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May 6, 2016 / 28 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Belgium ID’s Brussels ‘Man in Hat,’ But Warns ‘May Be More Terror Cells’

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Belgian investigators have finally identified the mysterious “man in the hat” — the third man in video footage that showed the two suicide bombers who blew up Zaventem International Airport in Brussels last month.

Authorities said that Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini, who is in custody, admitted to being the man in the photo with the two terrorists.

“After being confronted with the results of the different expert examinations, he confessed his presence at the crime scene,” Belgian federal prosecutors told reporters Saturday.

Abrini, 31, was also the last identified suspect at large from the Nov. 13 massacre in Paris. He was one of four suspects charged Saturday with “participating in terrorist acts” in connection with the March 22 suicide bombings in Brussels. The attacks on the city’s international airport and metro system killed 32 people and wounded 270 others.

According to Belgian federal prosecutors, Abrini was detained Friday in a raid carried out in Brussels. He told police that he threw away his white vest in a garbage bin, and sold the hat that was seen in the footage. His fingerprints were found in France in a car used by the Paris attackers, and in Brussels, in an apartment used by the airport bombers.

A Belgian-Moroccan petty criminal known to police, Abrini was a childhood friend of Paris terror suspect brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam. He also had ties to the group’s ringleader, Abdelhamid Abbaoud, who died in a shootout with French police shortly after the massacre.

While Brahim Abdeslam died in Paris as a suicide bomber on Nov. 13, his brother Salah had second thoughts and fled instead; he returned to Brussels and hid in his old neighborhood for the next four months. He was arrested on March 18, four days before the attack on the airport and metro system.

The fact that the two bombers were together with a terror suspect intimately connected with the Nov. 13 Paris massacre only reinforces the reality that Da’esh (ISIS) has succeeded in establishing a tightly woven network of terrorists in major cities across the European continent.

Further reinforcing that point is the arrest of Osama Krayem, who left Malmo, Sweden, to fight with Da’esh in Syria. He is accused of being the No. 2 terrorist in the March 22 bombing of the Brussels metro station, killing 16 people. He is also accused of being at a shopping mall where the luggage used in the bombing of the airport was purchased.

A Rwandan nation, Herve B.M. was arrested at the same time as Osama Krayem and allegedly offered assistance to him and Abrini, prosecutors said.

Belgium is still maintaining a second-highest terror alert, because “there are perhaps other cells that are still active on our territory,” Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told RTL television on Saturday.

A total of 162 people have been murdered in Europe by Da’esh (ISIS) in less than half a year. Most of the operatives responsible for the murders have had connections in Belgium and/or France, as well as Syria.

Hana Levi Julian

Paris Court Fines Jean-Marie Le Pen For Calling Gas Chambers ‘Detail of History’

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined Wednesday by a Paris court for the third time in a row for calling the Jewish genocide of World War II a “detail of history.” He was also fined in Nice on the same day for similar talk.

Le Pen, 87, was convicted of contesting crimes against humanity, specifically for saying the gas chambers were only a “detail” of history.”

The founder of the French far-right National Front was fined 30,000 euros ($ 34,247). The penalty follows two prior civil court convictions for the same comments about the gas chambers.

Le Pen first declared his belief on the Holocaust in 1987 and repeated it again years later in Germany. Most recently, he again made the same statement before the European Parliament.

Le Pen was also ordered to pay 10,001 euros ($ 11,417) in damages to the three charities who brought the case to court. The judges who heard the case ordered their verdict to be published in three newspapers.

He was also fined 5,000 euros by a court in Nice, and convicted of “provoking hatred and ethnic discrimination” for remarks in 2013 in which he told a public meeting that Roma were smelly and “rash-inducing.”

French laws against Holocaust denial and contesting crimes against humanity are particularly severe. The collaborating Vichy French government helped the Nazis send 78,000 French Jews to death camps during the German occupation from 1940 to 1944. Thousands of French civilians who fought against the Germans were killed in reprisals by the Nazi army.

In an April 2015 interview with the far-right weekly Rivarol, Le Pen defended Philippe Pétain, leader of the Vichy regime, who was convicted of treason after the war. Le Pen was expelled from the party he founded following a feud with his daughter over his comments. He subsequently sued the party to retain his title as honorary president.

Marine Le Pen took over the National Front in 2011, leading a drive to “detoxify” the group from its anti-Semitic overtones. After her father’s interview with Rivarol, she moved to expel him from the party, saying he was “in a total spiral… somewhere between scorched earth and political suicide.”

Hana Levi Julian

Female Air France Crew Members Can Decline Flights to Tehran

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Air France has decided to allow its female flight attendants to decline assignments to work the routes to and from Tehran.

The decision follows a brouhaha over a company requirement forcing female workers to comply with the Islamic Shari’a dress code by donning a head scarf, slacks and a loose-fitting jacket prior to disembarking in Tehran.

Union officials and numerous employees fought the mandate sent in an internal memo to staff that said female staff must ‘wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving the plane.’’

Threats of a strike when the Paris-Tehran-Paris route resumes on April 17 were resolved Monday when the airline decided instead to expand an “escape clause” already used in the past for other cases.

“Any woman assigned to the Paris-Tehran flight who for reasons of personal choice would refuse to wear the head scarf upon leaving the plane will be reassigned to another destination, and thus will not be obliged to do this flight,’” human resources official Gilles Gateau told Europe 1 Radio.

The route was suspended in 2008 after the United Nations imposed international sanctions over Iran’s unwillingness to comply with restrictions on its military nuclear ambitions.

Hana Levi Julian

Belgium Charges Third Suspect in French Terror Plot

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Belgian authorities are continuing to find new suspects as they track down operatives in the tightly-woven terrorist network that criss-crosses the European Union.

A third suspect, Y.A., 35., was charged with terrorist activities Saturday in a Belgian court, federal prosecutors said, according to the Belgian Le Soir newspaper.

The suspect was charged along with two others – Abderamane Ameroud, 38, and Rabah M., 34, both Algerian citizens – in connection with an imminent terror plot foiled last week in France.

All three were linked to terror suspect Reda Kriket, 34, who was arrested in a Paris suburb.

French citizen Anis Bahri, 32, is being held in the Netherlands after being arrested in connection with the same alleged plot, according to USA Today. Bahri is currently fighting extradition to France, AFP reported.

Both weapons and explosives were found at Kriket’s apartment, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who said at the time “no specific target” had been identified.

However, the large amount of weapons and explosives that were found made it clear that an imminent plot involving “extreme violence” was being planned, he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Blast in 6th District of Central Paris, Cause Unknown

Friday, April 1st, 2016

An explosion in central Paris created general panic among residents in the French capital on Friday afternoon (April 1.)

The blast rocked a residential building in the 6th administrative district of the city, on Rue Jean François Gerbillon.

Users on the Twitter social networking site speculated the blast might have been caused by a gas explosion.

The site of the incident is reportedly close to Ferrandi college. Local residents were reportedly evacuated from the area.

More details to follow.

Hana Levi Julian

Belgian PM Cancels Event With US Secy of State Due to Terror Operations

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel canceled a planned event with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a sting operation to grab a “big fish” got underway in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels. Police captured Abderamane A. near a tram stop with a backpack that looked “suspicious.”

Witnesses who were in their homes near the scene at the time told The Wall Street Journal they heard two gunshots. Police shot the suspect in the leg when he refused a directive to hand over his backpack and lie down. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody, the witnesses said.

The backpack was detonated by a bomb-disposal robot, which produced a small a small bang, they said. A girl who was with him was unharmed. Her relationship was unclear.

Another suspect shot by Belgian police, Tawfik A. had resisted arrest during a house raid on Friday. He was connected to 34-year-old Frenchman Reda Kriket, a terrorist arrested a day earlier in France. A second suspect connected to Kriket, Rabah N., was also arrested Friday, without gunfire. Tawfik A. was reported released on Saturday, WSJ reported.

Kriket was linked to Abdel-hamid Abaaoud, suspected ringleader of the Nov.13 Paris massacre. Kriket had been convicted in absentia in Belgium last year along with Abaaoud.

Kriket was also allegedly in the advanced stage of planning another attack when he was captured last week . Police said they discovered weapons and explosives in his suburban Paris apartment.

Authorities said they have identified 24 of the 31 victims of last week’s attacks in Brussels; of the 340 wounded, 101 are still hospitalized.

Hana Levi Julian

Third Brussels Terrorist Is Paris Bomb Maker, Still At Large

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Belgian officials now say that multiple terrorists are connected with Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels and are still at large.

In a news briefing Wednesday, Belgian terror threat official Paul Van Tigchelt told reporters the country is continuing to hold its threat alert at Level 4, indicating “danger of an imminent attack.”

Security personnel are searching for at least one terrorist directly involved in Tuesday’s attack at Zaventem Airport.

There were conflicting reports earlier in the day as to whether or not Paris bombmaker Najim Laachraoui, seen on CCTV surveillance footage prior to the explosions, was still at large. However, the issue was clarified as the day wore on, when police made it clear he was not the person in custody.

Laachraoui, 24, traveled to Syria in February 2013 and last year went with Salah Abdeslam to Hungary, according to a report in the Daily Mirror. He is alleged to have been the bomb maker in the November 13 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Laachraoui allegedly also used the pseudonym Soufiane Kayal, according to French newspaper Liberation.

DNA evidence has allegedly identified Laachraoui as one of the accomplices of Salah Abdeslam, the alleged mastermind behind the Paris attacks. His DNA was found on “several explosive belts”, in a house in Auvelais and one in Schaerbeek which was used to prepare explosives and hide Abdeslam, French media reported.

Laachraoui was seen in the footage together with two brothers who later were identified as the suicide bombers who blew up the departure hall at Zaventem Airport in Brussels.

In that attack and the one that blew up a metro station close to a building housing the headquarters of the European Union about an hour later, at least 34 people were killed, and some 270 people were wounded. The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attacks and warned there are more to come.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/third-brussels-terrorist-is-paris-bomb-maker-still-at-large/2016/03/23/

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