Paris Attacks: Abdeslam’s Capture ‘Major Blow’ To ISIS – Cazeneuve

Salah AbdeslamFrance’s Interior Minister has said that the capture of a suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, is “a major blow” to the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Europe.

Bernard Cazeneuve said that security forces had managed to “incapacitate several individuals who are clearly extremely dangerous and totally determined.”

France is seeking suspect Abdeslam’s extradition from Belgium.

He was wounded and arrested in a dramatic raid in Brussels on Friday, after four months on the run.

French President, Francois Hollande, said Abdeslam’s arrest was “an important moment.

“The battle against terrorism does not end tonight, even though this is a victory.

“We must catch all those who allowed, organised or facilitated these attacks and we realise that they are a lot more numerous than we thought earlier and had identified,” Mr Hollande told a news conference on Friday with Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel.

Abdeslam was believed to have masterminded the Paris attacks which killed 130 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The suspect, a 26-year-old French national born in Brussels, had lived in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital before the Paris attacks.

Paris Attacks: France Calls On EU To ‘Wake Up’ To Threat

Paris Attacks: France Calls On EU To 'Wake Up' To Threatparis policeThe French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, says European countries must ‘wake up’ to terror threats.

He spoke after it emerged that the suspected Belgian ringleader of the attacks had entered France undetected.

Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, has, however, defended Belgium’s security services amid claims the attacks were organised there.

The defence came as EU Interior Ministers are due to hold emergency talks.

The meeting in Brussels is expected to tighten checks at the external borders of the EU’s passport-free Schengen area.

French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, said that the EU’s cherished passport-free Schengen zone would be in danger if the bloc did not improve border controls, after it emerged the ringleader of the Paris attacks had managed to enter Europe unnoticed.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan origin linked to a series of extremist plots in Europe over the past two years, had died in a police raid on an apartment in northern Paris on Wednesday.

As debate raged about the failings that had let Abaaoud slip through the net, Valls urged France’s neighbours to “play their role properly”, saying the whole Schengen system would be called into question if Europe does not take responsibility for its borders.

The Schengen system allows passport-free travel between 26 countries, but it has come under severe strain this year, as the continent struggles with its biggest migration crisis since World War II.

France President, Francois Hollande Honours Train Heroes

franceThe President of France, Mr Francois Hollande has honoured three Americans and a Briton with France’s top honour, the legion d’honneur.

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Briton’s Chris Norman, who foiled a suspected terror attack on a train on Friday, received their medals from Mr Hollande at a ceremony held at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday morning.

Mr Hollande pinned the medals on the chests of the four passengers at the ceremony in Paris on Monday morning.

Before the awards, he said: “We are here to honour four men who, thanks to their bravery, managed to save lives.

“In the name of France, I would like to thank you. The whole world admires your bravery. It should be an example to all of us and inspire us. You put your lives at risk in order to defend freedom”.

The passengers overpowered a suspected radical Islamist on a high-speed train bound for Paris.

Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel and the US Ambassador to France, Jane Hartley, attended the ceremony, along with the head of the French rail firm, SNCF.

Two other unnamed passengers are also billed to receive the honour at a later date.

The Legion d’honneur was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.