AS IT HAPPENED: Police hunt for attack suspect
The Local · 15 Nov 2015, 21:31
Published: 15 Nov 2015 09:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Nov 2015 21:31 GMT+01:00
- Paris peace symbol shows global solidarity (15 Nov 15)
- 'I pretended to be dead for over an hour' (15 Nov 15)
- French police trace 'two refugees' in Paris attacks (14 Nov 15)
KEY POINTS: Sunday
- Death toll stands at 129
- Police seek 26-year-old Abdeslam Salah in connection with the attacks
- Three of the attackers were French brothers, two of them were living in Brussels
- EU interior ministers set to meet on Friday
- Police find car used in Friday's attacks
- Car contained "several Kalashnikovs", according to report
- 14 arrests made all together
- Six arrested were those close to one of the gunmen, including father and brother and sister-in-law
- Attacker named as Omar Ismail Mostefai. Here's what we know about him
- Greek investigators following up Syrian passport found at scene of attack
- Up to 30 bodies of Paris victims yet to be identified: PM
- Panic breaks out in central Paris after false alarm
Please note: this blog is now closed.
21.05 – Current death toll revised back down from 132 to 129
Authorities have revised the current death toll from Friday's terrorist attacks back down to 129 after city hospitals said three 'new' deaths reported earlier were already included in the earlier toll of 129.
Speaking of Paris hospitals, hospital doctors treating the victims said on Sunday said the injuries of Paris attack survivors resemble war wounds and many are in deep shock.
21.00 – Paris a city on edge tonight
The Local France’s Deputy Editor Ollie Gee was on the streets of Paris this evening, visiting some of the many impromptu memorials that have sprouted up all over the French capital and speaking to people in a city which is still very much in a state of shock and disbelief.
This is the memorial on popular bar street Rue Oberkampf, close to the Bataclan concert hall. pic.twitter.com/BxmSkvJvOr— Oliver Gee (@olivergee23) November 15, 2015
Just heard a few people saying thanks to the police who are standing guard. Sombre mood in Paris. pic.twitter.com/ryWv929Du5— Oliver Gee (@olivergee23) November 15, 2015
He was also on the scene there when panic erupted early in the evening in the city’s crowded Place de la République, with police bracing for action and frightened people fleeing to hide in nearby restaurants. Fortunately it proved to be a false alarm.
"Today's false alarm showed that despite the solidarity that Parisians have been showing since the attack, everyone is very much on edge,” Gee said.
"Seeing crying people running down the streets, and hiding in restaurants with the lights off, showed just how nervous people are.
"People are sobbing uncontrollably at the various memorials around Paris. Time will tell where this goes from here, but right now Parisians have their guard up.”
Paris absolutely on edge tonight. Panic after false alarm sees people hiding in tears on the third. pic.twitter.com/4eIPjnvCt9— Oliver Gee (@olivergee23) November 15, 2015
20:15 – French imams denounce the attacks
On Sunday afternoon, a delegation of imams from across the country arrived at the Bataclan to pay tribute to those killed in the attacks. An imam from Brest spoke of French Muslims' “unanimous condemnation” of the attacks, Le Telegramme reported.
19:49 Paris museums and theatres to reopen on Monday
France's museums and theatres, which were closed after the attacks, are to reopen on Monday at 1pm, the Ministry of Culture has announced.
19:24 Police confirm false alarm
The alerts that caused crowds to flee in Paris were a false alarm, police have confirmed, adding “that no shot was heard or reported in the capital”.
De bonne source l'ampoule d'un resto des abords de #République aurait cassé entraînant réflexe défense d'un policier puis mvt de foule— Thibault Raisse (@TiboRaiss) November 15, 2015
19:20 - Death toll rises to 132
The number of people killed in the attacks has risen to 132 after three more people died in hospital, AFP is reporting, citing Paris hospitals.
19:00 - Panic at Republique due to 'false alarm'
We're now hearing reports that the panic that broke out in the Republique area was caused by people mistaking firecrackers for shots.
Oliver Gee, who is nearby, sent us this:
"I saw three police draw their guns while shouldering walls and looking down a street. I later realized the restaurants were full, with scared and confused people, and the lights were off.
The police shot off in a car along rue Bretagne. Helicopters are circling.
A woman told me in tears that a man just screamed "run" to her so she hid with others in a restaurant.
"People were crying and I got really scared. I wasn't scared after Friday but I'm terrified now".
The scene in the Marais.
18:56 - Reports: Place de la Republique evacuated
We’re getting reports of panic breaking out in parts of central Paris. Our deputy editor Oliver Gee is reporting people fleeing from place de la Republique towards the Marais in the third arrondissement. Confusion and people running.
AP is reporting that Place de la Republique has been evacuated with no reason given, amid unconfirmed reports of shootings.
18:33 - Police name suspect in appeal for information
French police say they are trying to trace a man, Abdeslam Salah, suspected of involvement in the attacks. According to police, he is 26 years old, 175 centimetres tall and has brown eyes.
The man is described as dangerous and the public are being warned not to approach him.
18:23 - What the state of emergency means
Quite apart from the fear and grief unleashed by Friday's terror attacks, people all over France now face months of low-level inconvenience as the state of emergency is extended for three months.
Deputy Editor Oliver Gee went down to Les Halles, a shopping centre in central Paris, where he was told by a security guard that they would be checking all bags for the next four months. Oliver says they were checking every single bag - including ladies' handbags.
18:21 - Brother 'not released' by Belgian police - warrant issued for other brother
We're receiving more information about the three brothers suspected of being at the heart of Friday's attacks.
Reports in several French media that a brother arrested by Belgian police had been released have now been denied by Belgian police, according to BFMTV. He remains in custody.
Meanwhile, it is now being reported that the body of the second suicide bomber identified at the Bataclan concert venue, where 89 people were killed, belongs to another of the three brothers. This information comes from AFP, citing "sources close to the investigation."
Now Belgium has issued an international warrant for the arrest of the third brother, according to a judicial source who spoke to AFP. The suspect lived in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek.
We are now getting reports that President Hollande plans to extend the state of emergency for three months. This is coming to us via AFP, which is citing "parliamentary sources".
17:51 - Parisians put on brave face as they come to terms with attacks
Parisians have been putting on a brave face throughout the day and enjoying some autumn sunshine in the capital. But as The Local's Sam Davies hit the streets he discovered a split between those feeling afraid and defiant in the face of Friday's tragedy.
Aubin, below, says: "My kids are asking questions, because the father of my son’s friend is 'missing' – he was at the Bataclan on Friday. The kids ask 'where is Leon’s father? Why has he disappeared?'"
17:48 - US and France agree 'concrete steps' against Isis
The Pentagon has said that the US and France have agreed to act against Isis, AFP is reporting. We'll bring more details as we get them.
17:42 - Italian student's body identified
The body of second French assailant has been identified, AFP is reporting, quoting security sources.
17.34 - Brother released by Belgian police
A man arrested in Belgium, the brother of a man thought to be a terrorist who died in the attacks, has been released by police, BFMTV is reporting. The status of a third brother remains unclear. More soon.
17.11 - Three brothers believed to be behind violence
Police sources have said that three brothers were involved in the Paris attacks that claimed 129 lives.
According to AFP, sources close to the investigation have revealed that one brother died in the attacks late on Friday, one is in custody in Belgium but it is unclear whether he took part in the rampage, while the third either took part and died during the attacks or is at large.
17.05 - What we know about how the attacks were planned
French investigators believe there were three teams involved in Friday's attacks on Paris. They think they used a range of weapons and may have been connected to Syria. Here's a look at the key facts confirmed so far about how the deadly violence was planned.
16.47 - Swedish victim was a woman in her 20s
More details have emerged about the Swedish woman killed in the attack. According to Swedish broadcaster she was from Västerås, north of Stockholm and in her 20s.
16.30 - Syrian refugees brace for Paris attack backlash
16.20 - Some footage showing how Parisians are reacting to the attacks
16.14 - Three days of national mourning declared in France
16.08 - "The Bataclan will reopen"
German President Joachim Gauck said on Sunday that the world has been confronted with a "new type of war" perpetrated by terrorists bent on killing those who refuse to follow their "barbaric ideology".
"We live in times when we are mourning victims of a new type of war. These are victims of malicious murderous gangs," said Gauck.
"They are terrorists, who in the name of Islamist fundamentalism are fighting against democracy, against universal values and also against Muslims who refuse to follow their barbaric ideology," said the president at Germany's Memorial Day commemorating the victims of World War I and II.
Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor, said however that "those who perpetrate or condone these acts must know that the community of democracy is stronger than international hatred.
"We bow our heads before the dead, but never will we bow down before terror," he said.
"My sincerest condolences to everybody who is affected by this terrible tragedy.
"My prayers also go out to all the people who lost their lives the day before in Beirut.
“No matter where you come from and what religion you follow - we are united."
Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said that 10,000 French soldiers will be deployed across France, according to BFMTV.
Police are investigating whether a man arrested earlier this month could have been connected to the attacks, according to reports from AFP.
A man arrested in Germany with explosives and Kalashnikovs in his car said he was on his way to Paris "to see the Eiffel Tower" and refused to discuss the jihadist attacks.
"We want to talk (about the Paris attacks) with him but he doesn't want to talk. Not about this subject in any case," a spokesman for police in southern Bavaria said.
Police arrested the 51-year-old man from Montenegro on November 5 during a routine check on a Bavaria motorway. Police said in a statement that an address in Paris was found on a written note in the car as well as in his sat nav system, along with eight assault rifles, three handguns and explosives.
The suspect said he "wanted to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and then return home" and had "no knowledge (of the presence) of arms and explosives" in his vehicle, a police statement said.
The navigation system of his VW Golf car showed he had travelled "from Montenegro to Croatia, Slovenia, Austria" before being stopped in Rosenheim, the statement added.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Saturday that the authorities had yet to establish any link between the suspect and the gunmen in Paris. But Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer said that there was "reason to believe" he was connected to the attackers.
14.42 - Iraq has said it shared intelligence on potential threats in France, the US and Iran
"Sources in Iraqi intelligence obtained information that some countries would be targeted, especially France, America and Iran, and they were informed of this," Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has said.
Asked if the intelligence was directly related to Friday's attacks, ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said it had indicated that a number of countries, especially in Europe, were at risk of attack by the Islamic State jihadist group.
Jamal said the intelligence had been obtained months ago and declined to provide further details on the nature of the information.
Isis (also known as IS) the jihadist group that has seized control of larges parts of Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris at the packed Bataclan concert hall, restaurants and bars, and outside the Stade de France national stadium.
Ibrahim al-Jaafari at a summit last week Photo: AFP
14.35 - Some more detail on France's state of emergency
The number of suspects arrested in Belgium has now been updated to seven, according to local news reports, although it is yet been made clear whether all are relatives of the suspected attackers.
14.21 - Spanish victims named
Spanish authorities have confirmed that three Spanish men as well as a woman with dual Spanish and Mexican nationality were killed in the attacks.
Two men, Juan Alberto Gonazález Garrido and Alberto Pardo Touceda, were gunned down at the concert in the Bataclan, while Jorge Alonso de la Celada was killed in an attack at a restaurant.
Michelli Gil Jáimez, who had dual Mexican and Spanish nationality was gunned down at La Belle Equipe restaurant. She had only got engaged 18 days ago. Read the full story
14.09 - EU interior ministers to hold crisis talks on Friday
European Union interior ministers will hold crisis talks in Brussels on Friday in the wake of the Paris jihadist attacks, the Luxembourg government announced.
"Following the tragic events in Paris, this extraordinary (meeting) will strengthen the European response while ensuring the follow-up of the measures taken," Etienne Schneider, the internal security chief for Luxembourg, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said in a statement.
13.42 – The Local France gets messages of support
Readers around the world have been sending us their thoughts. Here are a few:
We are all shocked saddened and trying to find the words and the way to tell you that we are so sorry for this horrible, cowardice attack on the French people and we stand together with all of you during this incredible time of grief. Viva la France!
Portland, Oregon USA
Please know, that as a Canadian and an American, we will not let this stand. The United States would not exist except for the help of France. Take a deep breath, the "Doughboys" are with you. With love and condolences from North America.
Bradenton Beach, FL USA
12.00 - Up to 30 victims yet to be idenified
"They will be (identified) in the coming hours," said Valls outside the Ecole Militaire where a centre has been set up for the victims' families.
At least 129 people were killed, according to the latest official toll.
"These are not anonymous victims. They are lives, young people, who have been targeted while they spent a quiet evening in a café, or at a concert," Valls told reporters.
"No psychologist, no volunteer, no doctor can console them," he said of the grieving families.
"But we must help them with the process, with identifications, to accompany them... through all the administrative tasks."
9.30 - Police find car used in attacks
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. According to news agency AFP, the car contained "several Kalashnikovs".
Police have not confirmed whether the attackers that used the car are still on the run.
The car - the second vehicle police have found linked to Friday's attacks - was used in the shootings at the cafe on Rue Fontaine-au-Roi where five were killed and in the restaurant on Rue de Charonne, where 19 were gunned down, according to prosecutor Francois Molins.
Police have identified one of the gunmen who blew himself up at the Bataclan concert hall, the scene of the bloodiest attack where 89 people were killed, as 29-year-old Paris native Omar Ismail Mostefai.
Six people close to Omar Ismail Mostefai, who took part in the killings at the Bataclan concert hall and the first of Friday's attackers to be identified, have been detained. Among those detained are his father, a 34-year-old brother and a 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. The sister-in-law is reported by BFMTV to have told police that the family lived a "quiet life".
"It's a crazy thing, it's madness," the brother told AFP on Saturday before being detained, referring to the carnage that left 129 people dead.
La presse papier est belle quand elle est forte. Et qu'elle s'engage. Quelques unes de PQR de dimanche. pic.twitter.com/c3cf893cYT— Cyril Petit (@CyrilPetit) November 14, 2015
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 radicalization in 2010 but, before Friday, he had "never been implicated in a terrorist network or plot".
Investigators are now probing whether he took a trip to Syria last year, according to police sources.
In related news, Greek authorities have confirmed that a passport found next to one of the assailants belonged to a man who registered as a refugee on the island of Leros in October.
However, Greek police are not ruling out that the passport had changed hands before the attacks.
They are also checking on the fingerprints of another man at the request of French investigators.
If the passport or fingerprints are matched to the attackers then it would mean they had hidden among the thousands of people that have fled Islamic State and Syria's civil war to seek refuge in Europe.
Meanwhile, authorities have said that the number of false alerts has escalated in the wake of Friday’s attacks. On Saturday, police urged the public not to spread false information or rumours as France struggles to come to terms with the second major terrorism attack on its soil in less than a year.
Authorities in Paris were on Sunday continuing the painstaking work of identifying the victims of the attacks. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said at lunchtime on Sunday that up to thirty bodies remained unidentified, according to AFP.
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