German media report arrest linked to attack
PARIS—The latest on shootings and explosions in Paris. All times local:
German media report that a 51-year-old man arrested last week after firearms were discovered in his car has been linked to the Paris attacks.
Public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk reported Saturday that German authorities informed French officials about the arrest of the man near the German-Austrian border on Nov. 5. It didn’t provide a source for its information.
Bavarian state police spokesman Ludwig Waldinger confirmed that firearms, explosives and hand grenades had been found.
Waldinger told The Associated Press that “we are providing no further information at this point.”
A resident near Paris’ Bataclan concert hall spoke of their shock and disbelief over the gun attack Friday night that left around 80 revelers dead.
Entrepreneur Gabriel Delattre, 31, was arriving home on a bike when he bumped into a nightmarish scene: a man whose shirt was “black with blood” wandering by the side of another man with a large bullet hole in his cheek.
“He was staring at me,” Delattre said. “He was confused and mumbling and didn’t know what he was doing. He just kept saying, ‘We were attacked, we got down on the floor, and we managed to get out. But the others stayed trapped.'”
Disneyland Paris is closed to the public in a highly unusual move because of a string of attacks targeting a stadium, concert hall and cafes in Paris that killed at least 120.
The theme park east of Paris, one of Europe’s leading tourist attractions, said in a statement that it decided not to open Saturday “in light of the recent tragic events in France and in support of our community and the victims of these horrendous attacks.”
Some 14 million people visited Disneyland Paris last year.
France has deployed 1,500 extra troops around Paris and is tightening its borders because of Friday’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel the attackers who killed more than 120 people in Paris overnight “hate freedom.”
Speaking to reporters in Berlin early Saturday, Merkel expressed grief for those who died, saying “they wanted to live the life of free people in a city that celebrates life.”
She says the victims encountered “murderers who hate precisely this life of freedom.”
Merkel said her country stands ready to help France in whichever way it can because the attack “was aimed not just at Paris, it targeted and it hits all of us.”
French President Francois Hollande is meeting top government and security officials after suicide bombers targeted a stadium, concert hall and Friday night cafe crowds in attacks that killed at least 120.
The special meeting in the Elysee Palace on Saturday morning comes as police hunt for potential accomplices to eight attackers who were killed in Friday night’s violence. Hollande declared a state of emergency — the first such move in a decade — and ordered 1,500 additional troops deployed.
The attacks raise concerns about international events that France is hosting, such as a UNESCO forum in Paris on Monday with world leaders, and major climate talks in Paris in two weeks.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and army, gendarme and police chiefs were among those at the meeting.
Czech authorities have increased security measures all across the country following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Police say they have deployed forces at all international airports, shopping centers and the French embassy in the Czech capital.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says he is “horrified by the number of the innocent victims. France deserves all our possible support and solidarity.”
President Milos Zeman has offered condolences to relatives of the victims. “We are all with France and its people,” Zeman said in a statement.
Germany’s foreign minister says his country stands by France after the attacks in Paris, which he described as an “inferno of terror.”
Frank-Walter Steinmeier was present during the football friendly between France and Germany on Friday night, when three suicide bombs targeted spots around the national stadium.
Steinmeier said Saturday on the sidelines of the Syria talks in Vienna that “the extent of the horror … exceeds everyone’s imagination.”
Some 1,500 extra soldiers have been mobilized to guard French facilities and schools and universities are closed because of the country’s deadliest attacks in decades.
Many French schools are normally open on Saturdays, but the French government ordered them shuttered as part of emergency security measures.
Soldiers were deployed at key sites around Paris, including Parliament buildings and religious sites.
The government has also reimposed border controls that were abandoned as part of Europe’s free-travel zone. Border and customs officers will check people, baggage and vehicles entering and leaving France by road, train, sea or plane, said customs official Melanie Lacuire.
Germany has offered France the help of its special anti-terror unit in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas des Maiziere said in a statement Saturday that he is in touch with his French counterpart “and I have offered him the help of German special forces.”
Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said de Maiziere had offered “all support, including special forces such as the GSG9.”
The GSG9 anti-terror unit was created after the attacks on the Munich Olympics in 1972 and saw its first major operation during the hijacking of a Lufthansa plane by a Palestinian group
The Vatican has condemned “in the most radical way” the terror attacks in Paris.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement early Saturday that the violence was “an attack on peace for all humanity.”
He said it requires “a decisive, supportive response on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all of its forms.”
Lombardi said the Vatican was praying for the victims and the wounded, “and for all the French people.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has canceled trips to France and Italy after terror attacks in Paris that killed over 120 people.
The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying Saturday that Iran “itself has been a victim of the scourge of terrorism” and the fight against terrorism must go on. It did not elaborate why he canceled the visit, but authorities said the trip would be rescheduled.
Rouhani was due in days to travel to France and Italy. France was one of the world powers involved in recent negotiations with the Islamic Republic over its contested nuclear program.
Hossein Jaber Ansari, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, also was quoted by IRNA as saying: “Those terrorist groups that committed the Paris crimes do not believe in ethical principles and they are not loyal to any type of divine religions — including Islam.”
Friends and relatives are using social media to search for loved ones feared to have been at the sites of the Paris attacks.
“We are looking for Marie, who was at the Bataclan, we have no news from her. If you see her, please contact me #Bataclan”, reads one tweet from @Photographys, posted with a photo.
“If you have news of Christophe aka @MokeComputer he was at Bataclan tonight and we need to hear from him,” tweets a user named @Lorelei_Jade.
Facebook also offered its “Safety Check” feature to allow users who listed to mark themselves as safe if they listed Paris as their location.
Earlier in the evening, Parisians used the hashtag #portesouvertes, or “open doors,” to offer a place to stay for people who were evacuated from the sites of the attacks. In the U.S., some used the hashtag #strandedinUS to offer shelter for people who were unable to travel back to France.
Across the Persian Gulf, countries are condemning the mass terror attack in Paris that killed at least 120 people.
In the United Arab Emirates, the state-run WAM news agency said Saturday that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan sent a telegram to French President Francois Hollande offering his condolences and pledging support for France. WAM said Al Nahyan also supported doing “what it takes to face terrorism and eliminate it.”
In tiny Kuwait, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said in a statement that he offered his condolences, while stressing that “these criminal acts of terrorism … run counter to all teachings of holy faith and humanitarian values.”
In Saudi Arabia, the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official denouncing Friday’s attack.
President Barack Obama has spoken by phone to French President Francois Hollande to offer the condolences of the American people for the attacks in Paris.
The White House says in a statement Friday night that Obama has reiterated the United States’ steadfast, unwavering support for the people of France, calling the nation America’s oldest ally and friend. Obama also has reaffirmed the offer of any necessary support to the French investigation.
The White House says the two leaders have pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
A U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department says intelligence officials were not aware of any threats before a series of attacks in Paris.
The official says 70 U.S. citizens currently known to be in France have not yet been accounted for, although no Americans have been reported killed in Friday’s attacks.
The official says all members of Eagles of Death Metal, the California-based band that was to perform at the Paris venue where one attack occurred, are safe and have been accounted for.
The official was not authorized to discuss the briefing publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The Paris prosecutor’s office says that eight attackers are dead after a string of attacks around the French capital, seven of them in suicide bombings.
Prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told The Associated Press that the eighth attacker was killed by security forces when they raided a concert hall where the assailants had taken hostages.
She said it’s possible that there are terrorists still at large.
She said at least 120 people were killed in the Friday night attacks overall.
Those who survived an attack on a Paris concert venue physically unscathed have been bused to a special crisis center for psychological support.
Some walked in dazed, their shoulders draped with emergency blankets.
Dozens of emergency workers and Red Cross workers in orange vests gathered in front of the building, the headquarters of Paris’ 11th arrondissement, or district. A few police officers in bullet-proof vests stood nearby.
After meeting with counselors, some survivors were put in taxis to head home.
They had been at the Bataclan concert hall for a show of American band Eagles of Death Metal.
President Francois Hollande says France will be “merciless” against those behind the deadliest attacks in the country in decades.
Visiting a popular music venue where more than 100 people were killed in eastern Paris, Hollande called the attacks “abomination” and “barbarism.”
He called on the French to remain united. “We will lead the fight. We will be merciless.”
He praised all the emergency workers offering to help throughout the long, emotional night.
It is unclear how many attackers were involved in the seven attacks, or whether any are still at large. No one has claimed responsibility.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tells The Associated Press he was not aware of any chatter pointing to the Paris attacks ahead of time.
Schiff says it is unclear who was responsible for the attacks, but says the Islamic State group and al-Qaida are “distinct possibilities” — with the Islamic State more likely.
The California congressman says investigators would scour any electronic devices that they managed to recover from the gunmen. He says it is possible but not definite that some of the attackers would be known to French law enforcement — as was the case with the Charlie Hebdo attack in January.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is calling the attacks in Paris “an assault on our common human dignity.”
The Pentagon chief says “the United States stands with the people of France and its vibrant, multicultural democracy.”
He is praising France as a NATO ally and a leader of the coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Syria.
The rock band U2 has postponed its Saturday night concert in Paris in the light of the deadly attacks across the city on Friday night.
HBO had planned to televise the band’s performance. Instead, U2 says in a statement that it is resolved to go ahead with the concert “at an appropriate time.”
For television viewers, HBO said it would replace the planned show with the film “Jersey Boys.”
U2 members say they watched in shock and disbelief at the unfolding events, and were devastated by the loss of life at the concert held by Eagles of Death Metal.
U2 members say: “We hope and pray that all of our fans in Paris are safe.”
French police say they believe all of the attackers involved shootings and bombings in Paris are dead.
Micheal Cadot, the head of Paris police said Saturday that while all of the attackers are believed to have died, authorities are searching for possible accomplices in the attacks that left over 120 people dead.
Police in the U.S. capital have sent extra officers to the French Embassy and other France-related sites and high-profile locations after the attacks in Paris.
The Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release Friday night that the moves were being made out of an abundance of caution and that there is no imminent threat to the District.
The department says Chief Cathy Lanier has been in contact with federal and regional law enforcement officials since the attacks began.
The Paris police prefect said the attackers at the Bataclan rock venue blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in. He said the gunmen first sprayed cafes outside the venue with machine gunfire, then went inside the concert hall and killed more before the assaullt by security forces.
The prefect, Michel Cadot, said the one set of attackers was at the stadium and at nearly the same time the second group attacked within the city.
Cadot said all the attackers are believed dead, although authorities are hunting for any possible accomplices.
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