Tuesday, 17 November 2015

ISIS Threatens to Attack Washington in New Video

ISIS delivered a new threat to the United States in a video released today, claiming that it will carry out an attack on the nation's capital.The terror group, which quickly claimed credit for the deadly Paris attacks last Friday, said that the carnage in France was just the beginning.CIA Director John Brennan said the attacks in Paris should serve as a wake-up call for Americans.“It's not just Europe. I think we here in the United States need to be obviously quite vigilant,” Brennan said during remarks at the Center for Strategic & International Studies Global Security Forum.“Their agenda is to kill. Pure and simple,” added Brennan.Security is ramping up across the country. There is a heavy police presence in Times Square, and U.S. Capitol Police sent a security awareness reminder to congressional offices today. U.S. Park Police have also increased patrols to protect “treasured icons.”
"In light of the recent attacks, the United States Park Police remain ever vigilant,” said Park Police Chief Robert MacLean. “We stand prepared to protect the national icons entrusted to us and the visitors to them."U.S. officials are also worried that the attackers in Paris may have used encryption technology to hide their computer and cellphone communications. Belgian officials suspect that the killers also used gaming systems like Sony PlayStation to communicate off the grid.Even though there is no specific, credible ISIS threat to the homeland, the FBI is intensifying surveillance of suspected ISIS sympathizers. More than 70 alleged supporters of ISIS were arrested in the last two years, some with deadly intentions.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and other officials are urging citizens to report any suspicious activity to the police.“It's not trite to say that if "you see something, say something," cause it's very important that officials have information just as soon as it's available,” Bowser said outside the French Embassy today.“We already take the posture of being hyper-vigilant and we take any and every threat seriously,” she added.Authorities are seeking a ninth suspect in Friday's attacks in Paris, a French prosecutor's spokeswoman told ABC News. The spokeswoman did not reveal any details about the suspect's identity.The news of a ninth suspect follows an announcement from the brother of Salah Abdeslam, the eighth suspected Paris attacker, who urged Salah to turn himself in as authorities step up their already-extensive manhunt. Seven suicide bombers died in Paris during Friday night’s attack.Mohamed Abdeslam, who spoke to French TV BFM today, said, "The best would be for him to give himself up so that justice can shed all the light on this."The French prosecutor's spokeswoman also confirmed that a Renault Clio car found in the 18th District in Paris today was rented by Salah Abdeslam.Mohamed Abdeslam was detained and questioned following the Friday attack and was released Monday. "I was not tied in any way to anything that happened Friday," he said Monday.Abdeslam said today that his brother prayed and attended a mosque occasionally, but dressed in jeans and pullovers and showed no signs of being a radical.Meanwhile, the Crisis Center at the Interior Ministry released new photos of Salah Abdeslam and the Belgian Federal Police put out a new search notice for him. The notice says an international arrest warrant was issued and adds to the all-points bulletin description that he has a "thin frame" and is "dangerous and could be heavily armed."Salah Abdeslam and another brother Brahim, one of the alleged suicide bombers in the Paris attack that killed 129 people, were known to Belgian authorities, Brussels Federal Prosecutor's office spokesman Eric Van Der Sypt revealed. The two brothers were flagged for wanting to go to Syria, and investigated, but then found not to pose an imminent threat, and they didn't go to Syria, Van Der Sypt said.The two brothers were deemed radicalized, Van Der Sypt explained, but not an imminent threat, meaning they held extremist views, but could not be detained or arrested.More than 130 Belgian nationals have traveled to Syria and returned to Belgium, Van Der Sypt explained, while others traveled to Syria and authorities aren't sure whether they've returned to Belgium. Additionally, some people have expressed a desire to go to Syria, but haven't done so, Van Der Sypt said, making it difficult to keep track of everyone.The French overnight conducted airstrikes against ISIS in Raqqah, Syria, destroying two terrorist operational sites. Ten French fighter jets dropped 16 bombs on the targets, the French defense minister said, in coordination with the United States.In France, 128 raids were conducted overnight, the French Interior Minister said. The raids were conducted as part of the emergency anti-terrorism crackdown, not directly related to the Paris attacks.The prime minister said this morning that French intelligence officials have identified 10,500 people in France as radicalized.The Interior Minister said 115,000 police officers are on patrol across the country.Heightened fears have also spread to Germany, where Germany's soccer match against the Netherlands was canceled today less than 90 minutes before kick-off, and the stadium in Hannover was evacuated. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had planned to attend the match. Two foreign nationals have been arrested in Germany, but a police spokesperson said, "It's too early to say who they are."Fears at stadiums have spread beyond Germany. Earlier today in Brussels, the Belgian soccer federation called off its game with Spain that was scheduled for tonight.France is scheduled to play a soccer match against England tonight at London's Wembley stadium, where Prince William is expected to attend.French President Francois Hollande will meet with President Obama at the White House next Tuesday, the White House announced today, to coordinate the United States' efforts to assist France’s investigation into the attacks.The leaders will "discuss further cooperation as part of the 65-member counter-ISIL coalition" and reiterate their "shared determination to confront the scourge of terrorism," the White House said.

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