France mourns, seeks clues to those behind carnage

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Old 16-Nov-2015
Post France mourns, seeks clues to those behind carnage

Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris today and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth while investigators questioned the relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country's deadliest violence since World War II.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded, 99 of them seriously.
The attack had global impact. Security was heightened across France, across Europe's normally open borders, even across the ocean to New York, and how to respond to the Paris attacks became a key point among US Democratic presidential hopefuls at a debate last night.
Countries around the world doused their national buildings in the French colors of blue, white and red to honor the victims or, like the Eiffel Tower and New York's Empire State Building, went dark to express their sorrow.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said three groups of attackers, including seven suicide bombers wearing identical vests containing the explosive TATP, carried out the attacks that began as Parisians enjoyed a night out Friday.
The tentacles of the investigation reach well beyond France. The attackers mentioned Syria and Iraq, the Paris prosecutor said. Authorities in Belgium arrested three people in raids linked to the Paris attacks. A Syrian passport found next to the body of a man who attacked France's national stadium appeared to suggest he passed through Greece into the European Union last month.
With 3,000 extra troops being mobilized to protect Paris, French authorities labored Sunday to identify the suicide bombers and hunt potential accomplices still at large. French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals known to have spent time in Syria.
Details about one attacker began to emerge: 29-year-old Frenchman Ismael Mostefai, who had a record of petty crime and had been flagged in 2010 for ties to Islamic radicalism. He was identified from fingerprints found on a finger amid the bloody carnage from a Paris concert hall, the Paris prosecutor said. A judicial official and lawmaker Jean-Pierre Gorges confirmed his identity.
Police detained his father, brother and other relatives last night, and they were still being questioned, the judicial official said. Officials in Greece, meanwhile, said the passport's owner entered on October 3 through Leros, one of the eastern Aegean islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have been using as a gateway into Europe. — AP
Germany probes explosives haul

German authorities are investigating whether a man arrested last week with huge quantities of explosives and machine guns was linked to attackers in France, as the country stepped up security measures in the wake of the Paris terror strikes. The risk of Germany becoming the target of similar attacks is high and it continues to be a focus of international terror groups, interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

Trudeau mulls new military policy

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was too soon to say whether the deadly attacks in Paris would prompt him to reconsider his pledge to withdraw Canada from air strikes against Islamic State militants in the Middle East. Trudeau said his government would focus on balancing security and freedom amid concern about possible future attacks.

‘IS must be defeated’

US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has said the Islamic State militant group must be defeated not contained, even as she asserted that the US was not at "war with Islam" but against violent extremism.

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