Belgian national Abaaoud named as mastermind in Paris attacks
PARIS – A Belgian national currently in Syria and believed to be one of Islamic State’s most active operators is suspected of being behind Friday’s attacks in Paris, according to a source close to the French investigation.
“He appears to be the brains behind several planned attacks in Europe,” the source told Reuters of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, adding he was investigators’ best lead as the person likely behind the killing of at least 129 people in Paris on Friday.
According to RTL Radio, Abaaoud is a 27 year-old from the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, home to other members of the militant Islamist cell that carried out the attacks.
In February of this year, Islamic State’s online magazine Dabiq carried an interview with an Islamist bearing that name and boasting of having traveled through Europe unnoticed by security forces to organize attacks and procure weapons.
Abaaoud was also named in various media last year as the elder brother of a 13-year-old boy who left Belgium to become a child-fighter in Syria. –Reuters