Paris attacks: What we know about the attackers so far

Alleged mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left) and a suspect on the run, Salah Abdeslam.
Alleged mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud (left) and a suspect on the run, Salah Abdeslam.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (Reuters) - France, which with Belgium is striving to track down any living assailants and would-be assailants after the Nov 13 attacks on Paris, says that the suspected mastermind, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was among those killed in a police assault north of Paris on Wednesday (Nov 18).

Here's what we know about the attackers who died in Friday's attacks on Paris and Wednesday's police assault in Saint Denis, north of the capital, as well as others key to investigations:


Nov 13: Seven assailants, not all named, played direct roles in the Nov 13 attacks - three at the Bataclan hall, three outside the Stade de France stadium and one in the cafe killings.

Nov 18: At least two people died and eight were arrested in a Nov 18 police assault on a building in Saint Denis. A statement from the office of French public prosecutor Francois Molins on Thursday said that a body was identified as that of prime suspect Abaaoud.

His possible presence in the Saint Denis flat was part of the reason for the Nov. 18 police assault. Up until Wednesday, Abaaoud was believed to be in Syria.


Salah Abdeslam, 26, French, born in Brussels on Sept 15, 1989

Source: notice published by French police/police sources. Suspected of having rented black VW Polo car used in attacks in Paris.

Lawyer Xavier Carette told Belgian broadcaster RTBF that Abdeslam returned from Paris to Brussels last Saturday morning after being stopped by French police three times along the way.

His brother, Brahim, was killed in the attack.

Both Salah and Brahim were known to Belgian authorities for having radicalised and were questioned earlier this year, Belgian prosecutors said. It was not clear whether Salah had travelled to Syria.


Ismail Omar Mostefai, 29 (born Nov 21, 1985): Frenchman of Algerian descent involved in the Nov 13 Bataclan attack, lived for a time in Chartres area, south-west of Paris. Born in Courcouronnes, south of Paris.

Source: prosecutor's office/judiciary sources. Name was put on French intelligence services' "S notice" in 2010 for reported radicalisation. An unnamed senior Turkish government official says Turkey contacted France about Mostefai in December 2014 and June 2015 but only got a return request for information on him after the Paris attacks. Members of his family were released from custody after questioning.

Samy Amimour, 28 (born Oct 15, 1987): Involved in the Nov 13 Bataclan attack. French, from Drancy near Saint Denis, north of Paris. Subject of international arrest warrant since late 2013. Had been under official investigation since October 2012 on suspicion of terrorism-related activity over a plan to go to Yemen.

Source: Paris prosecutor's office statement.

Brahim Abdeslam, 31 (born July 30, 1984): French, resident of Belgium. Blew himself up at Comptoir Voltaire cafe in Paris in the Nov 13 attack. Brother of Salah and Mohamad Abdeslam.

Source: French judiciary. Brahim tried to go to Syria earlier this year but was sent back by Turkish officials. On his return to Belgium, he was questioned by the authorities but released. Brahim owned a bar in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek that was closed by officials after a police raid found evidence of drug use. Filings show that Brahim sold the bar in late September.

Bilal Hadfi, 20 (born Jan 22, 1995): Involved in the Nov 13 Stade de France attack.

Source: French judiciary. Belgian prosecutors say they were aware he had gone to fight in Syria were not aware of his return.

Unnamed: Suicide bomber involved in Stade de France attack. Passport found beside this dead body carries name of Ahmad Al Mohammad, 25, (born Sept. 10 1990), from Idlib, north-west Syria. Passport is being checked but fingerprints match up with print of a person registered under that name as arriving in Greece in October 2015.

Source: French prosecutor's office.

Unnamed: Possible third suicide bomber who died in Nov 13 Stade de France attacks.

Source: police notice asking people to help identify the person in a photo.

Woman who allegedly blew herself up during the Nov 18 police assault on the flat in Saint Denis.

Source: Paris prosecutor. Woman's first name may be Hasna Ait Boulahcenis and she may be a cousin of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, according to a source close to case.


France: Eight were taken into custody in the Nov 18 raid, of whom three were pulled from the targeted flat and two more from the rubble of building where the flat was located. Another three were arrested in the vicinity: the man believed to have provided the flat, a woman who was with him and another man.

Police have taken 60 people into custody and put a further 118 under house arrest after more than 400 raids as of Wednesday in broader sweeps on suspected Islamist militants; arms finds during searches came to 87 weapons including 11 military-grade weapons, long rifles and handguns. Source: interior ministry statement and Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Belgium: Two of seven people arrested in Nov 14 raids were detained on terrorism charges. Lawyer Carette told RTBF his client Mohammad Amri and a friend were unwitting accomplices who knew nothing about any role in attacks when Amri drove Salah Abdeslam back from Paris to Brussels.

Mohammad Abdeslam, brother of Salah and Brahim (dead), was among five released after preliminary questioning. Police searched another six addresses on Nov. 19 in relation to the Paris attacks and detained one. Much of the focus is on Molenbeek, a poor Brussels district that is home to many Muslim immigrants.