Dec 10, 2015 1:42 PM
The Latest: 4 suspects sought in Geneva said to have IS ties
The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) The latest on the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. All times local:
A Swiss official says Geneva police are hunting for at least four suspects believed to have links to the radical Islamic State group and are believed to have been plotting a specific attack in the city.
The official says the CIA alerted Swiss authorities to the four men on Wednesday prompting the manhunt. He spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The official also confirmed the suspects were four men shown in a photograph linked to a news report in the Swiss daily Le Matin. They were pictured each in a crouched pose and holding up an index finger.
He said the suspects were not believed to have had direct links to the Paris terror attacks, appearing to revise an earlier statement from the Geneva security department.
The official also said it was too early to say whether other suspects might be at large.
The head of a Serbian arms factory says one of the guns linked to Islamic militants in the Paris attacks was exported to the United States in 2013.
Milojko Brzakovic of the Zastava arms factory told the Associated Press Thursday that the M92 semi-automatic pistol was traced after its serial number matched the one delivered to an American arms dealer in May 2013.
At least seven of the weapons used or discovered after the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people have been identified as produced by the Serbian factory, most of them manufactured before Yugoslavia broke up in a civil war in the 1990s.
Brzakovic says all those arms were delivered legally, but could have later found their way through illegal channels.
German prosecutors say they have determined that a 24-year-old man in custody on suspicion of violating weapons trafficking laws did not supply the assault rifles used in the Paris attacks.
Stuttgart prosecutors' spokeswoman Claudia Krauth said Thursday that investigators who had arrested the man from Magstadt on other weapons charges had found emails indicating he might have delivered four Kalashnikov rifles to a Paris address.
But she says her office has determined the delivery wasn't made until Nov. 16, three days after the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, and not to Paris.
The man, whose name was not released in line with privacy laws, is also accused of converting legal starter pistols to fire live ammunition and selling them on the Internet.
Senior officials from Britain, the U.S. and five European countries have agreed to closer cooperation in the fight against radicalization and the threat from the Islamic State group.
British Home Secretary Theresa May said all six countries are "united in our determination to combat terrorism through a strong yet proportionate national and international response."
May met Thursday in London with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Dimitris Avramopoulos, European commissioner for migration, home afffairs and citizenship, and officials from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland.
They agreed to promote a "positive counter-narrative" to radicalization; take tougher action to disrupt extremist activity and financing; and encourage communications firms to remove extremist content from the Internet.
They also agreed to share more information among law-enforcement agencies across borders. May said Thursday's approval by a key committee of EU lawmakers of a plan to share airline passenger information among all 28 member states was an important step.
Swiss security officials say Geneva police are "actively searching" for suspects in connection with an investigation into the Paris attacks last month.
Geneva's security department said Thursday that city authorities received word on Wednesday that Swiss federal authorities had flagged "suspicious individuals susceptible to being in Geneva or the Geneva region."
The statement said police are also increasing their counter-terrorism vigilance level, and are working with international and national authorities to locate them. The statement didn't specify how many people were being sought or their identities.
A key committee of EU lawmakers has voted in favor of a new scheme to track extremist fighters, paving the way for the long-delayed system to be approved early next year.
The European Parliament Civil Liberties committee voted 38-19 Thursday to approve the airline passenger information system, with two abstentions. It means that an endorsement in the plenary session in January or February is now a formality.
The lawmaker who chaperoned the plan through parliament, Timothy Kirkhope, said: "now we have to get this implemented."
The system has been held up in the assembly for more than two years but the deadly attacks last month in Paris brought new urgency to the process. The plan grants law enforcement agencies access to information about air travelers for at least six months.
Pop star Madonna has staged an impromptu concert at Paris' Republique plaza to honor victims of the Nov. 13 attacks in which 130 people died.
The singer, who had just finished her show in Paris Wednesday evening, tweeted to her fans: "Im singing some songs in place de la republique. Meet me there now."
Accompanied by a guitarist, she performed songs including John Lennon's "Imagine" a song that became an unofficial anthem in the aftermath of the attacks.
The iconic statue at Republique, transformed into an informal memorial since the attacks, is piled with flowers and candles left by passers-by.