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Very Likely Islamic State Directed The Paris Attacks

Peter Dejong / AP

A man displays the French flag in front of the Bataclan concert hall, which was a site of last Friday's attacks, in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union.

Peter Dejong / AP

(AP) - The latest on the deadly attacks in Paris. (All times Central European Time):

11:15 p.m. The chairman of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee says there's a "strong likelihood" that the Paris attacks were directed, rather than just inspired, by the Islamic State group in Syria.

Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, also said Tuesday it was likely the attack plotters in Syria, Belgium and France used encryption to hide their communications from authorities. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the committee, endorsed Burr's comments.  The two spoke to reporters after a classified intelligence briefing.

The comments were the strongest public attribution yet by American officials. CIA director John Brennan said Monday that the attacks in Paris bore "the hallmarks of terrorism carried out" by the Islamic State.

Burr says the Islamic State group has a presence in 30 countries and poses a threat that is harder to handle than the one posed by al-Qaida.

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11:05 p.m. Germany's top security official says providing details about the threats that led him to cancel a soccer match in Hannover could unsettle Germans and make future such decisions harder.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere declined to answer questions about the exact nature of the threat and the source of the information during a news conference after the Germany-Netherlands match was canceled.

De Maiziere asked for "trust," saying "some of these answers would unsettle the population, some of these answers would make our actions in future harder and (...) some of these answers might lead the source of the information not to provide tips to us anymore."

The German daily Bild reported authorities had received a warning that an attack using explosives and automatic weapons was planned.

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10:55 p.m. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution condemning the horrific attacks in Paris.

The measure, approved by voice vote on Tuesday, condemns last Friday's assault "in the strongest terms possible."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce of California says "this is a time not just to express sorrow but show resolve in this fight" against Islamic State militants.

The committee's top Democrat, Eliot Engel of New York, says the U.S. stands ready to assist its ally. He says "Vive la France, vive la liberte."

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10:40 p.m. Uniting in defiance and respect, fans and players of the French and English soccer teams are delivering a moving display of solidarity at Wembley Stadium at a game staged four days after the deadly attacks in Paris.

A touching pre-game ceremony saw England and France supporters sing the French national anthem as one. Then the two squads came together around the center circle to observe a minute of silence in honor of the 129 people killed in Paris.

Social media was awash with praise for the dignified way a sensitive occasion was handled. Wembley's iconic arch in London was lit up in the blue, white and red of the French flag, while the French motto "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" was projected on the front of the English national stadium.

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10:30 p.m. Russian officials have their own symbol representing the attacks in Paris.

An image tweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday at first glance looks like the widely popular meme that emerged within hours of the attacks showing the Eiffel Tower in a circle, mimicking the universal peace symbol.

On closer examination, however, it's not the Paris landmark in the circle but the silhouette of an airplane.

The image, superimposed on the red, blue and white bands of the Russian flag, comes as Russia intensifies its airstrikes in Syria, which it says are targeting Islamic State militants.

IS has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks Friday night that left 129 people dead and 350 wounded, as well as for blowing up a Russian Metrojet on Oct. 31, killing all 224 people aboard.

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10:20 p.m. Australia's most senior Muslim cleric has clarified a statement by saying there is no justification for terrorist violence after he came under fire for linking the Paris attacks to racism and Islamophobia.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, and the Australian National Imams Council said in a statement on Wednesday that they had "consistently and unequivocally condemned all forms of terrorist violence."

Critics had demanded a clarification after some said an initial statement Sunday could be interpreted as a justification for the coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.

That statement said current strategies to deal with terrorism had failed and it is "therefore imperative that all causative factors" such as racism and Islamophobia be addressed.

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10:05 p.m. A German security official has denied reports that explosives were found outside the stadium where Germany had been due to play a soccer match against the Netherlands.

Boris Pistorius, the interior minister for Lower-Saxony state, also told reporters late Tuesday that there had also been no arrests in the case.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the friendly match in the northern city of Hannover was canceled after German authorities received information about a possible planned attack on the stadium. A second stadium in the city, which was going to hold a concert, was also evacuated.

Top government officials including de Maiziere and Chancellor Angela Merkel had been scheduled to attend the game as a sign of defiance following the Paris attacks.

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9:55 p.m. Germany's top security official says the decision to cancel the soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was made after authorities received mounting information during the course of the day about a possible attack.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters he wouldn't name the source of the information that led to the match in Hannover being called off shortly before it was to take place. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been among the top Germany officials scheduled to attend.

The German news agency dpa cited unnamed security officials in Berlin that a foreign intelligence agency had warned Germany of a possible attack by Islamic extremists.

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9:35 p.m. French police are circulating a photo of one of the suicide attackers who targeted the French national stadium in Paris last week and asking for information from anyone who recognizes him.

National police published a photo of the suicide bomber on its Twitter account Tuesday. A total of seven attackers died in the Nov. 13 rampage, but only five have been publicly identified so far. This photo was not named by police.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks that left 129 dead and over 350 wounded Friday night in Paris.

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9:25 p.m. Brahim Abdeslam, 31, a suicide bomber who blew himself up outside a Paris cafe on Friday, did a short prison term in Belgium for stealing official identity cards.

His former defense lawyer, Olivier Martins, told The Associated Press the cards "sell for a lot of money to people who want to remain on Belgian territory."

Abdeslam, a French citizen, was arrested in 2003, admitted to stealing and reselling 10 or so of the cards and spent a month in prison. Martins said he got him released, and by the time the case came to court in 2010, his client had turned his life around and the judge let him go.

Abdeslam had opened a small restaurant and "appeared to be on the right road." But Martins sensed problems. He says Abdeslam was "a kind, courteous, polite person ... who was very, very fragile and very easily influenced."

An international manhunt is on for Abdeslam's brother Salah, 26, who is also believed linked to the deadly Paris attacks.

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9:10 p.m. A second stadium in the northern German city of Hannover has been evacuated.

Concert-goers had been waiting for the band "Soehne Mannheims" to play.

Hannover's chief of police says authorities received a warning about a possible bomb threat shortly before the start of a soccer friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands in the main Hannover stadium. The stadium was evacuated and the game was canceled.

Police chief Volker Kluwe told German public broadcaster NDR that the alleged threat involved the "detonation of explosives in the stadium." He says the "key warning reached us about 15 minutes before the gates opened."

Germany's national soccer squad said the team was taken to "a safe place" by police.

Kluwe encouraged people in Hannover to go home, stay away from stadiums and not move about in large groups.

Germany's interior minister was holding a news conference later Tuesday on the twin evacuations.

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8:55 p.m. France's defense minister says 10 French fighter jets are carrying out new airstrikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria.

Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the jets have carried out new raids Tuesday evening. Speaking on TF1 TV, the French defense minister said France will have 36 fighter jets in the region capable of carrying out airstrikes on IS targets once the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier reaches the zone.

The carrier embarks from Toulon on Thursday.

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8:15 p.m. Hannover's police chief says authorities have cancelled a friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands because they had "concrete information" about a bomb threat.

The German news agency dpa quoted police chief Volker Kluwe saying the information concerned an explosives attack. The stadium was evacuated by police about an hour and a half before the kickoff Tuesday night in the northern German city.

Top government officials including Chancellor Angela Merkel had been scheduled to attend the match to send a signal that Germany wouldn't bow to terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks.

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7:45 p.m. With a police helicopter whirring above and armed officers on patrol, soccer fans are flowing into London's Wembley Stadium before a friendly match between England and France four days after the deadly attacks in Paris.

The atmosphere was calm on a wet and windy evening and supporters appeared intent on sending a defiant message of unity after at least 129 people died Friday night in attacks on the French capital.

England fan Robert Williams, wearing a beret and holding a French flag, says "tonight is more about solidarity than football ... it is about remembering the people that have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances."

Prince William and British Prime Minister David Cameron were to be among the near-80,000 spectators at English football's national stadium.

 

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7:30 p.m. The soccer stadium in Hannover, Germany, is being evacuated and stadium loudspeakers say the game has been cancelled.

The stadium was hosting a match between Germany and the Netherlands. Many top German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, were scheduled to attend the match to show they will not bow to terrorism.

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6:45 p.m. German police have released seven people arrested near the western city of Aachen in connection with the investigation of the Paris attacks.

The dpa news agency quotes an unidentified police official as saying checks found that none had links to the attacks.

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had earlier told reporters authorities acted on a tip that one of those arrested might be a key suspect, "but sadly it's not the man that everyone hoped it would be."

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6:40 p.m. Germany's top security official says a Syrian passport found with one of the Paris attackers may have been false flag intended to make Europeans fearful of refugees.

Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told reporters in Berlin that it was "unusual that such a person was faithfully registered in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, even though we're usually pressing for registration to take place and lament that it isn't always done properly."

He said the multiple registrations by a person using the passport were "evidence that this was a trail that was intentionally laid, but it can't be ruled out at the moment that this was an IS terrorist who came to France...via Germany as a refugee."

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6:00 p.m. Germany's top security official has downplayed possible links between arrests near the western city of Aachen and the investigation of the Paris attacks.

Police said SWAT teams arrested a man and two women in the town of Alsdorf on Tuesday after authorities received a tip from the public that the man might be Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect sought in the attacks. Police later arrested two more persons in the town.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin that it wasn't clear how the people might be linked to the Paris attacks, if at all, "but sadly it's not the man that everyone hoped it would be."

Austrian authorities say Abdeslam entered Austria from Germany on Nov. 9 - four days before the attacks - with two companions.

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5:40 p.m. French officials say they are seeking a second fugitive directly involved in the Paris attacks.

Three officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide details about the ongoing investigation, said Tuesday that an analysis of the series of attacks on Nov. 13 indicated that one person directly involved was unaccounted for.

Seven attackers died that night - three around the national stadium, three inside the Bataclan concert venue, and one at a restaurant nearby. A team of gunmen also opened fire at a series of nightspots in one of Paris' trendiest neighborhoods.

French and Belgian authorities have issued a warrant for one person, Salah Abdeslam, whose brother was among the attackers. The officials say the second fugitive has not been identified.

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5:25 p.m. Leaders in the U.S. Senate are gathering at the Capitol to sign a condolence book for the citizens of France following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called France the United States' "longest ally and friend."

Gerard Araud, France's ambassador to the United States, says the French people have been very moved by the compassion that Americans have shown.

He says France and the United States are not only allies, but are friends, unfortunately facing the same threat.

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5:25 p.m. A couple has gone on trial in Britain accused of plotting to attack the London subway network or a large shopping mall with a bomb earlier this year.

Counter-terrorism officers were alerted to the plan after 25-year-old Mohammed Rehman allegedly asked Twitter followers for advice on which target to choose.

Rehman and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan are charged with preparing terrorist acts. Prosecutor Tony Badenoch says police found substantial quantities of chemicals and bomb-making equipment at Rehman's home when the couple was arrested in May.

Badenoch told a London court Tuesday that the couple had a common interest in violent Islamic ideology, were interested in the Islamic State group and had researched the bombers who killed 52 people in London on July 7, 2005.

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5:10 p.m. The brother of Salah Abdeslam is calling for him to turn himself in.

Mohamed Abdeslam, who spoke to French TV BFM Tuesday, says his brother was devout but showed no signs of being a radical Islamist.

Abdeslam said: "Of course I call on him to turn himself over to the police. The best would be for him to give himself up so that justice can shed all the light on this."

Mohamed was arrested and questioned following the attack and was released Monday. He says his brother prayed and attended a mosque occasionally but dressed in jeans and pullovers and showed no signs of being a radical.

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4:50 p.m. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have signed a book of condolence at the French Embassy in London, offering their sympathies for the victims of the attacks in Paris.

The visit by Prince William and the former Kate Middleton mark another effort by Britain's royal family to demonstrate their solidarity with the French people. The second-in-line to the throne is joining Prime Minister David Cameron at London's Wembley Stadium on Tuesday to watch a friendly soccer match between England and France.

Fans are being encouraged to sing the French national anthem before kickoff in an act of defiance against the Islamic State group, the perpetrators of the attacks. They lyrics will be displayed inside the stadium.

Enhanced security will be in place for the match.

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4:34 p.m. France wants to set up a "refuge" for antiquities from the Middle East to protect them from destruction by the Islamic State group or other zealots bent on wiping out centuries of art and culture they consider un-Islamic.

President Francois Hollande said the plan would offer "asylum" to artefacts threatened by "fanatics who are attacking the living and the dead, all who have humanity today and tomorrow, and those of yesterday."

Hollande announced the plan in a speech Tuesday at Unesco, the U.N.'s cultural agency.

The plan calls for French experts to work with local authorities - archaeologists and art experts if possible - to help remove works of art or other antiquities that can be moved and take them for safe-keeping in France.

The Sunni Muslim extremists in Syria have imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law across a self-declared "caliphate," declaring such ancient relics promote idolatry. They are also believed to sell looted antiquities, bringing in significant sums of cash.

Heritage sites have been damaged constantly since Syria's war began. Syrian government officials say they have transferred some 300,000 artifacts to safe places in recent years, including from IS-controlled areas.

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4:30 p.m. Pierre Moscovici, the European Union's top economy official, has suggested that France may get a sympathetic hearing within the European Commission if the country's budget plans deteriorate slightly in the coming months.

The French government has already indicated that it will boost spending on security measures, which will likely affect its budget plans.

Moscovici, who was President Francois Hollande's finance minister between 2012 and 2014, told reporters in Brussels that the "security of citizens in France and everywhere in Europe is the absolute priority and the Commission will certainly show full understanding for that priority."

He said flexibility is part of the rulebook that underpins the euro currency- the so-called Stability and Growth Pact, or SGP.

The SGP, he said, "is smart and able to adapt to all sorts of situations as they develop."

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4:15 p.m. Parisians are being encouraged to respond to Friday's attacks by defiantly continuing to eat, drink and be merry.

Bar and restaurant owners are urging people to return to their local nightspots Tuesday, relaying the message online and on social media with the slogan "Tous au bistrot" - Everyone to the bistro.

Many venues plan to hold a minute of silence at 9 p.m. local time (2000GMT) in honor of the 129 victims of the attacks, which targeted bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium.

French hoteliers, restaurateurs and bar owners fear the violence will hurt the city's lively nightlife.

The "tous au bistrot" message is backed by restaurant website Le Fooding, which says people should go out to pay tribute to the victims, support the food and drink industry and show that "France will not give in to fear."

Other Parisians are posting pictures on Twitter of themselves on the city's many cafe and restaurant patios, using the hashtag (hash)JeSuisAuTerrasse - I'm on the patio.

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4:05 p.m. German police say they've arrested two more people near the western city of Aachen in connection with the investigation of the Paris attacks.

Police told the dpa news agency Tuesday of the additional arrests in the town of Alsdorf, northeast of Aachen and near the Belgian border.

They had no other details.

Earlier, a police SWAT team arrested two women and one man as they left a job center after receiving a tip from the public that the man might be a suspect in the attacks.

Police said the three were foreign nationals but provided no other details.

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4:05 p.m. Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, in a phone conversation with his French counterpart, has called for greater international cooperation in combatting the Islamic State group.

Rouhani spoke to French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, four days after attacks claimed by the IS group killed at least 129 people in Paris. Iran, which is helping local forces battle the IS group in neighboring Iraq, condemned the attacks.

A statement on Rouhani's website says he told Hollande that "eradicating terrorism from Syria and Iraq should be our first priority and we should consult and cooperate with each other in this area."

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4 p.m. Germany's foreign minister says his country will not take part in any air attacks against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Tuesday that "it doesn't make sense if we add to the 16 nations which are carrying out air attacks" in Syria.

Steinmeier said Germany's decision to provide weapons and military equipment to Kurdish fighters battling IS in northern Iraq "was the right strategy" because they have not only held the front line there, but also made "slight territorial gains."

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4 p.m. Jordan's King Abdullah II says "that both Europe and Islam are under attack from terrorists."

Abdullah, on a visit in Kosovo on Tuesday, said that "we are facing a Third World War, against humanity and this is what brings us all together. This is a war, as I've said repeatedly, within Islam."

He added, "Therefore we must act fast and holistically to tackle and respond to the interconnected threads, whether it is in this region, Africa, Asia or in Europe."

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3:55 p.m. French President Francois Hollande will travel to Washington and Moscow later this month to discuss ways of increasing international cooperation to smash the Islamic State group and settle the Syrian crisis. A statement from Hollande's office says he will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on Nov. 24 and Vladimir Putin on Nov. 26.

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3:30 p.m. Prime Minister David Cameron says the case for British military action against the Islamic State group in Syria has gained strength after the Paris attacks - though he stopped short of committing himself to trying a second time for Parliamentary approval.

Instead, he told lawmakers Tuesday that he would set out a "comprehensive strategy" to deal with the extremists, including making a case for airstrikes in Syria.

Cameron suffered a major defeat when he failed to secure Parliament approval for Syrian airstrikes in 2013, and he has said he would not try again unless he was sure of winning.

He told lawmakers that Britain cannot expect others to "carry the burden" of protecting Britons.

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3:20 p.m. Police in Paris say 16 people have been arrested in the region and detained since Sunday in relation to the attacks.

A Paris police statement on Tuesday said that there have also been 104 police raids, and six firearms have been seized since a state of emergency was declared on Saturday.

Police say that these arrests and raids are targeting "people, arms and objects likely to be linked to activities of a terrorist nature."

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2:55 p.m. Lawyers for two suspects behind bars in Belgium say their clients acknowledge going to France early Saturday and picking up third man who is now the target of an international manhunt.

Both men are being held on charges of terrorist murder and conspiracy.

Defense lawyer Xavier Carrette says Mohammed Amri, 27, denies any involvement in the attacks and says he went to Paris early Saturday to pick up a friend, 24-year-old Salah Abdeslam. Carrette says the only thing Amri admits "is having been in France to pick up a friend."

Carine Couquelet, who represents Hamza Attou, 21, says Amri drove his own car and that her client went along to keep Amri company. Couquelet says that around 4 a.m. Saturday, the pair picked up Abdeslam and they then returned to Brussels.

Belgian media say Amri and Attou are being investigated as potential suppliers of the suicide bombs used in Friday's attacks, since ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make explosives, was discovered in a search of their residence.

The defense lawyers said they could not confirm those reports.

Salah Abdeslam's brother, Brahim, was among the suicide bombers in Paris.

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2:35 p.m. A small Danish company named ISIS is offering a year's worth of sugar-free treats as the prize in an online competition - launched three days after the Paris attacks - to find a new name.

ISIS is one acronym used for the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Spokeswoman Line Krogh Ellesgaard said Tuesday the company wants to "get away from the unfortunate associations that our name can create."

The company's name is from the Danish word for ice and the corporate abbreviation for a partnership company, I/S. The company makes sugar-free ice cream, cookies, sweets and chocolate.

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2:20 p.m. German police say they are questioning three people arrested near the western city of Aachen after a tip that one of them might be linked to the Paris attacks.

Police spokesman Werner Schneider says the trio were arrested Tuesday morning by a SWAT team in Alsdorf, just northeast of Aachen and near the border with Belgium.

The two women and one man were arrested as they left a job center at around 9:30 a.m., according to local media reports.

Schneider said on German news channel n-tv that it was "much too early to go into detail" about the identity of those arrested, but said they were foreign nationals.

He says police were conducting searches in the area.

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2:05 p.m. A high school class in New York state has canceled a class trip to Paris because of concerns over security.

Jim Thomas, a French teacher at Irondequoit High School near Rochester, tells WHAM-TV that he notified 26 students that the trip to Paris was called off after one of the French chaperones, a member of the military, told him it wasn't safe to go there.

The trip had been in the works for two years.

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1:50 p.m. Belgium is to deploy up to 300 extra soldiers to help provide security in major cities.

A government statement on Tuesday said the extra troops would allow police to take on additional duties since authorities raised the threat level over the weekend.

The move would bring the total number of troops in the streets to 520.

The Paris attacks on Friday are believed to have been partly organized in Belgium, and a number of police raids have been conducted in Brussels since then.

Police are particularly concerned about public safety at large gatherings like sports events, concerts or rallies.

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1:40 p.m. The Eiffel Tower has closed again, one day after it reopened following the Paris attacks.

Spokeswoman Marthe Ozbolt says the tower did not open Tuesday morning. She did not give a reason but alluded to the current situation in the city.

The landmark reopened to visitors Monday after being shut for two days after the Paris gun and bomb attacks that killed 129 people.

On Monday night it was lit in the red, white and blue of France's tricolor flag. Buildings around the world have shown the colors in a sign of solidarity with France.

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1:40 p.m. NATO is providing support to France in the wake of the Paris attacks but has not triggered a little-used defense clause that would mobilize the armies of member countries.

The secretary general of the world's biggest military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said Tuesday that "many NATO allies have offered France support and help, and we are doing so in many different ways."

He told reporters on Tuesday at an EU defense meeting in Brussels that NATO allies were sharing intelligence and working closely with France to fight the Islamic State group.

NATO's Article 5 has only ever been triggered once, by the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks. The article designates an attack on one of the 28 allies as an attack on them all.

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1:35 p.m. Austria's interior ministry says a key suspect sought in Friday's attacks in Paris is known to have entered the country about two months ago.

Ministry official Karl-Heinz Grundboeck identifies him as Salah Abdeslam. Grundboeck said Tuesday that Abdeslam entered Austria from Germany Sept. 9 with two companions he said were not identified.

Abdeslam, 26 is the suspected driver of one group of gunmen carrying out the attack. French police accidentally permitted him to avoid arrest at the border Saturday and cross to Belgium.

Abdeslam's brother, Brahim, was among the suicide bombers and killed one civilian when he blew himself up.

Grundboeck says Abdeslam's identity was established during a routine traffic check.

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1:30 p.m. A French judicial official says two brothers linked to the Paris attacks both rented residences in the days prior to Friday's carnage.

The official, who has knowledge of the case, told The AP that one of the Abdeslam brothers used an online rental site to book lodging at a long-stay hotel in the southeastern suburb of Alfortville Wednesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak about the ongoing investigation.

The official said that the other brother rented a house in the northeastern suburb of Bobigny, the day before, on Tuesday Nov. 10.

The official could not identify which of the two brothers, Brahim Abdeslam, who died on Friday, or Salah Abdeslam, who is a fugitive, rented which residence.

- By Jamey Keaten

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1:25 p.m. German police say three people have been arrested near the western city of Aachen in connection to the Paris attacks.

The dpa news agency reported Tuesday that the three were arrested in the town of Alsdorf, just northeast of the city.

Local police did not immediately answer their telephones and no other information was available.

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1:10 p.m. Prime Minister David Cameron's office says he will join Prince William at the friendly soccer match between England and France in a show of solidarity with France after Friday's attacks.

Police in London promise a robust presence at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday to reassure the public. The match has been the subject of concern because the targets in Paris included Stade de France, where tens of thousands were watching Germany play France.

Scotland Yard says armed police officers will be visible - unusual in a country where many officers don't carry guns.

To underscore solidarity with France, British fans will be encouraged to sing the French national anthem.

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12:55 p.m. A lawyer for one of the two people arrested in Belgium in the wake of the Paris attacks says his client admits going to France, but says it was only to pick up a friend.

Defense lawyer Xavier Carrette told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his client, Mohammed Amri, 27, was arrested over the weekend and is being held on charges of terrorist acts and being part of a terrorist conspiracy.

Belgian media reports said Amri and another person arrested in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean neighborhood of Brussels, identified as Hamza Attou, are being investigated as potential suppliers of the suicide bombs used in Friday's attacks, since ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used to make explosives, was discovered in a search of their residence.

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12:50 p.m. French Sports Minister Patrick Kanner has praised security officials at the Stade de France for keeping their nerve when faced with the attacks that hit Paris last week. He says a major tragedy had been avoided.

The Stade de France was packed with 79,000 fans when three attackers blew themselves up outside the venue, killing one bystander and injuring several dozen others.

Kanner, who attended the friendly game between France and Germany on Friday and returned to the stadium on Tuesday to thank its employees, said the decision to keep spectators inside after the blasts was decisive "because a Heysel-type panic could have happened."

Kanner referred to the former Heysel stadium in Brussels where 39 people died during fan violence at the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus.

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12:50 p.m. Germany's vice chancellor says "we must not change our lives" out of fear in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Speaking in a video podcast Tuesday, Sigmar Gabriel said Germany would improve border controls, deploy more police officers, and do everything possible to work with other European security agencies.

But he also says the "best defense against terror and violence" from the so-called Islamic state is to work prudently and with determination.

He says "we do not need new security laws, nor should we change our lives, our lives together, our culture, or our events out of fears of terrorism."

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12:45 p.m. Finland says it is "ready and willing to assist France with means available."

Prime Minister Juha Sipila wrote Tuesday on Twitter that the Nordic country will "abide by the mutual assistance clause," adding Finnish lawmakers already have been informed of the government's decision.

In Denmark, Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen said the Scandinavian EU member could not participate in a military operation within the European Union framework because of 1992 Danish defense opt-out. Jensen stressed Danes could take part if such calls were made within NATO or the United Nations.

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12:35 p.m. Two French officials say that a car found in northern Paris with Belgian license plates could be linked to Friday's attacks.

The black Renault Clio with a shattered front passenger window was discovered Tuesday near the commuter train line that links to France's national stadium, a site targeted by three suicide bombers.

It's unclear how the window was broken.

The officials refused to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

It is the third car identified as having possible links to the Paris attacks.

- By Thomas Adamson

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12:25 p.m. London's police chief says he wants more officers to carry guns.

Moving to reassure Londoners following the Paris attacks, Bernard Hogan-Howe says he believes the city has the capability to thwart such attacks for now, but he is reviewing the number of armed police officers. Only about 2,000 of London's 32,000 officers carry firearms.

Hogan-Howe told LBC radio that "Paris showed us, with so many attackers with so many scenes, moving around at speed ... we need to have a mobile reserve."

He says he hopes soccer fans will be reassured by additional officers being deployed to the international friendly between England and France Tuesday night.

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12:05 p.m. A French official says Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday to express his condolences in the wake of Paris attacks.

Rouhani pointed the "crucial importance to fight against terrorism and Daesh with all our might", the official says, speaking anonymously in line with government policy.

Both presidents agreed to quickly reschedule a visit by Rouhani to France.

Rouhani had planned to come for a two-day visit on Monday and Tuesday, but canceled following the attacks.

- by Sylvie Corbet

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11:55 a.m. Poland's new defense minister says Poland is ready to "immediately" discuss any form of assistance that France may need in fighting terrorism.

Antoni Macierewicz was on his first foreign trip since taking office in the conservative government. He spoke to Polish reporters Tuesday in Brussels following EU defense ministers' talks.

Macierewicz said: "We treat the attackers as a criminal, felonious group and we will do everything to crush it."

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11:50 a.m. British police are appealing to Eurostar passengers for any witness accounts of Friday's deadly Paris attacks.

Train travelers from Paris to London are receiving Metropolitan Police pamphlets asking for witness accounts, photos, and video and cell phone footage from the scene.

Eurostar personnel were seen handing out the sheets Sunday night before the customs section of the St. Pancras International terminal.

Those with information are asked to make themselves known to police.

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11:30 a.m. A United Nations human rights expert says the attacks in Paris "may constitute a crime against humanity."

Karima Bennoune, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Law appointed by the U.N. as an expert on cultural rights issues, said in a statement Tuesday that the claims of responsibility from the Islamic State demonstrate a "hateful worldview motivating this violence."

She says the attacks "viciously and deliberately targeted sites of arts and leisure where people come together to enjoy their cultural rights."

Bennoune says an attacker's cry of "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great," "grossly misuses a religious pronouncement sacred to hundreds of millions of Muslim believers."

The implications of classifying the attacks as a crime against humanity were unclear.

It is likely that France would want to prosecute any suspects, in which case the International Criminal Court would not be involved. It's a court of last resort that takes cases only in situations where local authorities can't or won't prosecute.

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11:05 a.m. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said EU partners could help "either by taking part in France's operations in Syria or Iraq, or by easing the load or providing support for France in other operations."

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, France has become the first nation to invoke an EU treaty provision to require all states to offer aid and assistance "as they are able."

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11:00 a.m. France is demanding security aid and assistance from the European Union in the wake of the Paris attacks and has triggered a never-before-used article in the EU's treaties to secure it.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that member states had indicated their "full support and readiness to provide all the aid and assistance needed."

Article 42.7 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty states that if a member country "is the victim of armed aggression on its territory," other member states have an obligation of aid and assistance.

Arriving for talks in Brussels, Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos told reporters that "we're in a new situation in Europe. This is Sept. 11 for Europe.