Tag Archives: Alert

Sweden to tighten terror laws, nevertheless on high alert

STOCKHOLM Sweden said on Thursday it would tighten its terror laws to make it illegal to travel abroad to fight and stamp down passport abuse in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris and a heightened level of security in the Nordic country.

The measures have been agreed between the minority Social Democrat-led government and the opposition, with the exception of the Left Party and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

“In a time of concern and terror, it is even far more critical that Sweden can show a broad unity more than measures to ensure order, security and security against the threat of terrorism,” Property Affairs Minister Anders Ygeman told a news conference.

Security police (SAPO) stated earlier this year about 300 Swedes had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight in groups linked to al Qaeda or Islamic State, of whom around 35 had been killed. About 80 had returned to Sweden.

Measures contain creating it a criminal offense to organize, recruit and finance travel with the goal of fighting abroad.

The government will tighten guidelines on Swedish passports right after reports of widespread abuse of supposedly “lost” ID. Citizens will be limited to 3 passports each and every 5 years and rules over short-term passports will be tightened. Kids will be forced to get new passports more often.

Sweden will also look at expanding powers of data surveillance and techniques to boost cooperation amongst authorities such as the police and the Swedish Tax Agency to uncover terrorist financing.

Most of the new measures had been outlined currently in August.

The country remains at the next highest level of national alert soon after what police mentioned was a credible threat of an attack in November.

(Reporting by Simon Johnson editing by Niklas Pollard)

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Geneva on security alert, authorities say looking for suspects

GENEVA Geneva safety officials mentioned on Thursday that they had raised the alert level in the city and were seeking for suspects in connection with investigations into the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

A security guard at the United Nations in Geneva told Reuters Swiss authorities have been looking for 4 men and women believed to be in the city, which is close to the French border, or nearby. An additional guard mentioned the UN compound was on maximum alert.

“In the framework of investigations carried out following the Paris attacks, at the international and national level, Geneva police and their partners are actively seeking for people whose description has been offered by the Swiss Confederation,” the Geneva division of security mentioned in a statement.

Shooting and bomb attacks claimed by Islamic State killed 130 men and women in Paris on Nov. 13. Police in many European nations are nevertheless browsing for folks believed to have been involved in the attacks or in their arranging.

It was not quickly clear from the Geneva statement, even so, whether or not the suspects were straight linked to the Paris attacks. A Geneva spokeswoman stated she had no further comment

U.N. safety guards in Geneva, the European headquarters of the globe physique, were stationed with MP5 sub-machine guns at entry points for vehicles, a extremely unusual measure at the sprawling complex close to the French border.

“It is maximum alert,” a second U.N. guard told Reuters.

Swiss and French officials say they have been functioning closely collectively considering that the Paris attacks.

In an interview days following the attacks, Virginie Perrey, France’s safety attachee in Switzerland, primarily based in the capital Berne, told French-speaking Swiss Tv: “That exact same evening the (Swiss) federal police referred to as me and two security officers had been detached who left for the Swiss embassy in Paris to bring assistance. Certainly data was exchanged right away.”

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay editing by Ralph Boulton)

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U.S. concerns international travel alert as manhunt continues for Paris attackers

WASHINGTON/PARIS Citing “elevated terrorist threats” from militant groups in various regions of the world, the U.S. State Division issued a international travel alert on Monday following deadly militant attacks in France and Mali.

As millions of Americans prepare to travel for the U.S. Thanksgiving vacation on Thursday, the agency stated prospective attackers could target private or government interests.

“Existing info suggests that (Islamic State), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to strategy terrorist attacks in numerous regions,” the State Division said in a warning posted on its website.

Although it did not mention the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in which 130 died, the division noted that militants had carried out attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali during the past year.

    “Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of (Islamic State) return from Syria and Iraq,” it said. “Furthermore, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons organizing attacks inspired by main terrorist organizations but conducted on an person basis.

France and Belgium have launched a manhunt following the attacks in Paris, with a focus on Brussels barkeeper Salah Abdeslam, 26, who returned to the city from Paris hours soon after the attacks and is nonetheless at large.

Abdeslam’s mobile telephone was detected soon after the attacks in the 18th district in the north of Paris, near an abandoned auto that he had rented, and then later in Chatillon in the south, a supply close to the investigation stated.

Detectives had been examining what appeared to be an explosive belt identified in a litter bin in the town of Montrouge, south of the capital and not far from Chatillon.

The source mentioned it was also quickly to say no matter whether the belt had been in get in touch with with Abdeslam, whose elder brother blew himself for the duration of the gun and suicide bomb attacks.

1 theory was that Abdeslam had intended to blow himself up in the 18th district but had abandoned the strategy, although it was not clear why.

“Possibly he had a technical problem with his explosive belt,” a police supply stated.

Fearing an imminent threat of a Paris-style attack, Belgium extended a maximum safety alert in Brussels for a week but mentioned the metro system and schools could reopen on Wednesday.

“We are nevertheless confronted with the threat we had been facing yesterday,” Prime Minister Charles Michel mentioned. Possible targets remained buying regions and public transport.

Belgium has been at the heart of investigations into the Paris attacks given that French law enforcement bodies stated two of the suicide bombers had lived there. Three individuals have been charged in Belgium with terrorist offences, which includes two who traveled back with Abdeslam from Brussels.

SOLDIERS PATROL BRUSSELS

As authorities attempted to establish Abdeslam’s movements and whereabouts, a source mentioned he traveled by way of Italy in August with a companion, but his presence triggered no alarm due to the fact he was not a wanted man at the time.

His companion was Ahmet Dahmani, a Belgian man of Moroccan origin who was arrested in Turkey final week on suspicion of involvement in the Paris attacks, the investigative supply stated.

In Belgium, prosecutors stated they had charged a fourth individual with terrorist offences linked to the Paris attacks.

They released all 15 others detained in police raids on Sunday. Two of 5 men and women detained on Monday have been also released while the other three had their custody prolonged.

Soldiers patrolled the streets of Brussels, the bustling European Union capital, which has been in lockdown because Saturday.

On the Grand Spot, a historic central square that normally draws crowds of tourists, an armored military automobile was parked under an illuminated Christmas tree.

NATO, which raised its alert level soon after the Paris attacks, mentioned its headquarters in the city have been open, but some staff had been asked to operate from home. EU institutions had been also open with soldiers patrolling outdoors.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon told RTL radio, nonetheless, that the capital was still operating. “Apart from the closed metro and schools, life goes on in Brussels,” he mentioned.

Workers were also setting up stalls for the city center Christmas industry, which is due to open on Friday, and organizers of the Davis Cup tennis final between Belgium and Britain in the city of Ghent, 55 km (35 miles) from the capital, mentioned it would go ahead this weekend.

AIRCRAFT CARRIER

French jets from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier struck Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria on Monday, although Britain supplied France the use of an air base in Cyprus to hit the militants behind the Paris attacks.

French President Francois Hollande met British Prime Minister David Cameron in Paris as part of efforts to rally assistance for the fight against Islamic State. Hollande is also due to visit Washington and Moscow this week. The French president and U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a joint news conference on Tuesday morning, the White Property mentioned.

Cameron supplied air-to-air refueling solutions and mentioned he was convinced Britain must carry out air strikes alongside France and would be recommending that Britain’s parliament vote by means of such measures.

French jets taking off from the country’s flagship in the eastern Mediterranean destroyed targets in Ramadi and Mosul in Iraq on Monday in assistance of Iraqi forces on the ground, the French armed forces stated in a statement.

In the evening, a raid was carried out on Islamic State’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, exactly where the French armed forces said planes destroyed a number of facilities which includes a command center.

(Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska in Brussels, and Matthias Inverardi, Gerard Bon, David Clarke and John Irish Writing by Giles Elgood and Peter Cooney Editing by Ralph Boulton and Lisa Shumaker)

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Brussels Remains on Highest Alert Level as Manhunts Expand

BRUSSELS — The Belgian authorities for a second day on Sunday maintained the highest achievable alert level, practically locking down the capital as they extended their hunt for a widening number of suspects linked to the Paris massacres and who had been poised, they feared, to carry out an imminent new attack.

“We fear an attack equivalent to the 1 in Paris,” Prime Minister Charles Michel told a news conference on Sunday evening. “A quantity of men and women could launch an attack on many areas in Brussels simultaneously.”

He added: “We have indications that the targets of such an attack will be regions that attract huge crowds like industrial centers.”

Scores of police officers and heavily armed Belgian soldiers sealed off streets late Sunday about the headquarters of the Brussels police force, near the Grand Spot, the historic center of the Belgian capital and a significant tourist attraction. Soldiers ordered vacationers to return to their hotels nearby and barred entry to streets behind the Hôtel de Ville, a jewel of Gothic architecture dating from the 15th century. Armored vehicles stood guard in streets usually packed with Belgian and foreign visitors as a helicopter circled the area overhead.

It was not immediately clear precisely what triggered the safety operation, the biggest in Brussels considering that the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

Belgium’s interior minister, Jan Jambon, stated that the threat was wider than that posed by Salah Abdeslam, a suspected Paris attacker who is still at massive, suggesting that the Paris attacks may possibly have involved a far broader network than originally thought.

“There are a quantity of suspects,” Mr. Jambon earlier told a Sunday system on the Belgian broadcaster VRT. “That’s why we’ve place in location such a concentration” of security measures, he added. “We are following the predicament minute by minute. There’s no point in hiding it, there is a genuine threat.”

A former French intelligence official close to the investigations said that the Belgians were now seeking for eight to 10 men and women who are heavily armed with weapons and explosives, in addition to Mr. Abdeslam, a resident of the heavily immigrant Molenbeek district of Brussels, which was property to several of the Paris attackers.

A number of Belgian media outlets reported that the police had arrested 4 folks on Saturday evening, 1 wearing a suicide belt. Geert Schoorens, a magistrate at the federal prosecutor’s office, mentioned Sunday that he could “neither deny nor confirm” those reports simply because investigations had been continuing.

For a second day, the government place the country’s threat level at four, the highest possible. The United States Embassy in Brussels continued to advise citizens to “remain at home” and stay away from public gatherings. The authorities announced that schools and subways in Brussels would stay closed on Monday as properly.

A railway station below the headquarters of the European Union’s executive remained sealed off on Sunday, and all visitors on the Brussels metro system was suspended. Soldiers with automatic weapons patrolled purchasing malls. Many large shops stayed closed. A massive Sunday market place close to the Brussels-South railway station that generally draws as numerous as 50,000 shoppers was canceled.

Prime Minister Michel said Saturday that the threat level had been raised due to the fact of “information, relatively precise, of a threat of an attack comparable to the 1 that unfolded in Paris.”

Bernard Clerfayt, the mayor of Schaerbeek, a commune of Brussels, was much more loose-tongued. On Sunday, he told the Belgian tv network RTBF that “there are two terrorists on the ground in the Brussels area.”

Brussels was below such high alert that Mr. Jambon said he requested that some football matches be canceled so the reserve federal police, who typically enforce the safety for the duration of matches, could be deployed in the capital.

At the same time, the French authorities on Sunday published a new call for witnesses connected to the attacks in Paris and last week’s raid in St.-Denis, appealing for a lot more details about the suicide bomber who was the second of 3 attackers to detonate explosive vests outdoors the Stade de France.

The call for witnesses, published by the French national police on Twitter, integrated a picture but not a name, and asked anyone who had information on the person to make contact with the French authorities. The second suicide bomber detonated his vest close to Gate H of the stadium, killing no a single.

The initial detonated his explosives near Gate D, killing one particular person. A Syrian passport for a 25-year-old man named Ahmad al-Mohammad, from Idlib, Syria, was identified close to his body, but the French authorities believe that the passport could have been stolen.

On Friday, the Paris prosecutor’s office mentioned that fingerprints for both the 1st and second bombers had been taken at the identical check for migrants in Greece on Oct. three. The third bomber, identified as Bilal Hadfi, 20, a French citizen living in Belgium, detonated his explosives on the nearby Rue de la Cokerie but did not kill anybody.

The appeal for help and the extraordinary security measures in Brussels came amid fresh revelations around another suspect, Abraimi Lazez, 39, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, who was arrested Thursday and charged with assisting Mr. Abdeslam after his return to Belgium following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

The authorities arrested Mr. Lazez after discovering a handgun and an unspecified quantity of blood in his automobile, his lawyer, Sokol Vljahen, mentioned. Mr. Lazez, who grew up in the identical Molenbeek neighborhood as some of the Paris attackers, denied any hyperlink to the attacks, his lawyer said.

Mr. Abdeslam was stopped by French police officers on Nov. 14 for the duration of a routine visitors verify as he drove back to Brussels with two close friends, both of whom have because been arrested, a few hours soon after the Paris attacks. He had a criminal record, but no warrant linked to his file, and he had not yet been linked to the attacks, so he was allowed to drive on.

A single of the two men traveling with him and now beneath arrest has because told the police that Mr. Abdeslam had been wearing a large jacket, “with something underneath,” according to the suspect’s lawyer, Carine Couquelet. While he did not know what it was, the lawyer stated, the sight of it “made him scared.”

According to Mr. Lazez’s lawyer, his client never ever met Salah nor Ibrahim Abdeslam, his brother who died in Paris when he detonated a suicide vest. Mr. Lazez was not buddies with Abdelhamid Abaaoud either, he mentioned. Mr. Abaaoud, yet another Molenbeek resident, was the presumed ringleader of the Paris attacks and was killed in a police raid just north of the French capital on Wednesday.

Mohamed, a third brother of the Abdeslams who was detained briefly soon after the attacks but released, appealed for Salah to turn himself in.

“We want for him to turn himself in,” he told RTBF tv in an interview on Sunday. “To answer us. For our household, for the loved ones of victims, for all the other people. We prefer to see him in prison than in a cemetery.”

He denied any understanding of his brothers’ plans, even though he mentioned that all three “got along well” and had the usual “banal conversations you have with brothers.”

He said he had not paid attention when the attitudes of his two brothers began to change six months ago. “They began praying,” Mohamed stated. “Or they stopped drinking alcohol, but it’s not a radical modify. For me it’s the sign of individuals who wanted to chasten themselves, and to be more respectful of their religion.”

When asked regardless of whether his brother Salah, may have been reluctant to participate in the attacks, Mohamed said: “It is my hope that he stepped back at the last minute.”

“Maybe he saw or heard one thing that made him turn back. Soon after, did he kill victims? Was he at the precise place? Was he there until the end? We don’t know.”

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Agen Sabung Ayam – Brussels Placed at Highest Alert Level Subway Is Closed

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Belgian soldiers patrolled a almost deserted street on Saturday in central Brussels, right after the government raised the countryâ??s threat level to its highest. Credit Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

BRUSSELS â?? The Belgian authorities halted public transit, canceled soccer games and warned citizens to keep away from purchasing centers, airports, train stations and concerts in the Brussels region early Saturday, warning that the capital was vulnerable in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

The Belgian governmentâ??s threat analysis unit raised the countryâ??s threat level to 3 on Monday, warning of a â??possible and most likely threat.â? On Friday night, it raised the threat level to four for the capital region, Prime Minister Charles Michel announced.

â??Level four implies that the threat is significant and imminent,â? Mr. Michel told reporters on Saturday. â??The raising of the threat is a result of data, reasonably precise, of a risk of an attack related to the one particular that unfolded in Paris.â? He stated the threat involved â??multiple folks capable of striking a number of web sites with weapons and explosives, perhaps at the very same time.â?

At least 4 of the Paris attackers lived in the Brussels location.

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As several as six of the assailants in the coordinated Islamic State terrorist assault in Paris have been Europeans who had traveled to Syria.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is believed to have been the chief planner and who died in a police raid outside Paris on Wednesday, lived in the Molenbeek neighborhood, as did Ibrahim Abdeslam, one of the suicide bombers, and his brother Salah, who is at large. One more suicide bomber, Bilal Hadfi, lived in the Neder-More than-Heembeek district.

The arrests of two other Belgians in connection with the attacks have additional raised alarm right here.

A person who was arrested on Friday in Brussels has been charged with â??participation in terrorist attacks and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization,â? a federal magistrate, Eric Van der Sijpt, announced on Saturday.

A search of the personâ??s home came up with a weapon, but no explosives, Mr. Van der Sijpt stated. He did not name the particular person, but a number of Belgian newspapers described him as a 39-year-old Moroccan who lives in the Jette section of Brussels, gave assist to Salah Abdeslam right after the attacks and has a brother who is fighting in Syria. The government had already arrested two other Belgians, accusing them of assisting Mr. Abdeslam by driving him from Paris to Brussels.

Also on Saturday, Turkish authorities arrested an Islamic State militant at a luxury hotel in Antalya, along with two other people. They identified him as Ahmad Dahmani, 26, a Belgian of Moroccan ancestry, and said he was attempting to illegally cross the border into Syria.

â??We think that Dahmani was in speak to with the terrorists who perpetrated the Paris attacks,â? stated a Turkish official who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with government protocol.

Mr. Dahmani arrived from Amsterdam on Nov. 14 â?? the day right after the Paris attacks. â??There is no record of the Belgian authorities getting warned Turkey about Dahmani â?? which is why there was no entry ban,â? the official stated, adding, â??Had the Belgian authorities alerted us in due time, Dahmani could have been apprehended at the airport.â?

The

A closed subway station in Brussels on Saturday. Credit John Thys/Agence France-Presse â?? Getty Pictures

He also named for imprisoning jihadists returning to Belgium and requiring anybody considered sufficiently radicalized to be a threat to wear an ankle bracelet. His strategy would also ban the anonymous sale of phone SIM cards, lift restrictions on what times of day the police can conduct raids on terror suspects and enable the authorities to arrest or expel religious figures â??who preach hatred.â?

In an