Metro-East News

Roger That: Up to 20 plotters involved in Paris terror attacks

European authorities staged an international manhunt on Sunday and Monday for a 26-year-old “dangerous individual,” one of three brothers involved in the deadly attacks on Paris, even as an image took shape of a larger network of terrorists that could involve as many as 20 plotters, according to Stars and Stripes.

At least eight assailants in three death squads are thought to have directly carried out Friday's assault, which is being dubbed France's 9/11. Six detonated their suicide belts. Police shot and killed one. French police on Sunday issued an urgent alert and released a photo of an eighth suspect: the 5-foot-7-inch Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national.

***

In the first wave of U.S. airstrikes since the Paris attacks, A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack aircraft and AC-130 gunships raked a convoy of more than 100 ISIS oil tanker trucks in Syria in a stepped-up effort to cut off a main source of terror funding, the Pentagon said Monday, according to Military.com.

The Navy also announced that the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and its battle group had departed Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on a seven-month deployment to the Mideast to plug a gap in the U.S. air arm that has existed since the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt left the region in September.

***

Citing “known and unknown threats,” the U.S. Navy has announced restrictions to unofficial travel in France following the recent attacks in Paris, Military.com is reporting.

Sailors, civilians and contractors assigned to commands in Europe, Africa and Bahrain are prohibited from traveling to France for leave or liberty through Nov. 27, according to instructions sent by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa on Saturday.

Travel to Paris and a 30-mile radius around the city is prohibited through Dec. 4. Official travel to the country must be approved by a flag officer through the same date.

***

The month after a U.S. Navy warship sailed by an artificial Chinese island in the contested waters of the South China Sea, the Department of Defense is reaching out with a friendlier gesture.

The Pentagon picked the Army's Joint Base Lewis-McChord as the site of a week-long exercise for both U.S.soldiers and troops from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, The News Tribune reports.

It will be the first time ground-level Chinese soldiers visit an Army base in the continental U.S. for a military-to-military exercise, although they will not participate in combat training.

Roger That is a regular feature by News-Democrat military reporter Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000

  Comments