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French police launch international manhunt for 'dangerous' suspect

1 year 10 months 6 days ago Sunday, November 15 2015 Nov 15, 2015 November 15, 2015 3:18 PM November 15, 2015 in News
Source: ABCNews
By: EMILY SHAPIRO
Source:ABCNews

PARIS - The French National Police launched an international manhunt today for a "dangerous" suspect wanted for involvement in the Paris attacks, and a Belgian official said a new raid took place in a Brussels neighborhood.

The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Salah Adbeslam, was born in Brussels, and is a French national, according to the French national police.

The attacks in Paris that left scores dead and hundreds injured were prepared in Belgium and the suspects received help in France, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said today.

A raid took place today in the Bruxelles-Ville neighborhood of Brussels in connection with the Paris attacks, a Belgian official said.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari said that, prior to the attacks, sources in Iraqi intelligence obtained information that some countries, France in particular, would be targeted by ISIS. In a statement in Vienna, Jaafari said Iraq notified both the U.S. and Iran.

Two of the suspects who died during their attack on Paris were French nationals living in Belgium, officials revealed today, as the investigation into who was behind the devastating six-part attack on French citizens continues.

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.

Both were French nationals, a Belgian official said.

Another attacker was identified as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old Frenchman, the French prosecutors office said. Mostefai was identified from a severed finger found at the Bataclan concert venue, the site of one of the attacks.

According to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor, seven people were arrested Saturday in Brussels and were being questioned about their possible involvement in the attacks.

Belgium’s Interior Minister said today the situation in Molenbeek, which is at the center of the investigation, is out of control.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Molenbeek was a "giant problem," according to Belgian TV, and the government should "focus more on repression."

More than 500 Belgian nationals have left to fight in Syria, according to a Belgian database. Belgium has provided the most foreign fighters in Syria, per capita, of any European country.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said today that his state will postpone efforts to accept refugees until federal authorities fully review security procedures, the Associated Press reported. Snyder said Michigan's "first priority is protecting the safety of our residents."

Three teams of suspects carried out six separate attacks, officials said, before seven attackers were killed by detonating their explosive belts.

The death toll in the Friday night massacre has reached 129, officials said. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said today that the bodies of 103 victims have been identified while 20 to 30 victims remain unidentified.

At least 352 people were injured, including 99 people in critical condition.

As the investigation into the attack continues, the country remained on edge, and French police advised people to stay home as much as possible.

A black car suspected to be used by the gunmen was found six miles from Paris, in the suburb of Montreuil, French news agency AFP reported. A prosecutor's spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News that a car with several Kalashnikovs was found this morning in Montreuil, but further details were not immediately available.

On Saturday, police were called to a Paris suburb after reports of small explosions that turned out to be firecrackers.

The investigation spread Saturday from France to Belgium, after cars linked to the attack were tracked to Brussels. Officials said at least three people have been arrested in Belgium, including one person who was allegedly involved in the attack.

The U.S. will also be contributing to the investigation, as five FBI agents have left for Paris, a law enforcement official briefed on the situation told ABC News. The FBI's specific role was not immediately clear.

Pope Francis this morning expressed his "deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks," saying, "to the President of the Republic of France and all the citizens I offer the expression of my deepest sympathy."

"I am particularly close to the families of those who lost their relatives and to those who were injured," he said. "Such barbarity leaves us shocked and we wonder how can a human heart conceive and organize such horrible acts, that have shocked France and the whole world."

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.

Public cultural establishments, including museums and theaters, are expected to reopen Monday afternoon in Paris and its surrounding suburbs, said the Minister of Culture and Communication.

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