French militant made audio recording claiming Paris attacks: Probe source

PARIS (AFP) - A French militant named Fabien Clain made the audio recording of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group statement claiming the Paris attacks which was published online, a source close to the investigation said.

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 militants 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.

ISIS militants 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.