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Suspects in terror attacks identified as anger and sadness grip City of Light

Forty-eight hours after the deadly terror attacks in Paris, the city’s denizens are both solemn and angry. Hari Sreenivasan is in Paris with more on the mood, people’s reactions and the hunt for a man believed to be connected to the tragedy.

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    The NewsHour's Hari Sreenivasan is in Paris and joins me now. So Hari, what do we know about this suspect?


    Good evening William, well we do know this is a face that is now becoming famous all across Europe, this 26-year-old that was born in Brussels.

    French authorities have distributed the photo of Salah Abdeslam with the message: If you see him, "do not intervene yourself," because Abdelsam is considered dangerous.

    The authorities believe he rented a car the gunmen used in their Friday night rampage. It was seen outside the Bataclan concert hall where the series of attacks ended.

    Cell phone video released today shows when French police moved in on the hall, shooting one of the gunman while two other gunman wearing suicide vests blew themselves up.

    French authorities say Abdeslam is one of three brothers believed to be involved in the terrorism conspiracy — one died in the attack; another has been arrested in Belgium.

    Investigators here say at least three of the suicide bombers killed in the Paris attacks were french citizens.

    One has been identified as a 29-year old who grew up in the town of Chartres, 60 miles southwest of Paris.

    Ismael Mostefai had been flagged by French officials for connections to Islamic radicalism.

    Yesterday, French officials detained his brother, father, and other relatives for questioning.

    Today, we learned a little more about the Syrian passport found with one of the three suicide bombers who blew themselves up at the French national stadium, where the attacks began.

    Serbia says the Syrian passport was registered at its border entry with Macedonia on October 7. Macedonia is next door to Greece, which has said the passport was stamped upon arrival on a Greek island on October 3.

    The route from Syria to Greece is one several hundred thousand Syrian refugees have taken to Europe this year.

    French senator Joelle Garriaud Maylam sits on the foreign affairs and defense committee. She told me that this was a major failure of intelligence services.


    We can't check every inch of these borders, but we have to be much more careful in checking the identity of every person who comes through.

    And for that once more, we need to work with other countries, we need to have registries, we need to check the information with the various countries, and we have got to be extremely firm in not letting terrorists having their freedom and enjoying it.


    Today, security remains tight around Paris, with army soldiers still on patrol.

    Crowds gathered near the attack sites, laying flowers and candles.

    Today, historic Notre Dame cathedral and other churches around the city held special ceremonies for the victims.


    Hari, I understand there have been some reports of false alarms near where you have been.

    Can you tell us what has been going on with those?


    Yes, William, this is a city that is so tense right now. It's not uncommon to see police vehicles running at top speed through city streets at an incredible sense of urgency.

    Earlier this afternoon, or I guess late this evening, there were scares at the main plaza where so many people had come to lay flowers and pay their respects and show their solidarity. That plaza was evacuated.

    There was suspicious activity at least called in. There was also people that were getting scared near some of the restaurants where these vigils were.

    Again, both of those turned out to be false alarms, but not before hundreds, if not a couple of thousand people from the central plaza all took off because they didn't know whether there was another attack happening.


    And, beyond that, what is your sense of what is the — what is the mood like? What are people saying to you about what they would like to see happen next?


    You know, this is a city that is really in the mix of both sadness and anger.

    You see some of the signs that are actually left up here. On the one hand, there's a — pray for Paris and we're sorry for your loss.

    And then there's also a very, very strong and hateful tone, not just against the terrorists, but sometimes very unpleasant opinions against Muslims, from around the country or around the world.

    So, there is a national conversation that has to happen here, similar to the ones that's actually happening around the memorials.


    What about this issue of the connection between the refugees and the migrants that have been coming into Europe, and the potential threat that this might be a vehicle for terrorists getting into France?

    Are you hearing talk about that as well?


    That is a conversation that we had at length with the senator, but it's also something that a lot more average citizens are thinking about.

    On the one hand, they do want to do right by the refugees. They want to help these people in need. On the other hand, they say, listen, the absolute open border policy of Germany from a few months ago might not be the solution.

    Well, what is the in-between step where the French citizens can ensure some semblance of their own security, at the same time help the people that are on their doorsteps?


    All right, Hari, thank you very much.

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