Three people are now known to have died in the police raid Wednesday on the hideout of suspects in last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the Paris prosecutor’s office said, following the discovery at the site of the body of an unidentified woman.
And a key suspect remained at large Friday as EU ministers met in an emergency session.
Salah Abdeslam is the subject of an international search warrant. He was last seen driving toward the Belgian border when police stopped and questioned him a few hours after the attacks. They eventually let him go, not realizing he was involved in the attacks in Paris. Now, his whereabouts are unknown.
In Brussels, interior and justice ministers will discuss ways to beef up security and implement anti-terrorism measures.
The developments came a day after French investigators said Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks, died in Wednesday’s police operation in Saint-Denis, a suburb of the city.
Here are the most important developments:
• NEW: The Paris Prosecutor’s Office confirms that contrary to preliminary information from French authorities, Hasna Ait Boulahcen did not blow herself up during the raid on the apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday. The prosecutor’s office told CNN that it was a man who was wearing a suicide device that detonated. In initial reports, Boulahcen was described as wearing a suicide vest. New information suggests that she was found dead after the raid, but did not detonate a vest.
• NEW: Boulahcen, 26, was a relative of Abaaoud, official sources in France told CNN. Friends of her family in their hometown of Aulnay-sous-Bois, on the northeastern outskirts of Paris, said she had lived there until recently. The Paris prosecutor’s office earlier told CNN that police were searching the home of Boulahcen’s mother there.
• NEW: Another person has died as a result of the last week’s attacks, bringing the death toll to 130, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday.
• NEW: Closed-circuit video from the night of the Paris attacks shows Abaaoud at the Croix de Chavaux metro station, a source close to the investigation told CNN Friday. The terror attacks were underway at the time of the video, around 10 p.m. on November 13.
• NEW: Two of those involved in the Paris attacks came into Europe through the same entry point in Greece and on the same day, the prosecutor’s office said. Both became suicide bombers outside entrances to Stade de France, one blowing himself at 9:20 p.m. and the other at 9:30 p.m.
• NEW: Lawmakers approved a plan by French President Francois Hollande to extend until February 2016 the state of emergency declared the night of the Paris attacks. The bill, which gives the government sweeping powers, was submitted by Hollande following the attacks. The Senate, the upper house in Parliament, unanimously passed the bill Friday. The National Assembly, the lower chamber, overwhelming approved it Thursday.
• NEW: How did authorities know that a Paris suburb was where to find Abaaoud, who’d previously been targeted by French airstrikes in Syria? The information was relayed after last week’s attack, according to a source close to the investigation. “Remember he’s Moroccan, his parents are Moroccan. We searched through methods we have, that our personnel have to inquire within France after it was known he was behind the attacks,” a senior Moroccan government official said. “From that, we found that he hadn’t left France, so he could prepare other attacks.”
• NEW: An anti-terror rally planned outside the Grand Mosque of Paris has been canceled because “the security conditions necessary for the holding of a public gathering are not good enough,” Dalil Boubakeur, the mosque’s chairman, said in a statement. Earlier, Boubakeur decried what he said was ISIS’ perversion of his religion and called for military action against the group’s stronghold in Syria.
• NEW: Following the terror attacks in Paris, the FBI is closely monitoring dozens of people they think pose the highest threat of attempting to carry out a copycat attack in the United States, according to FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. No relationship exists between the Paris attackers and anyone in the United States, they said.
The investigation and the raids
• Police conducted 182 more searches on Thursday night and arrested 20 people, according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. There have been a total of 793 administrative searches in the past five nights, in which 107 people were detained — 90 of them remain in custody — and 174 weapons and 250,000 euros were seized.
• Multiple raids were conducted in Belgium in connection with Hadfi Bilal, a suicide bomber in last week’s Paris attacks, according to a statement from the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. Nine people were detained. But the prosecutor’s office said Friday that seven of them had been released after being interrogated while the detentions of the two others were provisionally extended for 24 hours. “No further information shall be released about the identities of the persons involved,” the prosecutor’s office said.
• Though authorities have confirmed that Abaaoud died as a result of the police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, they don’t yet know whether he blew himself up, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. The death toll from that raid has now risen to three.
• Papillary prints — which include prints from fingers, palms and soles — led officials to identify Abaaoud’s remains, the French prosecutor’s office announced in a statement.
• A lawyer for Abaaoud’s father told CNN the father is “relieved” his son is dead. Attorney Nathalie Gallant said father Omar Abaaoud thinks his son was a “psychopath” and a “devil,” and he feels guilty about his son’s radicalization.
• Abaaoud has been linked to at least four foiled terror attacks, Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, said, and had ties with several other known jihadists.
• Abaaoud used social media to try to recruit Spanish citizens, mostly women, to join ISIS in Syria, Spain’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez told the Spanish television station Antena 3 TV.
• A captain with Paris police’s Research and Investigation Brigade, which responded to last week’s attack at the Bataclan Theatre, described in an NBC interview the “hell on Earth” his team encountered there. Upon taking position at the theater, he said several hundred people lay on the floor. “Tons of blood everywhere. No sound. Nobody was screaming … and a lot of light because it was like a concert.” The people in the auditorium were lying motionless, he told NBC, “because they were afraid of the terrorist.”
• Video released by dailymail.com in London captures one of the Paris attacks at a cafe. A gunman sprays the front of the cafe and its outdoor bistro tables with bullets as glass shatters and patrons scramble to safety. The gunman approaches a woman near the front door and points an assault rifle at her. The weapon appears to jam, and the gunman walks off. The woman and another customer make a run for it.
The scene in France
• France will push the European Union to strengthen external borders before the end of the year, Cazeneuve said.
• A man posted a video on Facebook calling on his fellow French Muslims to hunt down the “imposters” of Islam and “protect our beautiful religion.”
Around the globe
• U.S. President Barack Obama has warned of the long road that lies ahead in the global effort to defeat ISIS. “It’s going to be a multiyear task,” he said at a regional conference in the Philippines. “And we’re not going to be able to fully succeed in eliminating their safe havens until we have a political settlement of some sort in Syria.”
• The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to effectively pause the processing of Syrian refugees by insisting no refugee be admitted without certification by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Many House Democrats ignored White House pleas to oppose the bill, giving Republicans enough support to conceivably secure a veto-proof majority. It’s unclear when the Senate would take up the bill, but Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has said his caucus will block the bill from passing in the Senate.
• The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution penned by France that gathers international support for counterterrorism efforts, specifically aimed toward ISIS. The resolution calls on all member states to take all necessary measures in compliance with international law to “redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL” and urges states to “intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria.”