In a ghoulish twist of fate, a body part discovered at the scene of the Bataclan massacre, has led police and security forces to identify one of the terrorists who brought horror to Paris on Friday the 13th.
The severed finger of one of the terrorists has identified him as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29 year-old resident of Paris. The finger was found at the Bataclan theatre where a rock concert was in progress when the hall came under attack by three gunmen. Mostefai was, it was revealed, known to police and intelligence . He had alleged connections to armed insurgents, but was never someone high on their list of dangerous individuals. It was also thought, wrongly as it turns out, that he had no links to Islamist extremists.
It seems tragically ironic that the song the band, Eagles of Death Metal, were playing was Kiss The Devil when the gumen emerged from the shadows and began spraying bullets into the 1500 strong crowd. The band, from Palm Desert, California, escaped via a back door and ran to the nearest police station. Unfortunately, one of their entourage, Nick Alexander, a 36 year-old from Colchester, Essex, who had been selling merchandise for the band, was killed at the scene. His friend, Helen Wilson, an American ex-pat, was with him when he was shot.
Following another lead, police in Belgium have arrested and detained several in connection with a grey Volkswagon found close to the scene. Witnesses had informed police that the gunmen arrived in the car, which was found to be bearing Belgian plates.
Police examining the car had a lucky break when they found a parking ticket. The ticket, casually discarded in the rental car, not only confirmed that the men had travelled across the border and into France from Belgium, but also led them to identify the area in Belgium where it had been parked : the Brussels district of Molenbeek..
Identified as an area of large Syrian and Iraqi presence, it has confirmed security services suspicions that Islamic State are behind the killings. The district has the notorious nickname 'Zinneke', translated it means 'mongrel', and is well known for its connection to refugees from Iraq and Syria. This area of Brussels is also thought to harbour salafist cells, a hardline Sunni offshoot with strong orthodox and conservative views.
As police begin to put the jigsaw together in their bid to bring all those responsible for Friday's atrocities to justice, Nick Alexander's family and friends will be mourning the loss of a man whose only crime was to love his music.