France picks up the pieces, seeks clues to perpetrators
Thousands of French troops deployed around Paris on Sunday and tourist sites stood shuttered in one of the most visited cities on Earth, while investigators questioned relatives of a suspected suicide bomber involved in the country’s deadliest violence in decades.
Police identified two more French nationals who blew themselves up in the coordinated attacks, the prosecutor said.
“Two more terrorists killed in the night of Nov. 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.
On their Twitter feed the police said they were also seeking a Belgian-born man, Abdeslam Salah in connection with the attack, describing him “dangerous”.
Daesh claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded, 99 of them seriously.
Countries around the world doused their national buildings in the French colors of blue, white and red to honor the victims — or, like the Eiffel Tower and New York’s Empire State Building, went dark to express their sorrow.
President Barack Obama on Sunday called the terror attacks in Paris an “attack on the civilized world.”
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said three groups of attackers, including seven suicide bombers wearing identical vests containing the explosive TATP, carried out the attacks that began as Parisians enjoyed a night out Friday.
The investigation sprawled well beyond France’s borders, since Molins said some attackers mentioned Syria and Iraq. Authorities in Belgium arrested three people in raids linked to the Paris attacks, and a Syrian passport found next to the body of a man who attacked France’s national stadium suggested that its owner passed through Greece into the European Union last month.
However, many questions remain — mainly who the other attackers were, and whether there are others still at large.
Details about one attacker began to emerge: 29-year-old Frenchman Ismael Mostefai, who had a record of petty crime and had been flagged in 2010 for ties to radicalism. He was identified from fingerprints found on a finger amid the bloody carnage from a Paris concert hall, the Paris prosecutor said. A judicial official and lawmaker Jean-Pierre Gorges confirmed his identity.
Police detained his father, a brother and other relatives Saturday night, and they were still being questioned Sunday, the judicial official said.
Authorities in Greece, meanwhile, said the holder of the Syrian passport found at the site of the stadium attack entered Oct. 3 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 Europe.
The same man entered Serbia from Macedonia on Oct. 7 and requested asylum in Serbia, according to Serbian police. It was not clear if the passport was real or fake, or if it belonged to the suicide bomber.
Belgian authorities raided a Brussels neighborhood and arrested three people near its border with France after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to Paris’ Bataclan theater, where at least 89 people died in a hailstorm of bullets.
A French judicial official says a Seat car with suspected links to gun attacks on Paris bars and restaurants was found by police 6 km east of Paris.