Paris’ Bataclan hall will reopen for the first time since 90 people were killed by ISIS with a Sting concert.
Scores of survivors are expected to attend the concert, which is being held on the eve of the first anniversary of France’s bloodiest terror attacks.
Organizers said they decided to reopen the famed Paris concert venue to prevent it becoming a “tomb”.
Sting will donate the proceeds from the concert to two victims’ charities.
The Bataclan was the last place the militants targeted on November 13, 2015.
Image source Wikimedia
The co-ordinated attack had already struck the Stade de France and restaurants filled with people enjoying their evening.
The 130 people who lost their lives that night will be remembered in a series of low-key events over the weekend.
The concert at the Bataclan, where about 1,500 people had been watching American band Eagles of Death Metal when the gunmen burst in last year, is one of the most symbolic.
Jules Frutos, who has co-run the venue for the last 12 years, told AFP: “We had to go on after such horror and not leave a mausoleum, a tomb.”
He contacted Sting, who first performed at the Bataclan in 1978, about the concert after reading he wanted to help.
Sting says he hopes the concert will “respect the memory as well as the life affirming spirit of those who fell”.
The 1,000 tickets on offer for the concert sold out within 30 minutes of going on sale.
Hundreds of tickets were held for survivors, and there will be psychologists and counselors on stand-by for anyone who needs.
The concert venue will be closed on November 13, the actual anniversary, when a plaque is due to be unveiled in memory of those who lost their lives.
The Bataclan, the interior of which has been completely replaced, is opening again on November 16 for a series of concerts by Pete Doherty, Senegalese star Youssou N’Dour and British Sixties legend Marianne Faithfull.
Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been extradited from Belgium to face trial in France.
Salah Abdeslam, 26, was wounded and arrested in a dramatic raid in Brussels on March 18 after four months on the run.
The French national was born in Brussels and lived there before the Paris attacks.
Salah Abdeslam would be held in solitary confinement in a maximum-security prison in the Paris area, said Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas.
The co-ordinated attacks carried out by so-called Islamic State in Paris on November 13, 2015, claimed 130 lives and left dozens more severely wounded.
Belgium’s federal prosecutor said Salah Abdeslam had been “surrendered to the French authorities this morning [in execution of the European Arrest Warrant issued by France on March 19, 2016]”. He was then formally placed under arrest.
Although Salah Abdeslam was initially held at a prison in Bruges, he had most recently been in custody at a high-security jail at Beveren, near Antwerp.
He is charged in France with participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist organization.
He was also indicted by Belgian authorities last week over a shoot-out in the Forest area of Brussels in which four police were wounded, three days before he was arrested.
Earlier, French criminal lawyer Frank Berton told French media that he would be taking on Salah Abdeslam’s defence in France following a two-and-a-half-hour meeting between the two last Friday at Beveren.
Frank Berton BFMTV he hoped the man would be judged “for what he has done and not what he has not done… not for what he represents because he is the last survivor”. Most of the Paris attackers are now dead.
He described Salah Abdeslam as “falling apart because of the drama that unfolded in France” and said he wanted to explain his actions.
Frank Berton said he was aware of the risks in representing his client, but insisted “he has the right to a fair trial”.
Salah Abdeslam’s Belgian lawyer, Sven Mary, has spoken of the dangers he faced in representing him – telling France’s Liberation website that he was threatened, assaulted physically and verbally in his office, and that on occasion police had escorted his daughters to school.
Mohamed Abrini, who was arrested in Belgium on April 8, has admitted being the “man in the hat” seen with the suicide bombers at Brussels airport, prosecutors say.
Belgian prosecutors say Mohamed Abrini told investigators that he was at the scene of the March 22 bombings.
Mohamed Abrini, 31, is also wanted in connection with the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people last November.
He is one of six men arrested in Brussels on April 8. Four have been charged with terror offences.
The attacks at Zaventem airport and a metro station in Brussels left 32 people dead.
Officials believe those who carried out the Brussels and the Paris attacks were part of the same network backed by ISIS.
Mohamed Abrini was placed in detention by the Belgian judge in charge on the investigation into the Paris attacks. His fingerprints and DNA were found in two “safe houses” in Brussels, as well as in a car used during the Paris attacks, investigators say.
Mohamed Abrini – the key remaining suspect in November’s Paris terror attacks – has been arrested, Belgian media say.
He is also likely to be the “man in the hat” seen on CCTV before the blasts in the Brussels airport departure hall on March 22, sources cited in Belgian media say.
Belgian prosecutors confirmed that several arrests had been made in connection with the Brussels attacks.
The attacks on the Brussels airport and a metro station left 32 dead.
The gun and bomb attacks in Paris on November 13 killed 130 people.
Although the Belgian federal prosecutor confirmed that “there have been several arrests in the course of the day in connection with the attacks on the airport and metro”, they would give no further details.
Local media reports suggest that Mohamed Abrini, on the run for five months, was arrested in the Anderlecht district of Brussels.
The Associated Press quoted French police as saying that Mohamed Abrini was one of the arrested men. He had not been directly linked to the Brussels attacks until today.
Some media say that one of the other men arrested is suspected of helping suicide bomber Khalid el-Bakraoui at the Maelbeek metro station, but this has not been confirmed.
On April 7, Belgian authorities had released new video footage of the “man in the hat”, appealing for the public’s help in finding him.
The individual in the footage was seen beside the two suicide bombers at Brussels airport. He left the airport shortly before the blasts.
Mohamed Abrini, 31, a Belgian national of Moroccan origin, is believed to have been filmed at a petrol station with Salah Abdeslam, another arrested Paris attacks suspect, two days before the attacks there.
He and brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam were all childhood friends from Brussels.
Mohamed Abrini is believed to have driven twice with the brothers from Belgium to Paris and back on November 10 and 11.
Six people have been arrested in Brussels as a major investigation continues into attacks that claimed 31 lives in the Belgian capital on March 22.
All suspects have been arrested in the Schaerbeek district. There is no word yet on the identities of the suspects or their possible connection to the attacks.
Separately, in France, a suspect who was plotting an attack has been arrested near Paris, officials said.
The Brussels bombings have been linked to last November’s Paris attacks.
ISIS has claimed the attacks in both Paris and Brussels.
The arrests in Schaerbeek were made on March 24, and followed house-to-house searches in the area.
Residents said they heard explosions during the police raids but the cause was unclear.
Also on March 24, French police launched an anti-terror operation in Argenteuil, north-west of Paris, following the arrest hours earlier of a man suspected of planning an attack.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the suspected militant, a French national, was in an “advanced stage” of a plot, adding that no connection had been made to either the Brussels or the Paris attacks.
Police sources quoted in French media say the suspect had been convicted in his absence in another European country for seeking ISIS recruits to go to Syria.
In November 2015, 130 people died after militants opened fire and detonated bombs in a number of locations in Paris.
Also on March 24, Belgium admitted that it had made “errors” relating to one of the Brussels attackers.
Turkey has said it arrested and deported Brahim el-Bakraoui last June, warning Belgium he was a “foreign fighter” – but was “ignored”. The Dutch authorities had also been alerted, Ankara said.
The Belgian interior and justice ministers said they had offered to resign over this but added that the prime minister refused to let them.
Brahim el-Bakraoui is one of three men who carried out the bombings at Zaventem airport that killed 11 people.
Unconfirmed reports say another of the Brussels airport attackers was the wanted jihadist Najim Laachraoui, whose DNA was found on explosives linked to the attacks in Paris.
The third suspected airport attacker has not yet been identified and is on the run.
Brahim el-Bakraoui’s brother, Khalid, struck at Maelbeek metro station, where 20 people died.
There are reports of a second suspect being sought for that attack. One source told AFP news agency that a man with a large bag had been seen beside Khalid el-Bakraoui on surveillance footage at the metro station.
Meanwhile, VRT reported that investigators were working on the assumption that the cell had been planning a far bigger attack, involving Paris-style shootings as well as suicide bombings.
Links have also emerged with Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks.
Salah Abdeslam was arrested and wounded in a police raid on a flat in the Forest area of Brussels on March 18 – four days before the attacks in the Belgian capital.
Investigators say Khalid el-Bakraoui used a false name to rent the same flat.
On March 24, Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer said he had changed his mind and would not fight extradition from Belgium to France.
Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old French national born in Belgium, did not have prior knowledge of the Brussels bombings and had stopped co-operating with police following the attacks, his lawyer Sven Mary said.
A court hearing on March 24 on the detention of Salah Abdeslam and two other suspects has been postponed until April 7.
Najim Laachraoui has been identified as an accomplice of captured Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, Belgian prosecutors say.
The 24-year-old man is still on the run. A statement said he had been using false ID and that his DNA had been found in houses used by the suspected jihadist network.
Salah Abdeslam was captured in Brussels on March 18 and is still being interrogated.
However, Belgium’s federal prosecutor said he was “still far from solving the puzzle” of the Paris attacks.
“We have quite a few pieces of the puzzle and in the last few days several pieces have found their place,” Frederic Van Leeuw told journalists in Brussels.
ISIS said it was behind the Paris attacks.
The prosecutor’s statement said that Salah Abdeslam had traveled twice to the Hungarian capital Budapest, using a rental car in September 2015.
In the car were two other men, using fake Belgian identity cards with the names Samir Bouzid and Soufiane Kayal.
Soufiane Kayal has now been identified as Najim Laachraoui by DNA found at houses in the town of Auvelais and the Brussels district of Schaerbeek.
“The investigation showed that Soufiane Kayal can be identified as Najim Laachraoui, born on 18 May 1991 and who traveled to Syria in February 2013,” the statement said.
Belgian police said Samir Bouzid was “most probably” Mohamed Belkaid. He was killed by a police sniper in a raid on a flat outside Brussels on March 15.
The prosecutor appealed for public help in finding Najim Laachraoui.
Also still sought is Mohamed Abrini, who was filmed at petrol stations with Salah Abdeslam two days before the Paris attacks.
Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer, Sven Mary, meanwhile told Belgian radio that his client appeared “relieved” that the hunt was over.
He said: “Salah wants to co-operate and he’s done that since Saturday. Are we going to apply for the status [of informer]? He’s never said he wants to be an informer. I’ve never said that he’s asked for that.”
The lawyer added: “I have said that he can be of invaluable worth for different parties. He can give invaluable information for police as well as judges and lawyers.
“The statements of the French prosecutor… could ensure that Abdeslam is scared off.”
Sven Mary was referring to comments over the weekend by Paris prosecutor Francois Molins that Salah Abdeslam had admitted he wanted to blow himself up during the attacks, but then changed his mind.
Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer has filed a legal complaint against the prosecutor for violating secrecy.
Sven Mary also said he would continue to fight a transfer to France, but added: “Let’s be quite clear. He’s going to France – there is no single reason that he won’t go to France. It’ll be the investigating judge who decides when he goes.”
Salah Abdeslam has revealed he wanted to blow himself up but then changed his mind, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins says.
The 26-year-old Paris attacks suspect has been charged with terrorism offences in Belgium a day after he was seized in a dramatic raid.
Salah Abdeslam will fight extradition to France but has been co-operating with police, his lawyer says.
The Paris attacks on November 13 left 130 people dead and dozens injured.
ISIS said it was behind the bombings and shootings.
Salah Abdeslam is charged with participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist group, Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office says.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference: “Salah Abdeslam today during questioning by [Belgian] investigators affirmed that, and I quote, <<he wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and that he had backed down>>.”
Salah Abdeslam’s assertions should be treated with caution, the prosecutor added.
The French national, born in Belgium, is in custody following his arrest in Brussels on March 18 after four months on the run.
Investigators hope Salah Abdeslam, who was shot in the leg during his arrest, will reveal more information about the ISIS network behind the Paris attacks, its financing and plans.
They believe he helped with logistics, including renting rooms and driving suicide bombers to the Stade de France.
Salah Abdeslam is believed to have fled shortly after the attacks, returning to the Molenbeek district of Brussels.
Interpol has meanwhile urged “extra vigilance” at borders following yesterday’s raid in Brussels, saying more accomplices may try to flee Europe.
The subject of a massive manhunt, Salah Abdeslam was arrested about 1,600ft from his home in Molenbeek. His brother, Brahim, was one of the Paris attackers, who blew himself up.
Another man arrested at the same time as Salah Abdeslam on March 18, Monir Ahmed Alaaj, has also been charged with participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist group, the Belgian prosecutors say.
Yesterday’s raid also saw three members of a family detained.
They include Abid Aberkan, described as a friend of Abdeslam, who has been charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist organization and harboring criminals.
Another family member, identified as Djemila M, has been charged with harboring criminals, but is not in custody, the prosecutor’s office says.
Abid Aberkan’s mother, Sihane, has been freed and faces no charges.
The raid came after Salah Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found in a flat in another Brussels district, Forest, raided on March 15.
Dramatic footage showed Salah Abdeslam being bundled into a police car on March 18 after a volley of gunfire. Monir Ahmed Alaaj was also injured during the arrests, but both suspects were discharged from hospital on March 19.
France’s President Francois Hollande said Salah Abdeslam’s arrest was “an important moment”.
Prosecutors said Monir Ahmed Alaaj had travelled with Salah Abdeslam to Germany last October, where his fingerprints were taken during an identity check.
A false Syrian passport in Monir Ahmed Alaaj’s name and Belgian identity papers under an alias were found in a flat in Forest raided on March 15.
More details have meanwhile emerged about an Algerian national, Mohamed Belkaid, shot dead in March 15 raid.
Associated Press says it has been passed documents by the Syrian opposition news site, Zaman al-Wasl, suggesting he joined ISIS in 2014 and asked to be a suicide bomber.
Belgian investigators say he is likely to have been an associate of Salah Abdeslam.
Along with the Stade de France, the Paris bombings and shootings targeted the Bataclan concert hall and bars and restaurants.
Officials have identified most of the people they believe to have carried out the assaults and on March 18 Francois Hollande predicted that more arrests could follow.
Most of the suspects either died during the attacks or were killed in subsequent police raids.
Brussels police are hunting for suspects for a second day after a deadly anti-terror raid in the Belgian capital, linked to November’s jihadist attacks in Paris.
A man armed with a Kalashnikov was shot dead and four officers were wounded during March 15operation in the suburb of Forest, an official said.
The Belgian capital has since been on high alert, with police said to be searching for suspects who may have fled the raid.
The November attacks in Paris – involving militants from Brussels – left 130 people dead.
ISIS has said it carried out the attacks.
French police also took part in March 15 operation in Brussels. One of the officers wounded in the raid was a French policewoman, officials said.
Police went to search an apartment in the southern suburb of Forest on March 15.
“During this operation, one or several people opened fire on the police as they came through the door,” the federal prosecutor’s office said.
Three officers were injured then and a fourth in a later exchange of gunfire, it said.
“A suspect armed with a Kalashnikov” was also killed at around 18:00 in the street outside the flat, the prosecutors’ statement said.
The Associated Press news agency quotes prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt as saying that several people fled the scene when the gunshots first rang out, and it was not yet clear if all were bystanders, or if some were suspects.
Belgian media reports say police are searching for two more suspects after the raid.
The dead man has not yet been identified. However, a prosecutor’s spokesman had earlier made clear it was not Salah Abdeslam – one of two suspects still on the run after the November 13 attacks in Paris.
French police sources had said earlier that he was not the target of March 15 raid.
Belgium’s De Standaard newspaper quotes its sources as saying that investigators had been expecting to raid a safe house used in connection with the Paris attacks.
They had not expected the flat to be occupied, as its water and electricity had been disconnected for some time.
The operation brought life to a standstill in the area, close to railway lines used by high-speed trains to London and Paris.
Two local schools and two kindergartens were in lockdown for several hours before being evacuated by police.
The prosecutor’s office said the investigation is “actively continuing, day and night” but gave no other details.
Since the November 13 attacks, officials have identified most of the people they believe to have carried out the assaults.
Most of the suspects either died during the attacks or were killed in later police raids.
In addition, 11 people have been arrested and charged in Belgium in connection with the killings. Another eight are still in detention.
Parts of Brussels were sealed off for days after the Paris massacre amid fears of a major incident. A number of suspected attackers lived in the Belgian capital. Police have also carried out a series of raids in the city.
France’s Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has resigned shortly before plans to strip people convicted of terrorism of their citizenship go before parliament.
Christiane Taubira was known to disagree with the controversial proposals.
The citizenship plans were put forward after the November 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people were murdered.
“Sometimes staying on is resisting, sometimes resisting means leaving,” Christiane Taubira tweeted.
Christiane Taubira, one of France’s few senior black politicians, has been replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas who is seen as a supporter of the constitutional change and an ally of PM Manuel Valls.
Born in French Guiana, Christiane Taubira, 63, has suffered racist taunts from the far-right during her time as justice minister.
Her left-wing leanings have put her increasingly at odds with official policy, especially after the November attacks – when the president announced a much tougher line on terrorism.
A communiqué from the Elysee Palace said that President Francois Hollande had accepted the justice minister’s decision to resign.
“They agreed on the need to bring her role to an end at a time when debate on constitutional revision begins in the National Assembly, today,” the statement read.
Manuel Valls presented the reforms before a committee at the National Assembly on January 27 before they were due to go before parliament next week.
The reforms include the right to declare a state of emergency under the constitution, which would make it easier for the French government to adopt strict powers such as police raids and house arrests.
The government aims to extend the three-month state of emergency imposed after the November attacks when it expires on February 26.
In his communiqué, President Francois Hollande praised Christiane Taubira’s part in pushing through same-gender marriage laws.
Last month the justice minister made plain her distaste of the plan to strip citizens with dual nationality of their French citizenship, arguing it “would not help the fight against terrorism in any way”.
Christiane Taubira said the plan was being dropped only for it be announced the following day by the prime minister with her appearing beside him.
Manuel Valls described the reform as a “strong symbolic act against those who have excluded themselves from the national community”.
The proposals put by Manuel Valls before the National Assembly committee on Wednesday made no mention of dual nationals, apparently in response to criticism that it could lead to two types of nationality and to people being stigmatized.
However, the French government has made clear that no-one should be made stateless as a result of the reform, implying that it could only ever be used against people with dual citizenship.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen, who died in a police raid after the Paris attacks, died of asphyxiation, French prosecutors say.
However, her family argues she was murdered.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen, 26, died in a Saint-Denis flat alongside suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Her family’s lawyer Fabien N’Doumou said she may have been shot by police.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has said an autopsy shows Hasna Ait Boulahcen died from asphyxiation after an explosion caused by a suicide vest.
Reports in the days after the raid said Hasna Ait Boulahcen had detonated the suicide vest.
In early January, prosecutors said a third suspect who died in the raid, Belgian-Moroccan national Chakib Akrouh, was wearing the explosives.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen’s mother, sister and brother have lodged a murder complaint, against persons unknown. They are asking for her body to be returned for burial, and for the investigation to re-examine how she died.
The raid took place on November 18, five days after the attacks in which 130 people were killed.
Reports in French media said Hasna Ait Boulahcen, who was Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s cousin, was responsible for finding the flat in which he hid, and drove him there in the days after the attacks.
Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the daughter of Moroccan immigrants, “was under pressure by her cousin”, the family’s complaint says, according to French network iTele.
The complaint, according to iTele, focuses on a recording made outside the flat during the raid, in which a woman’s voice is heard shouting: “Can I leave? I want to leave.”
Footage of the fugitive Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam are said to have emerged, according to French news channel BFM TV.
The images were captured on the morning of November 14 by CCTV cameras at a French petrol station, a day after the attacks in which 130 were killed.
In them, Salah Abdeslam seems relaxed, walking with his hands in his pockets.
Salah Abdeslam is thought to have been in charge of logistics for the groups of gunmen who carried out the attacks.
He is said to have called his two friends, Mohammed Amri and Salah Hamza Attou, from Paris early on November 14 to come and pick him up and take him to Belgium.
En route from Paris to Brussels, the three men stopped at a petrol station near the Belgian border for about 15 minutes, where a CCTV camera filmed them, BFM reports.
At that point, the three men had already been through three police checks, but had not been stopped as Salah Abdeslam had not yet been connected to the Paris attacks.
Mohammed Amri and Salah Hamza Attou later dropped off Salah Abdeslam in the district of Laeken in Brussels.
The two were arrested in Molenbeek the next day and face terror charges, while Salah Abdeslam is still on the run.
The Paris attacks are believed to have been at least partly planned in Brussels. Belgian police have arrested 10 people as part of their investigation.
The suspected ringleader was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national. He and his cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen died in a fierce gun battle five days after the attacks, when police raided a flat in Paris where they were hiding, heavily armed.
Six people have been arrested in Brussels in connection with an alleged plot to target the Belgian capital on New Year’s Eve, prosecutors say.
The arrests come as cities around the world heighten security measures ahead of large-scale New Year celebrations.
The arrests in Brussels were made during raids in suburbs including Molenbeek, which was used as a base by the November 13 Paris attackers.
Brussels’ main fireworks display has been cancelled over the feared plot.
None of the six people arrested on December 31 have been identified. Two people arrested in Brussels earlier this week, named as 30-year-old Said S and 27-year-old Mohammed K, have been charged with threatening to carry out a terrorist attack.
According to Brussels police, the apparent plots to target New Year celebrations are not related to the network behind the Paris attacks.
Security is being stepped up in major European cities ahead of New Year celebrations, with officials wary of possible terror plots.
New Year fireworks and festivities have been cancelled in Brussels and extra measures are being put in place in other cities, including Paris, London, Berlin and Moscow.
Meanwhile in Turkey, security services say they have thwarted a major plot to attack celebrations in Ankara.
Ten ISIS commanders have been killed in US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in the past month, a US military spokesman has said.
Some were linked to last month’s attacks in Paris and planning further attacks on the West, Col. Steve Warren added.
He named one as Charaffe al-Mouadan, who he said had a direct link to Paris attack cell leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Another was a UK-educated Bangladeshi computer systems engineer, Col. Steve Warren said.
The US-led coalition has been targeting ISIS in Iraq and Syria for over a year. Russia recently began its own air attacks against armed opponents of the Syrian government, including ISIS.
Syria-based Charaffe al-Mouadan was killed in an airstrike on December 24, said Col. Steve Warren.
Another man with connections to the Paris attackers, Abdul Qader Hakim, died two days later in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, he added.
Col. Steve Warren added that an earlier airstrike, on December 10, killed the UK-educated Bangladeshi computer engineer – who, he said, had supported ISIS hacking activities, anti-surveillance technology and weapons development.
“Over the past month we’ve killed 10 ISIL [ISIS] leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the Paris attacks,” he said.
“Others had designs on further attacking the West.
“As long as ISIL external attack planners are operating, the US military will hunt them and kill them.”
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national, was killed in a police raid in a Paris suburb just days after the November 13 attacks in the French capital which killed 130 people at multiple venues in the city. Most of the attackers also died.
Two people have been arrested in Belgium on suspicion of planning attacks in Brussels on New Year’s Eve.
Raids took place on December 27 and December 28 in Brussels and the provinces of Flemish Brabant and Liege.
Police seized military clothing and computer equipment in the raids, but no weapons or explosives.
Belgium has been on high alert since the attacks of November 13 in Paris. Several of the perpetrators are thought to have been based in Belgium.
However, the latest arrests are not linked to the Paris attacks, prosecutors say.
One of those arrested is suspected of leading and recruiting for a terrorist cell.
The suspects are accused of planning attacks against several “symbolic targets” in Brussels, as well as on the police, according to the Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
Propaganda for ISIS was among the materials seized.
Another four people were questioned in the raids and released without charge.
In November, Brussels was placed under a four-day lockdown closing universities, schools and the metro system, amid fears of a Paris-style attack.
The presumed ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was a Belgian national who had travelled to fight in Syria.
Police in Belgium and beyond have been hunting Salah Abdeslam, a French national who was born in Brussels, in connection with the attacks. His brother Brahim blew himself up during the attacks, investigators say.
Belgium has struggled to contain Islamist militancy in recent years – more Belgians have gone to fight for ISIS than any other European country, per capita.
American rock band Eagles of Death Metal has announced the new dates of the European tour following last month’s Paris attacks.
Eagles of Death Metal were playing a gig at the Bataclan concert hall when gunmen stormed the building killing 90 people on November 13.
The band returned to Paris last week to play a song with U2 and will play the city’s Olympia Theater in February.
Jesse Hughes said: “The people of Paris have always been incredible to us… not returning to finish our set was never an option.”
Photo EODM Facebook
Fans who were at the Bataclan show on November 13 will be entitled to a free ticket for the rescheduled date at the Olympia on February 16.
The Bataclan concert hall will not be open again in time for the band’s return.
In his statement, Jesse Hughes – who paid his respects outside the venue on his return to Paris earlier this month – said: “Our feeling of love towards this beautiful city and its people has been reinforced a million times over this past month.
“Hearing the stories of the survivors, the injured and those who have lost loved ones has been overwhelming. Not returning to finish our set was never an option.
“We look forward to coming back in February and continuing our mission to bring rock ‘n’ roll to the world.”
EODM wrote on the band’s Facebook page: “We are proud to announce that our rescheduled European tour — now called ‘The Nos Amis Tour’ — will begin on February 13th. And we cannot wait to see your beautiful faces.
A man has been arrested in the Paris region as part of the investigation into the November 13 attacks in the city, sources close to French police say.
Some 2,700 raids have been conducted since the attacks, with 360 people placed under house arrest across France, the AFP reports.
Police have also arrested two people in northern France suspected of supplying weapons to one of the gunmen in earlier attacks on Paris, reports say.
They were taken in for questioning.
The 29-year-old man arrested on December 15 was planning to travel to Syria, according to one French media report.
The Paris prosecutor’s office says the two people arrested in northern France were held on suspicion of helping to provide guns to Amedy Coulibaly, who attacked a kosher supermarket in January.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed that the man arrested was Claude Hermant, who is known to have links to far-right groups, while the other is his partner.
Amedy Coulibaly killed four people inside the supermarket, and separately a policewoman, before dying in a shootout with police.
Meanwhile, a prominent Islamist preacher, Sven Lau, has been arrested in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on suspicion of supporting a group linked to ISIS militants, and recruiting fighters for it.
Sven Lau – a convert to Islam – is known for a series of controversial initiatives, like setting up so-called Sharia police patrols to enforce Islamic rules in the western city of Wuppertal.
The state interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jaeger, said the state authorities were trying to monitor hundreds of Islamists they believed were willing to use violence.
He said Sven Lau played an important role in trying to radicalize people: “He is one of the leading figures of the Salafist scene. He is someone who is trying to infect other young people with this extremism. He openly campaigns for terrorist organizations. That’s clearly dangerous because more and more people slip into this scene.”
It is known that the two Stade de France bombers arrived on Leros aboard smugglers’ boats on October 3, then left for Athens with four other men, who have not been seen since.
A travel agent in Leros, who unwittingly sold the two bombers ferry tickets to Athens, says he is reasonably sure he also served Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who stood out from hundreds of other migrants because he spoke French.
A trustee at the main island hospital also claims Abdelhamid Abaaoud came to the hospital to be treated for a minor leg wound. He claims Abdelhamid Abaaoud appeared nervous and suspicious, and offered a €100 ($110) bribe to jump the treatment queue.
Belgian and French officials say Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian Islamist of Moroccan descent, organized November’s attacks which killed 130 people.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud was known to have been living in Athens in January this year, but fled to Syria after a failed attempt by Belgian police to catch him.
A French teacher has been attacked in a preschool class in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris, by a man citing ISIS.
The attacker shouted: “This is for Daesh [ISIS]. It’s a warning.”
He stabbed the teacher with a box cutter or scissors before fleeing.
The life of the 45-year-old teacher, who was alone in the room, is not in danger.
France remains on high alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 that left 130 people dead.
Police sources said the teacher was stabbed in the side and throat at about 07:10 local time as he was preparing for class at the Jean-Perrin preschool, which caters for children between the ages of three and six.
The attacker reportedly arrived wearing a balaclava and gloves but was unarmed and used weapons he found in the classroom.
The attacker fled on foot and is still on the run. A manhunt is under way.
Local official Philippe Galli said there were no children present at the time of the attack but other staff members were in the building. Classes have been cancelled.
The teacher is being treated in hospital and has not yet been interviewed by police.
The anti-terrorism branch of the Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for attempted murder in relation to a terrorist act.
The ISIS’ French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam recently urged followers to kill teachers in France, describing them as “enemies of Allah” for teaching secularism, AFP reports.
Security has been strengthened at schools since the Paris attacks.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem traveled to the Aubervilliers school on December 14, calling the attack an “act of great gravity” that was “unacceptable”.
Last week, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the terrorist threat was “real and permanent”, adding: “All public places must be protected, particularly schools.”
Aubervilliers is in the Seine-Saint-Denis department of the Ile-de-France region.
In the 2010 census, Aubervilliers had a population of 76,000, including a large number of immigrants, mostly from North African Maghreb countries.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill tightening visa-free travel to the US following the Paris attacks.
The measures would bar people who traveled to Iraq and Syria after March 2011 from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
People who have visited Iran and Sudan – which the US accuses of supporting terrorism – would also need a visa.
The White House-backed bill was proposed because the Paris attackers could have traveled to the US without a visa.
Donald Trump has called for far greater restrictions, proposing that all Muslims be barred from entering the US until further notice.
The Republican presidential candidate’s comments – made after a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by Islamist sympathizers – have been condemned by politicians from across the political spectrum.
The House voted 407 to 19 in support of the proposed change to visa-free travel.
“In an abundance of caution, we will now require those individuals to apply for a visa and go through the formal visa screening process,” said House Republican Candice Miller, the bill’s main sponsor.
There are 38 nations currently included in the US VWP.
According to US officials, about 5,000 Europeans, including many from VWP nations, have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with extremist groups such as ISIS and pose a risk to the US.
If the bill passes through the Senate and is signed into law, it would also require all travelers arriving in the US under the VWP to have electronic passports containing biometric data from next April.
The bill also calls for countries participating in the VWP to share more information about suspected terrorists and criminals.
U2 have paid tribute to the Paris attack victims in a new song.
Last month’s Paris attacks left 130 people dead.
U2 were due to play in Paris in the days after the attacks, but the gigs were canceled.
They played the first rescheduled show on December 6.
“We stand together with the families of those killed in Paris,” said singer Bono, as victims’ names were projected on a huge video screen at the AccorHotels Arena.
“We stand together with the families of those killed in San Bernardino.”
As an encore, Bono wrapped himself in a tricolor flag and sang a verse of Belgian singer Jacques Brel’s Ne me quitte pas (Don’t Leave Me).
U2 will play a second Paris concert on December 7.
Before the gig, Bono revealed that the new song, titled Streets of Surrender, contains lines about Paris being the “city of liberty” and having “streets of love and pride”.
Bono told CNN he originally started writing the song for Italian singer Zucchero. He recited some of the lyrics: “Every man has two cities he needs to be. The one he can touch and the one he can’t see.
“The one where a stranger’s a friend. Every man’s got one city of liberty.
“For me it’s Paris. I love it. Every time I get lost down these ancient streets, I find myself again.
“You’re free, baby, baby, free now and for ever. It’s Christmas time, you can decide to forget or to remember.
“You’re free, baby, baby. I didn’t come here to fight you. I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender. The streets of surrender.”
Bono’s bandmate The Edge told the channel: “We think of music as the sound of freedom. We think rock and roll has a part to play, so going back to Paris to us is not just symbolic.
“I think we’re actually starting the process of resistance, of defiance against this movement.”
Bono and The Edge both have houses in France. The guitarist said: “It seemed like the target was culture and every kind of expression of the best of humanity – great music, restaurants, French food – everything that we hold dear.”
Bono said his camp had tried to help the Eagles of Death Metal after the violence.
“We tried to find a plane for them to get out and things like that,” he said.
“Turns out the best way to help them was finding them phones, because their phones had been left in the venue.”
Some reports suggest the Eagles of Death Metal, whose gig at the Bataclan venue was attacked by gunmen on November 13, would join U2 on stage.
However, U2 released a statement saying that was incorrect.
France is voting in regional elections, the first electoral test since last month’s Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.
According to opinion polls, there will be a strong showing for the far-right National Front (FN).
The center-right led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to win in most regions at the expense of the governing Socialist Party.
December 6 first round will be followed by a run-off on December 13.
French regions have wide powers over local transport, education and economic development.
The election is also being closely watched after opinion polls suggested the popularity of the anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front had increased since the attacks on November 13.
National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen is likely to win in the northern region of Nord-Pas-De-Calais-Picardie, while her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen is a leading contender in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur in the south.
It would be the first time the FN has captured any of France’s regions. The party is hoping a strong performance will boost Marine Le Pen’s chances for the 2017 presidential election.
Both Nicolas Sarkozy’s Les Republicains party and the FN appear to be heading for about 30% of votes, according to opinion polls, but President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party is trailing on about 22%.
PM Manuel Valls made an “appeal to patriotism” on December 3 in an effort to rally the Socialist vote.
The election is being held under a state of emergency which was declared after the Paris attacks.
On December 4, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said police were seeking two new suspects accused of aiding the fugitive suspect from the Paris attacks Salah Abdeslam, who lived in Belgium.
They are “armed and dangerous” and are thought to have helped Salah Abdeslam travel to Hungary in September.
Investigators say Salah Abdeslam may have driven the suicide bombers at the Stade de France to their target on the night of the Paris attacks.
However, Salah Abdeslam’s precise role in the attacks remains unclear. There are suggestions he was meant to carry out a suicide attack on the night but decided against it.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.