Mastermind still elusive

Paris Attack Coordinator Believed To Have Been Identified By French Authorities, Frustrations In Pin-Pointing Mastermind

The year-old investigation into all who participated and planned the horrific Paris attacks, has finally led French investigators to identify the alleged mastermind behind the attacks. Authorities have identified a Belgian militant in Syria as the coordinator of the deadly IS attack that occurred in Paris last year, yet a struggling to pinpoint his location.

Victims, as well as the relatives of those who were killed during the attacks, which fell on November 13 of 2015, are still seeking answers, as the anniversary of the horror-filled day approaches. Frustration has been common among authorities as the only living individual who is believed to be a part of the attacks is behind bars, yet is unwilling to talk.

It has been a grueling investigation that has included a large team to determine who the main coordinators and masterminds of the attacks were. As the Reuters states, “those who pulled the strings from abroad, at IS bases in Iraq and Syria or elsewhere.”

Oussama Atar, a 32-year-old from Brussels, has been added to the list of militants this past week that are believed to have played a main role. He is now believed to be in Syria.

A source spoke on the condition of anonymity based on this new named suspect.

“It’s a very strong suspicion. We are wary of being definitive while the investigation is still under way.”

The source also relayed information about Atar’s history, including that he was imprisoned in Iraq on arms-trafficking charges before joining IS in Syria back in 2012. He is suspected of playing a main role in the November 13 attacks, but it is not certain that he was the “mastermind in chief,”

Atar is believed to have been the one who recruited two Iraqis who blew themselves up at the Stade de France stadium just north of Paris, as a part of a more widespread attack on the nation. He is also said to be the individual that suicide bombers reported to before detonating bombs and blowing themselves up in Belgium on March 22. These acts killed 32 people.

Reuters shares how authorities were able to zero in on Atar.

“Atar, the latest addition to France’s suspects list, was identified in a group of photos shown to a militant arrested in Austria. But that advance means little for the survivors of the attacks, in which 90 of the 130 killed were shot or blown up by armed suicide bombers at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.”

Emmanuel Domenach, who was present at the attacks on the Bataclan, stated “Even if there’s little chance of bringing the attack mastermind to justice, it would be nice to know his name.”

Head of France’s foreign intelligence service, Bernars Bajolet, had told parliament in May that they have identified the “orchestrators” of the attacks but declined to name any names in order to protect his sources. However, there is a discrepancy on the matter seeing as investigators stated that they have yet to identify the coordinators and do not know who Bajolet was speaking of.

What is known is that three teams took part in the attack. These included suicide bombers at the stadium, gunmen who opened fire at cafes in Paris, and a group that killed 90 at the Bataclan.

The sole individual who was apprehended and imprisoned after taking part in the attacks. Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Belgium after fleeing from Paris and remains in solitary confinement. He refuses to speak at hearings. He is said to be the only survivor of the IS attack team.

The attacks on Paris and Belgium over the past year, have shaken Europe and the masses are eager for authorities to bring the masterminds of the attacks to justice.

[Featured Image by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

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