International News Feed

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane Near Border With Syria - NBC News

ISTANBUL — NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian warplane after it violated the country's airspace near the Syrian border on Tuesday, officials said.

The Russian aircraft was warned 10 times in five minutes before being fired upon, according to the Turkish air force.


Brussels Lockdown: 1,000 Cops Hunt Paris Suspect Salah Abdeslam - NBC News

BRUSSELS — Sweeping overnight raids failed to trap one of Europe's most-wanted men, leaving Belgium's capital essentially on lockdown Monday for a third straight day.

Belgian officials said five more raids were carried out on Monday, hours after residents of Brussels were ordered to shelter in place as police searched nearly 20 properties around the European capital overnight.

Federal prosecutor Eric van der Sypt said 21 people in total had been detained as part of the large-scale operation. He earlier had said fugitive Salah Abdeslam — wanted in connection with the Paris terrorist attacks — was not among those taken into custody overnight.


Brussels in lockdown for second day over attack fears - France 24

The Belgian capital closed its metro system and shuttered shops and public buildings on Saturday as its terror threat was raised to its highest level over reports of an "imminent threat" of a major gun and bomb attack.

The city's historic Grand Place, usually bustling with tourists, was quiet, with just some stragglers crossing the cobblestones as an armoured vehicle stood outside the imposing town hall.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told a press conference Saturday the measure had been taken because of the “threat of an attack by individuals with explosives and weapons at several locations in the capital”.

The Belgian crisis centre, which advises the government on security, said in a tweet that Brussels remained on the maximum level four of the country’s terror alert system on Sunday, indicating a “serious and imminent” threat of attack, while the rest of the country would be at level three, meaning a possible and probable threat.


U.N. Security Council Approves Resolution Urging Countries to Combat Islamic State - The New York Times

The United Nations Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution, drafted by France, calling on countries around the world to take “all necessary measures” to fight the Islamic State.

The 15-to-0 vote came a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility, and just hours after the deadly siege of a hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali, by Islamic militants.

The French ambassador, François Delattre, told the Security Council after the vote that the resolution “recognizes the exceptional nature of the Daesh threat,” using an Arabic acronym for the group.

Russia voted for the measure, which signaled a rare diplomatic convergence. For four years, Russia and the West have sparred over the war in Syria, with the Kremlin staunchly backing the government and Western powers backing the opposition.


Islamists attack luxury hotel in Mali capital, TV says commandos free 80 hostages | Reuters

Malian special forces stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako on Friday after Islamist gunmen took 170 people including many foreigners hostage in the capital of the former French colony, which has been battling rebels allied to al Qaeda for several years.

"They've penetrated inside the hotel. The operations are under way," a police source told Reuters.

State television said 80 hostages had been freed but the French newspaper Le Monde quoted the Malian security ministry as saying at least three people had been killed in the initial attack. A witness outside the hotel said gunfire could be heard from time to time.

A senior security source said the gunmen had burst into Radisson Blu hotel at 7 a.m. (0700 GMT), firing and shouting "Allahu Akbar", or "God is great" in Arabic, and begun working their way through the building, room by room and floor by floor.


Islamic State says 'Schweppes bomb' used to bring down Russian plane | Reuters

Islamic State's official magazine carried a photo on Wednesday of a Schweppes drink it said was used to make an improvised bomb that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula last month, killing all 224 people on board.

The photo showed a can of Schweppes Gold soft drink and what appeared to be a detonator and switch on a blue background, three simple components that if genuine are likely to cause concern for airline safety officials worldwide.

"The divided Crusaders of the East and West thought themselves safe in their jets as they cowardly bombarded the Muslims of the Caliphate," the English language Dabiq magazine said in reference to Russia and the West. "And so revenge was exacted upon those who felt safe in the cockpits."


France Unsure if Raid Killed Top Suspect in Paris Attacks - The New York Times

ST.-DENIS, France — The prosecutor overseeing the investigation into the Paris terrorist attacks said Wednesday night that the authorities were trying to determine whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian militant suspected of being the ringleader, died in a police raid hours earlier on an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of St.-Denis.

At least two people died in the operation — a young woman who set off an explosive vest, and a person whose body was riddled with gunfire and shrapnel — and eight were arrested.

The prosecutor, François Molins, said that Mr. Abaaoud and another fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, were not among those arrested. But he said the authorities were not certain about the number of dead, or their identities, leaving open the possibility that either or both men might still be on the run. “As I speak, I am unable to give you a definitive number and identities of people killed,” he said.


French police in nationwide raids as planes bomb IS | French News | Expatica France

French police launched dozens of fresh raids across the country Tuesday and warplanes bombed Islamic State jihadists in Syria after President Francois Hollande vowed a merciless fight against the group that attacked Paris.

As France stepped up its investigation into the country's worst-ever terror attacks that killed at least 129 people, security forces launched a series of dawn raids targeting scores of homes.

And after Hollande urged global unity to crush the jihadists, US Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Paris to show solidarity with his nation's "oldest ally".

"We agreed to exchange more information and I am convinced that over the course of the next weeks, Daesh (Islamic State) will feel greater pressure," Kerry said after talks with Hollande.

Kerry said the French president would visit Washington in a week for further talks on the group he has described as "psychopathic monsters" after the massacre of scores of mostly young people in Paris on Friday night in attacks which also left hundreds maimed and wounded.

"I'm confident that over the next days, Paris, which knows how to rebound, will do so," Kerry told reporters.

Stunned and grieving Parisians continued to flock to shrines of candles and flowers, while photographs of smiling young victims have been pasted at attack sites or outside their places of work.

The city is palpably more shaken after the January attacks which killed 17 people at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket, but many have defiantly returned to sidewalk terraces where they can be heard poring over the details of the unprecedented assault.

But a shadow still hangs over the City of Light four days after IS suicide bombers and gunmen struck as Parisians watched a France-Germany football match, a concert by Eagles of Death Metal, or enjoyed a night out at restaurants and sidewalk cafes.

The worst carnage took place in the Bataclan concert hall where 89 were coldly and systematically massacred before police stormed the theatre.

- Questions over accomplices -

Police have launched a massive manhunt for 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, one of two Belgium-based brothers implicated in the attacks. His sibling Brahim blew himself up outside a bar in Paris, seriously wounding one person.

Investigators believe Belgian jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is based in Syria and knew Salah Abdeslam, may be the mastermind of the attacks.

Abaaoud has boasted in videos about planning attacks in Europe, and was in July sentenced to 20 years in absentia in Belgium over a thwarted plot to murder police officers.

"We don't know if there are accomplices in Belgium and in France... we still don't know the number of people involved in the attacks," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

Five of seven gunmen and suicide bombers killed during the attacks have already been identified.

Four of them are French nationals, and at least two of them are known to be among the hundreds of French people who have gone to fight in Syria.

The return of such radicalised, war-hardened jihadists has put a heavy strain on the security forces, who have come under the spotlight after the second mass terror attack in 10 months.

- 'Sing for France' -

IS has repeatedly urged assaults on France which has seen a litany of attacks and foiled attacks since January, from a man who beheaded his boss to another who was overpowered as he opened fire on a high-speed train.

The French minister in charge of transport, Segolene Royal, said she wanted security gates at the access of all local and international trains.

This proposal followed a raft of measures unveiled by Hollande in a historic speech to parliament on Monday, in which he called for an extension of the state of emergency by three months and announced 8,500 new jobs to help counter terrorism.

A government source told AFP that those returning from Syria c


World Leaders Vow to Step up Anti-Terror Efforts After Paris - ABC News

World leaders vowed Monday to boost intelligence-sharing, cut off terrorist funding and strengthen border security in Europe, as they sought to show resolve and unity following the deadly terror attacks in Paris.

"We agreed that the challenge can't just be tackled with military mean, but only a multitude of measures," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also announced plans to host a donor conference early next year to raise "significant new funding" to tackle the flood of refugees spilling out of Syria.

"None of this is a substitute for the next urgent need of all: to find a political solution that brings peace to Syria and enables the millions of refugees to return home," Cameron said.


Police Raids in France and Belgium Seek Paris Attack Suspects - 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 the Paris 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 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 investigation is continuing.