First of Paris gunmen identified, getaway vehicle found
The first of seven gunmen who killed 129 people on Nov 13 has been identified.
Omar Ismail Mostefai was known to police as nothing more than a petty criminal before Friday’s (Saturday morning SIngapore time) attacks in Paris, which left at least 129 dead.
Identified by his finger, which was found among the rubble of the Bataclan concert hall, the 29-year-old was one of three men who blew himself up killing 89 people in the bloodiest scene of the carnage.
Born on November 21 1985, in the poor Paris suburb of Courcouronnes, Mostefai’s criminal record shows eight convictions for petty crimes between 2004 and 2010, but no jail time.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Mostefai had been singled out as a high-priority target for radicalisation in 2010 but, before Friday, he had “never been implicated in an investigation or a terrorist association”.
Investigators are now probing whether he took a trip to Syria last year.
The killer’s father and 34-year-old brother were placed in custody on Saturday evening and their homes were searched.
“It’s a crazy thing, it’s madness,” his brother told AFP, his voice trembling, before he has taken into custody.“Yesterday I was in Paris and I saw how this **** went down.”
The brother, one of four boys in the family along with two sisters, turned himself in to police after learning Mostefai was involved in the attacks.
While he had cut ties with Mostefai several years ago — and knew he had been involved in petty crime — his brother said he had never imagined his brother could be radicalised.
The last he knew, Mostefai had gone to Algeria with his family and his “little girl,” he said, adding: “It’s been a time since I have had any news.”
“I called my mother, she didn’t seem to know anything,” he said Saturday.
In total, six people close Mostefa have been detained.
Among the six were Mostefai’s father, brother and sister-in-law, judicial and police sources said.
They are being questioned as part of routine efforts to verify information about the attacker, the sources said.
Meanwhile, a black Seat car used by gunmen who fired at people in restaurants during the attacks in Paris on Friday has been found in the eastern suburb of Montreuil, police said on Sunday (Nov 15).
The Seat car was used at two of the six locations attacked on Friday – a bar on rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi where five were killed, and a restaurant on rue de Charonne where 19 died.
Some reports say that weapons have been found inside the car.