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‘Mastermind’ of Paris attacks killed

‘Mastermind’ of Paris attacks killed
November 19
14:45 2015

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian militant who is suspected to be the mastermind of the Paris attacks, which led to the deaths of 129 people, has been killed.

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According to Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins, Abaaoud was among those killed during the raid of St. Denis, a suburb of the French capital, on Wednesday.

“Abdel Hamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified, after comparing fingerprints, as having been killed during the (police) raid,” read a statement issued by the prosecutor on Thursday.

“It was the body we had discovered in the building, riddled with bullets.”

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He was identified through DNA testing based on skin samples.

Police launched the operation after receiving information from tapped phone calls, surveillance and tipoffs suggesting that Abaaoud was in the building.

Police said Abaaoud cousin was also killed and that she is believed to be the woman who blew herself up with an explosives vest at the beginning of the raid.

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Abaaoud was born in Belgium and grew up in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, which had become a key focus for investigators in recent days.

Although studying at a Catholic school, he became involved in petty crime with his family shocked when he took his 13-year-old brother Younes with him to travel to Syria in January 2014.

After being trained and further radicalised in Syria, he returned to Europe via Athens.

In the months preceeding the attack, he gave an interview to Isis-propaganda magazine Dabiq in which he claimed a Belgium police officer had detained him, but allowed him to go after failing to recognise him.

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The interview led security officials to believe Abaaoud was in Syria.

He was also linked to foiled attacks in Europe, including one aboard a Paris-bound high speed train that was prevented by two US soldiers overpowering the attacker.

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