French Hunt Second Fugitive Involved In Paris Attacks; Bomb Scare Cancels German Soccer Match
PARIS (CBSNewYork/AP) -- French officials say they are seeking a second fugitive directly involved in the Paris attacks.
Three officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details about the ongoing investigation, said that an analysis of the series of attacks that one person directly involved was unaccounted for.
Meanwhile, the French National Police circulated a photo of a suicide bomber on Twitter, saying he was involved in the attack outside the Stade de France during the soccer match between France and Germany this past Friday. Police called him a "deceased mastermind" in the attack.
CNN reported that after the attack, police found an emergency passport or similar document on the man identifying him as a 25-year-old Syrian using the name Ahmad al Muhammad. But that is not believed to be his real identity.
Anyone with information was asked to email email@example.com from anywhere in the world, or within France to call 197, the emergency number for tips on possible terrorist activity.
Seven attackers died on the night of the attacks, three around the national stadium, three inside the Bataclan concert venue, and one at a restaurant nearby. A team of gunmen also opened fire at a series of nightspots in one of Paris' trendiest neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, a stadium in Hannover, Germany was evacuated after a bomb scare Tuesday, and a soccer game was canceled as fears of an attack ran rampant.
The police chief in Hannover said authorities canceled the soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands because they had "concrete information" about a bomb threat.
The stadium was evacuated by police about an hour and a half before the kickoff Tuesday night in the northern German city.
Top government officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, had been scheduled to attend the match to send a signal that Germany wouldn't bow to terrorism.
But the match went on at Wembley Stadium in London Tuesday night between England and France -- with Prince William in attendance, amid what is called unprecedented security.
Back in the Paris investigation, there was word that authorities have found a cell phone belonging to a terrorist at one of the scenes. It was said to contain a message that said, "We're ready."
French and Belgian authorities have issued a warrant for one person, Salah Abdeslam, whose brother Brahim Abdeslam was among the attackers killed. The officials say the second fugitive has not been identified.
In France and Belgium, there were a series of more than 100 raids by police. And in northern Paris, police seized a car with Belgian license plates that may be linked to the attacks.
But Salah Abdeslam is still on the run. His brother, Mohamed Abdeslam, appealed to him.
"I would tell him to surrender," Mohamed Abdeslam said. "That's the best solution -- to contact the authorities."
Late Tuesday in the quiet corners of Paris, a police robot examined an abandoned car, before an officer broke in to search for links to the terrorism suspect.
Police also raided a hotel in a Paris suburb, where Salah Abdeslam and his teammates in terror apparently stayed before the attacks, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.
Abdeslam checked in with his own credit card – not bothering to hide his trail, perhaps assuming he would not survive. But indeed he did, and in the pandemonium following the massacre, he called friends to pick him up, returned to Belgium, and disappeared.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was asked Tuesday night in Paris whether the world is now facing a "new normal."
"Absolutely not, no, this is not normal," Kerry said. "It will not be normal. It will not become normal. This is an aberration."
The deadly Paris attacks have galvanized international determination to confront the militants. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian missile cruiser Moskva, currently in the Mediterranean, to start cooperating with the French military on operations in Syria and Kerry suggested that a cease-fire between Syria's government and the opposition could be arranged in the next few weeks to let nations focus on fighting IS.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday in Paris that killed at least 129 people and left over 350 wounded.
The French government invoked a never-before-used article of the EU's Lisbon Treaty obliging members of the 28-nation bloc to give "aid and assistance by all the means in their power'' to a member country that is "the victim of armed aggression on its territory.''
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said all 27 of France's EU partners responded positively, and they could help "either by taking part in France's operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations.''
"Every country said: I am going to assist, I am going to help,'' Drian said.
Arriving for talks in Brussels with his EU counterparts, Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos told reporters that the Paris attacks were a game-changer for the bloc.
"This is Sept. 11 for Europe,'' he said.
Paris police said 16 people had been arrested in the region in relation to the deadly attacks, and police have carried out 104 raids since a state of emergency was declared Saturday.
French military spokesman Col. Gilles Jaron said the latest airstrikes in the Islamic State group's de-facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa destroyed a command post and training camp.
French President François Hollande has vowed to forge a united coalition capable of defeating the jihadists at home and abroad. NATO allies were sharing intelligence and working closely with France, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
Noting that victims of the Paris attacks came from at least 19 nations, Hollande says the international community, led by the U.S. and Russia, must overcome their deep-seated divisions over Syria to destroy IS on its home turf.
"(Syria is) the biggest factory of terrorism the world has ever known and the international community is still too divided and too incoherent'' in its response, Hollande said, adding that the "acts of war'' in Paris were decided upon and planned in Syria.
Hollande is going to visit Washington and Moscow later this month to meet with President Barack Obama and Putin to discuss ways of stepping up international cooperation against IS and how to end the fighting in Syria.
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Putin's cooperation order came as Russia's defense minister said its warplanes fired cruise missiles on militant positions in Syria's Idlib and Aleppo provinces. IS has positions in Aleppo province, while the Nusra militant group is in Idlib. Russian bombers hit Islamic State positions in Raqqa and Der-ez-Zor.
Moscow has vowed to hunt down those responsible for blowing up a Russian passenger plane over Egypt last month, killing 224 people, mostly Russian tourists. Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Oct. 31 attack.
Meanwhile, two men arrested in Belgium admitted driving to France to pick up Salah Abdeslam early Saturday, their lawyers said.
Mohammed Amri, 27, denies any involvement in the attacks and says he went to Paris to collect his friend Salah Abdeslam, according to his defense lawyer Xavier Carrette. Hamza Attou, 21, says he went along to keep Amri company, his lawyer Carine Couquelet said. Both are being held on charges of terrorist murder and conspiracy.
Belgian media reported that Amri and Attou were being investigated as potential suppliers of the suicide bombs used in the attacks, since ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make explosives, was discovered in a search of their residence.
The defense lawyers said they could not confirm those reports.
Abdeslam and his brother booked a hotel in the southeastern Paris suburb of Alfortville and rented a house in the northeastern suburb of Bobigny several days before the attacks, a French judicial official told The Associated Press. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.
On Tuesday, German police said three foreigners with possible links to the Paris attacks were arrested by a SWAT team near the western city of Aachen, close to the border with Belgium. Local media said two women and one man were arrested as they left a job center.
Another Belgian car with a shattered front passenger window was found Tuesday in northern Paris. Officials said it was the third vehicle identified as having possible links to the attacks investigation.
Belgium is deploying 300 extra soldiers to help provide security in major cities.
Kerry had flown to France as a gesture of solidarity and met Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday.
"My sense is everybody understands that with Lebanon's attacks, with what's happened in Egypt, with Ankara, Turkey and attacks in Paris, we have to step up our efforts to hit them at the core where they're planning these things and also obviously to do more on borders in terms the movement of people,'' Kerry said. "The level of cooperation could not be higher. We agreed to exchange more information and I'm convinced that over the course of the next weeks, (the Islamic State) will feel greater pressure.''
A cease-fire between Syria's government and the opposition, which would allow nations supporting Syria's various factions to focus more on IS, could be just weeks away, Kerry said, describing it as potentially a "gigantic step,'' opening the way for deeper international cooperation.
Standing next to Hollande at the Elysee Palace, Kerry said the carnage in the French capital, along with recent attacks in Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey, made it clear that more pressure must be brought to bear on Islamic State extremists.
A French security official said anti-terror intelligence officials had identified Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, as the chief architect of the attacks on the Paris concert hall, the soccer game and popular nightspots in one of Paris' trendiest districts.
Anti-terror agencies have previously linked him to a series of abortive shooting plots this year in Belgium and France, including an attack on a train that was thwarted by American passengers.
Still, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve conceded that "the majority of those who were involved in this attack (in Paris) were unknown to our services.''
The street in front of the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed, reopened Tuesday, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported. Hanging on the front of the club is a banner that says in French, "Liberty is an indestructible monument."
Outside the concert hall, a young Muslim asked CBS2's Aiello to send a message to America.
"I am Muslim, not terrorist," said the man, Sofiane.
The man refused to give CBS2's Aiello his last name, saying it happened to be the same as one of the terrorists who struck in Paris.
In the aftermath of the attacks, some Parisian Muslims were worried. One man who did not want his name used said he believes people look at him suspiciously.
"We are trying hard to be like others," he said. "We should live in peace -- all of us."
Nearby, a makeshift memorial was growing on the sidewalk, and people were talking about the horror of their experiences.
New York publicist Erin Allweiss said she was in a restaurant Friday as the terrorists opened fire.
"It was a horrible experience," she said. "I was with a group of friends at dinner and we heard gunshots right outside of it."
She and others dove onto the floor and hid under chairs and tables for several hours.
Hundreds of restaurants, bars and cafés in Paris held a moment of silence Tuesday night, and they used social media to encourage people to patronize them as a patriotic act.
Some café owners reported business down 60 percent since the terror attack Friday, while the hotel association reported hotel bookings down 50 percent.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower shut down again Tuesday, after opening for just a day, and heavily armed troops patrolled the courtyard of the Louvre Museum.
Also Tuesday night, a bomb threat against an Air France plane heading to Paris from Los Angeles was diverted in Salt Lake City, Utah due to a bomb threat.
The 400 passengers were evacuated while the FBI and canine units checked for explosives.
Air France said another threat was called in against a flight out of Washington, D.C. That plane was also grounded as a precaution.
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