Of the eight people French authorities arrested Wednesday during a deadly raid on an apartment in Saint-Denis, a neighborhood in north Paris, seven have been released, the Paris prosecutor's office said Saturday, the Associated Press reported. The remaining detainee arrested during the raid, which was linked to the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks, is Jawad Bendaoud, the man who reportedly owns the apartment.
Bendaoud told authorities he had let several people, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is suspected of having planned the attacks, stay in the apartment as a favor to a friend, claiming he "didn't know they were terrorists." He said, “I told them there were no mattresses. They said it didn’t matter -- they only wanted water and to be able to pray.”
— Français du Jura (@fr_souche_jura) November 18, 2015
The seven-hour raid began at about 4:20 a.m. local time at an apartment on the third floor of a building on the small street of rue du Corbillon. Elite French forces surrounded the apartment and fired some 5,000 rounds as explosions went off, one of which caused the floor of the apartment to collapse. The raid ended at roughly 11:30 a.m. local time, with three people dead and eight people who were near the flat taken into custody. One of the dead was Abaaoud, and another was his cousin Hasna Aït Boulahcen. The identity of the third remains unclear.
French anti-terrorism laws allow Bendaoud to be held for up to six days without charges. Others arrested in the raid included a woman who had been in a nearby street with Bendaoud. The six others, who were "in the block or very close to it," were released, French officials said, the Independent reported. In 2008, Bendaoud was sentenced to eight years in prison for "lethal blows." He was released in 2013.