I have been seeing many reports of people claiming that a French Muslim security guard named "Zouheir" stopped a suicide bomber from entering the stadium where a Germany vs France football match was being played.

For example, this Facebook post as a response to the BBC's news report claimed the following:

That explosion took place OUTSIDE the Stade de France. It was supposed to take place INSIDE and potentially kill hundreds of people including French President Francois Hollande. But it didn't.

It didn't because a security guard detected the bomber's vest and confronted him. The bomber then detonated his vest OUTSIDE the stadium. Everyone INSIDE was safe.

That security guard who saved so many hundreds, if not thousands of people, including the President of France himself, has been completely ignored and only his first name has been reported only a handful of times.

The Mirror's article on the event makes a similar claim:

A suicide bomber who tried to enter France’s packed 80,000 capacity national football stadium was stopped by a heroic security guard.

Thousands of supporters watching France's friendly against Germany heard two loud explosions outside the Stade de France about 15 minutes in.

The guard - identified only by his first name, Zouheir - said he discovered the attacker's suicide vest while searching him at the entrance.

The attacker detonated the vest as he backed away from security said Zouheir, who was told what happened by the security team at the gate.

However, the Daily Mail article on the same event makes a completely different claim, that Zouheir did not stop the terrorist himself, but that he was stationed inside the stadium, and that another member of the team of guards, not Zouheir, was to credit for catching the suicide bomber and preventing him from entering the stadium.

And what needs to be made very loudly and clearly public is this: that team of security guards who saved many more lives included Muslims.

We know this because one of them, a Muslim known only by his first name Zouheir, revealed the amazing story to the Wall Street Journal.

He himself was stationed just inside the stadium, by the players’ tunnel and near President Hollande and helped protect people when the bombs started going off.

‘Once I saw Hollande being evacuated, I knew it wasn’t firecrackers,’ he said.

Those security guards’ outstanding alertness and courage stopped what could have been a massacre of 9/11 proportions or worse.

Its older report also corroborates this.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to one of the security team on duty at the stadium named only as Zouheir.

He said that one of his colleagues turned the terrorist away after frisking the suspect, who is believed to have had a match ticket.

The first terrorist was part of a team of three who it is feared wanted to access the stadium before detonating their explosive vests causing mass casualties.

Snopes has weighed in with some opinions, but they are mainly based on the same partial sources.

Can anyone find a better primary source on this issue?

  • 3
    Is this at all relevant? – user22865 Nov 17 '15 at 12:20
  • 1
    At best, this would fall under "issue still under investigation" right now. – Shadur Nov 17 '15 at 13:04
  • 4
    Snopes: "Mostly False" – RedGrittyBrick Nov 17 '15 at 19:56

The story naming Zouheir originated in an article in the WSJ that did not mention his religion and did not say that he was directly involved in an interaction with a suicide bomber.

According to The Independent and Liberation a WSJ journalist later tweeted

he was was stationed by the players’ tunnel, later briefed on the details by his colleagues.

So we don't know Zouheir's religion and there is no reliable report of him having personally/physically stopped a suicide bomber.

He was reported as being a member of the security team responsible for safety at the stadium.

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