Paris attacks probe: what we know so far


Paris (AFP)

Four months after Islamic extremists killed 130 people in Paris, armed police on Friday arrested suspect Salah Abdeslam, Europe's most wanted man, in a raid in the Belgian capital.

Seven suicide bombers and gunmen blew themselves up or were killed by police in the November 13 attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade de France stadium and a string of bars and restaurants across eastern Paris.

Five days later, the suspected ringleader, 28-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid on a flat in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis along with two other people.

Here is a summary of the latest developments in the investigation:

- Salah Abdeslam -

A French national of Moroccan origin, Salah Abdeslam is thought to be the last surviving member of the 10-man jihadist team that carried out the Paris attacks.

He hired one of he cars used in the attacks and then used it to drive suicide bombers to the Stade de France with the task then of blowing himself up, investigators say.

But he apparently backed out from suicide, and an explosives-filled vest was later found in Paris in an area where he had been, according to mobile phone signals.

Police believe he fled across the border the next morning to his home town, Brussels.

Prosecutors said special forces raided the house in the Molenbeek district of Brussels on Friday because of evidence found in an operation in the city on Tuesday, in which a Paris-linked suspect died in a gunbattle with police and two other people escaped.

His brother Brahim, 31, also a French national, carried out one of the suicide bomb attacks in Paris and was buried in a quiet ceremony in Brussels on Thursday, the day before Salah was captured.

- Bataclan attackers -

The worst bloodshed took place at the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 rock fans were shot dead by three French gunmen, all of whom had spent time in Syria.

Twenty-three-year-old Foued Mohamed-Aggad was part of a group of 10 that left Strasbourg for Syria in 2013. He was identified after his DNA was matched with that of his mother.

The other two attackers were 28-year-old former bus driver Samy Amimour and Omar Ismail Mostefai, 29. Both were from the Paris area and were known radicals.

Two of the three blew themselves up and the third was shot by police.

- Bars/restaurants gunmen -

Shortly before the assault on the Bataclan, a group of three gunmen, including Abaaoud, drove around the east of Paris spraying cafes and restaurants with bullets.

Brahim Abdeslam eventually blew himself up outside a cafe-bar, injuring one person.

Abaaoud, a notorious Belgian jihadist of Moroccan origin, escaped unharmed but was killed in the massive police operation in Saint-Denis on November 18.

The third gunman, Belgian-Moroccan Chakib Akrouh, 25, blew himself up during the Saint-Denis raid and was identified by police on Thursday.

- Stadium bombers -

The coordinated attacks began when three men blew themselves up outside the Stade de France national stadium during a France-Germany football match. Only one of that trio has been identified: Bilal Hadfi, a 20-year-old French national who was living in Belgium and who had also travelled to Syria.

The other two were carrying fake Syrian passports they apparently used to enter Greece in October, posing as refugees.

- Saint-Denis police raid -

During the seven-hour police raid on the Saint-Denis flat, three people died: Abaaoud, his 26-year-old French-born cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen, and Chakib Akrouh. Aitboulahcen died when Akrouh blew himself up. Akrouh is suspected of participating in attacking the bars and restaurants.

The police fired over 5,000 rounds as well as grenades, making the bodies difficult to identify.

- Wanted -

Mohamed Abrini, a 30-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin who appears in CCTV footage with Abdeslam two days before the attacks, is still on the run. He was seen at a petrol station north of Paris with Salah Abdeslam, with Abrini driving one of the vehicles used in the assaults. Another man Soufiane Kayal is also wanted.

- Charged -

Belgian authorities have so far charged 11 suspects, including three men accused of helping Abdeslam escape.