Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed during the assault conducted on Wednesday by the security forces against a flat Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis).
His body was “positively identified”, announced the prosecutor of Paris in a statement today, Thursday. He was suspected by investigators to be the organizer of the attacks of 13 November in Paris and the Stade de France. After the announcement of the death of Abaaoud, Bernard Cazeneuve said he had played a “crucial” role in the attacks in Paris and was involved in at least 4 of the 6 “attacks or attempted since the spring.”
“This is the body found in the building, riddled with impacts,” said Prosecutor Francois Molins early in a statement. The body of the Belgian jihadist was identified “after comparison of traces papillary” fingerprints, were completed on Thursday.
French investigators were set on the trail of his presence in Saint-Denis on monday with a witness, according to François Molins. We had made “numerous checks, in particular telephone and banking,” the prosecutor had said. Investigators are working to identify the remains of a second person who died in the Saint-Denis apartment. The police who intervened believe it is the woman that triggered her vest of explosives. This must be confirmed by the scientific analyzes. It could be a family member of Abdelhamid Abaaoud such as a cousin.
Already returned to Europe in January
This is probably not the first time Abaaoud returned clandestinely to Europe from Syria. According to sources close to the inquiry, he used a phone and was spotted in Greece in January, when authorities foiled attacks in the cell of Verviers in Belgium. Soon after, Abaaoud, alias Abu Omar al-Baljiki (“Belgian”), gave an interview lending credence to such a trip, in the February edition of Dabiq, digital magazine in English from the organization Islamic state.
There he explained managing to travel to Belgium with two other Belgians in order to “terrorize the crusaders.” Their journey would have taken months and his two companions were killed on January 16 during the assault by the Belgian security forces, according to him. But it would be spent through the cracks.”My name and my picture was in all the newspapers, yet I managed to stay in their country, to plan operations against them and from safely when it became necessary.” The return to Europe of this man, a prominent figure among Francophone jihadists parties in Syria, asks about the flaws in the system put in place by the European anti-terrorism agencies. Convicted in Belgium, he was introduced on Wednesday by François Molins as the “inspirer of many projects of terrorist attacks or attacks in Europe.”