- With tensions high, a Jewish man and a Muslim woman are attacked in Marseille
- In latest edition of magazine, ISIS takes responsibility for Paris, Russian plane crash
- Wiretap suggested the ringleader’s female cousin was in raided apartment, official says
The raid in Saint-Denis, home to the Stade de France arena that was hit by three suicide bombers Friday, targeted a suspected mastermind of the attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, though authorities weren’t certain he was at any of the locations, a senior Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN.
Police sources say, however, the raid was well-timed because the suspects were “about to move on some kind of operation.”
Was Abdelhamid Abaaoud killed in Paris police raid?
Here are the most important developments from Wednesday:
• NEW: An ISIS video released Wednesday warns of an impending attack on New York City. The video mentions Times Square and purports to show an explosive device being put together and a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt. The video prompted a response from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said police were “taking all necessary precautions” in areas shown in the video and throughout the city. “Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations,” he said, “but New York City will not be intimidated.”
• NEW: With tensions running high across France, two attacks in the southern city of Marseille drew sharp condemnation from Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. A veiled Muslim woman was hit and stabbed at the exit of a metro station “because of her religious symbols,” the ministry said in a statement. And a Jewish teacher was stabbed “by several individuals uttering anti-Semitic remarks and glorifying terrorism,” the ministry said. One of the attackers wore a T-shirt bearing “an ISIS symbol,” Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said. The attackers fled the scene, and police are looking for them, Robin said.
“Everything is being done to find and question those responsible for these unspeakable acts. They must face justice,” Cazeneuve said.
The investigation and the raid
• The shootout in Saint-Denis began at 4:20 a.m. and lasted nearly an hour, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. At least two people died, he said. Neither has been identified. CNN affiliate BFMTV reported a police sniper killed one of the suspects.
• Seven men and a woman were detained in the raids, Molins said.
• The suicide bomber who blew herself up during the Saint-Denis raid has been identified as a cousin of Abaaoud, Belgian state broadcaster RTBF reported. CNN has not verified the report, but earlier Wednesday, a Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN that before the raid, a wiretap conducted by French and Belgian authorities led them to believe Abaaoud’s female cousin was in an apartment in Saint-Denis.
• The raids focused on two apartments on the same street, a Paris police source told CNN. The raid on one group led to a raid on another group, the source said. Witnesses reported hearing sustained gunfire about 4:30 a.m., and a CNN reporter said she heard five or six explosions at the scene, but it wasn’t clear if the explosions were controlled or otherwise.
• Investigators will use DNA analysis to determine whether Abaaoud was killed in the raid, a Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN. A French commando team used powerful munitions to neutralize suspects, resulting in the collapse of an entire floor of the building. In the rubble, investigators found body parts, the source said.
• Two suspects from the Saint-Denis raids, both of whom required surgery for arm injuries, are being treated at a hospital in Bobigny, France, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.
• Five police officers were injured and a police dog was killed, police said.
• Authorities overnight in France conducted 118 searches, took 25 people into custody and confiscated 34 weapons, the French Interior Ministry said. Authorities also found narcotics in 16 instances, the statement said.
• French police are analyzing a video that shows two gunmen and perhaps a third person inside a black SEAT automobile that has been tied to the attacks, French media reported.
• The Paris attacks aren’t the first time fugitive suspects Saleh Abdelsalm and Abaaoud have been linked. They were both convicted in 2011 of the same theft and each served a month in jail, Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said.
The scene in France
• A bomb squad destroyed a suspicious package at the Gare du Nord terminal. It was not an explosive device, but the train station was briefly evacuated.
• French President Francois Hollande said he was introducing legislation that would extend the state of emergency for three months. Under French law, the state of emergency is valid for a maximum of 12 days. After that, approval by Parliament is required.
• Hollande reiterated his country’s commitment to accepting refugees, describing it as a “humanitarian duty.” In the next two years, 30,000 refugees will be welcomed, he said, but authorities also will conduct security screening. “We have to make the necessary checks before accepting refugees on our soil,” he said. “That’s what we did and that’s what we will continue to do.”
• The traditional opening of the Christmas lights in Paris was canceled because of the Friday terrorist attacks, organizers said.
Around the globe
• In the latest publication of ISIS’ Dabiq magazine, the terror group includes a list of the latest attacks for which it claims responsibility, including the downing the Russian passenger plane in Sinai, the suicide attacks in Lebanon, and the attacks in Paris.
• Thirty-three ISIS members have been killed by French and other military airstrikes in the last 72 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said Wednesday. “Dozens of ISIS leaders and their families” are moving from Raqqa, ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital, in northern Syria, toward the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the Observatory said.
• Turkish authorities detained eight Moroccan men believed to be linked to ISIS. They had flown from Casablanca, Morocco, to Istanbul, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. They were deported, back to Casablanca, police told CNN.
• Muslims worldwide have taken to social media using the hashtag #NotInMyName to condemn the Paris attacks.
• Members of Eagles of Death Metal, the band performing in the Bataclan concert hall when gunmen stormed in, killing at least 89 people, wrote on Facebook they are grieving for lost colleagues. They also thanked the U.S. and French police and governments for their coordination, “proving once again that love overshadows evil.”
• As a growing number of U.S. governors said they didn’t want Syrian refugees in their states, President Barack Obama criticized them, saying he “cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for (ISIS).” Speaking at the State Department, CIA Director John Brennan said it’s important for the U.S. to strike a balance between accepting refugees fleeing Syria and maintaining security safeguards so that terrorists cannot exploit the resettlement program.
How the ISIS fight went global
CNN’s Euan McKirdy, Jason Hanna, Jethro Mullen, Catherine E. Shoichet, Anna-Maja Rappard, Ivan Watson, Scott Bronstein, Christiane Amanpour, Tim Lister, Matthew Chance, Anastasia Sobinyakova, Nima Elbagir, Paul Cruickshank, Claudia Otto, Erin Burnett, Margot Haddad and Don Melvin contributed to this report.
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