ISSN 2330-717X

France: Police Issue Arrest Warrant For Suspect In Paris Attacks

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(RFE/RL) — Police investigating a wave of terror attacks in Paris have issued an international arrest warant for a man they believe might have helped organize the deadly assaults with two of his brothers in Belgium.

Police said they were seeking a Belgian-born man, Abdeslam Salah, in connection with the attack, describing him as “dangerous.”

French police issued a photo of the suspect on November 15 after police in Belgium issued the arrest warant.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the November 13 coordinated suicide bombings and shootings that killed 129 people and wounded about 350 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings.

“The abject attacks that hit us on Friday were prepared abroad and mobilized a team in Belgium that benefited…from help in France,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters after meeting his Belgian counterpart in Paris.

Belgian officials said they had arrested seven people in Brussels after two Belgian-registered cars were discovered in Paris, both suspected of being used by the attackers.

“I do not want any preachers of hatred on Belgian soil! There is no place for them in Belgium,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Twitter.

A judicial source said Salah, a 26-year-old French national, had rented one of the two cars, a Volkswagen Polo, that was found not far from the Bataclan concert hall, the site of the bloodiest attack.

Only one of the attackers has been named — Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old who lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris.

He was identified by the print from one of his fingers that was severed when his suicide vest exploded.

German officials said a man arrested in the southern state of Bavaria earlier this month after guns and explosives were found in his car may also be linked to the attacks.

The Serbian Interior Ministry said the holder of a Syrian passport found next to the body of one of the attackers outside the Stade de France stadium “was registered on the Presevo border crossing on October 7 this year, where he formally sought asylum.” The Presevo border crossing separates Serbia from Macedonia.

Greek authorities had confirmed that the document had been used to travel through the island of Leros on October 3.

Meanwhile, France has begun three days of national mourning.

President Francois Hollande has imposed a state of emergency and canceled his plans to attend a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies starting in Turkey later on November 15.

A special service for the families of the victims and survivors will be held at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral.

Luxembourg, which currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, announced that EU interior ministers would meet on November 20, saying the emergency talks would “strengthen the European response” to the attacks.

Speaking on November 15 in Turkey, where he arrived for a G20 summit, U.S. President Barack Obama described the assaults as “an attack on the civilized world” and said the United States would work with France to hunt down those responsible.

Meanwhile, the head of the world’s top Islamic body condemned “in the strictest terms” the Paris gun and bomb attacks and called for “a concerted joint action to combat the scourge of terrorism which has become the arch enemy of humanity at large.”

Iyad Madani, the secretary-general of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, voiced his “firm rejection of any terrorist act” that undermines “universal human values including the values of freedom and equality that France has consistently promoted.”



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RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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