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.