SHARE
COPY LINK
PARIS TERROR ATTACKS

TERRORISM

French jihadist ‘claims attacks in recording’

The voice on an audio recording that claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks belonged to a well known French jihadist, sources have said.

French jihadist 'claims attacks in recording'

A French jihadist named Fabien Clain made the audio recording of the Islamic State group statement claiming the Paris
attacks which was published online, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

The 35-year-old is a veteran of radical Islamist networks in the French city of Toulouse and was close to Mohamed Merah who shot dead seven people, including three Jewish children, in 2012.

Clain was convicted in 2009 of recruiting jihadists and sentenced to five years in prison, after which he left for Syria.

In April 2015 the daily Le Monde revealed he was a main suspect in a foiled attack on a church uncovered when assailant Algerian IT student Sid Ahmed Ghlam shot himself in the leg by accident.

Gunmen and suicide bombers went on a killing spree in Paris on Friday night, attacking a concert hall, bars, restaurants and the Stade de France.

Islamic State jihadists operating out of Iraq and Syria released a statement claiming responsibility for the coordinated attacks.

The group said “eight brothers wearing explosive belts and carrying assault rifles” conducted a “blessed attack on… Crusader France.”

It said the targets of Friday's attacks “were carefully chosen”.

The statement also made reference to French air strikes on IS in Syria.

It said France was guilty of “striking Muslims in the caliphate with their aircraft” and threatened further attacks “as long as it continues its Crusader campaign”.

Seven jihadists blew themselves up or were killed by security forces, and police are hunting for an eighth suspect.

TERRORISM

US vice president lays wreaths at site of 2015 Paris terror attacks

US Vice President Kamala Harris and French Prime Minister Jean Castex laid wreaths at a Paris cafe and France's national football stadium Saturday six years since deadly terror attacks that left 130 people dead.

US vice president lays wreaths at site of 2015 Paris terror attacks
US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff lay flowers after ceremonies at Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant, at which 130 people were killed during the 2015 Paris terror attacks. Photo: Sarahbeth Maney/POOL/AFP

The attacks by three separate teams of Islamic State group jihadists on the night of November 13, 2015 were the worst in France since World War II.

Gunmen mowed down 129 people in front of cafes and at a concert hall in the capital, while a bus driver was killed after suicide bombers blew themselves up at the gates of the stadium in its suburbs.

Harris, wrapping up a four-day trip to France, placed a bouquet of white flowers in front of a plaque honouring the victims outside a Paris cafe.

Castex attended a minute of silence at the Stade de France football stadium, along with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, before laying wreaths at the sites of the other attacks inside Paris.

In front of the Bataclan concert hall, survivors and relatives of the victims listened to someone read out the names of each of the 90 people killed during a concert there six years ago.

Public commemorations of the tragedy were called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year we weren’t allowed to come and we all found it really tough,” said Bruno Poncet, who made it out alive of the Bataclan.

But he said the start of a trial over the attacks in September meant that those attending the commemoration this year felt more united.

‘Overcome it all’

“We’ve really bonded thanks to the trial,” he said. “During previous commemorations, we’d spot each other from afar without really daring to speak to each other. We were really shy. But standing up in court has really changed everything.”

The marathon trial, the biggest in France’s modern legal history, is expected to last until May 2022.

Twenty defendants are facing sentences of up to life in prison, including the sole attacker who was not gunned down by police, Salah Abdeslam, a French-Moroccan national who was captured in Brussels. Six of the defendants are being tried in absentia.

Poncet said he felt it was crucial that he attend the hearings. “I can’t possibly not. It’s our lives that are being discussed in that room, and it’s important to come to support the others and to try to overcome it all.”

Survivors have taken to the witness stand to recount the horror of the attacks, but also to describe life afterwards.

Several said they had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, grappling with survivor’s guilt, or even feeling alienated from the rest of society.

Saturday’s commemorations are to wrap up with a minute of silence at the Stade de France in the evening before the kick-off for a game between France and Kazakhstan.

It was during a football match between France and Germany that three suicide bombers blew themselves up in 2015.

Then-French president Francois Hollande was one of the 80,000 people in the crowd, before he was discreetly whisked away to avoid triggering mass panic.

SHOW COMMENTS