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BREAKING NEWS

3DEAD, 9 INJURED

STANDOFF AT PLANET PARENTHOOD IN COLORADO COMES TO AN END, SUSPECT IN CUSTODY

Two civilians and one police officer were killed Friday after a five-hour standoff at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood building that ended with the gunman's surrender.

 

The University of Colorado in Colorado Springs police department identified the officer killed as 44-year-old Garrett Swasey, a six-year veteran of the force.

 

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UCCS police officer, Garrett Swasey (University of Colorado Colorado Springs)

Nine other people, including five police officers, were shot and are in good condition, police said.

 

Lt. Catherine Buckley of the Colorado Springs Police Department said the gunman, described as wearing a long coat and armed with a rifle, gave up after officers inside the building shouted at him. He previously had been firing at police who entered the facility.

 

Buckley also said the unidentified man had brought "items" with him inside the building and left some outside, meaning officers had to make sure they were not "any kind of devices."

 

Police were still trying to determine if there were any more injured or fatalities, she said.

 

The gunman apparently began his deadly spree at the Planned Parenthood building, although it was not clear if his motive was related to the organization.

 

"We don't have any information on this individual's mentality, or his ideas or ideology," Buckley said.

 

After a brief lull, he began shooting again at police, who had gotten inside the building.

 

Buckley said there was no information indicating the gunman himself had been shot.

 

Multiple police vehicles and ambulances were parked outside the building in a snowstorm and 17 degree temperatures.

 

Police closed Centennial Boulevard in both directions and customers were locked down at a King Soopers grocery store and several nearby shops in the strip mall area. Buckley said officers were working through the process of releasing them.

 

Denise Speller, manager at a nearby haircut salon, told the Gazette she heard 10 to 20 gunshots in the span of less than five minutes.

 

She said she saw a police cruiser and two officers outside near Chase Bank, not far from the Planned Parenthood facility. One of the officers appeared to fall to the ground and the other office knelt down to render aid, then tried to get the officer to safety behind the car, she said. Another officer told Speller to seek shelter inside the building.

 

“We’re still pretty freaked out,” Speller said by phone. “We can’t stop shaking. For now we’re stuck back here not knowing.”

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

French jets struck the heart of ISIS-controlled territory on Sunday in the first direct retaliation for Friday’s deadly terror attacks that killed 129 in Paris.

 

French fighter jets dropped 20 bombs on a command and control center, a jihadi recruitment center, munitions depot and ISIS training camp in the Syrian city of Raqqa, AP and Reuters reported, citing a statement from the French Defense Ministry.

 

The "massive" raid was launched from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan and was carried out in coordination with U.S. forces.

 

A Pentagon source told Fox News, "these were French strikes but they were conducted within the coalition. We helped with target list."

 

Raqqa is the de facto capital of the Islamic State's "caliphate."

 

The French strikes come the same day the U.S. delivered an ammunition shipment by land to Syrian-Arab coalition forces in Syria, an American official told Reuters.

 

The U.S. has conducted the vast majority of coalition attacks on ISIS territory up to this point, and has been almost solely responsible for all coalition bombings of ISIS inside Syria.

 

The personal nature of Friday's attacks, which devastated France and shocked the world, changed the calculus. The official casualty toll stood at 129 dead and 352 wounded after the heinous, coordinated attacks at various public locations in and around Paris.

 

French President Francois Hollande called Friday's Islamist spree an “act of war” during a nationally televised address. Hollande vowed France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.”

 

The first opportunity for payback came Sunday in an effort that included 12 aircraft, 10 of which were French fighter jets.

 

ISIS, in an online statement, described Paris as "the carrier of the banner of the Cross in Europe" and described the attackers as "eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles."

 

Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

TERROR IN PARIS

Fox News, CBS News

 

Friday's attack was the deadliest terror atrocity to befall a Western European city since a series of train bombings in Madrid, Spain killed 191 people on March 11, 2004.

 

The most horrifying scene took place at the Bataclan concert hall near the center of Paris, where authorities said four attackers sprayed bullets into a crowd watching a performance by the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Reuters reported that the latest estimate from a Paris city hall official was that at least 87 people had died at the venue, though earlier reports suggested that as many as 118 concert-goers were killed.

 

The bloodshed prompted Hollande to declare a state of emergency, order the deployment of 1,500 troops around Paris and announce renewed border checks along frontiers that are normally open under Europe's free-travel zone.

 

The near-simultaneous assaults began at approximately 9:30 p.m. local time Friday (3:30 p.m. EST), when gunfire exploded outside of a restaurant in a trendy area east of the center of Paris known as Little Cambodia. It was the first of a series of attacks on a string of popular cafes, crowded on the unusually balmy Friday night. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters at least 37 people were killed in those shootings.

 

"There are lots of dead people," said a witness believed to have been at the bar of a restaurant that was the scene of one attack. "It’s pretty horrific to be honest. I was at the back of the bar. I couldn’t see anything. I heard gunshots. People dropped to the ground. We put a table over our heads to protect us."

 

A few moments later, three suicide bombs targeted locations around the Stade de France, the country's national stadium in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis, where Hollande had joined almost 80,000 soccer fans to watch an international friendly between France and Germany.

 

A police union official told the Associated Press that at least three people were killed as a result of those blasts.

Hollande was rushed from the stadium after the first explosion, as initial reports of the attacks trickled in. However, the match was not stopped and several thousand fans went onto the field after France's 2-0 win, apparently believing it was the safest place in the midst of the unfolding terror. Supporters were eventually allowed to leave the stadium in small groups, and some were caught on video singing France's national anthem as they left the venue.

Four attackers then stormed the Bataclan, where concert-goers described a horrifying scene. Witnesses said the attackers toted Kalashnikovs and wore flak jackets as they fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Some survivors claimed the men shouted "Allahu Akbar" or "This is for Syria" as they fired.

Graphic video shot from an apartment balcony and posted on the Le Monde newspaper's website Saturday captured some of the horror as dozens of people fled from gunfire outside the concert hall down a passageway to a side street.

The video shows at least one person writhing on the ground as scores more stream past, some of them bloodied or limping. The camera pans down the street to reveal more fleeing people dragging two bodies along the ground. Two other people can be seen hanging by their hands from upper-floor balcony railings in an apparent desperate bid to stay out of the line of fire.

"It looked like a battlefield, there was blood everywhere, there were bodies everywhere," Marc Coupris told the Guardian newspaper after being freed from the theater. "I was at the far side of the hall when shooting began. There seemed to be at least two gunmen. They shot from the balcony.

"I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought, 'I’m finished, I’m finished,'" Coupris said.

Sylvain, 38, collapsed in tears as he recounted the attack, the chaos, and his escape during a lull in gunfire. He spoke on condition that his full name not be used out of concern for his safety.

"I was watching the concert in the pit, in the midst of the mass of the audience," he told the Associated Press. "First I heard explosions, and I thought it was firecrackers."

 

"Very soon I smelled powder, and I understood what was happening. There were shots everywhere, in waves. I lay down on the floor. I saw at least two shooters, but I heard others talk. They cried, 'It's Hollande's fault.' I heard one of the shooters shout, 'Allahu Akbar'".

Sylvain was among dozens of survivors offered counseling and blankets in a municipal building set up as a crisis center.

The carnage inside the music venue ended around midnight local time when French police stormed the building. As police closed in, three detonated explosive belts, killing themselves, according to Paris police spokesman Michel Cadot. Another attacker detonated a suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire, near the music hall, the prosecutor's office said.

"I saw my final hour unfurl before me, I thought this was the end. I thought, 'I’m finished, I’m finished.'"

- Witness to attack on restaurant

A U.S. military and intelligence source told Fox News the coordinated attacks likely required "months of planning," based on their sheer number, the locations including a site where the president was present and the variety of weapons used.

President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters in Washington, decried an "attack on all humanity and the values that we share," calling the Paris violence an "outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians."

A U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department says intelligence officials were not aware of any threats before Friday's attacks.

Authorities in double manhunt for suspects in Paris attacks

Belgian and French authorities stepped up their manhunt Wednesday for two suspects sought in the deadly Paris terror attacks after officials revealed the identity of a man wanted for allegedly transporting one of the bombers to the city.

 

The Belgian federal prosecutor's office Tuesday issued an international arrest warrant for Mohamed Abrini, who is being tracked by both Belgian and French police.

 

Abrini, who has been described as "armed and dangerous," was seen on surveillance video with Salah Abdeslam — another top fugitive suspect in the attacks who crossed into Belgium the day after the killings — at a gasoline station in Ressons on the highway to Paris two days before the attacks.

 

The video showed Abrini driving Abdeslam down to Paris.

 

Abdeslam, who has been on the loose for 12 days, is being sought in Belgium, France and Germany, while other authorities are wondering if he was somehow able to get back to Syria and his Islamic State colleagues.

 

 

Undetonated suicide vest found on side of road in France

FBI/DHS bulletin on lessons learned from Paris attacks

Obama long on Paris platitudes, short on substance?

His brother, Mohamed, pleaded again Wednesday for Salah to turn himself in to police.

 

The attacks in Paris, claimed by the ISIS terror group, have been traced to a network of people with ties to both France and Belgium,

 

Belgian authorities charged five people Tuesday with acting as accomplices in the attacks, including those who provided logistical and other support for the terrorists.

 

The terror concerns are at their highest in Belgium’s capital of Brussels, where the risk of a coordinated attack remains, authorities told Fox News. However, most of those detained in a series of raids over the weekend have been released and the city’s schools and subways re-opened Wednesday.

 

Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said raids carried out Sunday night had been designed to foil an imminent attack in Brussels. Authorities had detained 16 people during the raid, but no explosives or firearms were seized.

 

In Paris, where French President Francois Hollande is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, dozens of victims of the attack – which left 130 dead and more than 350 injured -- still remain in hospitals.

 

Hollande is scheduled to give a keynote speech during a memorial service at the Les Invalides monument Friday, which will be attended by survivors of the attack and the victims’ families.

 

U.N. climate talks open in Paris on Monday, with about 140 world leaders expected to attend, including President Barack Obama. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Wednesday that tight security would be imposed for the conference, with road traffic restrictions, border controls and additional police and troops deployed.

 

Cazeneuve said 120,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers are currently deployed across France to ensure the country's security.

 

French authorities revealed Tuesday that the alleged mastermind behind the attacks took an active part in the carnage and even returned to the scenes of the assaults to examine his handiwork.

 

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that investigators believe Abdelhamid Abaaoud doubled back to the sites of the bloodshed Nov. 13, including the Bataclan concert hall, even while special police forces were still there.

 

"The geolocalization of Abdelhamid Abaaoud's alleged phone between [10:28 p.m.] and [12:28 a.m.] confirms a presence in the 12th, 11th, and 10th districts, and notably near the Bataclan concert hall," Molins said. "This allows us to think that Abdelhamid Abaaoud returns to the crime scenes following the attacks on terraces of the cafes and restaurants of the 10th and 11th districts while (special police) were still taking action at the Bataclan." Three attackers killed 89 people at the music venue after opening fire during a concert by the American rock group Eagles of Death Metal.

 

Molins also said that Abaaoud had been in Paris for at least two days prior to the attacks, contrary to the belief by France's security services that he was in Syria.

 

Authorities also believe that Abaaoud and at least one accomplice planned to carry out another suicide bombing in La Defense, the business district of Paris located on the western edge of the city. Molins said investigators think the attack was planned for Nov. 18 or 19.

 

However, Abaaoud was killed during a police raid on an apartment in a northern Paris suburb in the early hours of Nov. 18. His female cousin, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, died of asphyxia apparently from the explosive vest detonated by a third person, who hasn't been identified, the prosecutor said. Molins said the third person was likely Abaaoud's co-conspirator in the planned La Defense attack.

 

Fox News' Greg Palkot and the Associated Press contributed to this report.