Suspected Mastermind Of Paris Attacks Named

A French official says Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is also linked to the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train in August.

The suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks has been named as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud by French officials.

Paris Mastermind In IS





It has been reported that Abaaoud, 27, had links to thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train when two US soldiers overpowered a heavily-armed gunman and a separate attack on a church.

He also had links to two suspects killed in a counter-terrorism raid in Verviers, Belgium, in January.

He is thought to be from the suburb of Molenbeek in Brussels, which was home to other members of the militant Islamist cell that carried out the attacks.

Abaaoud, who also uses the name Abu Omar al Baljiki, is of Moroccan origin and is believed to be in Syria currently.

In February of this year, Islamic State’s online magazine Dabiq carried an interview with an Islamist bearing that name and boasting of having travelled through Europe unnoticed by security forces to organise attacks and procure weapons.

Abaaoud was also named in various media last year as the elder brother of 13-year-old Younes Abaaoud who left Belgium to become a child-fighter in Syria.

Seven people are in custody in Belgium, suspected of links to Friday’s attacks.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 168 locations across France have been raided overnight, and 104 people have been placed under house arrest in the past 48 hours.


Investigators have also named another suspect who was questioned and released by police hours after the massacres which left 129 people dead.

Salah Abdeslam, who has become known as “Public Enemy Number One“, reportedly helped with logistics and rented a black Volkswagen Polo used by the gunmen who stormed the Bataclan concert hall and killed at least 89 people.

The 26-year-old was apparently spoken to by officers on Saturday morning when they pulled over a car carrying three people near the Belgian border.

Police then checked Abdeslam’s ID and subsequently let him go but an international arrest warrant was then issued.

Belgian broadcaster RTL reported that he was arrested by special forces in Molenbeek on Monday but he is thought to still be on the run.

Ibrahim Abdeslam​, the brother of Salah, was reportedly among the seven suicide bombers in the co-ordinated assaults targeting six sites across the French capital.

A third brother was apparently arrested in Belgium and questioned before being released.

Samy Amimour, 28, blew himself up inside the Bataclan theatre.

Prosecutors said he was from Drancy in northeast Paris and had been charged in a terrorism investigation in 2012.

He had been placed under judicial supervision but dropped off the radar and was the subject of an international arrest warrant.

Three people in Amimour’s family have been in custody since early on Monday.

A Syrian passport for Ahmad al Mohammad​, a 25-year-old born in Idlib, was found next to one of the suicide bombers after he died outside the national football stadium.

The identity of the man in the passport has not been verified but the prosecutor’s office said fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.

Bilal Hadfi is another suicide bomber who also lived in Belgium, said the Washington Post.

Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old from Courcouronnes, a town 16 miles south of Paris in Essonne, has been officially identified as another assailant.

He was one of the terrorists inside the Bataclan and had been flagged for links to Islamic radicalism. His father and brother have been arrested.

French newspaper Le Monde said he was identified from a print from his severed finger, discovered after he detonated a suicide vest inside the Bataclan.

The Turkish authorities said they identified Mostefai as a possible “terror suspect” in October 2014.

They said French authorities were notified in December 2014 and in June 2015.

Sky News