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Latest on the investigation into the November attacks in Paris

Belgian soldiers patrol in central Brussels as police search the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, Belgium.
Belgian soldiers patrol in central Brussels as police search the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, Belgium. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

The French authorities working to dismantle the network of terrorists behind the November 13th attacks in Paris have made public fresh information. They say that another attack could have come just hours after police raided the suspects' hideaway last week.

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The inquiry is still unfolding and is now Europe-wide.

The suspected coordinator of the 13th November attacks in Paris, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had apparently planned to blow himself up in the La Defense business district, according to chief prosecutor François Molins who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.

Molins said the attack was being prepared for Thursday,19th November, where some of France's biggest companies including Total and the Société Générale bank, have their headquarters.

Police sources said the targets were the Quatre Temps shopping centre and the main square where office buildings stand at the foot of the Grande Arche.

Molins also said new evidence from mobile phone geo-localization data, shows that Abaaoud had returned to the targetted areas soon after the coordinated attacks 12 days ago and while rescue efforts were still underway.

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Meanwhile, other suspects are still at large, but authorities said they have leads to their whereabouts.

Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, said on Tuesday that 124 people have been charged since the state of emergency was introduced hours after the attacks. He did not specify what the charges were or if they were linked to the attacks.
Police carried out more than 1,230 house searches in which 230 weapons were recovered. 

The authorities in Paris also have questioned Jawad Bendaoud, who lent the flat in Saint-Denis where last week's shootout took place. He was put under formal investigation for criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist enterprise.

Bendaoud is the only person in France known to be facing potential terrorism charges directly linked to the attacks.

Molins told reporters, "Bendaoud couldn’t possibly have been unaware that he was taking part in a terrorist organisation."

Molins also insisted that the 26-year-old woman who died in the St Denis apartment raid, Hasna Aït Boulahcen, was fully aware that Abaaoud and a third man, were involved in the attacks in Paris when she arranged a hide-out for them.

Police across Europe have intensified their efforts to trace everyone linked to the attacks.

The key suspect is Salah Abdeslam, a Frenchman living in Brussels, who is believed to have handled the logistics and whose brother was among the suicide bombers.

Belgian prosecutors said on Tuesday that two days before the attacks, a new suspect, Mohamed Abrini, was seen driving a car with Salah Abdeslam, at a petrol station, on the motorway north of Paris.

The prosecutors said the Renault Clio that Abrini was seen driving was later used in the attacks.

They also said that they have taken two other men into custody.

They are suspected of "participating in terrorist group activities" and "terrorist murder".

The men, named as Ali O. and Lazez A. are both from the Brussels district of Molenbeek, and will appear separately in court during this week.
 

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