- day after the attacks in Paris, raids were conducted in Belgium.
Belgium’s justice minister the VRT network that several arrests were made in Brussels after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater in Paris on Friday night, one of the places where victims were killed.
He said it was a rental vehicle and police organized several raids in the St. Jans Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday.
2. Countless migrants have found their way to Greece and continues their way into Europe including one of the Paris attackers.
The holder of a Syrian passport found near the body of one of the gunmen who died in Friday night’s attacks in Paris passed though Greece in October, a Greek minister said. He traveled through the Greek island of Leros.
“The holder of the passport passed through the island of Leros on Oct. 3, 2015, where he was identified according to EU rules,” said Greece’s deputy minister in charge of police, Nikos Toskas, in a statement.
A Greek police source said the passport’s owner was a young man who had arrived in Leros with a group of 69 refugees and had his fingerprints taken by authorities there. Police declined to give his name.
Toskas did not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder possibly passed on his way to France. The police source said French authorities had asked other countries in Europe, including Greece, to check on the passport.
3. While the shock of the Paris attacks continues, the United States conducted another airstrike in Libya against Islamic State. The target was Abu Nabil known as Wissma Najm Abd Zayd al Zubaydi, a senior Islamic State leader in Libya. He is dead and was responsible for the murder of dozens of Egyptian Coptic Christians on the shores of Tripoli last February. Libya matters because ‘Libya is a double-barreled existential crisis for the European Union. First there’s the humanitarian aspect of how to handle the torrent of migrants heading north. In this Brussels seems to have opted for a good cop/bad cop strategy of taking in a greater number of refugees and blowing up the smugglers’ boats respectively. Yet the bad cop doesn’t have a clue (it’s impossible to identify a smuggler’s boat since they’re often purchased from fisherman hours before a crossing) and the audience of EU member states has learned how to shut out the good cop’s lectures.
Brussels has proposed a quota system whereby member states would be asked to take in 40,000 refugees. In theory this would distribute refugees more evenly among the bloc, away from the countries at the frontlines of the influx and towards those with less of a problem. But the plan has already run into a wall of opposition from an immigration-wary membership. France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and various central and eastern European countries have come out against the proposal, setting the stage for another nationalist revolt against Brussels. In this we see how refugees can put added strain on a bloc that is bitterly divided on issues of immigration.’
And then there’s the elephant in the room, or the biggest political crisis of all: How can this be happening in a country just 450 miles from Europe’s southern shores? If there was ever an opportunity for the European Union to demonstrate the will and means to assert itself on the world stage, it’s in Libya – a country that certain EU member states are directly culpable in bringing to its present state. Though he was a monster through and through, Gaddafi presided over a stable Libya that exported 1.6 million barrels of oil per day, much of it to Europe. That the union is incapable of even attempting a serious, coordinated strategy to redress the current situation is the most damning fact of all. It suggests that no matter how proximate or severe, there’s no crisis that can break the ‘sleeping beauty’ of the European Union out of its geopolitical slumber.’
4. There are implications for other countries in Europe. Gatwick airport in the UK was closed earlier due to a man with a weapon. A French passenger plane was grounded due to a threatening Tweet and Poland is refusing to adhere to refugee migrants in the wake of the Paris attacks.
5. Finally and most terrifying yet is the fact of Syrian refugees that arrived in New Orleans. NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) –
The flood of refugees migrating from the terror in Syria and Afghanistan has begun to have a trickle effect in the New Orleans area.
“We had served two families, we’re expecting one more soon, and we do not know how many more, but we expect more,” said Martin Gutierrez of Catholic Charities, which is part of the Archidiocese of New Orleans.
Catholic Charities has targeted services for helping refugees.
“So it’s a matter of uniting the families, which is something that the church really promotes, obviously. Some of them don’t have relatives and we try to help them become integral parts of our communities,” Gutierrez said.
But some have argued against the U.S. accepting Syrian refugees, fearing terrorists might slip through the cracks. We turned to former New Orleans FBI chief and anti-terrorism expert Jim Bernazzani for insight on whether that’s a legitimate concern. Before coming to New Orleans, Bernazzani worked to ramp up the nation’s anti-terror strategies after 911.
“If I was in charge of ISIL, logistically I’d take advantage of this situation and put my people in, into the United States,” Bernazzani said. “Now with that said, the FBI is on top of this big time with our Joint Terrorism Task Force and we have what’s called a Terrorist Screening Center that these individuals will be run through.”
But make no mistake, not every refugee seeking admission to the U.S. would face such scrutiny.
“It’s going to be the 18- to 45-year-old male for the most part,” he said. “It’s a percentage game. It’s not fail-safe, but it’s a percentage game.”
Still, as more of the refugees take up residency in the New Orleans area, Bernazzani discourages fear.
“These are just people from another country trying to escape misery by virtue of a civil war,” he said. “We had our own civil war, and so I wouldn’t be worried, but I would be vigilant,” he said.
As local humanitarian agencies continue to serve refugees from Syria who find their way here, “there are multiple background checks that are done on these families and it is part of our Christian faith to welcome the stranger,” said Gutierrez.
*** Reuters: A man arrested in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria in early November after guns and explosives were found in his car may be linked to Friday’s deadly assault in Paris, Bavaria’s state premier said on Saturday.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks in which gunmen wearing suicide bombing belts killed 127 people in several locations in Paris on Friday.
“We have an arrest through the dragnet, where there are reasonable grounds for presuming that it might be related to the matter,” Horst Seehofer said in a speech at a local party congress of the Christian Democrats.
A spokesman for the Bavarian police said they arrested the 51-year-old on Nov. 5 on a motorway near the town of Rosenheim after investigators found eight machine guns, several handguns and explosives in his VW Golf.
Bayerischer Rundfunk, which was first to break news of the arrest on Saturday, said that the man was a possible accomplice of the Paris killers, but the police spokesman dismissed this as “pure media speculation”.
Heavy: The Islamic State has officially claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris. It is the first time that ISIS has officially claimed an attack in Europe. The statement was released by ISIS in French:
An English translation provided by SITE reads:
In the name of Allah, the All Merciful, the Very Merciful.
The Very High All Said: “It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah ; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.” Surah 59 verse 2.
In a blessed attack for which Allah facilitated the causes for success, a faithful group of the soldiers of the Caliphate, may Allah dignify it and make it victorious, launched out, targeting the capital of prostitution and obscenity, the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe, Paris… Youths who divorced the world and went to their enemy seeking to be killed in the cause of Allah, in support of His religion and His Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and his charges, and to put the nose of His enemies in the ground. So they were honest with Allah, we consider them thusly, and Allah conquered through their hands and cast in the hearts of the Crusaders horror in the middle of their land, where eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles, targeted sites that were accurately chosen in the heart of the capital of France, including the Stade de France during the match between the Crusader German and French teams, where the fool of France, Francois Hollande, was present.
[They also targeted] the Bataclan Conference Center, where hundreds of apostates had gathered in a profligate prostitution party, and other areas in the 10th and 11th and 18th [arrondissements] and in a coordinated fashion. So Paris shook under their feet, and its streets were tight upon them, and the result of the attacks was the death of no less than 100 Crusaders and the wounding of more than those, and unto Allah is all praise and gratitude.
Allah had granted our brothers their wish and gave them what they loved, for they detonated their belts in the gatherings of the disbelievers after running out of ammunition, we ask Allah to accept them among the martyrs and make us follow them.
Let France and those who walk in its path know that they will remain on the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State, and that the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the convoy of the Crusader campaign, and dare to curse our Prophet, Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and are proud of fighting Islam in France and striking the Muslims in the land of the Caliphate with their planes, which did not help them at all in the streets of Paris and its rotten alleys. This attack is the first of the storm and a warning to those who wish to learn.
Allah is the greatest.
“And to Allah belongs [all] honor, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.” Surah 63 verse 8
Before the official announcement, ISIS affiliated accounts on Twitter reportedly claimed the attacks for the Islamic State. They used the hashtag “Paris on Fire” in Arabic to celebrate the attacks, the same hashtag ISIS used to celebrate the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.
A suspended Twitter account affiliated with the Islamic State allegedly tweeted about the Paris terrorist attacks before they began and said that Rome, London, and possibly Washington, D.C. are next.
An alleged screenshot by Anonymous affiliated @AnonRevolt_ of the suspended user @isis_9966 appears to be a warning to Parisians at 10:34 p.m. Paris time on November 13.
The alleged tweet by ISIS also threatened that there would be attacks in London and Rome on November 14 or 15. This was noticed by @VestraPvP.
ISIS affiliated accounts on Twitter claiming the Paris attacks for the Islamic State are using the hashtag “Paris on Fire” in Arabic, the same hashtag ISIS used to celebrate the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.
Tim Ramadan, reporter for Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, states that further hashtags under “Paris on Fire” also include “London on Fire”, “Rome on Fire”, and “Washington on Fire.”