As news emerged of Mostefai’s role in the attacks, people in Courcouronnes were milling around near the shopping area and one young man was fishing in the canal. One man who did not want to be named who was at high school with Mostefai said:
He was not a troublemaker. He was someone who stood up for himself – you wouldn’t provoke him because you knew that he’d stand up for himself if you did. But he wasn’t someone who went looking for problems. He was calm, he wasn’t someone who you’d notice, who stood out.
He said Mostefai went to Friday prayers and observed Ramadan, but he didn’t stand out as someone very “serious” about religion. He added: “I’m really surprised to hear he was involved in this, really surprised.”