Authorities are stepping up their already-extensive manhunt for the suspected eighth Paris attacker, Salah Abdeslam, as they warn that the dangerous fugitive could be heavily armed.
The Crisis Center at the Interior Ministry released new photos of Salah Abdeslam, and the Belgian Federal Police put out a new search notice for him. The notice says an international arrest warrant was issued and adds to the all-points bulletin description that he has a “thin frame” and is “dangerous and could be heavily armed.”
Salah Abdeslam and his brother Brahim, one of the alleged suicide bombers in the Paris attack that killed over 120 people, were known to Belgian authorities, the Brussels Federal Prosecutor’s office revealed. The two brothers were flagged for wanting to go to Syria, and investigated, but then found not to pose an imminent threat and didn’t go to Syria, the Prosecutor’s office said.
The two brothers were deemed radicalized, the Prosecutor’s office said, but not an imminent threat, meaning they held extremist view but could not be detained or arrested.
More than 130 Belgian nationals have traveled to Syria and returned to Belgium, Belgian authorities say, while others traveled to Syria and authorities aren’t sure whether they’ve returned to Belgium. Additionally, some people have expressed a desire to go to Syria, but haven’t done so, authorities said, making it difficult to keep track of everyone.
The French overnight conducted airstrikes against ISIS in Raqqah, Syria, destroying two terrorist operational sites. Ten French fighter jets dropped 16 bombs on the targets, the French defense minister said, in coordination with the United States.
In France, 128 raids were conducted overnight, the French Interior Minister said. The raids were conducted as part of the emergency anti-terrorism crackdown, not directly related to the Paris attacks.
The prime minister said this morning that French intelligence officials have identified 10,500 people in France as radicalized. The Interior Minister said 115,000 police officers are on patrol across the country.
In Alsdorf, Germany, two women and three men were arrested overnight after indications of involvement in the Paris attacks, said Iris Ruster, spokeswoman of Aachen, Germany, police. The operation is ongoing.