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Seven people connected to one assassin detained in France, some commandoes apparently managed to flee

15.11.2015 21:29
Jean Jullien: Peace for Paris (PHOTO:  Twitter.com)
Jean Jullien: Peace for Paris (PHOTO: Twitter.com)

As reported earlier, François Molins, the Paris Prosecutor, has announced that French investigators have identified the first of the assassins who killed 129 people in Friday in Paris during a coordinated attack. Omar Ismail Mostefai (age 29) was identified by one of his fingers that was found at the crime scene of the Bataclan concert hall.

Czech radio station Europe 1 reports that the second of the assassins' automobiles has been found in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil and could be proof that one commando involved in the attacks managed to flee. According to the French media there were weapons in the vehicle.

Mostefai lived in the Parisian suburb of Courcouronnes and was one of the men who committed a suicide attack targeting those attending a rock concert at the Bataclan center. According to new information, seven persons connected to him have now been detained.

Those detained include his brother, father and a still-unidentified woman. The older brother of the identified assailant contacted police voluntarily.

"This is crazy, I was in Paris myself yesterday evening and I saw what chaos it was," Mostefai's brother told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday before police placed him in a cell for preliminary detention. He also emphasized that he had not been in contact with his brother for several years.

From statements made by the Paris Prosecutor yesterday it can be deduced that Mostefai had long had problems with the law. He appeared in the criminal registry eight times between 2004 and 2010 but never served prison time.

In 2010 he was followed by the secret services because of his alleged radicalization, but they were never able to discover evidence of his involvement in a criminal or terrorist association. AFP reports that police are still attempting to verify information that he traveled to Syria last year.

Europe 1 reported that the second of the assassins' automobiles was found in Montreuil after a 36-hour search. The black Seat Leon still contained weapons and had evidently been used by one of the assailants from the group that shot dead customers at cafés and restaurants on Friday.

Detectives are of the opinion that the group drove out of Paris after the attacks and might have dropped off an attacker at Place de la Nation on the way who then detonated explosives at a café. The abandoned automobile also could mean the assassins left the car to continue fleeing, perhaps to Belgium.

It cannot be ruled out that the three men arrested Saturday evening in Belgium in connection with the attack are actually the escaped perpetrators. Police arrested them during a random check at a border crossing even before those who perpetrated the café shootings were officially being sought.

The three were taken to Brussels by police for interrogation. Europe 1 reports that they include a Frenchman who rented in his own name the first automobile identified as having been used by the terrorists.

That car was a Volkswagen Polo that was abandoned in front of the Bataclan concert hall, where another group of attackers killed 89 people. For the time being it is not clear whether the man who rented the car was also a gunman in the attack there on Friday evening.

Authorities also reported that a Syrian passport was found near the body of one of the assassins at the Stade de France stadium. The American television station CBS News is asserting that document was probably falsified because its numbers do not correspond to those of documents issued in Syria and the photograph does not correspond to the name on the document.

The Greek authorities have reported that the passport number associated with the assassin at the stadium is associated in their records with a refugee, one of two men so registered on one of their islands on 3 October. Two days later the bearer of that passport number headed for Pirea and is then said to have walked through Croatia and Austria.

The Serbian Interior Ministry announced today that a person using that passport number arrived on 7 October in Serbia by way of the Preševo border crossing with Macedonia and requested asylum. That number and name are said to be the same as that of the person registered on 3 October in Greece; Serbian authorities say that person was not being sought by Interpol.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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