According to French police there could be a ninth, previously unnoticed jihadi on the run.
Footage from the Paris attacks has revealed the presence of an unaccounted for terrorist. They’re seen in a black Seat car with two of the other attackers, opening fire with assault weapons out the window at customers in a bar, The Guardian reported.
The Seat was later found with three AK-47 rifles in it, abandoned in the Paris suburb of Montreuil.
Three attackers died at the Bataclan, three more at the Stade de France – if there were three in the Seat as well that would bring the total of attackers to nine, and mean the police face the possibility they are now chasing two fugitives.
Salah Abdeslam is the other suspect, and he’s now the subject of a Europe-wide manhunt.
Abdeslam was last seen crossing the border from France to Belgium, where he was stopped by police at the border but they let him go. The two people he was with in the car have now been detained in Brussels and charged with terrorism offences, although they claim they knew nothing of the attacks, and that Abdeslam – a friend from the Molenbeek district – had rang them at 2am and asked them to come pick him up from Paris.
A spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office said: “They have been charged with complicity in terrorist attacks and participation in the activities of terrorist organisations.”
In other developments, another car was found in the 18th district of Paris, quite far away from where most of the attacks happened. It’s also believed that Salah Abdeslam rented this car, although it’s unclear why.
French website The Nouvel Observateur has quoted a police source as saying the car “could have served in the preparation of the attacks”. Police are now analysing it for forensics.
The suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdel-Hamid Abu Oud, is also still on the run. The Belgian national of Moroccan descent is thought to have also planned earlier attacks and acts as a recruiting agent for ISIS, The Guardian reported.
And investigators have now put a name to the voice on the ISIS claim of responsibility for Friday’s attacks – Fabien Clain, a French national and veteran jihadi. Clain previously spent time in a French jail, but is now in Syria, where he is believed to be part of an Islamic State propaganda unit.
The question on everyone’s lips now is how the French and Belgian intelligence services managed to miss such a massive plot, orchestrated by a number of individuals who are known to them for their extremist views, and have even spent time in Syria.
Inquiries are now being made into how the Paris attacks weren’t picked up by the authorities beforehand.