UPDATE: 7:21 a.m. EST -- The man who had rented out his apartment in Saint-Denis to the alleged suspects of the Paris attacks had been sentenced to eight years in prison for a murder in 2008, BFMTV, a local CNN affiliate, reported.
The man was arrested during the raid on his apartment on Rue du Corbillon in the Paris suburb. The raids had targeted the alleged mastermind of Friday’s attacks in Paris, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and a suspect, Salah Abdeslam. Two people were killed in the raids and seven were arrested.
French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday that the seven-hour raid in Saint-Denis, a Parisian suburb, has concluded. The raid targeted the alleged mastermind of Friday’s attacks in Paris, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and a suspect, Salah Abdeslam.
Abaaoud's condition was still unclear and anti-terror and Swat teams are now allowing detectives and forensic scientists to enter the apartment on Rue du Corbillon, where the suspects were reportedly holed up, the Guardian reported. Detectives and forensic experts are expected to identify and analyze data from the apartment, where at least two people were killed, including a woman, who blew herself up.
French President Francois Hollande monitored the raid, which began early Wednesday, after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Manuel Valls and other ministers, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Seven people were arrested in the raid. Le Foll told the reporters outside the presidential palace, after a cabinet meeting: "The operation is over," AP reported.
Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the intelligence, which led police to the Saint Denis apartment, “gave the impression that [Abaaoud] was likely to be there,” the Guardian reported.
However, a report by Europe 1, a local news network, tweeted that neither Abaaoud nor Abdeslam were present in the apartment.
— Europe 1 (@Europe1) November 18, 2015
Among the arrested was a man who had rented the apartment to the suspects. He reportedly told Agence France-Presse on the condition of anonymity: “A friend asked me to put up two of his friends for a few days. I said that there was no mattress, they told me ‘it’s not a problem,’ they just wanted water and to pray. I was asked to do a favour, I did a favor. I didn’t know they were terrorists.”
A report by the Guardian, citing local news, said that the apartment that hosted the suspects was several floors above a primary school and was located just over a mile from the Stade de France, which was targeted in Friday’s attacks. The report also added that at least seven explosions were heard during the raid. The national police said in a tweet that five police officers were slightly injured in the raid.
— Police Nationale (@PNationale) November 18, 2015
Meanwhile, a bill was set to be presented to the French cabinet that would seek to extend the state of emergency in the country, put in place after Friday's attacks that killed 129 people. The extension bill also seeks to increase police powers, including search and arrest, and limit public gatherings. It will reportedly be debated in the cabinet Wednesday, AP reported.