Manhunt Unfolds Across Europe As New Details About Attackers Emerge
Authorities are widening an investigation for the 8th Paris attacker, who is believed to still be at large
A manhunt is underway across Europe for the sole surviving assailant of Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, who French officials now say was questioned by police hours after the deadly rampage but later let go.
French police on Sunday released an arrest warrant for Salah Abdeslam, 26, a French national believed to be a suspect in the terror attacks that left at least 132 dead and hundreds more wounded. Abdeslam should be considered dangerous, the release warned, and people should not “intervene.” Four French officials told the Associated Press late Sunday that Abdeslam had been questioned by police the same night and later released, the news service reported on Twitter.
One of Abdelslam’s brothers, Ibrahim, is reported to have died during the three-hour massacre. Another brother, Mohamed, was reportedly arrested in Brussels on Saturday for his involvement. Abdeslam was born in Brussels, but lived in France—fueling fears are growing that the sophisticated series of attacks were planned inside France by homegrown terrorists.
— Police Nationale (@PNationale) November 15, 2015
The hunt for Salah Abdeslam began when police found a black sedan, thought to be a getaway car, abandoned in a Paris suburb. In the car were 3 Kalashnikov rifles, the type of weapon used by the attackers.
Information continues to emerge about the rest of the attackers who wreaked havoc across Paris on Friday. Here’s else what we know about the others:
- Only seven of the eight men believed to be behind the attacks died Friday night, authorities now say, after initial reports that all the attackers were dead. Six of the seven blew themselves up and a seventh died in a shoot-out with police.
- The Associated Press reported that Iraqi intelligence officials warned France and other countries that are part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS of a imminent assault—one day before the Paris terror attacks. The assaults appeared to have been planned in Raqqa, ISIS’ de-facto capital in Syria, the report said. As many as 24 people were involved in the operation.
- At least three of the attackers were French citizens, two of whom had been living in Brussels, authorities said. A security source told Agence France-Presse that three brothers were involved in the attacks, one of whom is believed to be the man at large.
- An unnamed European intelligence official who spoke to the Washington Post identified one of the assailants as Bilal Hadfi, a man who lived in Belgium and whom investigators believe had fought with Islamic State in Syria.
- One of the attackers may have posed as a Syrian refugee, and passed through the Greek Island of Leros and Serbia en route to Paris. A Serbian newspaper has identified him as 25-year-old Ahmad al-Mohammad.
- The first of the attackers to be publicly identified on Sunday was Ismaël Omar Mostefaï in a Facebook post by Jean-Pierre Gorges, the mayor of Chartres, France. Mostefaï lived in Chartres, a town around 60 miles southwest of Paris, until 2012. Investigators identified Mostefaï based on a piece of severed finger they found at the scene of an explosion, Le Monde reported.
- Authorities detained six of Mostefaï’s relatives for questioning. They learned he lived in a housing development just outside of Chartres until 2012. A neighbor on the condition of anonymity said that he had become radicalized in 2010. “We don’t understand what happened,” the neighbor said, according to The New York Times.
- Authorities in Belgium have detained seven men in connection with the attacks, one of them connected to a rented Volkswagen Polo that was used by the three terrorists at Bataclan concert hall. French authorities also found three Kalashnikovs Sunday morning in a black Seat Leon in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.