Belgium makes the first arrests linked to the Paris attacks

French police near the Bataclan theater in Paris.
French police near the Bataclan theater in Paris.
Image: Reuters/ Christian Hartmann
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Belgium’s justice minister announced today (Nov. 14) that several people have been arrested in connection to last night’s attacks in Paris.

Minister Koen Geens said that the authorities tracked down people connected to a rental vehicle with Belgian license plates that was seen close to the Bataclan theater, where many victims were killed, on Friday night (Nov. 13).

Geens told the VRT network that there was “more than one” arrest, and that there were several police raids in the St. Jans Molebnbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a man arrested in Germany last week could also be linked to the Paris attacks, according to AP. Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer told reporters that there were “reasonable grounds” to assume the man is connected to last night’s violence.

Eight attackers were killed during last night’s violence, and Paris public prosecutor François Molins said two of the attackers have been identified.

Fingerprints identified one of the attackers as a 30-year-old Frenchman who was known as a radicalized person and had a security report. He was born in the Parisian suburb Courcouronne and had been sentenced eight times between 2008 and 2010 for minor violations, according to Molins.

One of the Stade de France assailants was carrying a passport that listed Syria as his birthplace.

There are still few known details about the attackers, but the WSJ reports that at least one of the attackers had a ticket to the soccer match at Stade de France and his explosive vest was discovered when he was frisked by security.

A security guard and French police said that the attacker then tried to back away before detonating the vest, and another blast followed shortly after.

The reports suggest that the Stade de France attack could have been far more deadly, if the attacker had not been discovered.

Follow Quartz’s coverage of the Paris attacks