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article imageIraqi jihadist identified among Paris bombers

By AFP     Jan 18, 2017 in World

An Iraqi jihadist was among the three suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France during the November 2015 attacks on Paris, a French intelligence source said Wednesday.

Until now, only one of the bombers who detonated their explosives outside the stadium during a France-Germany friendly had been identified: Bilal Hadfi, a 20-year-old Frenchman living in Belgium.

France's DGSE intelligence agency now believes that one of Hadfi's accomplices was Ammar Ramadan Mansour Mohamad al-Sabaawi from the Iraqi city of Mosul.

He and the third attacker, whose identity is still unknown, are believed to have slipped into Europe with a group of refugees who landed on the Greek island of Leros on October 3, 2015. Both were carrying fake Syrian passports when they died. IS had said both were Iraqi nationals.

One person was killed in the Stade de France attack which marked the start of a series of coordinated strikes around Paris on the evening of November 13, 2015, that was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

In all 130 people were killed as a group of jihadists went on the rampage, spraying bars and restaurants with bullets and killing 90 people attending a rock concert at the Bataclan theatre.

They were the worst terror attacks in French history and left the nation traumatised.

In a memo from February 2016 that was declassified in December, intelligence agents said IS paid the Iraqi bomber's family $5,000 (4,670 euros) in Iraqi dinars in compensation for his death.

According to the memo, the IS operatives had avoided mention of the Paris attacks, telling the family instead that he had carried out a suicide attack in Baghdad.

The only known living member of the group of attackers, Salah Abdeslam, was arrested in Belgium in March 2016 and transferred to France.

He is refusing to cooperate with French investigators.

IS has singled out France -- the country with Europe's biggest Muslim minority -- as one of its top targets.

Eight months after the Paris attacks, a Tunisian attacker rammed a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, July 14, in the southern city of Nice, killing 86 people.

IS claimed that the assault by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was the work of one of its "soldiers". Bouhlel was killed in a shootout with police at the scene.

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