Paris attack investigators find Syrian passports with two attackers, identify another as Parisian

Published November 14th, 2015 - 03:47 GMT
Police stand near Cafe La Belle Equipe, one of the sites of the Paris attacks. (AFP/Loic Venance)
Police stand near Cafe La Belle Equipe, one of the sites of the Paris attacks. (AFP/Loic Venance)

One of the attackers involved in last night's attacks in Paris has been officially identified as a Parisian, according to local media reports.

The man, who was killed at the Bataclan, was identified using his fingerprints and was from the southern Parisian neighbourhood of Courcouronnes. 

French reports say that the man was already known to French anti-terrorist authorities prior to last night's attacks.  

Meanwhile, a Syrian passport has been retrieved from one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up outside the Stade de France stadium last night, according to two French police officers. 

An Egyptian passport has also been reportedly recovered from one of the three men who attacked the stadium.

The second of the stadium suicide bombers is believed to have been as young as 15 years old.

Three of the eight terrorists have now been identified: the two men with the Syrian and Egyptian passports outside the stadium, and the known French extremist at the Bataclan.

It is believed that the Syrian passport identified its owner as being 25 years old.  

However it has not yet been confirmed whether the Syrian passport was authentic, or was one of the many forged passports flooding into Europe with the refugee crisis.  

The French newspaper Liberation reported that one of the terrorists who carried out the attack at the Bataclan Theatre has been identified as a known French extremist. 

According to French daily El Figaro, investigators have recordings of two of the terrorists at the Bataclan communicating in French.  

Witnesses have told of the horror which unfolded inside the Bataclan theatre, where more than 1,000 people were watching rock band Eagles of Death Metal perform.

Some reported hearing at least two of the terrorists at the Bataclan Theatre speaking perfect French.

Others told of how AK47 wielding terrorists shouted 'Allah Akbar' as they 'blindly' opened fire into a crowd of people.

Others reported terrorists shouting 'This is for Syria'.  

All eight terrorists died during the attacks, with seven killing themselves in suicide blasts and the last being shot by police. 

Four of the attackers died at the Bataclan Theatre, three died at the Stade de France football stadium and the last on the Voltaire Boulevard.  

ISIS released a statement today, claiming responsibility for the attacks.

‘A group of believers from the soldiers of the Caliphate (may Allah strengthen and support it) set out targeting the capital of prostitution and vice…Paris,’ said the group in a statement.

‘Paris was thereby shaken beneath the crusaders’ feet, who were constricted by its streets.

‘Let France and all nations following its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign.

‘Indeed, this is just the beginning.’  

Police sources reported that the terrorists appeared to be ‘seasoned’ and ‘well-trained’.

The question of their training in a jihadi-controlled area, including Syria, has been raised as part of the investigation. 

Meanwhile, according to France’s BFMTV, a Volkswagen Polo has been found near to the Bataclan that is believed to match witness descriptions of the car used by attackers. 

A witness present at the Bataclan Theatre told Reuters that none of the other attackers were over 25, and all had brown hair.

‘The one I saw wore a black tracksuit with white stripes,’ they added. ‘He was pretty quiet, which surprised me.

‘At one point I turned around and we didn’t know what was going on, but then I saw he was shooting at someone and I understood.’  

Another witness who was in the road front of the concert hall before the attack and saw at least one of the assassins told BMFTV that he wasn't hooded: 'I saw a guy, quite small, white, European looking. He was in front of the Bataclan. He had his gun to his shoulder and I saw the flashes and then I heard "Bam.Bam.Bam".'

There is speculation that the stadium bombers were interrupted before being able to get inside the stadium, which is believed to have been the true target.  

French President Francois Hollande said ISIS group orchestrated the attacks, and ISIS has claimed responsibility

It is not yet known whether the perpetrators of the attacks were known to the French anti-terrorist services and how the attacks were coordinated. 

A coordinated attack of this magnitude was one of Europe’s greatest fears following the rise of ISIS. 

More than 500 French fighters are thought to be with ISIS in Syria and Iraq according to official figures, while 250 have returned and some 750 more expressed a desire to go. 

France was placed in lockdown after at least eight militants, all wearing suicide vests, brought unprecedented violence to the streets of the French capital in the bloodiest attack in Europe since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

Francois Hollande accused ISIS of orchestrating the worst attacks in France for more than 70 years, declaring it an 'act of war' and vowing to 'mercilessly' strike back.

In a televised address, the French President said the attacks were 'committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State group, a jihadist army, against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: a free country that means something to the whole planet'.    

Police are also hunting accomplices amid fears of further attacks, with the arrest of a 51-year-old man in Germany last week after firearms were discovered in his car now being linked to the atrocities, according to media reports.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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