Hollande flies to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS
WASHINGTON - French President Francois Hollande flies into Washington on Tuesday seeking support for his newly declared war on the Islamic State group after the Paris attacks, while the US announced a worldwide travel alert for its citizens.
Back in Europe, the manhunt continued for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people, while Brussels entered a fourth day of lockdown amid fears of an "imminent" attack.
French police said they were analysing a suspected suicide belt similar to those used in the Paris attacks, found without its detonator in a dustbin in the Montrouge suburb of the capital.
Telephone data placed Abdeslam in the area on the night of November 13.
Brussels will stay on its highest level of alert at least until next Monday, with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warning that the threat "remains serious and imminent", though schools and the Metro will reopen Wednesday.
The security measures include the patrols citywide of armed soldiers and police, something a counter-terrorism expert says has not seen in at least two decades.
Belgian authorities have charged a fourth person in connection with the bloodshed in Paris, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Washington and Paris have stepped up their fight against ISIS, with France launching its first strikes from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean and the United States calling for more international cooperation against the jihadist group.
Hollande's trip to Washington is part of a frantic week of shuttle diplomacy by the French leader as he tries to rally global support for increased strikes against ISIS.
He will hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris on Wednesday and with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, before receiving Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in the French capital on Sunday.
The UN Security Council last week authorised "all necessary measures" to fight ISIS.