Severed finger of identified Paris attacker found at Bataclan

Ismaël Omar Mostefaï had been identified as being at risk of radicalisation in 2010

Police have identified a 29-year-old French citizen they suspect was among three attackers who killed almost 100 people at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris on Friday night.

Video has emerged of the moment the gunmen opened fire on the concert.

The man, Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, was a petty criminal who the intelligence services had flagged in 2010 as a potential radical. He was identified from part of a severed finger found in the Bataclan after the three gunmen had killed 89 people.

Paris prosecutor François Molins said the suspect was born in the southern Paris suburb of Courcouronnes, and had been identified as being at risk of radicalisation in 2010. He had been convicted of eight relatively minor offences, including driving without a licence, but had never spent time in prison.


He had not been identified as belonging to an active jihadi cell in Chartres, the town where he lived in recent years, and had never been implicated in a terrorist investigation.

Seven of Mostefaï’s relatives are being questioned today, including his brother, father and an unidentified woman. The arrests were carried out in Romilly and Bondoufle, both on the outskirts of Paris.

French police say Mostefai, a father-of-one, travelled to Turkey in late 2013, and the intelligence services suspect he was in Syria for a number of months in late 2013 and early 2014, Le Monde reported. His former neighbours in La Madeleine, a working-class district in Chartres, said told local newspaper Le Journal du Centre he had not been seen in the area in two or three years. The same paper reported that Mostefai was acquainted with a radical Islamist, of Moroccan origin but based in Belgium, who came to Chartres a number of times.

“Today, the question that arises is to know whether a cell exists in Chartres or whether Ismaël Mostefaï was an isolated individual with links to other networks in Belgium or elsewhere,” Mayor of Chartres Jean-Pierre Gorges said.

Prosecutors have said three groups of attackers staged the six assaults across Paris on Friday evening, killing 129 people and injuring 352 people. Victims have been identified from 15 different countries.

Seven attackers died in the attacks: six blew themselves up with suicide vests - the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil - and one was shot dead by police. However, the discovery of a black Seat car in the Paris suburb of Montreuil on Sunday morning suggested that some of attackers may have escaped.

Three 762 calibre Kalashnikovs were abandoned inside the car, which was similar to the one police say was used in the attack on the Petit Cambodge restaurant and the Carillon bar in the 11th arrondissement on Friday night.

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is the Editor of The Irish Times