1 week after attacks, defiant Parisians honour the dead as search intensifies for accomplice

A week after the deadliest attacks on France in decades, shell-shocked Parisians honoured the 130 victims with candles and songs Friday, knowing that at least one suspect is still at large and fearing that other militants could be slipping through Europe's porous borders.

PARIS — A week after the deadliest attacks on France in decades, shell-shocked Parisians honoured the 130 victims with candles and songs Friday, knowing that at least one suspect is still at large and fearing that other militants could be slipping through Europe’s porous borders.

Having established how the attacks against a soccer stadium, sidewalk cafes and a rock concert were carried out, investigators were still piecing together details on the assailants and how they converged in the French capital.

Prosecutors said Friday that they had determined through fingerprint checks that two of the seven attackers who died in the bloodshed had entered Europe through Greece on Oct. 3.

Previously they had said only one attacker had been registered in Greece, an entry point for many of the hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking asylum in Europe. That man carried a Syrian passport naming him as Ahmad Al-Mohammad, though it’s unclear whether it was authentic.

The five other attackers who died had links to France and Belgium. One of the seven dead has not been identified, while a manhunt is underway for one suspect who escaped, Salah Abdeslam, 26. French police stopped Abdeslam the morning after Friday’s attacks at the Belgian border but then let him go.

French police official Jean-Marc Falcone, speaking on France-Info radio, said he was unable to say if Abdeslam, whose brother, Brahim, blew himself up in the attacks, could be back on French territory.

The suspected ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a pre-dawn raid Wednesday on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, along with Hasna Aitboulahcen, a 26-year-old woman who said she was his cousin. Prosecutors said Friday that a third person was killed in the raid but did not release the identity.

They also said Aitboulahcen had not blown herself up with a suicide vest, as initially believed, which suggests the body parts collected after the raid belonged to the third, unidentified, person.

Meanwhile in Brussels, European interior and justice ministers vowed to tighten border controls to make it easier to track the movements of jihadis with European passports travelling to and from warzones in Syria.

“We must move swiftly and with force,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said. “Europe owes it to all victims of terrorism and those who are close to them.”

Cazeneuve said the 28-nation bloc must move forward on a long-delayed system for collecting and exchanging airline passenger information, data he said is vital “for tracing the return of foreign fighters” from Syria and Iraq.

Highlighting how easily some Islamic militants seem to be able to move in and out of Europe, French officials say they don’t know when and how Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian of Moroccan descent, entered France. They had believed he was in Syria until receiving a tipoff Monday that he was in France.

Abaaoud was wanted in Belgium where he had been convicted in absentia of recruiting foreign fighters for the Islamic State group and kidnapping his brother, who he persuaded to join him in Syria at age 13.

According to Moroccan news site Le360.ma, which has close ties to the royal palace, it was Morocco that gave the French information about Abaaoud’s whereabouts. France has only said it got the information from a country outside Europe.

On Friday French President Francois Hollande met Jordan’s King Mohammed VI and thanked the monarch for “Morocco’s assistance in the wake of last Friday’s attacks.”

Marking a week since the carnage, some Parisians lit candles and paid tribute to the victims with silent reflection.

“I’m still reeling, because these are the neighbourhoods where we young people go out a lot, places we know well,” said student Sophie Garcon as she looked at tributes left outside the Le Carillon bar, where gunmen sprayed automatic weapons fire.

Others decided that enjoying themselves was the best way to defy the extremists. They sang and danced on Place de la Republique, in the heart of a trendy neighbourhood where scores of people were killed, most of them in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall.

Demonstrations have been banned in the city since the attacks, but Parisians have been spontaneously gathering all week outside the restaurants, cafes and concert hall hit in the attacks to leave flowers, light candles or hold quiet vigils.

France’s Senate on Friday voted to extend for three months a state of emergency, which expands police powers to carry out arrests and searches and allows authorities to forbid the movement of persons and vehicles at specific times and places. France’s lower chamber has already approved the measure.

Hollande is also going to Washington and Moscow next week to push for a stronger international coalition against IS.

Of the more than 350 people wounded in the attacks, scores are in critical condition. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said one more person has died, raising the death toll to 130, a tally that does not include any of the attackers.

In a speech to the Senate, Valls also urged the French to not let the attacks change their ways, saying “to resist is to keep on living, to go out.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie pose for a photo at the Mirror restaurant. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Alberta Health Services delivers ‘closure order’ to Mirror restaurant

Alberta Health Services says it has delivered a closure order to a… Continue reading

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in this October file photo. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left to right, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, of Sweden, during second period NHL hockey action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — It took Sean Monahan breaking out of his goal-scoring slump… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia's opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan's government, but they say Monday's throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province's economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented… Continue reading

A grizzly bear walks on a treadmill as Dr. Charles Robbins, right, offers treats as rewards at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center in this undated handout photo. Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails like those commonly used by people, which can affect land management practices in wild areas, says an expert who has written a paper on their travel patterns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Carnahan *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Grizzly bears prefer walking on gentle slopes at a leisurely pace like humans: study

VANCOUVER — Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails… Continue reading

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, its COVID-19 shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus that's surging in the U.S. and around the world. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

OTTAWA — When Ottawa Public Health officials are trying to decide whether… Continue reading

Most Read