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Paris attacks: Identifications and arrests start piling up

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports about the deadly Paris attacks where 129 deaths have been confirmed
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer repor... 02:37

PARIS - Two days after the deadly coordinated terrorist attacks on Paris left at least 132 people dead and 352 injured, officials have begun to put together a picture of those responsible, and launched an aggressive manhunt for a suspect with direct links to the attack still at large. Arrests being made across Europe related to the attacks as well as the identity of those responsible are slowly being made public.

France has been in an official state of mourning since the attacks, with the Eiffel Tower going dark and President Francois Hollande vowing that France would wage "merciless" war on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which claimed responsibility for the mayhem, as investigators raced to track down their accomplices and uncovered possible links to networks in Belgium, Germany and Syria.

Three of the seven suicide bombers killed in the Paris attacks were French citizens, as was at least one of the seven other people arrested in neighboring Belgium suspected of links to the attacks.

A French police official confirmed that a suicide attacker identified by a skin sample had been living in a Paris suburb. A Belgian official said two of the seven suicide bombers were French men living in Brussels, and among those arrested was another French citizen living in the Belgian capital. The new information highlighted growing fears of possible homegrown terrorism in France, a country that has exported more jihadis than any other in Europe.

A U.S. law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton there were eight attackers, seven of whom are dead, with one still at-large. The source said the possible identifies of three of the deceased terrorist suspects are: Ahmad al-Mohammad, born 1990, and from Enid Syria; Ismail Mostefai, whose father Mohammad Mostesari is a French citizen; and Yousef Salahel, born 1988 in Egypt.

French officials have identified the alleged attacker at large as Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Belgian resident with French citizenship. He apparently rented the car with Belgium tags that has become a focus of the investigation. A notice, released Sunday evening, warns people who see him that he is dangerous, saying "do not intervene yourself."

French officials identified early Sunday Ismael Mostefai as a 29-year-old Frenchman who had been flagged for links to Islamic radicalism. A French judicial official says Mostefai's father, a brother, and several other people, including other family members, have been detained and are being questioned Sunday, French media report.

The mayor of the French city of Chartres, Jean-Pierre Gorges, identified Mostefai as a resident in a Facebook post. The judicial official confirmed the name, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

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The Paris prosecutor said Mostefai was identified by fingerprints on a finger found in the carnage of the Paris attacks Friday night. A U.S. law enforcement source told CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton French law enforcement officials were taking DNA and fingerprints from the dead terrorists. The test results were being run through databases as part of effort to identify the terrorists and their networks.

A neighbor in Chartres, Eric Pudal, said roughly 20 heavily armed police swooped in on the home Saturday evening.

Pudal said he was startled by the arrest, describing the family, which recently welcomed a baby daughter, as "very nice, very sociable."

Pudal said he had never met the reported suicide bomber, Ismael Mostefai, and had never heard him being discussed by his neighbors.

Serbian police said Sunday the owner of a passport found near a suicide bomber in Paris entered the country on Oct. 7 from Macedonia - part of a wave of asylum-seekers crossing the Balkans toward Western Europe.

CBS News has confirmed the name on the passport is Ahmad Al-Mohammad. A U.S. intelligence source who confirmed the name warned however that the passport might be fake. The passport did not contain the correct numbers for a legitimate Syrian passport. Also, the picture did not match the name.

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A Syrian passport with the name "Ahmad Almohammad" on it, recovered from suicide bomber who blew himself up at Stade de France. Officials have not confirmed whether or not the suicide bomber is actually the man who appears on the passport.

Police said in a statement Sunday that the man, identified officially only as A.A., formally requested asylum in Serbia. The statement says it's the same passport holder registered as entering Greece on Oct. 3.

The Syrian passport was found next to the body of a man who attacked France's national stadium on Friday night.

Officials in Greece say the passport's owner entered through Leros, one of the eastern Aegean islands that tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty have been using as a gateway into the European Union.

Belgian authorities announced Sunday a total of seven people have been detained there in relation to the attack. Officials conducted raids in a Brussels neighborhood Saturday and arrested three people near the border with France after a car with Belgian license plates was seen close to the Bataclan theater. Molins said a French national was among those arrested.

A Belgian official, who spoke to The Associated Press in Brussels on condition of anonymity, said two of the seven attackers who died in Paris on Friday night were French men living in Brussels, one of them in the neighborhood of St. Jans Molenbeek.

In addition, the governor of Bavaria said the arrest of a man in Germany last week may be linked to the Paris attacks. A spokesman for Bavarian state police spokesman confirmed that firearms, explosives and hand grenades were found when undercover police stopped a man near the German-Austrian border on Nov. 5.

Ludwig Waldinger declined to confirm reports by public broadcaster Bayrischer Rundfunk that the man appeared to be en route to Paris when he was arrested. Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer told reporters Saturday there were "reasonable grounds" to assume that there may be a link to the Paris attacks.

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The Paris prosecutor said all seven attackers wore identical suicide vests containing the explosive TATP.

A French judicial official said Sunday a Seat car with suspected links to Friday's deadly Paris attacks has been found by police in Montreuil, a suburb nearly 4 miles east of the French capital.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not publicly authorized to speak, could not immediately confirm if this was the same black Seat linked to the gun attacks on the Le Carillon bar and the Le Petit Cambodge restaurant in Rue Alibert in the city's 10th district. The French channel BFMTV reports officials found three Kalashnikov automatic rifles in the car.

A Frenchman who may have hired another car used in the attacks was stopped at the Belgian border on Saturday morning, along with two other people, Molins said, according to Reuters.

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Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Saturday that gunmen armed with automatic weapons pulled up in that model of car before opening fire, killing 15 people and injuring 10.

A U.S. intelligence source tells CBS News investigators have so far seen no insider knowledge in the chatter or communications that is being intercepted to verify who was involved. While there have been people saying glowing things about the Paris attack, no one has revealed information about the attack that only the attackers would have knowledge of, the source said.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said three groups of attackers, including seven suicide bombers, carried out the "act of barbarism" that shattered a Parisian Friday night.

Molins, the prosecutor, said all seven attackers wore identical suicide vests containing the explosive TATP.

CBS News' Investigative Unit can confirm that American law enforcement is looking into the man arrested in Bavaria. They have been in contact with Bavarian police on this, as well as Montenegrin police, as he is a citizen of Montenegro. It appears he would not talk with police and is possibly still in detention in Germany.

The militants launched six gun and bomb attacks over the course of 20 minutes Friday in areas of the capital packed with people.

For unknown reasons, the bombers were late to the game, so they detonated their bombs in a much smaller crowd. One of them was a propane tank in a backpack loaded with screws and bolts. One security source tells CBS News the bombs at all six locations killed very few victims - nearly all the dead were shot with Kalashnikov machine guns.

Around the same time, fusillades of bullets shook a trendy Paris neighborhood as gunmen targeted a string of crowded cafes.

The attackers next stormed the Bataclan concert hall, which was hosting the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. They opened fire on the panicked audience and took many hostage. As police closed in, three detonated explosive belts, killing themselves, according to Paris police chief Michel Cadot.

A French survivor of the rampage at Paris' Bataclan concert hall says he was struck by how young the attackers were.

Julien Pearce, journalist at Europe 1 radio, was at the Bataclan concert hall on Friday to attend the concert by the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. He said when the three attackers stormed in "it took me few seconds to realize it was gunshots."

Pearce and his friends immediately got down on the ground to avoid the random shots, then ran and crawled into a tiny dark room next to the stage.

He said "there was no exit, so we were just in another trap, less exposed, but still a trap."

Pearce said could discreetly look out and see one of the assailants. He says "he seemed very young. That's what struck me, his childish face, very determined, cold, calm, frightening."

Once the attackers reloaded, his group rang across the stage to the emergency exit, helping a wounded woman out. Looking back, he saw "dozens and dozens of entangled, bullet-riddled bodies in a pool of blood."

Another assailant detonated a suicide bomb on Boulevard Voltaire, near the music hall, the prosecutor's office said.

The Paris carnage was the worst in a series of attacks claimed by ISIS in the past three days. On Thursday, twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 200, and 26 people died Friday in Baghdad in a suicide blast and a roadside bombing that targeted Shiites.

The militant group also said it bombed a Russian plane that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31, killing 224 people.

ISIS also suffered significant reversals this week, with Kurdish forces launching an offensive to retake the strategic Iraqi city of Sinjar and the U.S. military saying it had likely killed Mohammed Emwazi, the British-accented militant known as "Jihadi John" who is seen in grisly ISIS beheading videos. The Pentagon also said an American airstrike targeted and likely killed Abu Nabil, a top ISIS leader in Libya.

France has been on edge since January, when Islamic extremists attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had run cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and a kosher grocery. Twenty people died in those attacks, including three shooters.

French authorities are particularly concerned about the threat from hundreds of French Islamic radicals who are known to have traveled to Syria and have returned home, potentially with skills to mount attacks.

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