Suspected mastermind of Paris attacks died in police raid
Updated: 2015-11-19 20:51
French riot police (CRS) secure the area as shots are exchanged in Saint-Denis, France, near Paris, November 18, 2015 during an operation to catch fugitives from Friday night's deadly attacks in the French capital.[Photo/Agencies]
Early on Wednesday, police swooped on the house where Abaaoud was holed up in the Paris suburb of St. Denis. Heavily armed officers stormed the building before dawn, triggering a firefight and multiple explosions.
Officials had said on Wednesday that two people were killed in the raid, including a female suicide bomber who blew herself up. Forensic scientists were trying to determine whether a third person had died. Eight people were arrested.
Two police sources and a source close to the investigation told Reuters the St. Denis cell had been planning a new attack on Paris's La Defense business district. A source close to the investigation said the female bomber who was killed might have been Abaaoud's cousin.
The victims of the deadliest attacks in France since World War Two came from 17 different countries, many of them young people out on a Friday night at bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a soccer stadium.
Islamic State says it carried out the attacks in retaliation for French air raids against its positions over the past year.
France has called for a global coalition to defeat the group and has launched air strikes on Raqqa, the de-facto Islamic State capital in northern Syria, since the weekend. Russia has also targeted the city in retribution for the downing of a Russian airliner last month that killed 224.
The aftermath of the attacks could see common cause between Western capitals and Moscow, more than a year after the United States and European Union imposed financial sanctions on Russia over its annexation of territory from Ukraine.