FRANCE - Belgium

New IS video threatens France as police release seven seized in St Denis raid

At the scene of Wednessday's raid in Saint Denis
At the scene of Wednessday's raid in Saint Denis Reuters

A new video threatening more attacks on France has been posted on sites that support the Islamic State (IS) armed group. French police have freed seven people detained in Wednesday's raid in which alleged Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud and two other people were killed.

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The six-minute video, spotted by the SITE jihadi-watch organisation, contains footage and still photographs of the 13 November Paris attacks and threatens "things that will be worse than 11 September", a reference to the 2001 attacks on the US in which some 3,000 people died.

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Accusing France of "destroying families" and creating orphans with its airstrikes on IS targets in Syria and Iraq, it tells President François Hollande that "even you are no longer safe in your own country".

French police on Saturday freed seven people arrested in the raid on a flat in Saint Denis, near Paris, but kept Jawad Bendaoud, who leant it to two people from Belgium "as a favour", in custody.

Bendaoud, who has served a prison sentence for beating someone to death, denies knowing that the occupants were terrorists.

Police sources say that Abaaoud's cousin, Hasna Aït Boulahcen, unwittingly led them to the hideout.

According to Le Monde newspaper, her mobile phone was being tapped in connection with a drugs investigation arising from her life before she took up fundamentalist Islam and internal security started taking an interest in her because she was related to

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Abaaoud.

Boulahcen was killed in the raid but was not the suicide bomber who died there, as was previously reported.

Turkish police on Saturday arrested a Belgian of Moroccan origin, 26-year-old Ahmad Dahmani, in a luxury hotel in Antalya, in the south of the country.

They suspect him of having acted as a scout for the targets for the 13 November attacks, according to local media, who say that two Syrians who were also arrested were believed to have been sent by IS to spirit him across the border.

Three people have been charged with terrorist-related offences in Belgium and an arms cache seized at the home of one of them.

Paris officials announced on Saturday that the ban on demonstrations was extended until the end of the month, including the first day of the Cop21 climate conference.

Paris announced that 138 heads of state have confirmed they will attend the conference.

 

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