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French investigators name 'coordinator of Paris attacks'

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French investigators name 'coordinator of Paris attacks'
Photo: AFP
12:51 CET+01:00
French investigators probing last November's terror attacks in Paris have told AFP a man named Oussama Atar was the individual coordinating the Paris terror attacks.

French investigators have identified a Syria-based extremist of dual Belgian and Moroccan nationality as a suspected
coordinator of attacks in Paris and Brussels, sources close to the case told AFP on Tuesday.

Oussama Atar, a 32-year-old thought to be a member of the Islamic State group, was already a suspect in the Brussels attacks on March 22 but has now been linked to the November 13, 2015 atrocities in Paris.

"He's the only coordinator from Syria to have been identified during the investigations," one of the sources told AFP.

Another source told L'Express newspaper however that it "was not 100 percent certain that Atar was the man who gave the orders, but "he was one of the names they were working on".

The newspaper's source described Atar "as a coordinator rather than a commander" who provided logistical support and money from his base in Syria.

Atar, believed to go by the pseudonym Abou Ahmad, is a cousin of the El Bakraoui brothers who blew themselves up in the Brussels airport and Metro attacks.

The names of other jihadists have emerged over the last year as being likely ringleaders of the Paris attacks from Abdelhamid Abaaoud who was killed in a raid in Saint-Denis in the days after the attacks to Frenchman Fabien Clain and Salim Benghalem.

However investigators have never officially named anyone.

France is gearing up to mark this weekend the anniversary of the Paris attacks, that left 130 dead.

The Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died during a show attacked by three gunmen, is set to reopen on Saturday with a gig by Sting.

French President Francois Hollande will lead low-key commemorations on Sunday in the presence of survivors and family members of the dead.

 

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