Who Is Salah Abdeslam? The Paris Attack Suspect Is The Subject Of A Intense Manhunt
French authorities released a photo of a 26-year-old man wanted in connection with the Paris terror attacks, and the whole world wants to know — who is Salah Abdeslam? The French national had been living in Belgium from an indeterminate time with two brothers who were also apparently connected to the attacks, according to ABC News. Abdeslam's brother Ibrahim is believed to have participated in the attacks as a suicide bomber, and The Guardian reported that he is likely one of the seven attackers who died in Paris. Another brother, Mohamed, is being detained in Brussels in connection to the attacks.
ABC News reported that Salah Abdeslam was born in Belgium, but holds French citizenship. He is believed to have participated in the attacks as the "logistics coordinator," according to The Guardian, renting cars for the attackers to use throughout Friday night, including the gray Volkswagen Polo that was found near the Bataclan Theater and the black Seat Leon that was found in the Paris suburb of Montreuil with high-powered three rifles inside. Although no specific ties to ISIS have been reported yet, Abdeslam's possible connection to the organization might possibly be revealed as ISIS has already claimed responsibility for the attack.
Top French police and security officials are now reporting that Abdeslam was briefly questioned by the French police early Saturday, but was released after police checked his ID. Abdeslam was reportedly stopped in a car with two other men near the French-Belgian border — at this time, the identities of the two men in the car are unknown.
Other suspects that have been identified are Bilal Hadfi, according to CNN, a resident of Belgium who had fought with the Islamic State in Syria, and French-born Ismaël Omar Mostefaï who had been living in the Paris suburb of Chartres, 60 miles southwest of the city. At least two French nationals involved in the attack have not been identified, The New York Times reported.
The destructive display of domestic terrorism, so shortly after the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office in January, could inflame fears about Muslim immigrants. The anti-Muslim sentiment is being battled on Twitter with #NotAllMuslims, and the reactions to the attacks are troublingly divisive. Although the ramifications of the attacks will be felt long into the future, the intense debate taking place online is already in full force.
For now, the international manhunt for Abdeslam is on as police search as far as Greece for the suspect. Authorities believe he is armed and dangerous and urge people not to confront him on their own.