France questions family of Paris attacker | News | DW | 15.11.2015
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France questions family of Paris attacker

French investigators have been piecing together the events in the buildup to the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people. Terror group "Islamic State" is suspected of being behind the night of carnage.

Police questioned the relatives of one alleged attacker on Sunday, while also searching a car for clues about the lead-up to the attack.

At least six people were arrested by French police, including the father and brother of Omar Ismail Mostefai, as well as his brother's wife. The six were detained under a French procedure to gather witness statements, although they were not being held as formal suspects. The AFP news agency reported that Mostefai was not close to his family.

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Victims mourned as France investigates

Police also found a black Seat Leon, which could have been used by some of the attackers to escape, in the eastern suburb of Montreuil. Belgian police Saturday detained a French national who was suspected of renting a vehicle found near the attack on the Bataclan concert hall.

The venue, where rock band Eagles of Death Metal were playing a concert, was the scene of the most carnage on Friday, with 89 people killed in apparently coordinated shootings and suicide bombings at multiple sites.

The Paris attacks left at least 129 dead and over 300 wounded, dozens of them critically.

Strained family relations

Mostefai, a 29-year-old French citizen, was reported to be of French birth and Algerian descent, and was living in the city of Chartres, southwest of Paris. He was identified by a fingerprint from one of his severed fingers. Authorities searched Ismail's home, as well as the homes of family members.

Ismail's brother claims he cut ties with the alleged attacker several years ago, but never imagined he could become radicalized.

Investigators are now probing whether the shooter took a trip to Syria last year, according to police sources.

Belgian prosecutors on Sunday said seven people had been detained after raids in Brussels that followed the attacks on Friday. Investigators added that two assailants living in Belgium were among the killers who died during the attacks.

A message, believed to have come from "Islamic State" (IS), emerged on Saturday, claiming responsibility for the attacks. It said the attacks would continue until France changed its policies. France is part of the US-led coalition that has been striking IS targets in Syria and Iraq for the past year.

Full picture to emerge

While most of the victims of the attacks were French, at leas 29 foreigners also lost their lives. Among the victims were two Algerians, three Belgians, a Briton, three Chileans, two Mexicans, a Moroccan, two Portuguese, two Romanians, a Spaniard, a Swede, two Tunisians and an American.

Infografik Karte Anschläge in Paris Englisch

German authorities still have no complete data on German citizens injured in France, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, but one German citizen was confirmed among the dead.

Berlin authorities and the German embassy in France are in close contact with French officials, the ministry said.

Authorities have so far identified victims from Britain, the US, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and several other European, South American and African countries.

At the G20 summit, US President Barack Obama vowed to step up efforts to eliminate IS in Syria and Iraq and prevent it from carrying out attacks like those in Paris.

rc/sgb (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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