LIVE Coverage: Mastermind Of Paris Attacks Dead

 

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The Washington Post  is reporting that the suspected ISIS ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud who planned the Friday night attacks in Paris was killed Wednesday in a massive predawn raid by French police commandos. Two senior European intelligence officials told The Post, after investigators followed leads that the fugitive militant was holed up north of the French capital and could be plotting another wave of violence.

More than 100 police officers and soldiers stormed an apartment building in the suburb of Saint-Denis during a seven-hour siege that left at least two dead, including the suspected overseer of the Paris bloodshed. Abaaoud, a Belgian extremist, had once boasted that he could slip easily between Europe and strongholds of the Islamic State militant group in Syria.

Shortly after police and international law enforcement agencies were able to study the crime scene in Paris on Saturday they identified Abaaoud, the mastermind of the attacks that left more than 129 dead and hundreds wounded, and suspected to be the architect of ISIS’s recent terror campaign in Europe.

This morning police were led to the apartment after discovering a cell phone near the Bataclan concert hall, the site of nearly 100 deaths, which contained messages, sent between the assailants shortly before the shootings began.

Officials have not confirmed whether Abaaoud was involved in the standoff or if he was in the area during the siege. Over the last year, previous efforts to capture Abaaoud, a Belgium man who fled to Syria but recently returned to Europe, have failed.

In the past several days following last Friday’s attacks, France has declared a state of emergency, with President François Hollande declaring war against ISIS and its terrorism, and escalating raids against suspected terrorists.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.