French Officials Confirm: Abdelhamid Abaaoud DEAD, Killed in Saint-Denis Raid

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PARIS — The Belgian jihadi suspected of being the ringleader of the Paris terrorist attacks was killed during a raid on a suburban apartment, officials said Thursday.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, died during Wednesday’s operation in Saint-Denis, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. He was identified by his fingerprints. His body was riddled with bullets, according to officials.

Abaaoud died along with a woman who blew herself up with a suicide belt when elite police forces stormed the scene. Eight other people were arrested.

In addition to being the suspected ringleader of Friday’s coordinated assaults, he had been linked to the thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and a church near the French capital earlier this year.

Abaaoud boasted in ISIS propaganda about avoiding capture and claimed he had been able to travel between Europe and Syria without being noticed.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later said that Abaaoud was involved in four of the six attacks foiled by French intelligence agents since this spring.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters that the dead female bomber killed might have been Abaaoud’s cousin. NBC News was unable to independently verify that report.

An audio recording from the scene of the raid, aired on French channel TF1, appeared to feature an exchange between the bomber and police in which she shouts to them: “He’s not my boyfriend.”

Confirmation of Abaaoud’s death came as authorities launched six raids in Brussels, including in the impoverished Molenbeek neighborhood where Abaaoud grew up, a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecutor told NBC News.

The raided homes belonged to family and friends of Bilal Hadfi…(read more)

Source: NBC News



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