Three people are now known to have died in the police raid Wednesday on the hideout of suspects in last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, the Paris prosecutor’s office said, following the discovery at the site of the body of an unidentified woman.
And a key suspect remained at large Friday as EU ministers met in an emergency session.
Salah Abdeslam is the subject of an international search warrant. He was last seen driving toward the Belgian border when police stopped and questioned him a few hours after the attacks. They eventually let him go, not realizing he was involved in the attacks in Paris. Now, his whereabouts are unknown.
In Brussels, interior and justice ministers will discuss ways to beef up security and implement anti-terrorism measures.
The developments came a day after French investigators said Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks, died in Wednesday’s police operation in Saint-Denis, a suburb of the city.
Here are the most important developments:
• NEW: Closed-circuit video from the night of the Paris attacks shows Abaaoud at the Croix de Chavaux metro station, a source close to the investigation told CNN Friday. The terror attacks were underway at the time of the video, around 10 p.m. on November 13.
• NEW: How did authorities know that a Paris suburb was where to find Abaaoud, who’d previously been targeted by French airstrikes in Syria? The information was relayed after last week’s attack, according to a source close to the investigation. “Remember he’s Moroccan, his parents are Moroccan. We searched through methods we have, that our personnel have to inquire within France after it was known he was behind the attacks,” a senior Moroccan government official said. “From that, we found that he hadn’t left France, so he could prepare other attacks.”
• NEW: Hasna Ait Boulahcen was the suicide-vest-clad woman killed during Wednesday’s raid on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, official sources in France told CNN. Boulahcen, 26, was a relative of Abaaoud, the sources said. Friends of her family in their hometown of Aulnay-sous-Bois, on the northeastern outskirts of Paris, said she had lived there until recently. The Paris prosecutor’s office earlier told CNN that police were searching the home of the female suicide bomber’s mother there.
• NEW: An anti-terror rally planned outside the Grand Mosque of Paris Friday has been canceled because “the security conditions necessary for the holding of a public gathering are not good enough,” Dalil Boubakeur, the mosque’s chairman, said in a statement. Earlier, Boubakeur decried what he said was ISIS’ perversion of his religion and called for military action against the group’s stronghold in Syria.
• NEW: Following the terror attacks in Paris, the FBI is closely monitoring dozens of people they think pose the highest threat of attempting to carry out a copycat attack in the United States, according to FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters. No relationship exists between the Paris attackers and anyone in the United States, they said.
The investigation and the raids
• Multiple raids were conducted in Belgium in connection with Hadfi Bilal, a suicide bomber in last week’s Paris attacks, according to a statement from the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office. Nine people were detained. But the prosecutor’s office said Friday that seven of them had been released after being interrogated while the detentions of the two others were provisionally extended for 24 hours. “No further information shall be released about the identities of the persons involved,” the prosecutor’s office said.
• Though authorities have confirmed that Abaaoud died as a result of the police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, they don’t yet know whether he blew himself up, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. The death toll from that raid has now risen to three.
• Papillary prints — which include prints from fingers, palms and soles — led officials to identify Abaaoud’s remains, the French prosecutor’s office announced in a statement.
• A lawyer for Abaaoud’s father told CNN the father is “relieved” his son is dead. Attorney Nathalie Gallant said father Omar Abaaoud thinks his son was a “psychopath” and a “devil,” and he feels guilty about his son’s radicalization.
• Abaaoud has been linked to at least four foiled terror attacks, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, and had ties with several other known jihadists.
• Abaaoud used social media to try to recruit Spanish citizens, mostly women, to join ISIS in Syria, Spain’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez told Spanish television station, Antena 3 TV.
• A captain with Paris police’s Research and Investigation Brigade, which responded to last week’s attack at the Bataclan Theatre, described in an NBC interview the “hell on Earth” his team encountered there. Upon taking position at the theater, he said several hundred people lay on the floor. “Tons of bloods everywhere. No sound. Nobody was screaming … and a lot of light because it was like a concert.” The people in the auditorium were lying motionless, he told NBC, “because they were afraid of the terrorist.”
• Video released by dailymail.com in London captures one of the Paris attacks at a cafe. A gunman sprays the front of the cafe and its outdoor bistro tables with bullets as glass shatters and patrons scramble to safety. The gunman approaches a woman near the front door and points an assault rifle at her. The weapon appears to jam, and the gunman walks off. The woman and another customer make a run for it.
The scene in France
• France will push the European Union to strengthen external borders before the end of the year, Cazeneuve said.
• Lawmakers approved a plan by French President Francois Hollande to extend until February 2016 the state of emergency declared the night of the Paris attacks. The bill, which gives the government sweeping powers, now goes to France’s Senate, for a Friday vote.
• A man posted a video on Facebook calling on his fellow French Muslims to hunt down the “imposters” of Islam and “protect our beautiful religion.”
Around the globe
• U.S. President Barack Obama has warned of the long road that lies ahead in the global effort to defeat ISIS. “It’s going to be a multiyear task,” he said at a regional conference in the Philippines. “And we’re not going to be able to fully succeed in eliminating their safe havens until we have a political settlement of some sort in Syria.”
• The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to effectively pause the processing of Syrian refugees by insisting no refugee be admitted without certification by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Many House Democrats ignored White House pleas to oppose the bill, giving Republicans enough support to conceivably secure a veto-proof majority. It’s unclear when the Senate would take up the bill, but Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has said his caucus will block the bill from passing in the Senate.
CNN’s Erin Burnett, Greg Botelho, Euan McKirdy, Allie Malloy, Carmen Paun, Jason Hanna, Catherine E. Shoichet, Anna-Maja Rappard, Ivan Watson, Tim Lister, Paul Cruickshank, Margot Haddad, Vasco Cotovio, Deirdre Walsh, AnneClaire Stapleton, Don Melvin, Wesley Bruer, Laura Koran and Evan Perez contributed to this report.
By Ed Payne, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Don Melvin