French police have named the first of seven dead terrorists who carried out three deadly simultaneous attacks Friday across Paris. One of them – a 29-year-old French national – was a known petty criminal who was radicalized five years ago, officials say.
Another French national suspected of being an accomplice was arrested Saturday on the border with Belgium where some of the attackers, including Omar Ismail Mostefai, the first terrorist named, are believed to have been living
The admission by the Paris prosecutor that Mostefai was known to authorities is likely to revive worries that the French security services are simply overwhelmed by the challenge posed by jihadists.
After the attack in January on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, French intelligence and counter-terror authorities came under scathing criticism for having issued no advance warning of the planned terrorism, despite the fact that all the assailants were known to police and had come under some surveillance previously.
Paris prosecutor Molins was quick to stress to reporters that Mostefai had not been accused of terrorism in the past. He had a rap sheet with charges and convictions but had never received a custodial sentence, police sources told VOA.
VOA-Report Jamie Dettmer