INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Brussels on high terror alert, Russia intensifies air raids in Syria on ‘terrorist targets’, Search for three suspects continues in Mali hotel attack killing 19



Belgian Prime Minister places Brussels on high terror alert

In response to information about the risk of an attack like the one in Paris, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel placed the Belgian capital of Brussels on the highest level of terror alert. Some of the assailants in the Paris attacks lived in Brussels. The metro is closed; people have been told not to form crowds, and locations for shopping and entertainment have been shut down. Armed police officers are patrolling the streets and the few enterprises that choose to remain open despite the terror alert. Three people received charges in Belgium so far for involvement with the Paris attacks. According to the BBC, it is believed that the lead suspect in the attacks, Salah Abdeslam, is currently in Belgium.

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Russia intensifies air raids in Syria on ‘terrorist targets’

Russian President Vladimir Putin significantly increased the number of Russian aircraft in Syria as well as its attacks on what he says are IS targets. According to the BBC, Putin said “the current level of attacks was not enough to defeat so-called Islamic State (IS).” Russia launched long range missiles from warships located in the Caspian Sea with some hitting strategically important areas.  One city hit by the missiles is Deir al-Zour, which lies between the IS self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa and IS controlled territory in Iraq. It has been said that Russia is acting in revenge for IS bringing down a Russian plane last month. However, countries including Turkey and the US warned Russia for its lack of planning in the air attacks.

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Search for three suspects continues in Mali hotel attack killing 19

Nineteen people were killed in an attack on a hotel in the capital of Mali, Bamako, on Nov. 20. After armed forces entered the hotel, two militants were killed and dozens of trapped guests were freed. According to the BBC, Al-Qaeda and its affiliate, al-Murabitoun, claimed responsibility for the attack. Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita called a 10-day state of emergency along with three days of national mourning. In a statement given a day after the attack, Keita said, “Mali is not and will never be a closed border zone. Paris isn’t, Geneva isn’t, New York isn’t, Moscow isn’t.” The attack has not yet been linked to the attacks in Paris.

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