3 attackers identified as probe moves beyond France

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

The French police on Sunday identified three Islamic State attackers — two of whom lived in Belgium and one in southwest of Paris — who brought carnage to Paris.
The police have identified two more attackers, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said, after the first of the seven gunmen was identified as Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old who lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris. Mostefai’s relatives were also questioned.
Editorial: Paris and beyond
“Two more terrorists killed in the night of November 13 were today formally identified through finger prints,” the prosecutor said in a statement, adding they were French and living in Belgium. The two men, aged 20 and 31, were suicide bombers at the Stade de France and at a bar in the 11th district.
Meanwhile, a black car used by gunmen was found abandoned in the eastern suburb of Montreuil. Several Kalashnikovs were found in the car, indicating some of the terrorists have managed to escape.
This is the second car seized by the French police in connection with the attacks. Earlier, a grey Polo that had been rented in Belgium was found near the Bataclan concert hall. Prosecutors have said the slaughter appeared to involve a multinational team with links to the Middle East, Belgium and possibly Germany as well as home-grown French roots.
Belgian police arrested seven people on Saturday in raids in a poor, immigrant quarter of Brussels as they pursued emerging links between the Paris attacks and an Islamist bastion in France’s northern neighbour.
Further evidence emerged that at least one of the attackers had travelled through Europe alongside Syrian refugees, seeking asylum in Serbia. But with the European Union deeply split over the migrant crisis, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the attacker was not a refugee but a criminal.
Museums and theatres remained closed in Paris for a second day on Sunday, with hundreds of soldiers and police patrolling the streets and metro stations after French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency. Seven gunmen, all of whom were wearing suicide vests packed with explosives, died in the multiple assaults. The first to be identified was Mostefai, a 29-year-old who lived in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris.
French media said he was French-born and of Algerian descent. Molins said the man had a security file for Islamist radicalisation, adding that he had a criminal record but had never spent time in jail. He was identified through tests on his severed finger.
A judicial source said Mostefai’s father and brother had been taken in for questioning, along with other people believed to be close to him.
At least one of the other attackers appears to have followed the route taken by hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, who have crossed by boat from Turkey to the Greek Islands, before heading through the Balkans to EU countries to the north, mainly Germany and Sweden.
In Belgrade, the Serbian government said the holder of a Syrian passport found near the body of one of the gunmen had passed through the country last month where he sought asylum.
The interior ministry said the man, whom it identified only by the initials AA, had been registered at Serbia’s Presevo border crossing with Macedonia on October 7.
It said his details were the same as those of a man who had registered in Greece on October 3. Greek authorities said on Saturday the passport matched one used by someone who had landed on the island of Leros. They believe that another of the assailants may also have passed through Greece from Turkey alongside Syrian refugees fleeing the country's civil war.
The attacks have reignited a row within the EU on how to handle the flood of asylum seekers from Syria and other countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Top Polish and Slovak officials have poured cold water on an EU plan to relocate asylum seekers across the bloc, saying the violence underlined the concerns of Europeans about taking in Muslim refugees.
Meanwhile, the names of the first victims have started to filter out on social media, many of them young people who were out enjoying themselves on a Friday night. The dead included one US citizen, one Swede, one Briton, one German, two Belgians, two Romanians and two Mexicans, their governments said.