PARIS AS­SAILANTS: WHAT WE KNOW

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

PARIS: In­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing the deadly Paris at­tacks have so far iden­ti­fied five of seven gun­men and sui­cide bombers whose bod­ies were found at three sites across the city, while the hunt is on for oth­ers. Here is a look at the men be­hind France’s worst-ever terror at­tacks, which struck a con­cert venue, bars, restau­rants and a sta­dium.

Omar Is­mail Moste­fai

The 29-year-old French na­tional blew him­self up at the Bat­a­clan mu­sic venue, one of three at­tack­ers who killed 89 peo­ple there in the blood­i­est scene of Fri­day night’s violence. His iden­tity was con­firmed us­ing a sev­ered fin­ger­tip found at the site. Born on Novem­ber 21, 1985 in the poor Paris sub­urb of Cour­couronnes, Moste­fai was known to po­lice as a petty crim­i­nal with eight con­vic­tions be­tween 2004 and 2010 but spent no time in jail. Be­tween 2005 and 2012, he lived in Chartres, some 90 kilo­me­ters south­west of Paris, his for­mer neigh­bors said, and reg­u­larly at­tended a mosque a few kilo­me­ters away in Luce, a source close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said.

He had been iden­ti­fied by the au­thor­i­ties in 2010 as hav­ing been rad­i­calised but had never been pre­vi­ously “im­pli­cated in a ter­ror­ist net­work or plot”, the Paris pros­e­cu­tor said. One of six chil­dren, he is be­lieved to have trav­elled to Syria in 2014, slip­ping un­der the au­thor­i­ties’ radar. The fa­ther of a daugh­ter born in 2010, Moste­fai was un­der­stood to have moved to Al­ge­ria with his fam­ily, his brother said, say­ing the two had cut ties sev­eral years ago. The brother was one of six rel­a­tives ar­rested by po­lice as part of their in­quiries. Turk­ish po­lice had twice warned their French coun­ter­parts about Moste­fai in De­cem­ber 2014 and June 2015 but had “never heard back from France on the mat­ter,” a Turk­ish of­fi­cial said.

Samy Ami­mour

The sec­ond Bat­a­clan sui­cide bomber to be iden­ti­fied was 28-year-old Samy Ami­mour from Drancy, a north­east­ern sub­urb of Paris. He was known to an­titer­ror in­ves­ti­ga­tors af­ter be­ing charged on Oc­to­ber 19, 2012 with “con­spir­acy to com­mit ter­ror­ism” over an at­tempt to travel to Ye­men but was re­leased on bail. He left for Syria on Septem­ber 11, 2013, vi­o­lat­ing the terms of his bail, and prompt­ing judges to is­sue an in­ter­na­tional war­rant for his ar­rest. In sum­mer 2014 he was still in Syria and his fam­ily told AFP their hopes of see­ing him again faded be­cause he had mar­ried there. Three of his fam­ily mem­bers were taken into cus­tody early on Mon­day.

Brahim Ab­deslam

The 31-year-old French na­tional liv­ing in Bel­gium blew him­self up out­side a bar on Boule­vard Voltaire, se­ri­ously wound­ing one per­son. Born on July 30, 1984, he is one of three broth­ers linked to the probe. He is sus­pected of hir­ing a black Seat car, reg­is­tered in Bel­gium, that was seen by wit­nesses at sev­eral at­tack sites and found late Satur­day in Mon­treuil, east of Paris. In­side were three Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fles, 11 empty mag­a­zines and five full ones.

Dutch me­dia re­ports said his name ap­pears in po­lice files along­side that of lead­ing Bel­gian ji­hadist Ab­del­hamid Abaaoud in re­la­tion to crim­i­nal cases in 2010 and 2011. Abaaoud is be­lieved to head a Bel­gian Is­lamic State cell, which was dis­man­tled in Jan­uary. Abaaoud has been on the run since then and is be­lieved to be fight­ing with the Is­lamic State group in Syria. Lo­cal me­dia re­ported that Ab­deslam used to run a bar in Brussels’ im­pov­er­ished Molen­beek dis­trict, which is known as a hot­bed of Is­lamic rad­i­cal­ism. A po­lice doc­u­ment ob­tained by AFP sug­gests it was shut down be­cause po­lice be­lieved cus­tomers were smok­ing mar­i­juana there.

Salah Ab­deslam, wanted

His younger brother, 26-year-old Salah Ab­deslam, is be­ing sought by French in­ves­ti­ga­tors who have is­sued a pho­to­graph of him-de­scrib­ing him as “dan­ger­ous”-while Bel­gium has is­sued in­ter­na­tional war­rant for his ar­rest. He hired a black Polo, also reg­is­tered in Bel­gium, which was found near the Bat­a­clan con­cert venue. Brussels po­lice on Mon­day sur­rounded a property in Molen­beek, but did not find him. Salah was likely ex­tracted Satur­day af­ter a call from one of his ac­com­plices from Bel­gium, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The third brother, Mo­hamed Ab­deslam was ar­rested in Molen­beek on Satur­day, but re­leased “with­out charge” on Mon­day with his lawyer say­ing her client had an al­ibi and was not in Paris on Fri­day evening.

Bi­lal Hadfi

The 20-year-old was one of three as­sailants who blew them­selves up out­side the French na­tional sta­dium, killing one per­son, as France was play­ing Ger­many in a foot­ball friendly at­tended by 80,000 fans, in­clud­ing French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande. In­ves­ti­ga­tors say Hadfi was a French na­tional who was liv­ing in Bel­gium and had spent time in Syria.

Ah­mad Al-Mo­ham­mad

Close to the body of a sec­ond bomber out­side the Stade de France, in­ves­ti­ga­tors found a Syr­ian pass­port in the name of Ah­mad al-Mo­ham­mad, 25, who was born on Septem­ber 10, 1990, in the Syr­ian city of Idlib. A pass­port bear­ing that name had been reg­is­tered on the Greek is­land of Leros on Oc­to­ber 3, with the at­tacker’s fin­ger­prints match­ing those taken dur­ing the reg­is­tra­tion process. The holder of the pass­port was later reg­is­tered as cross­ing from Mace­do­nia into Ser­bia where he for­mally ap­plied for asy­lum, Ser­bian of­fi­cials said. But in­ves­ti­ga­tors are still try­ing to ver­ify if the pass­port is in­deed gen­uine, and the name is not known to French anti-terror po­lice. Ser­bia de­tained a mi­grant on Mon­day whose pass­port con­tained the same data.—AFP

PARIS: This com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos shows four men - two sui­cide bombers who died dur­ing the Novem­ber 13, 2015 Paris at­tacks, and two oth­ers sus­pected to be im­pli­cated. — AFP

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