Official documents show France has identified leader of militant attacks on Paris

PARIS (REUTERS) - French authorities say they have identified the commander of the Islamist militant attacks on Paris last year and know that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, cornered and killed days later by police, played a lesser role.

Newly published official documents cite testimony by Mr Bernard Bajolet, France's head of external security, to a closed-door parliamentary inquiry into France's anti-terrorism activities held on May 24.

Mr Bajolet did not identify who authorities now think was commander, or whether the person is alive or dead.

Abaaoud was initially described as the leader of the machinegun and suicide bomb attacks on the Bataclan music hall, Paris bars and restaurants, and the Stade de France football stadium on Nov 13 in which 130 people died.

"It is true that Abaaoud was a coordinator, but he was not the commander," Mr Bajolet was quoted as saying. "We know who the commander is, but I will stay discreet on that point.

"We now have a good knowledge of the organogram ... We have made progress on these subjects, we therefore have an idea of the identity of the commander."

Parliament published recommendations of the inquiry last week and released its full report on Tuesday.