Live Coverage: Paris Attack Mastermind Killed

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Today, the French prosecutor’s office confirmed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud is the man killed in the raid on St-Denis yesterday. The death was first reported yesterday by The Washington Post and now it has been confirmed by top French authorities.

His body has been formally identified at the Rue de Corbillon in the Paris suburb, using skin samples, the prosecutor said.

Abaaoud was initially believed to be in Syria but it became increasingly clear to French investigators that he had managed to return to Europe.

He left his home country of Belgium in 2014 to fight with Islamic State but he was known to have been able to return to Europe at least once since. French prosecutor Francois Molins said the operation began at 4.20am after phone taps and surveillance following a tipoff on Monday led police to believe he was still in the Paris area.

Identification took longer than expected because the entire third floor of the building at 8, rue du Corbillon collapsed during the raid on Wednesday, Georges Salinas, deputy commander of the elite BRI police unit, told French radio.

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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.