Authorities Search for Paris Suspect, Accomplices in France, Belgium

Updated | French and Belgian police are searching for a man they believe took part in a series of attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris on Friday. Security personnel are also looking for accomplices who may have helped the group of attackers, believed to be connected to the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State (ISIS).

Belgian police on Monday launched a major operation in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, where several suspects linked to the attacks are believed to have lived. A spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor confirmed that the operation was focused on a suspect named Salah Abdeslam. Police surrounded a house in the district, but the town's mayor has confirmed that the raid ended without any arrests being made, ABC News reported.

Belgian authorities did charge two people with involvement in terrorism on Monday, prosecutors told AFP news agency. They were charged with "a terrorist act and participation in the activities of a terrorist group." The names of those charged were not disclosed.

French authorities on Sunday identified 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam as a key suspect in the attacks and urged members of the public not to approach him. Police officers reportedly questioned Abdeslam after the attacks but released him.

Also on Monday, German authorities said they have arrested an Algerian refugee who they say told other refugees that Paris would be hit by bomb attacks last week. They are investigating whether he failed to report knowledge of a crime and knew of the imminent attacks. Citing a state government official, Reuters reported the man might be an accomplice. He was not identified.

"He is said to have told other refugees the previous Sunday or last Monday that a bomb or bombs would go off in Paris four days later," senior German prosecutor Werner Wolff told AFP.

Seven attackers were believed killed during the course of Friday's events, six by detonating their explosive vests and one shot by French police.

Abdeslam is one of at least two brothers who participated in the attacks, French police believe, and is the only surviving suspect identified so far. French authorities identified his brother, Brahim, on Sunday as one of the suspects in Friday's shooting and suicide bomb attack on the Bataclan concert venue that left at least 89 people dead. Belgian police on Monday released another of Abdeslam's brothers, Mohamed, "without being charged," along with four other suspects who were arrested in the country, a spokesman for Belgian prosecutors told AFP news agency.

In addition to Salah and Brahim Abdeslam, three other suspects in the attacks have been officially named by authorities. The office of Paris prosecutor Francois Molins on Monday identified two of the suspected suicide bombers in Friday's attacks as Ahmad al Mohammad and Samy Amimour. Authorities on Saturday named Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, 29, as one of the suicide bombers at the Bataclan concert venue,.

U.S. media outlets named a suicide bomber at the Stade de France as Bilal Hadfi, but this has not been officially confirmed by French authorities.

Amimour was known to French intelligence services and was the subject of a formal investigation in October 2012 for alleged conspiracy to commit terrorism after he planned to travel to Yemen, Molins's office said, according to the BBC.

Amimour resided in the northeastern Paris suburb of Drancy. French authorities detained three of his relatives on Monday.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday that the deadly Paris attacks were planned in Syria and that more were being plotted across Europe. He warned that another attack could strike France again "in the coming days or weeks."

Security personnel have carried out counter-terrorism raids in a number of towns across the country, though it is unclear whether they are linked to the attacks in Paris. Raids took place in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, the commune of Jeumont near the Belgian border and the southern cities of Toulouse and Grenoble, French media reported.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said French police conducted 168 raids overnight and detained 104 people under house arrest, according to Reuters.

In reaction to the attacks, the French air force carried out bombing raids on the ISIS-held town of Raqqa on Sunday night.

Ten fighter jets launched from Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and dropped at least 20 bombs on the de-facto capital of the extremist group's self-proclaimed caliphate, the French Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that the bombing raids targeted a command post, a jihadi recruitment center, an arms depot and a militant training camp. Activists in Raqqa said the airstrikes had cut off the city's power and water supply.

ISIS released a new video on Monday threatening an attack on Washington similar to the Paris attacks.

"We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day God willing, like France's and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington," a militant in the video says.

Marine Le Pen, leader of France's right-wing National Front (FN) party, called for the "immediate halt of all intake of migrants in France" on Monday "as a precaution" for the security of the French people. She tweeted that at least one migrant was among the terrorists named in the attacks.

The U.S. Department of Defense announced Monday it would be sharing intelligence with France in light of the attacks. "Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper have provided new instructions that will enable U.S. military personnel to more easily share operational planning information and intelligence with our French counterparts on a range of shared challenges to the fullest extent allowed by existing law and policy," the Pentagon said in a statement.

This is a developing news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Related