Sunday

21st Apr 2019

Anti-terror raid in Paris region

  • Police raid started at 4.30, targeting mastermind of Friday's attacks. (Photo: Reuters)

A major police operation took place on Wednesday morning (18 November) in Saint-Denis, near Paris. At least six suspected terrorists were targeted, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is considered to be the mastermind of Friday's terror attacks, which killed 129 people.

Two suspected terrorists were killed and seven were arrested, the Paris prosecutor said. One of the dead was a woman wearing an explosive belt.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Saint-Denis, the biggest town of the Paris region, hosts the Stade de France, where three suicide bombers exploded their devices on Friday, killing one person.

Many gunshots and explosions were heard, and a large area was closed, with people prevented from leaving their homes. Police officers were reported injured.

"This raid is linked to Friday's attacks," justice minister Christiane Taubira said on the radio.

The raid was launched at 4.30am and ended around 11.30 after investigators found a phone used by attackers of the Bataclan concert hall where 89 people were killed.

They also found a car in Paris that was hired in Belgium by Salah Abdeslam, who is considered as the "eighth man" of Friday's commandos.


Abdeslam is suspected of driving the car from which restaurants and bars were attacked in three different places, killing 34 people. One of his brothers died when he triggered his explosive belt in a bar, injuring one.

On Tuesday, investigator also said the commandos probably included a ninth man, who is still to be identified. Only five of the terrorists have been identified so far.

The voice of a French convert was identified in a video claiming responsibility for the attacks. He had threatened the Bataclan in 2009.

Threats

The raid in Saint-Denis took place while terror fears remain high in Europe.

In Hannover, a football match between Germany and Netherlands was cancelled on Wednesday one hour before kick-off and the stadium was evacuated because of what authorities said was a "concrete threat".

Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with German and Dutch ministers, were expected to attend the match, which had been organised at the last minute as an homage to victims of Paris attacks.

According to German media, a foreign intelligence service, probably French intelligence, warned of plans involving automatic weapons and suicide bombers.

The Spiegel Online also reported a false alarm at Hannover station, where a man was said to have left a bag in a train.

Another match, Belgium-Spain, had been cancelled in Brussels the day before, because of the high threat level, a few kilometers away from Molenbeek where police launched raids on several suspected Islamist radicals.

Fears were high in the skies too. Two Air France flights bound to Paris were diverted during the night over bomb threats.

The first plane was flying from Los Angeles and landed in Salt Lake City. The second one from Washington and landed in Halifax.

Both flights had been the "subjects of anonymous threats received after their respective take-offs," Air France said in a statement.

This article was updated at 12.30 after the end of the police raid

EU diplomat voices concern on Syria children

EU countries must redouble efforts to get Syrian children back to school, or risk a generation more prone to radical ideas, a senior European diplomat has warned

Agenda

EU still in Paris' shadow This WEEK

Fellow euro states, at a ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday, are expected to disburse the next tranche in the Greek bailout.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us