NEWS

Paris Attacks: Bomber Identified As French Citizen With Radical Ties

11/15/2015 10:55 EST | Updated 11/15/2016 05:12 EST
Thierry Chesnot via Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Medics evacuate an injured person on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, close to the Bataclan theater, early on November 14, 2015 in Paris, France. According to reports, over 150 people were killed in a series of bombings and shootings across Paris, including at a soccer game at the Stade de France and a concert at the Bataclan theater. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)
French officials have identified one of the seven assailants responsible for Friday's terrorist attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris — Omar Ismaïl Mostefai, a French citizen known to police for his ties to Islamist radicals.

The 29-year old, from Courcouronnes, south of Paris, was identified from a severed finger found at the scene of the worst massacre, carried out at the Bataclan concert hall just north of Paris, where 89 people died. Mostefai was one of three men who detonated suicide belts.

- First victims named from France, U.K., Spain, U.S. 

The wave of shootings and bombings occurred at several sites in the French capital. Of the 350 people wounded, dozens are said to be in critical condition.

Three teams of assailants launched the co-ordinated attacks and were believed to have used two cars registered in Belgium, Paris prosecutor François Molins said Saturday.

Mostefai, of Algerian descent, was flagged by authorities five years ago for having links to Islamist radicals. Officials say he also had a history of petty crime.

Authorities are trying to determine who helped the seven attackers, who are all dead.

A French judicial official says seven people have been detained for questioning, including a brother of Mostefai.

No one answered the door Sunday morning at the brother's home in the French town of Bondoufle, outside of Paris, but neighbour Eric Pudal said roughly 20 heavily armed police swooped in on the home Saturday evening.

Pudal said he was startled by the arrest, describing the family, which recently welcomed a baby daughter, as "very nice, very sociable."

Pudal said he had never met the reported suicide bomber and had never heard him being discussed by his neighbours.

ISIS has claimed it was behind the attacks at the concert hall, at restaurants and bars, and outside France's Stade de France.

Car found east of Paris

A French judicial official says a Seat car with suspected links to the attacks has been found by police in Montreuil, a suburb six kilometres east of Paris. The official could not confirm if this was the same black Seat linked to the gun attacks on the Le Carillon bar and the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in Rue Alibert in the city's 10th district.

Several AK47 rifles were found in the car, according to French media, quoting judicial sources.

Molins said on Saturday that gunmen armed with automatic weapons pulled up in that model of car before opening fire on the two locations.

Meanwhile, Belgian authorities have arrested five people during house searches in Brussels in connection with the attacks, a local official said on Sunday, but prosecutors did not confirm the number.


 
In a separate development, Serbian police say the owner of a passport found near a suicide bomber in Paris entered the country on Oct. 7 from Macedonia -- part of a wave of asylum-seekers crossing the Balkans toward Western
Europe.

Police said in a statement Sunday that the man, identified only as A.A., formally requested asylum in Serbia. The statement says it's the same passport holder registered as entering Greece on Oct.
3.

The Syrian passport was found next to the body of a man who attacked France's national stadium on Friday night.

Officials in Greece say the passport's owner entered through Leros, one of the eastern Aegean islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have been using as a gateway into the
European Union.

Notre Dame service planned

About 3,000 French troops were in the streets of Paris this morning, in part to try to make the city's residents feel safe. Museums and theatres remained closed in Paris for a second
day.

Notre Dame Cathedral is closed to tourists today, but is open to church-goers who want to attend services throughout the day.

A special mass will be held at the historic church, starting at 12:30 p.m., for the families of those killed and injured in Friday's attacks.

The bells of the 670-year-old church will also be set to ring in a special homage to the victims.

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