Daily Management Review

Most Wanted Terrorist Accused of Plotting Paris Attacks Killed in Wednesday Raids


Most Wanted Terrorist Accused of Plotting Paris Attacks Killed in Wednesday Raids
French officials finally confirmed on Thursday that the suspected mastermind of last week's Paris attacks was killed in the police raid of an apartment north of the capital.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud was accused of orchestrating last Friday's coordinated bombings and shootings in the French capital, which killed 129 people was a 28-year-old Belgian militant who had boasted of mounting attacks in Europe for the Islamic State.
"It was his body we discovered in the building, riddled with bullets," a statement from the Paris prosecutor said, a day after the pre-dawn raid. However the prosecutor could not confirm whether Abaaoud had detonated a suicide belt. Reports conducting forensic examination of body said that his body was ‘riddled’ with bullets indicating that there were multiple bullets and splinter wounds on him.
Amidst lound applause from parliament members, Prime Minister Manuel Valls broke the news in Parliament. The Parliament had gathered on Thursday to extend the country's state of emergency for another three months.
"We know today ... that the mastermind of the attacks - or one of them, let's remain cautious - was among those dead," Valls told reporters.
Abaaoud was believed to be in Syria before Thursday. However Thursday’s confirmaiotn of his presence in France now focuses more attention on European security services, say analysts.
"This is a major failing," said Roland Jaquard at the International Observatory for Terrorism.
Police were led by investigators to a Paris suburb early on Wednesday morning where Abaaoud was holed up in the Paris suburb of St. Denis. A massive firefight and multiple explosions ensued the siege as heavily armed officers stormed the building before dawn.
On Wednesday, French officials confirmed that during the raid there was death of two people including a female suicide bomber who blew herself up. While eight suspected terrorists or their aides were arrested, forensic scientists were trying to determine whether a third person had died.
Quoting two police sources and a source close to the investigation Reuters reported that the St. Denis cell had been planning a fresh attack on Paris's La Defense business district. The women who blew herself up during the early part of the raid is believed to be a cousin of Abaaoud.
While the Islamist cells in neighboring Belgium organized the mayhem, investigators believe the attacks - the deadliest in France since World War Two - were set in motion in Syria.
The victims of the Paris attacks were mostly young people from 17 different countries and were out on a Friday evening enjoying themselves at bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a soccer stadium near where Wednesday's police raid took place.
The responsibility of the raid was claimed by the Isis or the Islamic state which controls swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, saying the attacks were in retaliation for French air raids against their positions over the past year.

Since the Paris massacre, the French government has called for a global coalition to defeat the extremists and has launched air strikes on Raqqa, the de-facto Islamic State capital in northern Syria. Following the confirmation that the Russian MetroJet was bombed by Isis, Russia has also targeted the city in retribution for the downing last month that killed 224.