The first gunman in the horrific attack on Paris has been given a name — Omar Ismail Mostefai. NDTV reported that 29-year-old Mostefai was identified from a severed finger in the carnage of the attack on the Bataclan Theatre, the worst of the attacks in Paris on Friday. Mostefai blew himself up in the attack. Omar Ismail Mostefai was born in a Paris suburb of Courcouronnes, and had three brothers and two sisters. Mostefai had been convicted eight times for petty crimes, but never jailed. Mostefai’s prints matched police records. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that Omar had gotten authorities’ attention in 2010 and was blacklisted as being “radical,” but had “never been implicated in a terrorist network or plot.”
In the video above, an India news anchor reported that the terrorists had planned the attack over several months and that three teams had been involved in a strategic plan that killed over 130 people in the Paris attack. One of the attackers was a woman. Omar Ismail Mostefai was in the first of the teams — a team of three that attacked the Bataclan Theatre, where 89 people were killed. The second team of two terrorists detonated themselves outside France’s Stade de France national stadium, but only killed one other person besides themselves. The third team of two terrorists went on a shooting spree that killed 49 people.
Mostefai was one of three armed men who burst into the Bataclan Theatre, shouting “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) before they opened fire. Concert-goers heard the jihadists raging about the decision of the French president to join U.S.-led air strikes on Syria back in September. Paris police stormed the theatre, and Mostefai and another gunman blew themselves up; the third gunman was shot by police. All seven terrorists in the attack were confirmed dead at the end of the deadly attack, and two cars they were in were also identified. One of the cars had a Belgian license plate and was full of assault weapons.
Omar Ismail Mostefai’s father and one of his brothers were taken into custody Saturday night. Paris investigators are also searching the homes of friends and other relatives of Mostefai, as well. AFP reported that the 34-year-old brother had first contacted police and was then brought in. The brother told AFP, “It’s a crazy thing, it’s madness.”
“Yesterday I was in Paris and I saw what a mess this was.”
France 24 confirmed that six of Mostefai’s family members were in custody early this morning. Paris President Francois Hollande said on Saturday that he promised a “merciless” response to the Friday attack, and described the attack claimed by ISIS as an “act of war.”
A second gunman may be revealed soon — a fake Syrian passport was found near the bodies of one of the terrorists and authorities confirm that the terrorist used the passport to get into Greece and registered as a Syrian refugee. The attack on Paris was a strategic plan that had been thought out for several months, authorities believe. Mostefai was a Parisan national, and the question is “Why would a Paris citizen harm his own country?” Mostefai is not the first “home-grown” terrorist — this is a growing trend and authorities need better resources to identify them and monitor them. This also puts a whole new light onto what the purpose of the U.S. Homeland Security program is all about now. How many people like Mostefai have been identified in the U.S. through this program? We may never know.
[Photo by Thierry Chesnot / Getty Images]