French officials released more information about the attacks

By Maria Mercedes Lara
Updated November 15, 2015 09:00 AM
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Credit: Thibault Camus/AP

French investigators have identified several of the attackers involved in the devastating attacks in Paris on Friday which left at least 129 dead and 352 injured.

The first attacker to be publicly identified was Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, a 23-year-old French citizen who was one of the hostage-takers at the Bataclan concert hall. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins confirmed that he had been known to French authorities and had been under surveillance since 2010. According to The New York Times, six of Mostefaï’s family members have been detained for questioning, although one family member told French TV on Sunday that he had been estranged from them.

One of the other attackers, whose name has not yet been released, was a 25-year-old man with a Syrian passport. Officials claim he entered the European Union on Oct. 23 through Greece on the island of Leros,according to CNN.

A Stade de France security guard, who was identified only as Zouheir, said that he discovered an explosives vest while searching one of the attackers who was trying to enter the stadium on Friday night, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Molins said that Zouheir told him that the attacker then began to back away from security before detonating his vest. French police also confirmed Zouheir’s story, saying they believe the attacker wanted to detonate the vest inside the stadium to create a deadly stampede.

Shortly after the first attacker detonated his vest, a second attacker inside the stadium blew himself up outside the stadium. Another attacker detonated his explosives vest at a nearby McDonald’s. One civilian died in the attacks on Stade de France.

The security guard’s search of the attacker was likely one of the reasons why the Stade de France explosions (which took place during a packed soccer game between France and Germany) failed to cause the type of carnage seen in other attack location like Bataclan.

On Saturday, Belgium Justice Minister Koen Greens said that Belgium police had arrested three people were arrested in connection with a suspicious black car that was spotted outside Batacalan ahead of the attack.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced on Sunday that 103 of the dead victims had been identified. The first identified American victim was 23-year-old student Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed at a restaurant. Another victim, 36-year-old British man Nick Alexander, was working at a merch manager for Eagles of Death Metal when the attackers opened fire inside Bataclan.