Paris Terror Attacks: Who Are the Assailants?

Authorities in Belgian have detained seven people linked to the Paris attacks on a stadium, a concert hall and Paris cafes that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded, 99 of them seriously, The Associated Press reported.

A Belgian official told The Associated Press two of the seven attackers who died in Paris on Friday night were French men living in Brussels. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, said one of the French attackers was living in Brussels' Molenbeek neighborhood, which is considered a focal point for religious extremism and fighters going to Syria. NBC News has not independently confirmed if the assailants were from Brussels.

On Saturday, French authorities detained a father and brother of one of the suspected attackers, a former French official confirmed to NBC News. The official said they are related to an attacker identified only as Ismail M. A former French official confirmed to NBC News that Ismail M. and Abbdul Akbak B., identified by French media as two of the attackers, was correct.

Three teams of extremists carried out the gun-and-suicide bombing attacks across the French capital, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said. Officials initially said there were eight attackers — as did ISIS, raising questions over whether an accomplice may still be alive.

An international manhunt got underway Sunday for a possible eighth suspect wanted in connection with the attacks. Paris National Police have identified the man as 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, born in Brussels, Belgium.

"We can say at this stage of the investigation there was probably three coordinated teams of terrorists behind this barbaric act," Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

Speaking at a news conference, Molins confirmed one of the hostage takers involved in the deadly siege at the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed, was a French-born citizen and known to authorities. The 29-year-old suspect was placed on a security file for Islamist radicalization in 2010 but was never implicated. Another attacker at the concert hall was born in Syria, he added.

The attackers at the concert hall mentioned Syria and Iraq during their rampage, the Associated Press reported, citing the prosecutor.

Meanwhile, Balkan authorities are tracking the travels of a man whose Syrian passport was found near the body of a suicide bomber at France's national stadium Friday night. Officials in Greece say the passport's owner entered the European Union through the Greek island of Leros on Oct. 3, The Associated Press reported.

Belgium's federal prosecutor's office announced three people were arrested Saturday after a car with Belgian license plates that was seen near the Bataclan theater Friday night was stopped at the Belgian border.

Spokesman Jean-Pascal Thoreau said it was a rental vehicle and police organized several raids in the St. Jans Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday.

All seven suicide attackers wore identical explosives vests in the assaults that spanned six locations and involved at least eight terror suspects. Molins said they used Kalashnikov rifles with 7.62 mm-caliber bullets, NBC News reported.

French President Francois Hollande has vowed that France will wage "merciless" war on the Islamic State group, after the jihadists claimed responsibility for the attacks, which included restaurants, Friday night. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us