Paris: The Belgian prosecutor’s office announced on Friday that it had detained a new suspect in the attacks in Paris and had released one who had been previously detained. But it said it would still require the man who was released to appear before a judge and limit his activities.
Separately, in France, President François Hollande announced that on Feb. 3 he would seek a renewal of a state of emergency for an additional three months, which would continue to allow the police to stage raids without the permission of a judge and to put people under house arrest.
There have been more than 3,000 raids since the measures were put into effect after the terrorist attacks on Nov. 13 in the Paris area, and there are 400 people under house arrest, according to Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister. But the number of raids has slowed significantly since initial weeks after the state of emergency began.
With the new detention in Belgium, nine men are now in jail there in connection with the attacks, and two more are facing charges but have been released until they are required to appear before a judge. Two men are in detention in France in connection with the attacks.
Four men, including the only surviving member of the attack team, Salah Abdeslam, are still being sought. The others still being sought are a man who was seen driving Mr. Abdeslam between Brussels and Paris, Mohamed Abrini, and two men who were traveling under false Belgian identities but who may have played a significant role in directing the attacks.
The two men who were released have been identified only as Ayoub B. and Pierre N. They are prohibited from meeting with other radicalized youths, communicating with them on the Internet or visiting Internet hate sites or those that encourage violent jihad. They may also face other limitations on their movements, but officials in the Belgian prosecutor’s office would not offer details.
The new person in detention and facing charges is Zakaria J., who knew one or more of the suspects before the attacks and is accused of aiding their preparations, according to a person close to the Brussels prosecutor’s office who spoke anonymously because he is not allowed to speak to the news media.
Most of those who have been detained in Belgium appeared to have had tangential roles in the attacks. At least five of them were people who were in touch with Mr. Abdeslam after the attacks. Two drove him from Paris to Brussels and two others drove him around afterward. A fifth is said to have been in touch with him by phone. How much they knew about his role in the attacks is not clear.
Four of the others detained and charged were friendly with one or more of the attackers during the period when they were being radicalized, and one other man who is being held is suspected of having been in contact with Hasna Aitboulahcen, a cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected on-the-ground leader of the group, who helped him find a place to hide after the attacks on Nov. 13. Ms. Aitboulahcen died with him in a police raid on the apartment where they were hiding in the Paris suburb of St.-Denis.
It is increasingly clear that it was in Belgium that the final preparations were made in the two to three months before the attack and that at least five of the attackers had lived in Belgium.
In all, 10 people were directly involved in the attacks. Seven were killed on Nov. 13. Two others, Mr. Abaaoud and one other member of the team, were killed in a police raid in St.-Denis on Nov. 18. The 10th man, Mr. Abdeslam, escaped, possibly without carrying out his mission to stage an attack.
Friends picked him up and drove him to Belgium, and after a few days in his old haunts near the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, he disappeared. Those friends are now in detention in Belgium.
New York Times