ISIS claims responsibility for terror attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris Friday
Here's the latest on what we know about the massacre and the aftermath
Investigations into the series of terrorist attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris are moving forward, with people taken into custody and two of the gun-wielding suicide bombers identified.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacres in a statement. In response, France has carried out air strikes on targets in the militant organization’s stronghold in Raqqa, Syria.
Here’s the key information at this stage:
– State of Emergency remains – 1,500 troops deployed to secure “particularly strategic” locations.
– More than 150 police anti-terror raids conducted in cities across France.
– A fourth attacker has been identified from the Bataclan massacre as Samy Amimour, aged 28, the Paris prosecutors office announced.
– A worldwide manhunt is underway for Belgian-born French national Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of being involved in the attacks. French police released his photo and warned that he is “dangerous.” Sources told CNN that he was stopped and questioned by French police shortly after the attacks.
– The French Air Force carried out bombing missions over Raqqa early Monday. Targets included a command center, recruitment center, ammunition storage base and a training camp. There’s been no information on casualties or any damage assessments.
– Prior to Friday’s attacks, Iraq shared intelligence that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered an attack on countries fighting against ISIS, though there were no specifics about when or where the attack would take place, a senior Iraqi official has said.
– Paris attacks left 129 people dead and 352 wounded, including 99 who are in a very serious condition. Two of seven terrorists have been named.
What happened in Paris?
– Three teams of terrorists staged coordinated attacks at six locations throughout Paris late Friday, including a concert hall, the Stade de France and at least two restaurants, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Saturday.
– Molins said that at least 129 people were killed and 352 wounded in the attacks. Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported to be in a very serious condition, he said.
– Molins said seven terrorists were killed, one fewer than the number ISIS claimed were involved.
– Two of the dead attackers have been identified – one is Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, according to Jean-Pierre Gorges, the mayor of the French town of Chartres. The other, according to several sources, is Bilal Hafdi, 19 or 20. Mostefai lived in Chartres at least until 2012, said Gorges via Facebook.
– Six people, all relatives of Mostefai, have been detained, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Sunday. It is common practice in criminal cases in France to place family members in custody. Mostefai’s relatives have been neither charged nor arrested.
– Eyewitness accounts and videos showed a black Seat and a black Volkswagen Polo, which is registered in Belgium, as two cars used in the Paris attacks, Molins said Saturday. The Polo was rented by a French national living in Belgium, according to Molins. The individual was intercepted at the Belgian border during a control carried out by authorities Saturday morning as he was inside another vehicle, which was neither the black Polo nor the black Seat. There were also two other people on board that vehicle, who live in the Brussels area, Molins said. The three individuals were not previously known by French authorities, Molins stressed.
– The black Seat was found in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said Sunday. CNN affiliate BFMTV reported that authorities found three Kalashnikov automatic rifles in the car.
– The discovery raises the possibility that at least one attacker drove the car to the Montreuil and remains at large.
– European officials believe there is “a very professional new squad of terrorists inserting themselves into some of these migrant voyages,” according to a French senator briefed by the Interior Ministry. Citing fingerprint evidence, the senator said that one of the suicide bombers at the Stade de France was carrying a fake Syrian passport and arrived among the refugees on the Greek island of Leros on October 3. The senator also said that two other suicide bombers at the Stade de France carried fake Turkish passports.
– U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are concerned the Paris attackers “went dark,” i.e., used encrypted communications to avoid surveillance.
The scene in Paris
Bataclan concert hall
– This was the deadliest site, with at least 89 people killed, Molins said.
– Three attackers with assault rifles arrived in a car, entered the concert venue and opened fire. They took audience members hostage and regrouped them in front of the stage, which is why most of the victims were found there, Molins said. The attackers talked about Syria and Iraq during a brief address.
– Police stormed the theater in a rescue operation. Two of the attackers killed themselves by detonating suicide belts and one was killed by police gunfire and his suicide belt.
– Eagles of Death Metal, a blues rock band from Palm Desert, California, had been performing.
– A witness told Radio France that the attackers entered firing pump rifles and shouting “Allahu akbar.”
Stade de France
– Four people were killed outside the sports stadium in Saint-Denis, a suburb north of Paris: three suicide bombers and a man who had been walking by, Molins said.
– France was playing Germany in a soccer match at the time.
– A witness, Gabriel Haddad, said two explosions could be heard in the background during the game. Molins said three explosions occurred over 32 minutes outside the stadium: two immediately outside the stadium and one 400 meters away.
– President Francois Hollande was at the stadium and among those who were evacuated following the attacks.