Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Fate of Paris ‘mastermind’ unknown after deadly raid – as it happened” was written by Jessica Elgot and Jonathan Bucks in London and Alan Yuhas in New York, for theguardian.com on Thursday 19th November 2015 04.07 UTC

4.07am GMT

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1.45am GMT

You can read our latest report on the search for the perpetrators of the Paris attacks here:

11.11pm GMT


A summary of the developments so far in France, the Middle East and US, as Paris quiets on a day that began with a seven-hour firefight between police and militants in the neighborhood of St-Denis.

In France

  • Police assaulted an apartment in St-Denis in search of the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud. At first thwarted by a reinforced door, police fought with well armed militants for seven hours, firing more than 5,000 rounds as explosives rocked the neighborhood.
  • A woman blew herself up during the fight, and Paris prosecutor Francois Molins confirmed at least one man was killed. He could not confirm either person’s identity pending forensic examination.
  • Police arrested eight people, but neither Abu Oud nor Saleh Abdelslam, one of the men who carried out the attacks, were among them. Two were arrested at the apartment, two were found in the rubble, and a man and woman were arrested in the street outside. Molins said police were working to confirm their identities.
  • A discarded cellphone found behind the Bataclan theater and other clues suggested wider conspiracy, and Molins said the raid had “neutralized a new terror cell”.
  • Five police officers suffered non-serious injuries during the firefight, and militants killed a police dog sent to inspect the apartment.

In Europe and the US

In the Middle East

Updated at 11.12pm GMT

10.44pm GMT

The US governors who are rejecting Syrian and Iraqi refugees – and whom Barack Obama chided on Tuesday for being “scared of widows and orphans”.

10.28pm GMT

Obama promises veto of refugee bill

In Washington conservative lawmakers have advanced a bill that would increase screening for Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in the US, as Republicans continue to fight back against resettlement programs that have so far only brought about 2,000 refugees to the country.

Barack Obama promptly promised to veto the bill should it reach his desk, with the White House saying its terms “would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”

His administration aims to accept about 30,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years.

Republicans in the US have rallied against allowing Syrian refugees into the country, with several governors vowing to block resettlement plans despite the dubious legality of their defiance.

The rhetoric was matched by some local leaders, including a Virginia mayor who justified his rejection of refugees by invoking the interment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.

“President Franklin D Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” Roanoke mayor David Bowers said, “and it appears that the threat of harm to America from ISIS now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”

In 1988 US formally apologized for the forced movement and incarceration of its citizens, and voted to compensate the families sent to camps. Obama called several governors around the country to discuss the refugee crisis on Tuesday, reiterating all applicants face months of screening and vetting.

Updated at 10.41pm GMT

10.15pm GMT

François Hollande will soon plead with Barack Obama intensify the fight against Isis, and warn him about a state of emergency in Europe, David Smith reports from Washington.

French officials have been careful not to openly criticise the US’s strategy in Syria and Iraq but believe Obama must be made aware of the extent of the refugee crisis it has caused, a European diplomat said on Wednesday.

“The message that we want to send to the Americans is simply that the crisis is destabilising Europe,” said the diplomat, who did not wish to be named. “The problem is that the attacks in Paris and the refugee crisis show that we don’t have time. There is an emergency.”

The diplomat said that Europeans must press the US to understand that the refugee crisis is not only dividing American states but also international allies. “We have to act quickly, telling the US administration the core interests of the Europeans, your best allies, are at stake.”

The diplomat added that many Europeans think American leaders have been slow to understand the urgency of the crisis.“That’s the reason why the French president will be in Washington on Tuesday before flying to Moscow to meet President Putin.”

France wants world leaders to redefine the strategy for taking on Isis and give it a greater sense of urgency. The Pentagon has increased air strikes in recent weeks and boasted of gains by Kurdish forces, but has admitted that other campaigns relying on the Iraqi army and Syrian rebels have been “slow and incremental”.

10.03pm GMT

Isis claims to have killed two hostages

Isis has published photos of two murdered hostages, from Norway and China, in an online magazine.

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg said the killing was “painful for the family and the whole country” but that the nation would not begin to pay ransoms. “Even if it hurts we should never let the terrorists win,” she said at a press conference.

She said she has no reason to doubt that the extremists had killed Ole JohanGrimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, and that the family had given permission to release his name. Beijing has yet to comment on the photographs.

Isis also claimed that it had recruited the Jordanian police officer who killed police trainers near Amman two weeks ago. My colleagues Ewen MacAskill and Kareem Shaheen report more here.

9.47pm GMT


A summary of the developments so far in France, across Europe and in the Middle East, hours after a seven-hour gunfight shook Paris and five days after terrorists killed 129 people around the city.

In France after the raid in St-Denis

Eight people have been arrested

Two people confirmed killed

  • A woman blew herself up, apparently with an explosive vest. Police said they started surveilling a woman “several days ago”, suspecting she might be sheltering Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud.
  • Another unidentified man was killed in an explosion. Molins said identifying the remains would require forensic examination. He could not say definitively how many people died.
  • Molins said the raid neutralized a “new terror cell”, and evidence such as a cellphone found behind the Bataclan theater suggested a wider conspiracy than was previously thought.

How the raid unfolded

  • Molins said that witnesses, tapped phone conversations and police surveillance led them to the apartment on on a small street, rue du Corbillon, about 2km from the Stade de France, one of the targets of Friday’s attacks.
  • Heavy shooting and explosions began at about 4.30am and continued for seven hours. Police and militants fired more than 5,000 rounds, and the apartment threatened collapse by the time officers entered.
  • The seven-hour raid resulted in the injuries of five police officers and the death of a police dog.

Europe mourns attack victims

Investigations continue

Airstrikes in Syria

Updated at 9.50pm GMT

9.34pm GMT

The US has offered a m reward for information leading to the location or identification of Islamic State leader Abu-Muhammad al-Shimali.

Al-Shimali has facilitated travel from Turkey to Syria of prospective Islamic State fighters from Australia, Europe and the Middle East, according to the State Department. A statement describes al-Shimali:

He now serves as a key leader in ISIL’s Immigration and Logistics Committee, and is responsible for facilitating the travel of foreign terrorist fighters primarily through Gaziantep, Turkey, and onward to the ISIL-controlled border town of Jarabulus, Syria.

Al-Shimali and the ISIL Immigration and Logistics Committee coordinate smuggling activities, financial transfers, and the movement of supplies into Syria and Iraq from Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. In 2014, al-Shimali facilitated the travel from Turkey to Syria of prospective ISIL fighters from Australia, Europe, and the Middle East, and managed ISIL’s processing center for new recruits in Azaz, Syria.

The Treasury Department named al-Shimali a terrorist earlier this year, describing him as a 36-year-old Saudi national who also goes by Tarad Mohamad Aljarba.

The agency also offered up to m rewards for information about the whereabouts of several leaders of al-Shabaab, the extremist group that has killed thousands of people in Africa over the last decade.

Updated at 9.44pm GMT

9.15pm GMT

Three people claiming to support Isis have stabbed a teacher at a Jewish school in Marseilles, prosecutors there have told Reuters and the AFP.

The history teacher’s life is not in danger, prosecutor Brice Robin said. The agency reports:

Three people on two scooters, one of them wearing an Islamic State t-shirt, approached the teacher in the street, Robin said

Another of the attackers showed a picture on his mobile telephone of Mohamed Merah, a homegrown Islamist militant who killed seven people in a series of attacks in southern France in 2012.

“The three people insulted, threatened and then stabbed their victim in the arm and leg. They were interrupted by the arrival of a car and fled,” Robin added.

The three assailants “shouted antisemitic obscenities” before striking the teacher, police chief Laurent Nunez told the AFP. Nunez said police are searching for the attackers.

Updated at 9.17pm GMT

8.50pm GMT

Mohamed Abdelslam lights a candle at a Brussels vigil for victims of the Paris attacks, for which his brother remains a wanted man.

Updated at 8.59pm GMT

8.48pm GMT

France bars climate change marches

The French government has cancelled marches planned for international climate talks in Paris at the end of the month, citing security concerns.

All demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured could go ahead, foreign minister Laurent Fabius said in the statement.

“However, in order to avoid additional risks, the government has decided not to authorise climate marches planned in public places in Paris and other French cities on Nov 29 and Dec 12,” it said.

Environmental activists had hoped the marches would attract 200,000 people to put pressure on governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They have had to rethink their plans following attacks in Paris last Friday that killed 129 people. More than 2,000 protests in around 150 countries are planned during the talks.

Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of the campaign group Avaaz, said: “The police have just informed us that the tragic attacks in Paris have made the march there impossible.

“Now it’s even more important for people everywhere to march on the weekend of November 29th on behalf of those who can’t, and show that we are more determined than ever to meet the challenges facing humanity with hope, not fear.”

Updated at 8.51pm GMT

8.30pm GMT

Hundreds of Belgians have held a candlelight vigil in memory of the Paris victims, gathering in Molenbeek, the neighborhood where two of the attackers grew up and where their family still lives.

The brother of the attackers, Mohamed Abdeslam, lit candles on the balcony of his family home. The troubled Brussels borough of 90,000 people is as much as 80% Muslim, and was home to Abdeslam’s brother, Saleh, who is still at large, and to Abdul-Hamid Abu Oud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks. The AFP reports:

“Molenbeek is not a base camp for jihadism,” said town mayor Françoise Schepmans, wearing her ceremonial sash in the Belgian national colours of red, black and yellow.

Every street leading to the square was blocked with police barriers as officers patted down each person attending the twilight vigil.

Once inside the perimeter, attendees chalked out “Molenbeek” in giant letters across the square as well as the peace symbol.

In near silence, several people waved Belgian flags while others held balloons coloured in France’s red, white and blue.

“The future of Brussels is here,” Dries, a 37-year-old from a neighbouring district.

“All these communities don’t mix enough,” said Quentin, a 39-year-old dance company director. “This vigil is the occasion for them to meet. We can expect nothing from our politicians,” he added.

8.08pm GMT

Telegram, a privacy-minded messaging app that has been taken up by Isis militants, has blocked dozens of “Isis-related channels”, the company has announced.

The startup has been criticized in recent weeks for its use by extremists, and on Tuesday its founder, exile Russian tech mogul Pavel Durov, said: “I think the French government is as responsible as Isis for this, because it is their policies and carelessness which eventually led to the tragedy.”

In a Facebook post under a photo himself in Paris, Durov went on to blame “shortsighted socialists who ruin this beautiful place”.

“They take money away from hardworking people of France with outrageously high taxes and spend them on waging useless wars in the Middle East and on creating parasitic social paradise for North African immigrants.

It is a disgrace to see Paris in the hands of shortsighted socialists who ruin this beautiful place. I hope they and their policies go away forever and this city will once again shine in its full glory .”

Durov left Russia last year after losing control of VKontakte, a Facebook-like social network, to businessmen with ties to the Kremlin.

7.50pm GMT

Honduran authorities have detained five Syrian nationals, Reuters reports, quoting police who say the Syrians were trying to reach the United States using stolen Greek passports

There are no signs of any links to the Paris attacks, police said. Reuters reports:

The group of Syrian men was held late on Tuesday in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa on arrival from Costa Rica and they were planning to head to the border with neighboring Guatemala. The passports had been doctored to replace the photographs with those of the Syrians, police said.

Honduran news agency La Prensa quotes Aníbal Baca, a spokesman for the police, as saying that investigators are working to identify the Syrians.

A Greek diplomat arrived at the terminal and confirmed that the men do not speak a word of Greek. They said Interpol will hold talks with Greek authorities to determine more details.

“The Honduran government is on alert to what is happening at the international level,” Baca said. “We’re coordinating to determine the legal status of these people.”

Honduran police said they were proceeding with caution but did not at this point have reason to believe the men are linked to terrorism.

Updated at 10.48pm GMT

7.32pm GMT

Russian media reports have said the terrorist bomb that downed an airliner inEgypt at the end of October was probably brought on board by Egyptian airport personnel, Alec Luhn reports from Moscow.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin confirmed that a bomb had destroyed the plane and vowed to hunt down those responsible. Before then it had been reluctant to admit the likelihood of a terrorist attack against the St Petersburg-bound Airbus A321 that crashed, killing all 224 people on board.

On Wednesday an Isis online magazine claimed to publish an exclusive photograph of the improvised explosive, disguised in a Schweppes soft drink can, that was used in the attack.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Wednesday that investigators from the FSB intelligence agency had discovered a one-metre hole in a fragment of the plane’s fuselage with its edges turned out, indicating an explosion.

It quoted a source close to the investigation saying the blast had occurred in the rear of the passenger cabin, near the frame of the tail. The bomb was probably placed under a window seat, the source said.

On Monday president Vladimir Putin promised to hunt down the culprits “anywhere on the planet and punish them”, and on Wednesday Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called the bombing “equivalent to an attack on the state”.

Also on Wednesday the US and Russia exchanged military intelligence about conducting air strikes in Syria.

Updated at 7.35pm GMT

7.17pm GMT

Air strikes have hit at least 177 targets in Isis’ main oil-producing region inthe last month, Reuters reports, as the US, France and other nations ramp up bombing runs in Syria and Iraq.

Those strikes include 116 oil tanker trucks hit by coalition forces earlier this week as the United States targeted the vehicles for the first time in the wake of last Friday’s suicide and shooting attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State.

The stepped-up bombing campaign has also targeted oil and gas separation plants, oil rigs, pumps and storage tanks, according to a Reuters tally of air strikes provided by the Pentagon since 22 October.

The civilian fuel trucks hit this week are viewed as a crucial link for the extremist group’s oil business as they are used to transport oil across Islamic State territory and sell it to residents who use it to power generators and vehicles.

“We finally blew up a bunch of oil trucks,” said former State Department counter terrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin. “It’s not entirely clear to me what took so long.”

Air strikes last year against targets such as mobile refineries had cut the group’s oil revenues from m a day to under m a day, according to Reuters. The extremists also rely on blackmarket antiquities, extortion and taxation to fund their war and terror campaigns.

7.03pm GMT

Molins was extremely cautious with reporters, declining to confirm a “definitive” number for how many people were killed in the raid in St-Denis.

“At this time, I’m not in a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people,” he said.

Molins also said that police were drawn to the neighborhood not only from witness accounts that Abu Oud was nearby but thanks to tapped phone conversations and police surveillance.

He said when the raid began police were initially thwarted by a reinforced door, and that the explosions that rocked the apartment left it structurally unsound, slowing the progress of investigation.

6.32pm GMT

Prosecutor’s briefing

With that the press conference by Paris prosecutor Francois Molins ends.

  • Molins said he could not yet identify the two dead nor the eight people arrested by police after a firefight in St-Denis, pending a forensic investigation.
  • The prosecutor could say that neither Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud, the suspected organizer, nor Saleh Abdelsalam, one of Friday’s attackers, are among the arrested people, who number seven men and one woman.
  • More than 5,000 rounds were fired in the battle between militants and elite police forces on Wednesday morning, Molins said, repeating that the after five days of investigation police had found “a total war arsenal” of Kalashnikovs, ammunition and explosives.
  • The people arrested during the St-Denis raid include two people found in the rubble, four men arrested from the apartment, and a man and a woman arrested on the street, one believed to have let the militants use the flat.
  • Molins said that police were led to the St-Denis apartment thanks to testimony from someone who said that Abu Oud was on French territory, and that they had surveilled the area thoroughly before launching the raid.
  • He also said that police found a cellphone in a trash bin behind the Bataclan, and a text message that read “We’re off, we’ve started,” meant for an still unknown recipient.

Updated at 8.43pm GMT

6.25pm GMT

“I cannot give you details about the identities of suspects yet,” Molins says.

There are two people dead but it will take a bit longer to get the additional details, because the building had to be propped up because it was threatening to collapse.

Police found in the rubble of the attack two men, one injured. They were immediately arrested.

Two other people were arrested outside, including person who let the militants use and a woman next to him. The search carried out in the apartment showed no explosive weapon.

Eight people, including one woman, have been arrested in all, he says.

“Abu Oud is not amongst those arrested. Investigations are underway to identify the dead terrorists and those who were arrested, as well as into anyone who is behind these attacks, whether in France or Syria.”

6.22pm GMT

Paris prosecutor: 5,000 rounds fired in St-Denis raid

“They fired 5,000 rounds,” Molins says of the morning firefight between police and militants in St-Denis.

“The raid managed to arrest three individuals, one wounded in the arm. They’ve been arrested and their identities are being checked. I can’t give you any details about them right now.

“Then there was another explosion by a suicide bomber, and because of the state of the body we haven’t identified this person yet. It leads us to think that the explosion was caused by the woman triggering her explosive vest, but this will have to be checked by forensic examination.”

This post was corrected to make clear that the rounds were not fired ‘at police’, as originally stated by the translator on the media’s live feed from the prosecutor’s office.

Updated at 7.40pm GMT

6.20pm GMT

Continuing down the timeline of the investigation, he repeats that police have not yet identified two of the terrorists responsible for Friday’s attacks. He moves on to today’s operation.

“The St-Denis apartment might have been a retrenchment site for Abu Oud,” he says, referring to the alleged mastermind of the attacks. “The investigators were led to this building after being given testimony that Abu Oud was in French territory.”

The testimony was “checked out” rigorously, he says, before police raided the apartment.

6.18pm GMT

Molins says that police found a cellphone in a trash bin behind the Bataclan that had sent the text message “We’re off, we’ve started.” Investigators are trying to determine the recipient of the text.

He adds that police have found “a total war arsenal” including “assault rifles of the Kalashnikov model and explosive belts”.

Updated at 7.17pm GMT

6.16pm GMT

“The black Fiat found in Montreuil was used by three men who shot at the terraces of bars and restaurants as can be seen by studying GPS data of the car,” Molins continues.

“We also found three Kalashnikovs and fingerprints of Abdelslam. We also found five cartridges and a knife.”

He repeats that Saleh Abdelslam was stopped by police before his name was well known and allowed to leave, but says that two associates were arrested by Belgian police. He says their role in the attacks or plotting is not yet known.

Updated at 6.17pm GMT

6.14pm GMT

“Investigations which allowed us to establish the significant logistic systems of the terrorists: telephons, weapons and various safehouses,” Molins says.

“Three coordinated units used sophisticated logistics to execute the attacks.”

He says three vehicles rented by the Abdelslam brothers by a Belgian company reached the attack sites “virtually in convoy”.

6.12pm GMT

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins about to speak to the press.

“I’m giving this press conference like last Saturday with the head of the police judiciary. Since last Friday there are 130 policeman from the criminal squad and various people from the intelligence and security departments who have joined forces with the judiciary of Paris. I’d like to praise the police and praise my staff.

“The investigation has progressed well, and the assault last night is proof of this. A new terrorist cell was neutralized and seeing their organization and arms, [it’s clear] this cell could have acted.”

Updated at 9.40pm GMT

5.50pm GMT

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins is scheduled to give a press conference at 7pm CET (1pm ET), and French officials are suggesting he will give an update on the investigation of the St-Denis apartment.

5.39pm GMT

Residents in Islamic State’s de facto capital Raqqa are trapped in the Syrian city as the militants attempt to dig in, activists have told Kareem Shaheen in Beirut and Ewen MacAskill in London.

With Raqqa under heavy bombardment and Kurdish and Yazidi forces cutting off a link between the Syrian city and Iraq, Isis militants are trying to consolidate what they can, my colleagues report.

“The people feel that they are in a large prison and that at any moment there could be a battle for Raqqa or preparatory airstrikes where they will be the biggest losers,” said Tim Ramadan, an activist with Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a campaign group that opposes Isis and the Syrian regime. “People are trying as much as they can to get a permit to leave.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a network with wide contacts inside Syria, said 33 militants died in the three-day raids, which targeted locations inside and around Raqqa. The organisation said families of Isis fighters have attempted to flee the city to Mosul, where the militants also hold sway.

Ramadan said there was no obvious displacement in the city, and that Isis has attempted to portray its recent losses in Sinjar and Aleppo as a tactical withdrawal that will pave the way for a counterattack.

5.18pm GMT

What we know so far

I’m handing over to my colleague Alan Yuhas in New York to continue coverage over the next few hours, when we’ll hopefully get more clarity on the raid at St-Denis from the prosecutor’s press conference, happening shortly.

Here’s what we know so far:

Raid on St-Denis

  • Two people were killed in the raid, a woman who blew herself up and an unidentified man who was killed by a grenade
  • Police sources told BFMTV that police had placed a woman under surveillance “several days ago” who they suspected might be sheltering Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud. She is reported to be his cousin.
  • Seven people have been arrested so far. Three men, whose identities are unknown, were arrested inside the apartment, then the apartment’s landlord and his female friend were detained. Two more people, found hiding in the rubble were also arrested
  • The raid resulted in the injuries of five police officers and the death of a police dog

Security in Europe

  • Salah Abdeslam, the subject of a French police wanted notice, is apparently still on the run, though some unconfirmed reports had put him in St-Denis.

Paris mourns attack victims

Airstrikes in Syria

Updated at 7.34am GMT

5.03pm GMT

Exclusive – EU travellers to face stricter checks under French border plan

Our Europe editor Ian Traynor has the scoop from Brussels on French demands for more rigorous border controls in wake of Paris attacks.

All EU citizens would face much tighter and systematic ID checks when leaving or entering Europe’s 26-country free-travel area, under new demands France is making of its EU partners.

A three-page list of demands, obtained by the Guardian, drawn up by the French government for an emergency meeting of EU interior ministers on Friday, also calls for:

  • the rapid adoption of measures retaining passenger information on everyone travelling by air within the EU
  • a battery of new curbs on firearms sales and trading
  • a clampdown on and monitoring of cash transactions and other means of non-electronic payment
  • greater intelligence sharing across the EU

If accepted by other EU governments, the borders clampdown is almost certain to affect Britons disproportionately since the UK is not part of the Schengen area.

Read the full story here.

Updated at 5.24pm GMT

4.58pm GMT

In Molenbeek, the Brussels district that has been one of the flashpoints for police investigations into the Paris attacks, locals are gathering in a show of solidarity with Friday’s victims.

The district has been home to several individuals linked to Islamist attacks, including Paris suicide bomber Brahim Abdeslam and his brother Salah, currently on the run. Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud, the alleged mastermind of the attacks also lived in the area.

The third Abdeslam brother, Mohammed, who was arrested but released without charge yesterday, lives in the area but denied any knowledge of a terror plot. As part of the vigil tonight, reporters said he put candles on his balcony.

Jewish museum shooting suspect Mehdi Nemmouche also lived in the area, and it was visited by Ahmed Coulibaly, one of the attackers in the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo shootings.

Locals, many of them Muslim, have been gathering tonight in the district’s central square in show of solidarity with the victims of the attack on Friday.

Updated at 5.24pm GMT

4.36pm GMT

Two police raids have been carried out in an AirFrance hangar and in the Fedex offices in Roissy, not far from the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, Liberation reports.

According to the local authority responsible for airport security, the raids “were not directly linked to the attacks” but they recovered “several objects with a particular link to radicalisation.”

4.32pm GMT

Eagles of Death Metal issues first statement since attack

Eagles of Death Metal, the rock band who were playing at the Bataclan when suicide bombers killed more than 80 people with guns and explosives, have said they have put their shows on hold until further notice, while paying tribute to the victims of the attack.

While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France.

Our thoughts and hearts are first and foremost with our brother Nick Alexander [the British man who sold band merchandise at the venue], our record company comrades Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez, and all the friends and fans whose lives were taken in Paris, as well as their friends, families, and loved ones.

Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion.

We would like to thank the French police, the FBI, the US and French state departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil.

All EODM shows are on hold until further notice.

Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM.

Updated at 4.35pm GMT

4.29pm GMT

Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker Photograph: Wiktor Dabkowski/dpa/Corbis

France’s security spending will be given special treatment in the EU budget deficit rules, the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said.

We are facing serious terrorist acts. France, as other countries, has to have at its disposal supplementary means. I think that these supplementary means should not be treated as ordinary expenses in the Stability Pact (EU budget rules).

Juncker did underline, however, that the budget leeway was “to ensure citizens’ security” and not to enable France to fight a war.

Updated at 5.25pm GMT

4.08pm GMT

Abdeslam brothers were interrogated – then released

The Guardian’s diplomatic editor, Julian Borger, has spoken to the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, who confirmed the two Abdeslam brothers had previously been interrogated.

Salah Abdeslam

The Belgian prosecutor’s office said that two of the attackers, Brahim and Salah Abdeslam, brothers from the Brussels district of Molenbeek, had been interrogated earlier this year, but had not been detained because they were not seen as a threat.

Brahim, who blew himself up outside a Parisian bar on Friday night, was questioned in February, after Turkish authorities stopped him on suspicion of attempting to go to Syria to fight, and sent him back to Brussels.

“He denied to us that he wanted to go to Syria. When he was interrogated, he just said he had been trying to go on holiday to Turkey,” Eric Van der Sypt, spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, told the Guardian.

“There were no signs he was participating in terrorist activities. He was just a radicalised youngster, and there were no reasons to hold him.”

Salah Abdeslam, one of the surviving attackers who is still at large, was also questioned, although he had not gone on the Turkish trip and the prosecutor’s office found no evidence he had gone to Syria.

“Not to our knowledge,” Van der Sypt said. He too was not deemed a threat.

The prosecutor added: “We have over 130 who we know have come back from Syria, and spent a certain amount of time there, and we can hardly follow up on them. We can’t keep an eye on everyone.”

Simply increasing the resources of the police and the prosecutors would not solve the problem, Van der Sypt argued

“It’s impossible,” he said. “You could double the effectiveness of the police and the prosecutors which would mean you could keep an eye on more people but would this mean such attacks can be prevented?”

He would not comment on a proposal being discussed in the Belgian cabinet to put electronic tagging bracelets on radicals who return from fighting in Syria.

“To start with it is a social problem. That is the basis to it all,” the prosecutor said. “The judicial answer is the last answer.

“More important is prevention of people getting radicalised. There will never, ever be a watertight system to catch people who are going to Syria.”

Updated at 5.26pm GMT

3.55pm GMT

These are the latest images from the French police search of the apartment in St-Denis, showing the extent of the damage to the building.

A forensic of the French police searches for evidences in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic officer searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French police special forces earlier in St-Denis. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
Forensics of the French police search for evidences outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
Police search for evidence outside a building in St-Denis. Photograph: Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 4.10pm GMT

3.41pm GMT

Marisol Touraine, the French health minister, has told parliament that of the 352 injured during Friday’s night’s attacks, 195 remain in hospital, including 41 in intensive care and three in a life-threatening condition.

3.40pm GMT

Here’s a video from François Hollande’s speech earlier, as he defends his country’s military retaliation, saying that jihadi terrorists have declared war on France.

François Hollande: France will never give in to fear – video

Updated at 4.09pm GMT

3.23pm GMT

French television has the devastating story of one of the Paris attack victims, Stephane Hache, 52, who lived behind the Bataclan theatre.

He died after a bullet ricocheted, flew through his open window and struck him in the back. His body was not discovered until later, “over the course of the weekend,” a police source told BFMTV.

His family were aware that he lived next to the concert hall and became worried when they did not hear from him. Police officers went to his flat where they discovered his body.

Updated at 4.08pm GMT

3.19pm GMT

Britain’s Royal Navy will use its most advanced warships to support a French aircraft carrier as it deploys to the Gulf, as part of increased efforts against Isis.

French soldiers patrol around the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle at a military port in the southern French city of Toulon
French soldiers patrol around the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle at a military port in the southern French city of Toulon Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, says HMS Defender will provide air defence cover for France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier

The British warship is on a nine-month deployment to the Middle East and can defend a group of ships against attack from the air, either by aircraft or missiles.

France’s aircraft carrier has left Toulon to help French operations in Syria.

Updated at 4.08pm GMT

3.09pm GMT

My colleagues Angelique Chrisafis in St-Denis, and Luke Harding and Kim Willsher in Paris, have written a detailed breakdown of the raid today in the Paris outskirts. It includes this chilling account of the moment a woman detonated explosives, killing herself.

French Police Forensics officers work on Rue des Corbillon in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.
French police forensics officers work on rue des Corbillon in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. Photograph: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

A witness, Christian, 20, spoke to Le Parisien newspaper about the moment the woman blew herself up.

During a 10 or 15-minute lull in the shooting I heard a woman shouting: ‘Help, help, help me!’ The police asked her to identify herself and to show herself. She showed her hands but she didn’t reveal her face.

She withdrew them and then put them up again several times. They shouted at her: ‘Keep your hands in the air!’ They told her: ‘We’re going to shoot.’

The shooting resumed. The police were firing from the roof of the building opposite. Suddenly there was an enormous explosion [from the window, inside the flat]. It was probably the woman who blew herself up.

The windows shattered. Lots of objects from the apartment were thrown into the street, pieces of human flesh as well. They are still there. You can see a bit of the head, of skin, of ribs.

Read the full report here.

Updated at 4.07pm GMT

2.55pm GMT

Praise for police operation ‘I want to tell them how proud we are’

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has provided more details about this morning’s raids in St-Denis.

Speaking at the national assembly, he said:

This morning’s intervention was made under extremely difficult conditions and the officers involved who I met after told me they have never never been subjected to such extreme violence or come under similar fire.

I want to tell them how proud we are, that they are great, that they are brave and that I have immense admiration for them which I am sure is shared by all French people.

Five of them have been wounded. The people of St-Denis were extremely brave as well, as well as every member of the emergency services involved.

Updated at 4.12pm GMT

2.52pm GMT

The public prosecutor of Paris, Francois Molins, has announced he will hold a press conference today at 7pm French time, 6pm GMT.

2.51pm GMT

Hundreds of British Muslim organisations have signed a joint declaration in a full-page advert in this morning’s Telegraph, organised by the Muslim Council of Britain.

With one voice, British Muslims condemn the Paris attacks unreservedly.

The aim of attacks like those inflicted on Paris and other cities across the world is to turn communities against each other.

As Muslims, Britons and Europeans, we must stand together to make sure they do not succeed.

Updated at 4.05pm GMT

2.40pm GMT

Forensics officers are now scouring the scene of the police raid in St-Denis.

Forensics of the French police are at work in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
Forensics of the French police are at work in the northern Paris suburb of St-Denis Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
French Police special forces raided an apartment, hunting those behind the attacks
French Police special forces raided an apartment, hunting those behind the attacks Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

2.32pm GMT

‘Two deaths, possibly more’ in St-Denis raid

Cazeneuve has told parliament that “at least two people, possibly more” died in the police operation this morning.

It had been reported in French media this morning that a third person had died but was not confirmed by any official statement.

It is also now known that two of the seven people arrested in the St-Denis raid were hospitalised, one of whom has now left hospital but remains under arrest.

Updated at 4.01pm GMT

2.27pm GMT

France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, has announced that a further 118 raids were carried out last night, 25 arrests have been made, 34 weapons seized and 16 stashes of drugs were found.

In total, 414 raids have taken place over the last three night leading to 60 arrests and 75 weapons have been discovered. The police have also enforced house arrest in 118 properties.

Officials have previously stressed that the raids are occurring under the state of emergency declaration and are not necessarily directly linked to the Paris attacks.

Updated at 4.00pm GMT

2.08pm GMT

A Spanish security official has said French authorities have sent out a bulletin to police across Europe asking them to watch out for a Citroen Xsara car that could be carrying Salah Abdeslam, the man on the run after his brother was named as one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks.

Spain’s El Espanol website published the document with the car’s description, naming Abdeslam.

The document reads: “ABDELSLAM, Salah, responsible for the recent attacks in Paris, may have passed into this country.” It also provides details of the number plate of the vehicle.

Updated at 2.15pm GMT

1.56pm GMT

What we know so far

We’re continuing our live coverage here in the aftermath of the dramatic raid this morning on an apartment block in the town of St-Denis, near Paris.

Here’s what has happened over the past few hours.

Raid on St-Denis

Two people have been killed

  • A woman, who blew herself up, was killed in the raid. Police sources told BFMTV that police had placed a woman under surveillance “several days ago” who they suspected might be sheltering Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud. She is reported to be his cousin.
  • Another unidentified man was killed by a grenade

Seven people have been arrested

  • Three men, whose identities are unknown, have been arrested inside the apartment.
  • A man and a woman have been arrested in the “immediate vicinity” of the apartment, the apartment’s landlord and his female friend.
  • Two more people, found hiding in the rubble were also arrested

How the raid unfolded

  • The apartment that was the focus of the raid is on a small street, rue du Corbillon, about 2km from the Stade de France, one of the targets of Friday’s attacks.
  • Heavy shooting, including automatic gunfire, and explosions began at about 4.30am.
  • The seven-hour raid resulted in the injuries of five police officers and the death of a police dog

Paris mourns attack victims

France will remain a country of movement.

German investigations continue

Airstrikes in Syria

Updated at 4.11pm GMT

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