THE French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in an interview on radio station RTL, said that more than 150 searches have taken place across the country in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris on Friday November 13.
To some extent, searches have concentrated on areas where there is a high density of immigrants and TV station Bfmtv has reported that thirteen searches took place in and around Lyon, resulting in the discovery of a rocket launcher, a flak jacket, pistols and a Kalashnikov assault rifle and the arrest of five people.
Other areas where police raids are known to have taken place are Toulouse, Grenoble, Jeumont and the Parisian communes of Bobigny and Saint-Denis.
A hunt goes on for Salah Abdeslam who is wanted on suspicion of hiring a black VW Polo used in Friday’s attack which left 132 dead and it has transpired that he was stopped by French police but after questioning was allowed to proceed without being detained. It is thought that he has now left France and may be in Belgium, his country of birth.
In addition, a fourth suicide bomber who was involved in the Bataclan massacre has been identified and whilst his family is said to have come from Bobigny – scene of police raids – full details of his address and identity have not been revealed.
Having made a decision to take action against ISIS, the French government announced that 12 planes dropped 20 bombs at targets in Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s ‘capital’, including a munitions dump and a militant training camp.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attending the G20 meeting in Turkey insisted that France’s bombing of ISIS targets was part of its right to self defence saying “One cannot be attacked harshly, and you know the drama that is happening in Paris, without being present and active.”
In other news, two Spaniards who were thought to have died in the attacks on Friday are alive and a suspected terrorist who is not thought to have been involved in the Paris attacks has been arrested in Germany.