UPDATE: 6:30 a.m. EST -- France's National Assembly has approved extension of the state of emergency in the country for three months in the wake of Friday's Paris attacks, local media Le Monde reported. The bill will now go to the upper house Friday.
UPDATE: 5:50 a.m. EST -- The French prime minister’s office has reportedly stated that Manuel Valls’ comments on the possibility of a chemical weapons attack was “not new information on the status of the threat, just a realistic observation.”
“Middle East experts know that Daesh [Islamic State group ] seeks and uses chemical weapons,” a spokesman told Le Monde, a local newspaper, according to the Guardian. “To not consider this possibility would be a mistake.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned Thursday that associates of extremists who targeted France last week could use chemical and biological weapons. Valls' comments came as he announced that Friday’s attacks in Paris were organized in Syria and Belgium.
Valls requested the lower house of parliament to extend the country’s state of emergency to three months in the wake of the Paris attacks and Wednesday’s seven- hour raid in Saint-Denis, targeting Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the carnage. The bill regarding the state of emergency will reportedly go to the upper house Friday. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“We must not rule anything out. I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons," Valls said while addressing the country’s National Assembly, according to Reuters. "The macabre imagination of the masterminds is limitless."
Valls also reportedly said that "terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria ... but for what it is."
Wednesday's raid resulted in the deaths of two terrorists, including a female suicide bomber who blew herself up during the raid. Authorities identified the woman as Hasna Aitboulahcen, a French-Moroccan national, believed to be Abaaoud's cousin.
Reports also surfaced that Abaaoud was the other terrorist killed during the raid, however, there was no confirmation as of early Thursday.
The French interior ministry and Paris prosecutor's office said Thursday that it remains unclear whether Abaaoud has been killed or is still at large, the Associated Press reported. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins reportedly said that the identities of the dead are still being investigated, but neither Abaaoud nor another fugitive, Salah Abdeslam, are in custody.
Police arrested seven people during Wednesday's raid that was conducted after officials received information from tapped phone calls, surveillance and tipoffs suggesting that Abaaoud was holed up in an apartment in Saint-Denis.