Nov 27, 2015 4:02 PM

The Latest: French court keeps 2 suspects under house arrest

The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) The latest on the attacks in Paris and security alert in Brussels. All times local:


A French administrative court has rejected appeals by two men placed under house arrest as part of the nation's state of emergency, saying the measure was justified because they have close ties to Islamists.

The decisions were the first in France in the case of suspects appealing measures against them since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

Since the state of emergency went into effect the following day, authorities have placed 276 people under house arrest. In addition, 24 others who are considered risks to public order during the climate summit which opens Monday are under house arrest, according to the Interior Ministry.

The court ruled that the two house arrests in question were legal, noting that one of the men was convicted of helping send a French citizen to fight jihad in Mali and allegedly planned to go to Iraq or Syria himself. The second individual allegedly had ties to Islamist radicals, including Amedy Coulibaly, the man who attacked a Kosher grocery store in January.


6:50 p.m.

The head of a Serbian arms factory says several weapons used by Islamic militants during the Paris attacks have been identified as produced by his company in the early 1990s.

Milojko Brzakovic, director of the Zastava factory in Kragujevac in central Serbia, told The Associated Press on Friday that two days after the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people, the Serbian Interior Ministry sent him serial numbers of weapons found in Paris during and after the attacks.

He says, "I believe there were seven or eight, all automatic rifles, the Kalashnikovs."

Before the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, former Yugoslav republics were supplied with weapons produced by Zastava.

He says the weapons could have been resold by all sides after the country broke up.


5:50 p.m.

A man who drove fugitive Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam through Brussels after the massacres is being kept in custody for at least a month.

Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said Friday that a court had confirmed the continued detention of the man, identified in official documents as Ali O. He has not been charged.

His lawyer told Belgian media that Salah admitted to Ali O. that his brother Brahim blew himself up and killed people in Paris.

Lawyer Olivier Martins insists his client is innocent, saying "you're not going to tell me that if you drive Salah Abdeslam a few kilometers through Brussels that you're part of a terrorist group."


5:20 p.m.

The Dutch government is sending a raft of legislation to Parliament aimed at tackling Islamic extremism linked to returning foreign fighters.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday the legislation "is part of a broad package of measures in the fight against jihadism."

The proposed legislation includes moves to restrict the movements of returned jihadi fighters who are considered a threat to national security or suspects who have not traveled overseas to fight but are also considered a risk. Suspects could be ordered to report to police stations and banned from visiting certain areas or people.

Another proposed law aims to prevent potential fighters heading to conflict zones like Syria and Iraq by allowing authorities to cancel their passport or identity card if the Justice Ministry has banned them from traveling overseas as a counterterrorism measure.

The government also wants a law that would make it possible to cancel the Dutch nationality of people with dual citizenship who have fought overseas with Isalmic extremists.

Rutte's Cabinet also sent lawmakers a proposal making it easier for law enforcement authorities to remotely monitor computers of suspects.


5:10 p.m.

Belgian authorities have charged a man with involvement in "terrorist attacks" as investigations continue into the massacre in Paris two weeks ago.

The federal prosecutor's office said in a statement on Friday that the unidentified man was "charged with terrorist attacks and taking part in the activities of a terrorist group."

The unidentified man was arrested in Brussels on Thursday. The prosecutor's office declined to provide more details.


4:20 p.m.

German prosecutors are confirming they are investigating whether a man they have in custody may have sold four of the assault rifles used in the Paris attacks.

Stuttgart prosecutors told the dpa news agency Friday that a 24-year-old German man, whose name wasn't given in line with privacy laws, is suspected of delivering four Kalashnikov rifles to a Paris address. Prosecutors say who the man sold them to is not yet clear.

The man, initially described as 34 years old, is also accused of converting legal starter pistols to fire live ammunition and selling them on the Internet.

Prosecutor's spokesman Jan Holzner told Germany's n-tv it was in connection with investigating that operation that authorities learned of the possible Paris connection.


2:20 p.m.

The final of the Davis Cup tennis tournament is going ahead amid tight security in the Belgian city of Ghent as the country remains on high alert for extremists in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

The hunt for suspects of the Paris attacks goes on in the Brussels area during the three-day tournament. The city's schools and subway system reopened Wednesday but the alert level is expected to remain high level 4 out of 5 across the country this week.

Organizers told spectators coming to the 13,000-seat arena to arrive early Friday due to security checks. Bags were not allowed into the arena and police are patrolling with sniffer dogs.

The world number two, Britain's Andy Murray, will take on Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium, after Kyle Edmund and David Goffin get the best-of-five tournament started.

11:20 a.m.

The French national anthem played by a military band has closed the ceremony honoring those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

As when he arrived, French President Francois Hollande left the Invalides national monument walking alone.

The tightly secured ceremony paid homage to the 130 people, overwhelmingly young adults, killed when Islamic extremists struck the national stadium, bars, restaurants and a concert hall.


11:05 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande has promised families of the 130 dead and hundreds of wounded in the Nov. 13 attacks that he will do everything to destroy the "army of fanatics" responsible.

Hollande spoke in front of his government, families of the victims and soldiers inside the courtyard of the Invalides national monument.


11 a.m.

Berlin police say they have released two men who had been taken into custody as part of an investigation into Islamic extremists in the German capital.

Police said Friday there was no evidence found to hold the 28-year-old Syrian and 46-year-old Tunisian man who were picked up on Thursday, the dpa news agency reported.

Following the detentions, police raided a mosque in the city's western neighborhood of Charlottenburg.

Local media reported that police suspected the two were planning to transport explosives from Munich to use in a possible attack in Dortmund.

But police said no evidence of any explosives was found in either their car or the mosque.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.


10:55 a.m.

The names of the 130 dead and their ages are being read aloud at the Invalides national monument in a somber ceremony honoring those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Overwhelmingly young adults in their 20s and 30s, nearly all the victims were killed at a rock concert or on the terraces of bars and restaurants of central Paris.

French President Francois Hollande is sitting alone in a simple chair in the Invalides courtyard, an assembled crowd of mourners behind him.


10:50 a.m.

A Muslim group has suspended its free distribution of Qurans on Vienna streets during the pre-Christmas season, saying it does not want to provoke people in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Mustafa Brahja, who organizes the hand-outs, says "nerves are tense" after the terrorist spree. He is cited Friday by state broadcaster ORF as saying the suspension will last for the next two or three months.

Brahja says he is acting on the request of Vienna's Islamic community.

The books, on stands with signs saying "read!" are a familiar sign in the Austrian capital. Brahja says that more than 20,000 copies have been distributed over the past two years.


10:25 a.m.

France is mourning and honoring those killed in the Nov. 13 attacks in a somber ceremony in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande will preside over Friday's ceremony, which will include the government, top lawmakers, the Paris mayor and former President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as far right leader Marine Le Pen. The national anthem, which became a symbol of the country's resilience from the moment the terrified crowd filed out of the Stade de France in song, will ring out.

This is the first formal gathering since Islamic extremist gunmen and suicide bombers attacked the national stadium and central Paris.


9:30 a.m.

German prosecutors say they have arrested on illegal weapons charges a 34-year-old man who local media report was located as part of an investigation into the attacks in Paris.

Stuttgart prosecutors said Friday the man, whose name was not given in line with privacy laws, is accused of converting legal starter pistols to fire live ammunition and selling them on the Internet, the dpa news agency reported.

The prosecutor's office would not confirm, however, a Bild newspaper report that he is also suspected of selling four AK-47 type assault rifles at the beginning of November that might have been used in the Paris attacks.

Citing investigative documents, Bild reported that the man's phone contained data that led to the suspicion.


The item timed at 10:25 a.m. has been corrected to remove reference to photos of the victims not being shown.


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