Three Brothers Living in Belgium Among Paris Attack Suspects

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People gather outside Le Carillon restaurant, one of the attack sites in Paris, November 15. Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

Updated | Authorities on Sunday confirmed that three brothers living in Belgium are suspects in Friday’s attacks that killed at least 132 people and wounded another 352 in Paris.

One of the brothers, identified as Ibrahim Abdeslam, was killed during Friday’s bloodshed, while another, Mohamed, was detained on Saturday in Brussels.

The third brother, Salah Abdeslam, 26, is currently on the lam and believed to be dangerous. News AU reports that he was a logistics coordinator, and may have rented one of the getaway cars used in the attacks. Belgian authorities are asking the public to help find him, but have urged: “Do not intervene on your own, under any circumstances.”

French authorities initially said six of the attackers died onsite during suicide missions, and one perished in a shootout with police. On Sunday, officials said they were looking for an eighth possible attacker, though it’s unclear whether that suspect is Salah.

Authorities also identified Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, as a suspect in the attacks. Police have detained six of his relatives as the country begins three days of national mourning.

He is believed to be one of three armed men to storm the Bataclan venue during a concert by the American rock band the Eagles of Death Metal, killing at least 89 people in the worst single attack in what was a wave of coordinated incidents across the city. At least two of the attackers at the Bataclan detonated suicide vests after police stormed the venue.

At least 99 people remain in critical condition from the attacks on the Bataclan, a Cambodian restaurant and France’s national football stadium, the Stade de France.

The investigation into the attack has widened to neighboring Belgium, where police arrested three men on Saturday in raids on the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Sieghild Lacoere said. Seven people in total have been detained in Belgium in connection with the attacks as of Sunday afternoon, a Belgian official told the Associated Press.

The suspected attackers in Friday’s suicide operation in the French capital used at least two vehicles that were rented in Belgium, a Belgian prosecutor told AFP news agency on Sunday.

French authorities are seeking a possible eighth suspect who may have fled in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, a French official, who was not authorized to speak to the media and therefore was not identified, told The New York Times on Sunday.

Investigators identified Mostefai after finding a severed finger at the scene of the Bataclan attack.

He is from Courcouronnes, a town 15 miles (25km) south of Paris, and had lived in the nearby town of Chartres until 2012, local MP Jean-Pierre Gorges wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Mostefai had never been imprisoned but he had a history of petty crime and French security services had flagged him in 2010 as having been radicalized, according to the BBC.

French authorities detained six people related to Mostefai, including his father, brother and sister-in-law, on Saturday. Security officials were searching their homes.

"It's crazy, insane. I was in Paris myself last night, I saw what a mess it was," Mostefai's older brother, whose name was not reported, told AFP news agency on Saturday before he was detained. "It's been a time since I have had any news [about him]. I called my mother, she didn't seem to know anything."

A black Seat car, which authorities believe one of the three teams of attackers used in their operation, was found abandoned in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil. Authorities discovered three Kalashnikov automatic rifles in the vehicle, CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV reported.

A black Volkswagen found at the Bataclan after the attacks on Friday had been rented by a French national who resided in Belgium, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. Authorities arrested the man at the French-Belgian border in a different vehicle. The man was accompanied by two other people who were also arrested, the prosecutor said.

"We can say at this stage of the investigation there were probably three co-ordinated teams of terrorists behind this barbaric act,” Molins, speaking to reporters in Paris, said on Sunday.

"We have to find out where they came from... and how they were financed."

The Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement released by its official foreign media arm on Saturday. French President Francois Hollande, after declaring a state of emergency, called the attacks an “act of war” and vowed a “merciless” response.

Authorities from a number of eastern European and Balkan countries are attempting to detail the movements of the owner of the Syrian passport found next to the remains of one of the suicide bombers, at France’s national football stadium. It remains unclear if the Syrian passport is authentic.

According to the Serbian paper Blic, one Ahmed Almuhamed posed as a Syrian refugee in order to enter the region. Greek officials say the owner of the passport entered Greece on October 3 via the Aegean island of Leros. Serbian police say he crossed into Serbia from Macedonia on October 7, and Croatian police say he was registered at a refugee center on October 8. Croatian police spokeswoman Helena Biocic told the Associated Press that authorities did not flag the passport owner as suspicious, so he continued toward the neighbouring countries of Hungary and Austria.

The EU’s justice and interior ministers are to hold a special meeting on the attacks next Friday, the Associated Press reported , as requested by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Sunday. Cazeneuve said that the EU’s “battle against terrorism must be, more than ever, steadfast.”

Speaking after a meeting with Hollande on Sunday, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy,  leader of opposition conservatives, called for a change to France’s policy in Syria. He suggested working with Russia in that country, as “we need everyone...there can’t be two coalitions in Syria.”

France plans to intensify its airstrike campaign against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq in coordination with Washington, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday.

The attacks have caused a U-turn in Poland’s policy on accepting refugees under an agreed EU plan to relocate thousands of people currently in the EU states of Italy, Greece and Hungary.

The country’s new European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymanski said on Saturday that "after the tragic events of Paris we do not see the political possibility of respecting” the decisions of the European Council, the EU body led by former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk that directs the bloc’s political agenda.

However, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday that there was no requirement for a change of the EU’s refugee policy after the deadly attacks.

“Those who organized, who perpetrated the attacks are the very same people who the refugees are fleeing and not the opposite. And so there is no need for an overall review of the European policy on refugees,” he said ahead of the G20 summit in the Turkish resort of Antalya.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, also in Turkey for the meeting of world leaders, said that the world must come together to defeat terrorism. “We will only be able to deal with the terrorist threat...if all the international community unites its efforts,” he said.

The Russian leader also held informal talks with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the summit on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing live footage from the meeting.

The leaders of the G20, the world’s 20 most powerful countries, agreed to increase border and airport security in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters. The final document is set to be released on Sunday.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz told reporters on Sunday that the country’s spy services were helping France with its investigation into the attacks.

“The cooperation is ongoing, but in accordance with the prime minister’s directive, intelligence material relevant to what happened has been relayed, and we will also deepen the cooperation,” he said. “This information can help the French—and not just the French, by the way—to deal with the aftermath, and not just with what happened, but also with terrorist attacks planned for the future.”

The U.K. will observe a Europe-wide minute’s silence at 11:00 GMT on Monday, Downing Street confirmed on Sunday.

The gunmen and suicide bombers killed at least one British national, one American, three Chileans, two Belgians, two Mexicans, two Spaniards and many French civilians. Other nationalities of victims in the attacks are yet to be confirmed. Twenty to thirty bodies of victims in the attacks have yet to be identified, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday.

This article has been updated with details about new attack suspects.