Main Paris attack suspect remains at large, after 16 arrests in Brussels

Written by on November 23, 2015 in Europe - Comments Off on Main Paris attack suspect remains at large, after 16 arrests in Brussels

Belgian prosecutors say police in Brussels arrested 16 suspects in terror raids Sunday, but they say top Paris massacre suspect Salah Abdeslam was not among those detained.

Speaking early Monday in the capital, prosecutors said at least one suspect was wounded during the raids at some 20 locations in and near the capital, a city set to remain in lockdown as authorities hunt suspects in the November 13 Paris killings.  Authorities did not provide further details.

Salah Abdeslam is thought to have crossed into Belgium November 14, just hours after Islamic State gunmen killed 130 people and wounded hundreds of others in coordinated attacks in Paris. The suspected architect of the attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed Wednesday in a police raid in a northern Paris suburb.

Brussels’ subway system and its schools will remain closed Monday as wary residents face another work week overshadowed by the massive manhunt.

In Paris late Sunday, heavily armed security forces patrolled largely empty streets, as the city struggles to come to grips with the killings.

Earlier in the day, Belgian media outlets said police had arrested four people late Saturday, one possibly wearing a suicide belt. But Geert Schoorens of the federal prosecutor’s office said later he could “neither deny nor confirm” the reports.  Authorities addressing reporters early Monday did not reference those reports.

US: No credible information on more IS threats

Separately, the U.S. State Department says it had “no information to confirm” reports that Islamic State extremists planned to launch more attacks in France, the United States and elsewhere.

A U.S. statement came in response to a question from the online activist group Anonymous, which said it had uncovered information about imminent plots that also included sites in Italy and Lebanon. The group said it forwarded relevant information to U.S. and British intelligence agencies.

The State Department also declined comment on whether it is taking extra security precautions at its facilities around the world, but said it is “already operating at a high level of security based on recent events.”

In other developments Saturday, Russia said its security forces killed 11 Islamic State militants and destroyed an arms cache in the North Caucus region.

In Turkey, authorities announced the arrest of a Belgian citizen and two Syrians suspected of “aiding and abetting” IS terrorists. The Dogan news agency said the Belgian citizen is accused of carrying out reconnaissance for the Paris plot.

Source: VOANews.com

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