Police Raids Go On In Paris Overnight


Paris police and international law officials were busy Sunday night and early Monday morning conducting over 168 raids across the country. Suspected terrorists as a manhunt across Europe intensified to find those linked to the attacks on Paris. French prime minister Manuel Valls warned on Monday that terrorists were planning more strikes in France and elsewhere in Europe.

He vowed France would continue air strikes against Isis targets in Syria as prosecutors provided details of two more of the men who carried out the shootings and suicide bombings in Paris on Friday night that killed at least 129 people.

The police raids, which focused mainly on Toulouse, Grenoble and Lyon, were conducted using powers available to police under the state of emergency declared by President François Hollande.

The raids come less than 12 hours after French jets began bombing targets in eastern Syria connected to ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks that left at least 129 people dead and 352 wounded.

Seven of the people suspected of carrying out the six separate attacks Friday were killed, but the French national police Sunday released the name and photograph of an eighth suspect, announcing an international manhunt for a man described as “dangerous.”

Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national who was born in Brussels, is believed to be the gunman who led the team shooting at people in restaurants and bars. Officials said he is one of three brothers: One of the three, Brahim Abdeslam, died during the attacks and another was detained in Belgium.

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The attacks, carried out at a stadium where the French national soccer team was playing Germany, a concert hall where the U.S. band Eagles of Death Metal was playing, and at restaurants and cafes, were prepared in Belgium and the suspects received help in France, French

said Sunday.

Over the weekend, police detained several people in France and Belgium, including two men in Belgium who officials say were directly involved –- indicating authorities believe at least 10 people played a role in the complex assault.

Some of the men under arrest had been tracked to Belgium after being spotted on surveillance tape in a rental car purportedly used in one of the shootings. One car apparently used in the attack was discovered Sunday with “several” Kalashnikov rifles, the Paris prosecutor said.

Two of the deceased gunmen have been identified by French officials: 29-year-old French citizen Omar Ismail Mostefai and another man whose photo appears on a Syrian passport. However, authorities are carefully examining the authenticity of the passport, which shows the man slipped into Europe through Greece, then Serbia and Croatia in early October and then eventually to France, according to European officials.

Two of the suspects who died during the attack were French nationals living in Belgium, officials said Sunday. One of the dead attackers lived in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where raids took place Saturday, and a second attacker lived in the broader Brussels area, a Federal Prosecutor spokesman told ABC News.

In memory of the victims, the 28 member states of the European Union will join France in a minute of silence Monday at noon Paris time, and President Obama ordered that the U.S. flag fly at half-staff all week.

*Some quotes in this story came from France 24 and Associated Press

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.