Man Suspected Of Planning Paris Carnage Is Dead

Thursday, November 19th 2015, 8:02 am
By: News 9

French prosecutors said Thursday that the man suspected of planning the Friday night Paris attacks that left 129 people dead last week was killed in a raid north of the French capital on Wednesday morning.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the target of the bloody, seven-hour raid in the Saint-Denis suburb of Paris. Two people were killed in the raid, but it took French investigators until Thursday morning to confirm the identity of the suspected planner, a Belgian citizen with long-known affiliation to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

A news release from the prosecutor's office said he was "formally identified" by fingerprints.

The Wednesday morning raid saw scores of SWAT team officers fire more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition as they encountered resistance from six suspects inside. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer said Thursday that the other fatality in the raid, a female suicide bomber, was confirmed to have been Abaaoud's cousin.

The statement said his body was discovered riddled with bullet holes.

Abaaoud was declared the likely mastermind of the plot by French officials soon after the attacks. He believed to have planned previous ISIS attacks and attempted attacks in Europe, including the plot to have a gunman open fire on passengers of a high-speed train between France and Belgium that was thwarted by American travelers.

While most of the suspected attackers in Paris were French nationals, almost all of them had some connection to Belgium and five of them are believed to have lived in the capital city of Brussels. There were six new raids in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek Thursday morning, as the hunt for one of the suspected attackers continued.

Molenbeek, an impoverished part Brussels home to thousands of migrants and with low employment rates, has been called by experts a terrorist's dream; an intersection of the criminal and jihadi worlds where guns, explosives and drugs are readily available.

CBS News Allen Pizzey has reported from Molenbeek that Abaaoud, was raised there, and likely radicalized there during a short stint in jail for petty crime as a young man.

NOTE: This story is still developing. Please check back for updates.