Paris attacks mastermind (Abdelhamid Abaaoud ) killed in siege French police confirm
The mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks is dead after his body was found "riddled with bullets" in the apartment at the centre of yesterday's armed siege.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud was identified by forensics efforts after yesterdays six-hour stand-off between terror suspects and police on the St Denis area of Paris.
The 28-year-old Belgian extremist was shot dead by a police sniper.
The Paris prosecutor Francois Molins revealed his body was found inside the apartment "riddled with bullets".
He was first hit by the sniper bullet then blown up by several grenades.
Terror suspects in the flat fired 5000 rounds during the operation during which Abaaoud's cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen, 26, blew herself up.Mr Molins confirmed: "Abdel Hamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified, after comparing fingerprints, as having been killed during the raid.
"It was the body we had discovered in the building, riddled with bullets."
According to police Ait Boulahcen, shouted: "He's not my boyfriend!" before blowing herself up after officers asked her where her 'boyfriend' (Abaaoud) was.
The bodies recovered in the raid were badly mangled, with a part of the Ait Boulahcen's spine landing on a police car.
Eight people, including a woman, were arrested by French cops - and two people were killed during yesterday's stand-off, the prosecutor revealed this afternoon.
The raid was carried out after French authorities received a tip on Monday that Abaaoud was in France, which police ‘thoroughly checked’ to see if it stood up.
It was previously believed he was in Syria.
Jean-Michel Fauvergue, lead officer in the stand-off operation described how officers saw Ait Boulahcen's head blown off in the suicide blast.
He said: "After a long firefight, we heard a loud explosion.
"The windows of an apartment were shattered, blown from inside to outside. That's when we saw a human body, a woman's head, fly through the window and land on the pavement, on the other side of the street."A suicide bomber had just exploded. The blast was so devastating that a supporting wall moved."
Molins said that investigators could not identify three men detained in the raid on an apartment in St. Denis north of Paris.
Overall eight people were arrested at the apartment or nearby, he added.
Fugitive terror suspect Salah Abdeslan is NOT among those arrested.
He is now believed to be on the run through Europe and may be driving a Citroen Xsara.
Abaaoud was believed to have been in Syria and became one of the world's most wanted men following the attacks on Friday
Much about Abaaoud’s path to armed Islamic radicalism remains mysterious.
In the words of Koen Geens, the Belgian justice minister, he changed from a student at an upscale Brussels school into “an extremely professional commando”, one seemingly able to slip across borders at will.
He is someone who openly mocked the inability of Western law enforcement agencies to catch him.
It has been revealed that suspects who were seized after the shoot out in St Denis were planning to launch a second devastating atrocity in Paris, just days after the attacks which killed 129.
Police raiding a safe house in St Denis discovered the group were plotting to bomb the city's La Defense business district on Thursday, it has been reported.
The attack would have been carried out in the Quatre Temps shopping centre and the main square of the district in the western edge of the city.
The district of high rise tower blocks is home to some of the country's biggest companies such as the oil giant Total and the main trading floor of the Societe Generale bank.
This afternoon the Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins, said: “The assault carried out last night - a new terrorist cell was neutralised.”Seeing their weapons, their organisation, this group could have acted.”
He said cops found three assault rifles and ammo.
Mr Molins said a VW Polo, a Seat and a Renault Cleo arrived “practically in a convoy from Belgium”.
The Polo was seen outside the Bataclan and was used by three terrorist commandos. The Seat was used by three men who shot at bars and restaurants.
Mr Mollins said a total war arsenal” of weapons was used in the attacks.
In Bataclan 100s of ammo cartridges were seized and at the Stade de France police found detonators and bolts from the bombs, which created deadly flying shrapnel to increase the carnage.