Who Were The Paris Attack Suspects? Abdelhamid Abaaoud Allegedly Led A Team That Has Largely Been Identified
As French fighter planes attack ISIS strongholds in Syria, back in France, police continue to investigate Friday's attacks. The picture of the events has clarified. Eight different sites were attacked over the course of just 33 minutes, both in the lively nightlife area of the 11th Arrondissement and near the national stadium. The investigation points to eight attackers who worked in three teams. Of the eight, seven are dead and one remains on the run from authorities.
Only two names have been officially released by authorities, but information has been released by the media about three other suspects. The attacks were allegedly coordinated and overseen by a ninth man, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian who has been connected to several attempted terrorist attacks in France and Belgium this year, including the attempted shooting on a Paris-bound high-speed train that was thwarted by two Americans.
The search for the sole living attacker, Salah Abdeslam, continued to play out in Belgium Monday morning in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek. Abbaoud grew up there, and some of the suspects in the Paris attack, including Abdeslam, are said to have lived in the area. CNN reported that police surrounded a house there and used megaphones to order someone to come out. Two small explosions were reported in the area, but it remains unclear whether any arrests were made. Given that the seven dead attackers were all wearing suicide vests, it may take time to identify the remains.
National Stadium Bombers
1) Ahmed Almohamed
A Syrian passport was found near the suicide bomber who had tried to enter the stadium and was stopped by security. The bomber detonated his explosive, killing himself and one victim. It is unknown whether the passport for the 25-year-old from Idlib, Syria, was authentic. Someone using it entered Greece on Oct. 3 and Serbia on Oct. 7.
2) Bilal Hadfi
The Washington Post reported that the 20-year-old French national fought in Syria and had recently returned to Belgium, where he quickly evaded security services. He detonated his suicide vest about 300 yards from the stadium in front of a McDonald's. No one else was killed.
The third attacker at the stadium detonated his vest outside the stadium. No one else was killed.
Bataclan Concert Hall Shooters
4) Ismaël Omar Mostefaï
Mostefaï was the first attacker named by French officials in the attack. He was identified from fingerprints that were taken from a severed finger found at the concert hall. He already had a criminal record for minor offenses, including driving without a license. He was 29 years old and grew up just south of Paris, in Courcouronnes. He had been watched by French intelligence since 2010, but disappeared in 2013, when he may have gone to Syria. Turkey said that he entered the country in 2013, but there is no record of him leaving, and that they updated French intelligence about him in Oct. 2014 and this past June. He and his two fellow attackers killed 89 people. Mostefaï detonated his suicide vest when police raided the hall.
5) Samy Amimour
The 28-year-old, born in Paris, had also spent time in Syria in 2013, according to his family. He had previously been charged with terrorist offenses, but escaped judicial supervision. Amimour’s father Mohamed told French newspaper Le Monde that he had gone to Syria to try to bring his son home, but was unsuccessful after "an extremely cold reunion." His suicide vest went off when police raided the hall.
One other shooters was killed alongside Mostefaï and Amimour in Bataclan, but his identity remains unknown. His suicide vest went off when police raided the hall.
7) Ibrahim Abdeslam
Ibrahim, also known as Brahim, was identified as the man who rented one of the vehicles used in the attacks. The 31-year-old lived in Belgium. He carried out the suicide attack at Comptoir Voltaire cafe. No one else was killed.
An unknown number of attackers shot into four restaurants from a black Seat Leon, killing 39 people. A car matching that description was found abandoned in a Paris suburb early Sunday with three Kalashnikovs and bullet magazines inside.
On The Run
The brother of the restaurant suicide bomber, Ibrahim, is currently wanted in connection with the attacks. The 26-year-old lived in Belgium and was stopped by police with two other men entering Belgium just hours after the attacks. They were not on a watch list at the time, and were allowed to proceed. He is thought to have rented the black Volkswagen used by the Bataclan shooters.