Snapshots of terrorists' cold-blooded acts

French police reports into the carnage in Paris last year were littered with examples of the cold-blooded nature of the terrorists involved. Here is a brief look at three of them.

AT THE BATACLAN THEATRE

The tallest of the three attackers was 1.8m. He had an explosive belt strapped to his body and held a detonator in his hand.

At one point, he stepped into the orchestra pit and started playing the xylophone, the whole time "laughing sadistically", according to witnesses quoted in a report.

They would identify him later from his mugshot: He was Samy Amimour, a former bus driver.

AT THE STADE DE FRANCE

Security camera footage showed Bilal Hadfi, the youngest of the assailants, as he paced outside the stadium, talking on a cellphone. The phone was activated less than an hour before he detonated his vest.

From 8.41pm until just before he died at 9.28pm, his phone was in constant touch with a phone inside the rental car being driven by the mastermind of the assaults on that night, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

It also repeatedly called a cellphone in Belgium.

AT THE COMPTOIR VOLTAIRE BISTRO

Diners first saw Ibrahim Abdeslam, a brother of the man arrested on Friday in Brussels, pacing back and forth in front of the bistro's awning on Rue Voltaire. What drew their attention were the bulky layers of clothing he was wearing which were excessive even for a chilly November evening. Just after 9pm, he turned and walked into the bistro, past the covered terrace built around a curved bar.

"He turned and looked at the people with a smile. He apologised for any disturbance he had caused. And then he blew himself up," according to a French police report.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'Snapshots of terrorists' cold-blooded acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe