News World Police carry out terror raids across Paris

Police carry out terror raids across Paris

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Police have carried out pre-dawn terror raids in Paris and surrounding towns including Toulouse, Jeumont and Calais, French media are reporting.

The raids occurred during the early hours of Monday morning (AEDT), according to The Guardian. 

Reports said at least three people had been arrested and about 20 police vehicles were seen in Jeumont, on the French-Belgian border.

Agence France-Presse reported the raids are not directly linked to the Paris attacks, however they are part of wider anti-terror operations.

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Earlier, as authorities hunted Abdeslam Salah in connection with the attacks, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed they were believed to have been organised by a group of Belgian individuals.

The photograph of Belgium-born Salah, 26, (see below) was issued by French police on Monday (AEST), who appealed for information on the man but warned the public not to approach him.

It was one of a number of links that had allegedly emerged so far between the violence and Belgian individuals.

Belgium man, Abdeslam Salah
French police release this image of Paris terror suspect Abdeslam Salah. Photo: ABC

Mr Cazeneuve said it was believed this link could show the attacks “were prepared abroad, by a group of individuals based in Belgium”, the BBC reported.

He said the group “benefited from accomplices in France”.

A car carrying three men was stopped at the border of France and Belgium early on Saturday. One of the men was now believed to be Salah, The Guardian reported.

Border police checked Salah’s identification, but apparently let him go as he was not yet on the wanted list.

He was later found to be listed as the renter of a VW Polo parked outside the Bataclan concert theatre.

Salah was thought to be one of three French brothers living in Belgium who were involved in the attacks.

His brother, Ibrahim, was killed in the violence on Friday, according to French media, while the third, unnamed brother was arrested in Brussels.

Six family members of one gunmen arrested

It followed the arrest of six family members of one of the gunmen identified in the terrorist attacks.

The six people are all relatives of Ismail Omar Mostefai, who was named earlier on Sunday (AEDT) as one of the terrorists involved in a series of coordinated attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, several bars and restaurants and the Stade de France sports venue.

Mostefai was identified using a severed fingertip, which was found at the Bataclan – the site of the worst carnage where at least 89 people were killed at an Eagles of Death Metal performance.

The death toll from France’s worst terrorist attack – which French president Francois Hollande described as an “act of war” by Islamic State militants – stood at 132 on Monday morning (AEST), after three people died in hospital, according to Agence France-Presse.

After the attacks, Mr Hollande declared a state of emergency and set three days of official mourning.

Famous French landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre art museum were closed indefinitely.

On Sunday it emerged that Mostefai was a petty criminal who had slipped under the radar of France’s security agencies.

Born on November 21 1985, in the poor Paris suburb of Courcouronnes, Mostefai’s criminal record shows eight convictions for petty crimes between 2004 and 2010, but no jail time.

It is believed two of the six people arrested are his father and brother.

His brother, who is 34, contacted police on his own initiative before being taken into custody along with his father.

Police searched the family’s home in the small town of Romilly-sur-Seine, 130 kilometres east of Paris, as well as his brother’s home in nearby Bondoufle.

Meanwhile, several AK-47 rifles were found in an abandoned black car suspected of being used by gunmen who fired at people in restaurants.

The car, which is believed to have been used at two of the six locations – a bar on rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi where five were killed, and a restaurant on rue de Charonne where 19 died – was found in the eastern suburb of Montreuil.

As France continued to mourn the tragic events, dramatic footage of a shootout between French police and gunmen was released.

The video was taken by witness Patrick Zachmann outside the Bataclan theatre.

French prosecutor Francois Molins said there were seven attackers killed in total, working as part of three “teams” to carry out the terrorist acts.

He said all of the attackers used Kalashnikov assault rifles and wore the same type of suicide vests with shrapnel mixed with explosives, intended to cause maximum casualties.

A Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the terrorists who detonated a bomb outside gate D of the Stade de France, killing himself and a passerby.

The lights were turned off at the Eiffel Tower following the deadly attacks in Paris. Photo: AAP

The holder of the passport was registered as a refugee in several European countries last month, authorities say.

The man, identified by Serbian authorities only by his initials AA, came into Europe through the Greek island of Leros, where he was processed on October 3, Greek officials said on Saturday. He was among 70 refugees who arrived on a small vessel from Turkey.

Another man being traced in connection with the attacks by French police had also registered in Greece, police sources said, with local media reporting he had arrived on Leros in August.

Little was known about the others involved, however, it is believed three teens were involved.

Belgian police arrested three suspects on Saturday, including one who was in the French capital at the time of the carnage, Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said.

Mr Michel told Belgian television the arrests were linked to “suspect vehicles” identified during the investigation by French police.

Australian victim

The mother of the Tasmanian teenager shot at the Bataclan concert hall was flying to Paris to be by her daughter’s side.

Emma Parkinson is in a stable condition.
Emma Parkinson is in a stable condition in hospital.

Emma Parkinson is in a stable condition in hospital after undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds.

The 19-year-old was attending a concert by American band Eagles of Death Metal when she was shot in the hip.

Her aunt Sam Gunner told media on Sunday that Ms Parkinson was expected to make a full recovery.

“Obviously there is quite a long road ahead for Emma mentally,” Ms Gunner said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had spoken to Ms Parkinson over the phone, and said she was in “good spirits”.

Melbourne woman Sophie Doran was also at the concert but escaped uninjured by pretending she was dead.

Frenchman charged in UK airport gun scare

A Frenchman who triggered an evacuation of one of Britain’s busiest airports has been charged with possessing an air rifle and a knife.

Police said Jerome Chauris had been carrying the rifle and a lock knife – a type of folding blade – at London’s Gatwick Airport on Saturday.

Carrying a “dangerous article” in an airport, and carrying a knife in public “without good reason” are illegal in Britain.

Chauris, 41, was seen acting suspiciously and discarding an item in a bin at the busy transport hub, said police, who evacuated an airport terminal and brought in bomb disposal experts to carry out a small controlled explosion.

– with Brandon Cohen, Anthony Colangelo and agencies


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