Suspected ringleader of Paris attacks found dead

Death of alleged mastermind of Paris attack officially confirmed by prosecutor

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An undated photograph of a man described as Abdelhamid Abaaoud that was published in the DAESH's online magazine Dabiq and posted on a social media website.

French officials announced on Thursday that the suspected mastermind of the deadly attacks in Paris which took place on November 13 was killed in a police raid.  

The Paris prosecutor's office confirmed that 27-year old Belgian citizen of Moroccan origin Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was the key suspect thought to be responsible for last week’s Paris attacks, was killed after more than 100 policemen and soldiers stormed an apartment building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint Denis.

“It was his body we discovered in the building, riddled with bullets," a Paris prosecutor said, a day after the raid.

Abaaoud was identified from his fingerprints, according to the officials.

However, the way Abbaoud was killed remains unclear. The prosecutor said Abbaoud may have activated his suicide belt during the raid.

During the raid, which lasted for seven hours, eight other suspects were arrested and two were killed.

Shortly after the the raid, a woman who lives in the same apartment with the suspected attackers reported that Abaaoud's cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen, was among those killed. According to her, She blew up his suicide vest as the raid began.

The group was planning to conduct  another attack on Paris' La Defense business district, according to three different sources which are familiar with the investigation.  

Investigators are still searching for another suspect, Salah Abdeslam, who reportedly left the scene to arrive Belgium on Friday night shortly after the attacks.  

On Thursday, Belgian police raid a property belonging to Salah Abdeslam and another suspected attacker Bilal Hadfi to hunt Abdeslam.

Hadfi had been killed at the scene in the Stade de France stadium on Friday, Belgian prosecutors said.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters on Thursday that there could be a chemical or biological attack by a terror organisation which aimed to target France after the country extended the state of emergency for three months to prevent possible threats.  

The DAESH terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility for the attacks on November 13, which left 129 people dead and at least 350 others wounded.

TRTWorld and agencies