Police In France & Belgium Conduct Over 160 Raids, Detain 23 & Find Rocket Launcher
Last night, a wave of raids were conducted in France and Belgium as the manhunt for terrorist continues.
The raids returned a great deal of valuable information and numerous arrests. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the investigation is “making quick progress.”
Under France’s State of Emergency, police do not need a search warrant to enter properties. 23 suspects have been detained, 104 are under house arrest.
A raid at an apartment in Rhône returned a Kalashnikov assault rifle, three automatic pistols, ammunition and bulletproof vests. At a raid into the home of the parents of one suspects, several automatic pistols, ammunition, police armbands, military clothing and a rocket-launcher were found. That raid was done using a search warrant.
As these sweeping raids continue, authorities are uncovering the web this splinter cell left bit by bit.
From the New York Times:
BRUSSELS — Heavily armed police officers wearing balaclavas descended on a Brussels neighborhood on Monday as the authorities intensified their manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to have helped carry out theParis terrorist attacks on Friday. Meanwhile, the authorities in France announced that they had conducted sweeping police raids around the country overnight, detaining 23 people.
The authorities said they were looking seriously at the possibility that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian man now fighting with the Islamic State in Syria, might have helped plan the attacks, according to a European official close to the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was continuing.
Belgian authorities had already been looking for Mr. Abaaoud as he is the “presumed mastermind” of a terrorist plot that was foiled in January; Mr. Abbaoud has been prominently featured in Islamic State propaganda.
How much longer will Abdeslam be at large for? Share your thoughts in the comments below!