j'ai fais #PorteOuverte ." #SaintDenis

Prosecutors in France are seeking terrorism-related charges for the man who rented out his apartment to the man believed to have planned out the Paris attacks.

Jawad Bendaoud, 29, has denied knowing who the terror suspects were before French police raided his apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Nov. 18. During the hours-long raid and ensuing shootout, the suspected ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and two others were killed.

Footage of Bendaoud denying knowledge of the planned attack during an interview on BFM television was turned into a meme and quickly went viral over social media.

According to the Associated Press, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters that Bendaoud accepted money for apartment for money and "welcomed the terrorists himself," although his exact role in the coordinated attack has yet to be determined.

Bendaoud could be charged with participating in a terrorist enterprise and transporting and possessing explosives in his home.

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The man believed to be behind the Paris terror attacks had planned to blow himself up in the main business district before he was killed in a raid, the city's prosecutor told reporters Tuesday.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said Abdalhamid Abaaoud and another suspect — who was not identified — planned to carry out the suicide attack in the La Defense business district on Nov. 18 or 19. That plot was foiled, however, when Abaaoud and two other people died during a police raid at an apartment days after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and wounded scores more at multiple venues.

Citing several police sources with knowledge of the investigation, Reuters reported that the La Defense targets were the Quatre Temps shopping center and the main square of the area's high-rise office buildings.

French prosecutors also said Tuesday that Abaaoud returned to the Bataclan concert hall the night of the attacks, even as authorities were trying to neutralize the gunmen who ended up killing 89 people.

According to Molins, Abaaoud was also captured on closed-circuit television entering a metro station near where a car with three assault rifles inside had been abandoned.

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Belgian prosecutors on Tuesday partially identified the two people arrested on terrorism charges in connection with the Paris attacks.

Ali O., said to be a 31-year-old Frenchman living in the Brussels suburb of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, and Lazez A., a 39-year-old Moroccan from Molenbeek, will both appear in court for a custody hearing on charges of participating in a terrorist group and committing terrorist murders.

Ali. O was detained Sunday and Lazez A. was arrested on Thursday.

Two other men, Mohammed Amri and Hamza Attou, who prosecutors say travelled with fugitive Saleh Abdeslam from Paris to Belgium after the attacks in a Volkswagen Golf, were detained on Friday. The men are also suspected of belonging to a terrorist group and committing "terrorist murders," prosecutors said.

An international arrest warrant has also been issued for Mohamed Abrini, who prosecutors say was filmed at a gas station on Nov. 11 with Salah Abdeslam while driving the Renault Clio that would later be used in the Nov. 13 attacks.

Of the three people detained during a police operation Monday in Belgium, one person has been placed under arrest for terrorism offenses, while the other two were released, according to officials.

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National Front leader Marine Le Pen is expected to win an important regional election next month that could be a stepping stone to France's presidency, as far right groups benefit from anti-immigration sentiment in wake of Paris attacks.

The terrorist attacks in Paris this month have provided electoral fodder for the National Front, which has long advocated for stronger border controls and an end to mass immigration.

Mainstream politicians are rushing to adopt many hardline positions the party has held for years, like a crackdown on Islamist preachers and tighter security measures.

BuzzFeed News' correspondent Max Seddon is in Paris reporting on the rise of far right politicians. Read the full report here.

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The U.S. State Department on Monday issued a worldwide travel alert for Americans traveling abroad, citing increased terrorist threats "in multiple regions."

The State Department's travel alert is in effect through Feb. 24, 2016, officials said. Americans who are traveling should follow the instructions of local authorities, be prepared for more security screening, and stay in touch with family members in case of emergency.

"Current information suggests that [ISIS], al-Qa'ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," the alert said.

Officials added that the likelihood of attacks will continue as ISIS fighters return to their home countries from Syria and Iraq. The potential also remains for ISIS-inspired attacks by people who are not directly affiliated with the group.

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Explosive belt found in Paris suburb matches one used by attackers

Jacques Demarthon / AFP / Getty Images

A television cameraman films a pile of garbage left outside a house in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge, on Monday, after a "belt that may resemble an explosive belt" was found in a nearby dustbin.

French police say an explosive belt or vest found in a Paris suburb on Monday matches those used by the Nov. 13 attackers, according to the Associated Press.

The belt with explosives, but without a detonator, was discovered in the southern suburb of Montrouge by a street cleaner in a pile of rubble, police told the AP.

Officers also told the news agency the belt was discovered in the same area that a cell phone belonging to fugitive Saleh Abdeslam was localized on the day of the deadly attacks.

According to the AP, officers have matched the bolts and explosive type in the belt to the suicide vests worn by the Nov. 13 attackers.

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Belgian PM says Brussels to remain under high terror alert

Belgian PM: -Highest terror alert continues for Brussels -May reopen schools, metro Weds -Big public events banned

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Monday that Brussels will remain under the highest terror alert for the next week.

"We have today decided to maintain the alert level at the maximum level of 4. The situation is the same with a serious and imminent threat for Brussels," he told reporters in the capital. "The rest of the country remains at level 3."

Schools are scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, he said, on the same day the city's metro system will begin to "gradually" re-open, according to the BBC.

"The Belgian government and the Belgian people are facing a very difficult situation and I want to thank the people for their understanding," the prime minister said. "I also want to thank our security services, they are working very hard."

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Man arrested in Sunday's Belgium raids charged with terrorism over Paris attack

Prosecutors in Belgium on Monday charged a man with terrorism offensives in connection with the Nov. 13 offenses in Paris, authorities said.

The man had been arrested along with 20 other people in raids carried out in Belgium since Sunday.

The man, whom authorities did not name, was charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist group and with being involved in the Paris attacks.

Seventeen of the people detained have been released, the federal prosecutor's office announced, while three others are being subjected to further investigation.

"The Federal Prosecutor's Office wishes to emphasize that it is not uncommon, during large scale search operations like the one last night, to bring in several people merely for thorough questioning or to clarify why they were found on the searched premises," officials said.

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Belgian authorities arrest five more people in raids

The public prosecutor's office in Belgium said a further five antiterrorism raids centered around eastern Liege have brought five more detentions, AP reported.

The arrests bring the total number of people taken into custody in the Belgian raids since Sunday to 21.

The statement from the prosecutor's office said that €26,000 ($27,600) had been seized in one of the raids.

Much of the country's capital, Brussels, remained on lockdown Monday, and Belgium is under its highest terrorism alert level.

Full statement from prosecutor on #BrusselsLockdown

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French President François Hollande and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave a joint press conference at the Élysée Presidential Palace in France Monday.

The pair said they had agreed to increase their cooperation on counterterrorism operations and will step up efforts to eradicate ISIS.

Speaking first, Hollande said: "We should also coordinate our efforts on an international front. The U.K., like France, is part of a coalition in Iraq and we should make sure our strikes are effective.

"As far as France is concerned we will intensify our strikes and choose targets that will have the most affect against the terrorist threat.

"We are looking at control of air traffic and the control of people entering and leaving our countries so we can be sure they are not accomplices of terrorists or plan to undertake terrorist acts."

Cameron added: "Paris is a city whose people have shown such courage, determination and resilience. Just over one week on from the terrorist attacks our thoughts are with those who lost loved ones and those who are still recovering. It is absolutely right to take decisive action to against the evil death cult of ISIL.

"Today President Hollande and I have discussed how we can beat ISIL in Iraq and Syria. We face a shared threat and we must share information to stop these brutal terrorists. The U.K. and France already do this but from today will step up that process. We need a stronger EU border, stricter screening processes, and we must without further delay agree to share passenger data.

"We must do more to crack down on the trade of illegal firearms … and while we do more to protect ourselves here in EU we must do more to defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Later in parliament this week we will outline our plan to tackle ISIL in Iraq and Syria going forward.

"I have offered France RAF help and we will provide assistance in air-to-air refueling. We will destroy this evil threat."

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Hollande and Cameron visit Bataclan theater

President Hollande and I stood shoulder to shoulder outside the Bataclan Cafe in Paris.

French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Bataclan theater — where 89 people died the deadliest of the terror attacks in Paris this month — to pay their respects early Monday morning.

Cameron tweeted he stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Hollande. He also said he was there to "pay tribute to the courage of the French people following the terrorist attacks."

Cameron is visiting Paris as Hollande continues to seek a coordinated global response with world leaders to the threat posed by ISIS following the Paris attacks.

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Protective wear reported stolen from Paris hospital

French health authorities said Sunday that protective gear, such as that worn to prevent the spread of Ebola, has been stolen from Paris's Necker Hospital.

The theft took place sometime Thursday and was reported on Friday. The gear was taken from a locked supply room, but a number of staff members had access to it.

The same day the complaint was filed, French officials also warned of the possibility of a chemical or bacteriological attack, the Associated Press reported.

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Sixteen people were arrested in Brussels in a series of raids, a Belgian federal prosecutor spokesperson announced in a press conference just after midnight on Monday.

The prosecutor's office also announced that one person had been injured. A vehicle ran into police as they were searching a snack bar in St.-Jans-Molenbeek, and officers fired two shots. The driver, who was wounded, fled the scene but was later arrested in Brussels.

Nineteen houses were searched during the massive police operation, but authorities did not discover Salah Abdeslam — the suspect wanted in connection with the Paris attacks. No firearms or explosives were found.

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Belgian terror alert continues into Monday

Belgian PM: 'We fear an attack like in Paris', will keep Brussels on highest security alert

Brussels will remain on the highest level of terror alert into Monday, meaning schools and the Metro in Belgium's capital will be closed.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters on Sunday that the country's capital city will remain at terror alert level 4, and the rest of the country will be at level 3.

This means that all schools and universities in the city will be closed on Monday, Michel said according to the BBC.

The city's Metro system is also closed.

Michel said the country is fearing an attack like the one on Paris last week.

"What we fear is an attack similar to the one in Paris, with several individuals who could also possibly launch several attacks at the same time in multiple locations," he said, according to ITV.

The country's military and police are patrolling the city and other areas across the country in large numbers as well.

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French police issue photo of third suicide bomber

[#AppelàTémoins] La #PJ cherche à identifier le 3ème auteur d'un des attentats du 13/11 #StadeDeFrance #ParisAttacks

French police on Sunday released a photograph of a man they suspected of being the third attacker who killed himself at the Stade de France on Nov. 13.

A tweet from the Police Nationale Twitter account said authorities were attempting to identify the man, who was believed to be one of three men who detonated suicide vests of explosives at the stadium during a soccer match.

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Eagles of Death Metal frontman describes terrorist attacks during Paris show

View this video on YouTube

Rock band Eagles of Death Metal spoke with Vice this week about the terror attack that took place on Nov. 13 during their show at the Bataclan theater in Paris.

The attack was among a series of strikes around Paris that left at least 129 people dead. The band's full interview with Vice will premiere next week, but in a trailer posted Saturday frontman Jesse Hughes describes some of the mayhem.

"Several people hid in our dressing room," Hughes recounts in the video. "And the killers were able to get in and killed every one of them except for a kid that was hiding under my leather jacket."

Hughes becomes visibly emotional in the clip and goes on to say that "people were playing dead and they were so scared."

"A great reason why so many were killed is because so many people wouldn't leave their friends," he adds. "So many people put themselves in front of people."

All the band members survived the attack, but merchandise manager Nick Alexander, 36, was killed.

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U.S. warns Americans in Belgium to stay home

The U.S. Embassy in Belgium has warned Americans in the country to "shelter in place and remain at home," after officials in Brussels raised the terror threat level.

Paris prosecutor releases seven of eight detainees after Wednesday raid

A spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor's office told the Associated Press that seven out of eight people detained during a police raid linked to the Paris attacks had been released. They said authorities could legally hold the eighth detainee, Jawad Bendaoud, for up to six days.

French police have also extended its ban on protests and other public gatherings in and around Paris until Nov. 30, citing the "current context," according to the AP.

They have also required all major music venues to implement special security tactics.

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Turkish authorities have arrested a Belgian national of Moroccan descent and two accomplices with alleged ties to the ISIS terrorists who attacked northern Paris last week.

A senior Turkish official said Saturday that Ahmad Dahmani, 26, was arrested at a luxury hotel in the southeastern resort city of Antalya, the site of the recent G20 summit, along with two other terror suspects. The three have appeared before a judge and are being held in prison, the official said.

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Brussels is on the highest possible terror alert because of "quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said at a press conference Saturday.

Michel announced that the Brussels Metro system would be closed until at least Sunday afternoon, as one of a number of "specific security measures" authorities have undertaken since the terror alert was raised to a level 4 earlier Saturday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said authorities knew that the metro was "particularly vulnerable," the BBC reported.

Many shopping centers in the Belgian capital were also closed, and reports emerged on Twitter of a shop in the east of the city having been evacuated.

Members of the public were also advised to avoid big events, and a dramatically increased military presence could be seen on the streets of Brussels.

Sky News reporter Enda Brady described "extraordinary security scenes," at Bruxelles Midi train station, where "soldiers from the Belgian army carrying assault rifles, in groups of four up and down the main concourse and on platforms" could be seen.

"It's a totally surreal atmosphere. It's just extremely quiet. It's normally a very very busy station, especially at weekends," he said. "Belgian police also heavily armed. Everyone knows what's going on."

Michel said the security situation in Brussels would be reviewed on Sunday.

A crisis center hotline has been set up by authorities for members of the Belgian public to call in an emergency.

Hebt u vragen mbt het #dreigingsniveau, informeer u via of tel. 1771

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Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday that a second suicide bomber who attacked the Stade de France on Nov. 13 traveled through Greece while posing as a migrant.

Prosecutors had already said one of the suicide bombers who attacked the stadium was previously in Greece. But Friday, Molins said a second bomber "has been formally identified as being the individual whose handprints correspond to those" recorded at a checkpoint the southern European nation, France 24 reported.

Both men passed through a checkpoint in Greece on Oct. 3, CBS News reported. One of the men used a passport in Greece that was later found next to a body at the French stadium. Investigators used fingerprints from the Greece passport check to retrace the man's journey, but do not know yet if the passport is authentic, a fake, or stolen.

Investigators did not identify the man Friday.

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Belgium raises terror alert to highest level in Brussels after Paris attacks

Belgium raised the terror alert to level 4 in the Brussels region Saturday, authorities announced.

The country's OCAM national crisis center warned of an "imminent threat" in the region.

OCAM also announced that the threat requires "specific security measures," and recommended the public avoid places where many people congregate and rely only on official sources of information.

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#UNSC unanimously adopts Resolution 2249 condemning brutality of #ISIL & calling for lawful action to counter them

The United Nations Security Council approved a resolution Friday that urges the world's nations to "take all necessary measures" to fight ISIS.

The Security Council — which includes the U.S., the U.K., China, France, and Russia, as well as other countries — unanimously approved the resolution, which was backed by France, the AP reported. The resolution reportedly describes ISIS as "a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security" and condemns its "horrifying terrorist attacks."

According to the AP, the resolution also calls on U.N. members "to take all necessary measures" against the terror organization.

The resolution is not an authorization for military action, the AP also reported.

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Belgium prosecutor charges third terror suspect believed to be connected to the Paris attacks

Prosecutors in Belgium charged a third suspect Friday in connection to the Paris terror attack on Nov. 13 that killed at least 129 people.

The suspect has not been identified, but in a statement prosecutors said "the person that was arrested yesterday has been charged by the investigating judge with participation in terrorist attacks and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization, and placed into custody," AFP reported.

The charges were filed a day after Belgium police arrested nine people during raids. All but two of those people were later released, the AP reported.

Two other suspects have already been charged.

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The French authorities have identified the third suicide bomber who attacked the Stadium of France.

#Attentats Ce moment où tu dois boucler ton papier et où tu ne comprends rien au communiqué du parquet de #Paris

The office of the François Mollins, the head prosecutor for Paris, said Friday that it had identified the suicide bomber who attacked Gate H at the Stadium of France last week as a man who'd entered the European Union through Greece in October.

The prosecutor did not name the suspect or give his or her nationality. He also did not indicate whether the suspect had been admitted as a refugee.

All three suicide bombers who attacked the stadium have now been identified.

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France to extend state of emergency for three months.

BREAKING: French Senate votes to extend state of emergency for 3 months.

The French Senate on Wednesday approved President Hollande's request to extend the country's state of emergency for three months, the Associated Press reported.

The Senate's approval comes in the wake of a similar vote in the National Assembly. The decree will go into effect as soon as Hollande signs it.

Hollande declared a 12-day state of emergency shortly after the attacks. It was the first time the measure had been implemented since the riots of 2005.

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ToysRUs in France has asked all its stores to withdraw toy weapons from its shelves because law enforcement could confuse them for real weapons, France Info reported.

The head of a store in Limoges told France Info that he received a mail from the management asking them to remove all toy weapons from their shelves until further notice.

This will be implemented in 48 ToysRUs stores in France, France Info reported.

The decision was made because the toy weapons could be confused for real firearms by law enforcement in the wake of the attacks, a ToysRUs representative told France Info.

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The death toll has increased from 129 to 130, the French Interior Ministry confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

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In his speech, Valls said, the terrorists "ruthlessly killed, destroying 130 lives and leaving several hundreds injured, many of whom are still in critical condition." It is unclear if the official death toll of the attacks has increased from 129 to 130.

"To those who ask, 'what can I do?' I say: to resist is to keep on living, to go out," Valls said.

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Prosecutors say 6 of 7 arrested have been released.

just in re: Belgium raids: 6 of 7 ppl held in Hadfi raids released, 1 of 2 ppl held in Paris-related raid released

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A third body has been recovered from the Saint-Denis apartment raided on Wednesday in connection with the Paris attacks.

Paris prosecutors said Thursday that the body of a woman was found overnight, the Associated Press reported.

The woman has not been named and authorities said that her identity is unclear.

Two bodies recovered at the apartment following the raid have already been identified as Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a suspected ringleader of Friday's attacks, and another woman, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, who is thought to have blown herself up at the scene.

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France wants declaration of anti-ISIS push at U.N.

France's ambassador to the U.N., Francois Delattre, said the country will present a resolution to declare a united anti-ISIS push, calling for nations to "redouble and coordinate their efforts" against the group, The Guardian reported. Dellatre said:

The exceptional and unprecedented threat posed by this group to the entire international community requires a strong, united and unambiguous response from the security council.

This is the goal of our draft resolution, which calls on all member states to take all necessary measures to fight Daesh [ISIS].

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The blast from a suicide vest that exploded during a police raid on the suspected planner of the Paris attacks Wednesday was captured on video.

Gunshots can be heard and lights seen near the window of the apartment building in cell phone video obtained by ABC News before a blast rips through the fourth-floor, sending glass and debris crashing to the street below.

According to ABC, the explosion is believed to have been from a suicide vest worn by Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the female cousin of suspected Paris attacks planner Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

French officials said Abaaoud was also killed during the early morning raid in Saint-Denis.

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Italian authorities are searching for five terror suspects after receiving a tip from the FBI.

The search for the five individuals came after the U.S. State Department issued a warning about Italian landmarks being targeted after the Paris attacks, including St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the Duomo gothic cathedral and La Scala opera house in Milan.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told state broadcaster RAI that law enforcement was actively searching for the five individuals since Wednesday.

The State Department also warned U.S. citizens to be alert in other places such as churches, synagogues, restaurants and other open areas that could be seen as "potential targets."

Gentiloni told the broadcaster that the FBI alert did not tell people to stay away from the locations, only to practice caution, adding that "we cannot be prisoners of worry."

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FBI director says no credible threats to U.S. after Paris attacks, monitoring would-be "copycats"

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch meet with members of the media at the Justice Department in Washington.

FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there were no known connections between the Paris attackers and any credible threat to the U.S. but authorities are monitoring dozens of people inside the country who "might be tempted to be a copycat."

Comey spoke alongside Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss national security after the Paris attacks, which have raised questions about ISIS capabilities abroad.

The FBI director added that despite a recent video released by ISIS, the footage appeared to be propaganda and not a credible threat. The video surfaced Wednesday and showed footage of Times Square, but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton have also said the video did not constitute a credible threat.

Despite the attacks, Comey told reporters he was more worried about the "troubled souls of America who are being inspired or enabled to do something" rather than ISIS supporters entering the U.S.

Comey said the FBI is tracking dozens of suspected ISIS supporters in the U.S. and authorities have been put them under "tight surveillance."

"We are making sure we apply additional scrutiny to anybody who might be tempted to be a copycat," Comey said. "So we've gone through all of our caseload to try and assess which are the ones that might pose a risk of trying to copy what happened in Paris and make sure that we're staying on them like a blanket."

More than half of U.S. state governors have said they oppose allowing Syrian refugees into their states, and on Thursday, the House passed a bill that would stop Syrian refugees into the U.S. until they were subjected to additional vetting.

During the meeting, Lynch called the bill impractical and impossible.

"From a law enforcement perspective, the bill presents us with an impracticality and impossibility," Lynch said. "To ask me to have my FBI director or other members of the administration make personal guarantees would effectively grind the program to a halt, and would essentially not provide the safety and security that I really think is the concern of everyone looking at this issue."

Comey said the FBI was intensifying their monitoring of people in federal watch lists, and working to disrupt any possible threats.

He added that the number of people in the U.S. known to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS has been declining.

"My hope is that the message has gotten out that it's hell on earth in the so-called caliphate," the FBI director said. But it could also be that IS has been urging its followers not to travel and to instead attack targets where they are, he said.

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NBC News interviewed the captain of the elite French police unit that stormed the Bataclan theater.

The Brigade de Recherche et d'Intervention, or BRI, is an elite French police unit that deals mostly with hostage situations and other high-profile assaults. Last Friday, they were in charge of storming the Bataclan theater, where a group of attackers had several hundred people hostages.

"The first thing we saw the guy shooting, and a lot of maybe 20 hostages between the shooter and us," the captain of the unit who led the charge into the theater, and who did not give his name, told NBC News. "Most of them on the floor. So we cannot shoot at that time. Because too, it was too risky for the, for the hostages."

"But we keep going, keep going, keep going," the captain went on. "And what moment , there were some stairs, we didn't know about it and the shield fell down on the hostages so the first three guys were only without any protection and they still go."

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Members of two Syrian families, including two children, were taken into custody by border agents in Laredo, TX, on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security said.

The families "presented themselves" to U.S. authorities, who said that "due to privacy issues, no additional information" would be provided at this time.

Several conservative media outlets in the U.S. have framed reports of the detention as a call to increase vigilance on the border with Mexico, echoing a debate in the country and across the ocean in Europe over whether to welcome Syrian refugees and more broadly, over border enforcement and immigration policy.

The women and children were taken to a family residential center while the men were transferred to a detention center, DHS said.

Read the full story here.

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French prime minister says authorities do not know where wanted attacker Salah Abdesalam is

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday said he does not know whether Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdesalam is in France or Belgium.

Speaking to France 2, Valls also said authorities do not know when or how Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was key in planning the attack, entered France.

"Each country bordering France must play its role fully and take its responsibilities," he told France 2.

He added: "We must continue to reinforce cooperation between countries. If Europe doesn't accept its responsibilities, the whole Schengen system is challenged.

"Our borders today are that of the European Union. Each country in Europe must accept its responsibilities so that these controls happen."

Valls also said 600 homes had been searched since the attacks as part of the ongoing investigation.

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Friday's terror attacks in Paris have unexpectedly opened the door for Vladimir Putin to go from international pariah to a convenient partner in Syria.

A month after claiming that Putin "is not our ally," François Hollande, France's president, is to visit Moscow next week to discuss a "large coalition" against ISIS.

Putin has responded in kind, telling Russian naval commanders on live TV to "to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies."

Barack Obama, too, has sounded conciliatory notes in recent days; at last week's G20 summit, he met with a man whom he spent the better part of two years awkwardly avoiding, like after a bad breakup.

Read BuzzFeed News reporter Max Seddon's full report here.

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U.S. House passes bill to halt resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees

House Republicans and a sizable number of Democrats on Thursday approved a bill to halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees until key federal agencies can certify that they have been properly vetted.

The veto-proof House vote of 289–137 included 47 Democrats joining with nearly all GOP members. Obama had threatened to veto the legislation.

Prior to the roll call, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Capitol Hill that it was a time when it is "better to be safe than to be sorry."

Read more on the vote here.

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France's president orders "intensification" of strikes on ISIS

French President François Hollande has ordered the "intensification" of anti-ISIS strikes in Iraq and Syria, AFP is reporting.

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Obama speaks with Hollande about latest in the investigation into the attacks

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

President Barack Obama at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila, Philippines.

U.S. President Obama has spoken by phone with French President François Hollande from the Philippines today to discuss the latest developments in the investigation into last week's terrorist attacks in Paris.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama again expressed condolences on behalf of the American people to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in these horrific attacks, to the wounded, and to the French nation.

Both leaders reiterated their unwavering commitment to degrade and destroy ISIL, the statement said.

Obama noted that he looks forward to welcoming Hollande to the White House next week, when the two leaders will engage in discussions on the way forward to defeat ISIL, help to bring to an end the conflict in Syria, and to ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard our citizens from the threat of terrorism.

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Nine people detained after raids across Belgium

Nine raids have been conducted in Belgium leading to the detention of nine people linked to the Paris attacks, Belgium's federal public prosecutor said.

As part of an investigation into Hadfi Bilal, one of the bombers who died in the attack, six searches were executed across Belgium in Brussels, Jette, Molenbeek, and Ukkel on Thursday morning.

As a result of these searches, seven people were taken in for interrogation, the prosecutor said.

Three more searches were conducted in Laken, Jette, and Molenbeek. Two people were arrested during those searches.

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Interior minister: France unaware presumed terror planner was in Europe before attack

EN DIRECT – Cazeneuve : "Il faut aller vite et fort" Live :

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that authorities did not know Abdelhamid Abaaoud was in Europe before Friday's attacks in Paris.

During a televised statement, he said that Abaaoud — who was confirmed to have died in Wednesday's raid on Saint-Denis — was involved in four out of the six foiled terror attacks in France this year, AFP reported.

Cazeneuve said that France had no knowledge from either its own or other European intelligence services that Abaaoud was in the continent until after Friday's attacks, Le Monde reported.

"No information from European countries has been communicated to us suggesting that this could happen in Europe. It was only on Nov. 16 that one country's intelligence service from outside Europe said said they were aware of his presence in Greece," Cazeneuve said.

Cazeneuve called for a European passenger name record, greater cooperation on tackling gun trafficking, and stronger borders.

"'These measures have been called for by France for a year and a half, and progress has been made. But this is not going fast enough or far enough," he said.

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Female suicide bomber from Saint-Denis raid is suspected Paris attack leader's cousin

BREAKING: Police: Cousin of Paris attacks main suspect died in raid; believed to have blown herself up.

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Alleged leader of the Paris attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been killed

Paris prosecutor confirms Abdelhamid Abaaoud is among the dead. His identity was confirmed through forensic testing.

French prosecutors confirmed Thursday that Abaaoud was killed in Wednesday's police raid in Saint-Denis. His body was found in the rubble following the raid and he was identified after forensic testing was conducted on his remains.

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French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that terrorists could use chemical weapons in France during Thursday morning's session of the French National Assembly.

"Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria ... but for what it is. We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons," Valls told the lower house of Parliament, AP reported.

He did not say if we was referring to any specific threat regarding the use of such weapons.

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French Assembly votes to extend state of emergency by three months

L'#AssembléeNationale donne son feu vert à la prolongation de l'état d'urgence pour trois mois. Suivez notre direct

France's National Assembly — the lower house of Parliament — has voted to approve extending the country's state of emergency for a further three months in the wake of last week's terror attacks on Paris, Le Monde reported.

Meanwhile, the French city of Lyon has canceled its annual Festival of Lights in December. It will be replaced by a daylong commemoration for the victims of the Paris attacks.


The French National Assembly voted to approve the extension of the state of emergency. An earlier version of this update said it had passed completely.

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1 detained in raids in Belgium

One person was detained in the six raids linked to Paris stadium bomber Bilal Hadfi in Belgium Wednesday morning, ABC News reported.

The Belgian prosecutor's office said the individual was being questioned, but did not give any detail on what connection they may have to the attacks.

The raids took place in several places in Belgium, largely concentrating on the greater Brussels area, including the districts of Molenbeek, Brussels-city, and Jette.

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CCTV footage appears to show gunman’s machine gun jam as he tries to kill diner at Paris café

Footage obtained by the Daily Mail shows a gunman pointing what is believed to be an AK-47 machine gun at the ground where a woman is crouched under a table.

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Six raids linked to Paris bomber Hadfi carried out in Brussels

AP reports:

Authorities in Belgium have launched six raids in the Brussels region linked to Paris suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi.

An official in the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said that the raids were taking place in Molenbeek and other areas of Brussels.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Bilal Hadfi has been identified as one of three attackers at the Stade de France stadium. The raids are centering on "his entourage," the official said.

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"We will not live in fear," New York City officials say after new ISIS video threat

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton held a defiant news conference Wednesday night in Times Square, saying the city would not be intimidated by a new ISIS video threatening an attack.

The video surfaced Wednesday and included footage of Times Square, as well as the promise that "what is to come will be worse and more bitter." But despite the video, both de Blasio and Bratton reiterated earlier police comments stating there are no known threats.

"There is no credible and specific threat against New York City," de Blasio said.

Bratton said "there is nothing new about that video," adding that it appeared to have been "hastily produced." He also noted that it seemed to include recycled footage from earlier ISIS videos that threatened Germany and Israel.

"We will not be intimidated," Bratton said. "We will not live in fear.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told MSNBC's Morning Joe he agrees the U.S. is at war with ISIS.

MSNBC released a clip Wednesday night, and the full interview is scheduled to air Thursday.

"We have to defeat ISIL," Carter told MSNBC. "We will defeat ISIL. You see the barbarism associated with this, and so it is something that must be defeated."

When asked if he agreed with French President François Hollande's assessment that "we are at war with ISIS," Carter responded, "Yeah."

Carter's comments followed those of a top White House aide, who earlier this week said the Obama administration believes that the U.S. has been at war with ISIS for some time.

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ISIS on Wednesday released a new video in the wake of the deadly Paris terror attacks warning of an attack on New York's Times Square.

A screenshot from an ISIS propaganda video released Wednesday shows New York's Times Square.

The video features repurposed footage from a music video released in April showing a suicide bomber preparing to attack the popular tourist destination. After the footage of the bomb, the video cuts to images of Times Square, showing pedestrians, yellow cabs, and restaurants.

Finally, the video shows footage of French President François Hollande speaking after the Paris attacks, then concludes with the words "and what is to come will be worse and more bitter," displayed in French.

Just before the footage of New York City, the video shows a man speaking in Arabic, with French subtitles. The man states that Western attacks against ISIS "strengthen us." He also appears to celebrate the Paris attacks, saying "I congratulate the Muslim community in general" and "soldiers of the caliphate in France especially."

In response to the video, the New York Police Department said there was "no current or specific threat to the city."

"We are aware of the newly released ISIL video that mentions Times Square," Stephen Davis, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information, said in a statement. "While some of the video footage is not new, the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target."

"While there is no current or specific threat to the City at this time," Davis went on, "we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community to keep the City of New York safe. In addition, we are continuing to deploy additional Critical Response Command (CRC) teams throughout the City, out of an abundance of caution."

In addition to images of New York City, the video includes an interview with a child who is presented as a member of ISIS.

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Paris Prosecutor François Molins said Wednesday that police are still investigating the identities of the suspects killed earlier in the raid in Saint-Denis.

"As of yet I cannot give you either the identities or the number of people who were killed, but there were at least two," Molins told reporters at a press conference.

The prosecutor said eight people had been arrested during the raids. He declined to identify them, but said Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a key suspect believed to have been among the leaders of the attack, was not among them.

Salah Abdeslam, the brother of one of the suicide bombers who attacked Comptoir Voltaire and currently the subject of an international manhunt, was also not arrested. Abdselam was stopped in a police checkpoint in the northern town of Cambrai on Saturday, Molins said, and was not detained. Two people who were with him, Hamza Attou and Mohamed Amri, were later taken into custody. It is unclear what possible role Attou and Amri played in the attacks, but it appears that they had come to take him back to Belgium from Paris.

Molins provided extensive details on the raid, which he said began after police received reports that Abaaoud was in France. He said the suspects were hiding behind a reinforced door; that police fired nearly 5,000 rounds; that snipers were involved; and that an explosion left the building partially collapsed.

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French police are asking drivers not to call attention to location of checkpoints.

#EtatdUrgence Des contrôles ont lieu partout en France. Ne signalez pas la position des forces de l'ordre #Attentats

The French National Police said on Twitter that it is establishing checkpoints throughout the country as part of the investigation into the attacks.

It also asked drivers not to warn people about police presence using their lights, or post the checkpoints' location on GPS apps such as Waze, to avoid alerting the suspects.

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The Eagles of Death Metal, the band playing at the Bataclan concert hall on Friday night when terrorists stormed the venue and opened fire, on Wednesday released their first statement since the attacks:

While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France. Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander, our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones.

Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.

We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the U.S. and French State Departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil.

All EODM shows are on hold until further notice.

Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.

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With France under a state of emergency since Friday's attack, police have conducted some 414 searches over the past three nights, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.

Over Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, 118 searches alone were carried out. Twenty-nine people were taken in for questioning, with 25 placed in custody. Police said the night's raids resulted in 34 weapons being seized, with 16 discoveries of drugs also taking place.

Some 118 people have been placed under house arrest over the past three nights, and a total of 60 placed in custody.

"The Interior Ministry reiterates that these operations will continue to occur, and reiterates the determination of the entire government to battle against terrorism without mercy and against all threats to public order," the ministry said.

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Sakho Diaby also shot video footage of the raids, which captures the sounds of shots fired.

View this video on YouTube

Sakho Diaby / Via

Diaby gave BuzzFeed News permission to use the video.

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A Facebook user named Reda Rocma posted a Snapchat video of the raids in Saint-Denis.

Facebook: video.php
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French President François Hollande confirmed that Wednesday morning's raid in Saint-Denis is over and said it targeted "terrorists with ties to the perpetrators of the attacks on Friday night."

Addressing a conference of mayors in Paris, Hollande said: "I can imagine the concern of the people of Saint-Denis, and would like to comment on their levelheadedness, and express solidarity with the mayor of Saint-Denis because the attack on the Stade de France happened in his constituency."

Hollande expressed his "gratitude and admiration for our security forces and police officers who launched this operation."

In the same address, Hollande said that France will honor the commitment it has already made to resettle refugees.

"30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has a duty to respect this commitment," he said, according to ABC News.

He added that refugees will undergo a thorough security check before being allowed into France but said it was a "humanitarian duty" to help