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Paris Gunmen Had Links In Britain - Report

Sky News logo Sky News 05/12/2015
A French flag flies over flowers, candles and messages in tribute to victims outside "Le Carillon" restaurant a week after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital Paris © Reuters A French flag flies over flowers, candles and messages in tribute to victims outside "Le Carillon" restaurant a week after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital Paris

The network behind the Paris attacks has links to people in Britain, according to Western officials cited in the Wall Street Journal.

Several people suspected of having connections to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged Islamic State ringleader of the attacks, are based in Birmingham, according to two officials.

Some are thought to be of Moroccan heritage.

The officials claim at least one person connected to the suicide bombings and shootings travelled to Britain beforehand. 

A total of 130 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks on the Stade de France, the Bataclan concert hall and restaurants in the French capital on 13 November.

The manhunt that followed centred on Belgium, where some of the attackers had been living. 

The Wall Street Journal report comes as Belgian police released images of two men they believe aided Salah Abdeslam, who was dubbed "Public Enemy Number One" after the attacks.

The two - who used fake IDs with the names  Samir Bouzid and Soufiane Kayal - are described as "armed and dangerous".

It means a total of four people are actively being hunted by Belgian police.

Authorities continue to seek Abdeslam, who is thought to have fled to Belgium after the killings, and Mohamed Abrini, who is accused of driving Abdeslam to Paris.

Abaaoud, a Belgian national of Moroccan descent, died during a raid by French police days after the attacks.

In the wake of the massacre the UK government revealed it had thwarted seven terror attacks on its soil in the past year.

The UK's terror alert remains at its second-highest level, severe - meaning an attack is highly likely.

The Director General of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, Charles Farr, said last month that up to 800 Britons had travelled to Iraq and Syria, some to join Islamic State.

About 50% have returned, while about 70 are believed to have been killed, he said.

On Wednesday MPs voted for Britain to extend airstrikes against IS targets from Iraq to Syria.

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