Paris Attacks: Suicide Bomber Identified As Ismaël Omar Mostefai
Ismaël Omar Mostefai was reportedly identified as a suicide bomber in the Paris attacks from a fingerprint taken off a severed finger
French authorities have identified a man named Ismaël Omar Mostefai as a suicide bomber who took part in the terror attacks in Paris on Friday, using a fingerprint taken from a severed finger to make the identification.
Mostefai’s father and brother were being held by authorities, Le Figaro reported late Saturday. Mostefai, 29, had reportedly been convicted of common crimes but never been incarcerated. Le Figaro said he was one of the men who blew himself up after gunning down dozens of hostages at the Bataclan concert hall on Friday. Mostefai, a French national, is said to have come from a town near the hometown of Amedy Coulibaly, the man who declared allegiance to ISIS before killing four people at a French supermarket in January.
Mostefai’s name was released by the deputy mayor of Chartres, Jean-Pierre Gorges, who wrote on his Facebook page that Mostefai had been a resident of his town. “This massacre could have happened in Chartres,” he wrote, while criticizing the government over its actions in Syria.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks, which left at least 129 people dead and hundreds more wounded. It said France was a target because it was part of the coalition launching air strikes against ISIS in Syria.
The highly-coordinated assaults were orchestrated by three teams of people, French authorities said. A passport found near the body of one of them indicated that the passport holder was a Syrian who passed through Greece in October on the route followed by many migrants traveling to Europe, though it is not clear that the passport holder was actually one of the attackers.
The French government has declared a state of emergency and ordered its borders closed. President Obama called the violence an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians” in a statement Friday night, and said the U.S. would stand with its French allies.
Officials in Europe as well as the U.S. were working to determine the different routes that might have led the attackers to Paris. The investigation has already broadened across French borders into Belgium, where police pursuing leads made three arrests.
The spotlight on refugees would confirm the worst fears of other migrants who have traveled en masse from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, and who have already dealt with waves of anti-migrants sentiment in Europe. Smugglers have previously told Vocativ that among the migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea were members of ISIS and former members of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra.