Paris attacks: Another attack could have been hours away – CNN

• Who is the man killed when he detonated a suicide vest during the Saint-Denis raid last Wednesday?

Here’s a look at some of the threads authorities are following:

The suspects on the run

It has been more than a week since an international arrest warrant was issued for Abdeslam.

Investigators haven’t detailed what they believe his role was in the Paris attacks, but Molins said Abdeslam may have dropped the suicide bombers off at the Stade de France, then made his way to another Paris neighborhood. His fingerprints, Molins said, were found in a car connected with the attacks, including on the key.

Belgium, and specifically a Brussels suburb with a history of links to terrorism, have been a focus of the investigation. Brussels, which has been under partial lockdown since Friday night, is to remain at the highest terror alert level until at least the start of next week.

But much of the metro was reopened Wednesday, though two lines remained closed.

Mohamed AbriniMohamed Abrini

Sources in France close to the investigation believe Abdeslam could not have survived so long on the run without help, which might involve a support network in Belgium. They say extensive raids in Belgium on Sunday and Monday, in which 21 people were detained, targeted people suspected helping organize the attacks.

Belgian authorities released the name and photo of another suspect in the Paris attacks. Police said Mohamed Abrini was driving a car that was abandoned in the Paris neighborhood where one of the November 13 shootings occurred. They said he had dropped off one of the bombers who attacked the Stade de France.

Opinion: The hardest questions about fighting ISIS

The suicide vest

A suicide vest found in a garbage bin could give investigators new clues about Abdeslam’s whereabouts. They are analyzing the vest, which was found in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, near where Abdeslam’s cell phone was traced the night of the attacks, Molins said.

CNN affiliate BFMTV reported the vest contained bolts and TATP, the same explosive as the suicide belts used by the Paris attackers.

Questions have been raised over whether Abdeslam aborted part of the attacks before fleeing toward Belgium. The Paris prosecutor suggested that could have been the case, noting that an ISIS message claiming responsibility for the attacks mentioned the 18th arrondissement, a Paris neighborhood where no attack occurred.

“Our investigation on that is still ongoing, to determine if Salah was planning on a suicide attack in the 18th arrondissement and why it didn’t happen,” Molins said.

Complete coverage of the Paris attacks

But CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank aked why, if the suicide vest belonged to Abdeslam, would it have been discovered 10 days after the attacks?

“It is possible that somebody else may have jettisoned it, an attacker that we don’t know much about at this point,” Cruickshank said. “So they’ll be doing all sorts of forensics, trying to establish who this belonged to, and that will be a huge priority for French investigators.”

Authorities in Montrouge said garbage cans there are emptied “once or twice a week,” Le Monde reported.

The global battle against ISIS

French President Francois Hollande is in the midst of a week of diplomacy aimed at building a global coalition to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

A French fighter jet takes off from the carrier Charles de Gaulle on Monday.A French fighter jet takes off from the carrier Charles de Gaulle on Monday.

He will hold talks Wednesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and travel Thursday to Moscow to see Russian President Vladimir Putin. He hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron in Paris on Monday and met Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington.

France and Britain are already part of a U.S.-led coalition that has been bombing ISIS targets. Russia is conducting separate airstrikes against ISIS and other groups in coordination with the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Any efforts to form an alliance that includes both Russia and the United States are likely to run into thorny issues such as Assad’s future role in Syria and international sanctions against Russia for its interference in Ukraine.

Hollande has promised to intensify the aerial campaign against ISIS, and the French military began Monday to use the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean to launch strikes.

Opinion: Beating ISIS will take an army — and an end goal

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*