Abdelhamid Abaaoud: The suspected mastermind behind the Paris attacks and his suicide bomber cousin have been killed, Paris authorities announced Thursday.
The death of Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen, who died after setting off an explosives vest, occurred Wednesday. NY Daily News reports that Abaaoud was identified through his skin samples from his burnt corpse in a suburban Paris apartment, Paris Prosecutor, Francois Molins, said.
The two deaths occurred six days after a coordinated series of attacks that left 129 people dead and hundreds of others injured in Paris.
“We just now have to be ready for anything, any kind of an attack. … Although we know that the mastermind of the attacks of Paris has been killed, the risk is still very high,” Paris Deputy Mayor, Patrick Klugman, said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Abaaoud “played a decisive role” in last week’s attacks. He was involved in four of six attacks that have been thwarted since spring.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud was recognized by his neighbors but were too afraid to say anything to the authorities
Neighbors in the Saint-Denis suburb said they had seen Abaaoud before, but were afraid to say anything. Yasmine, one of the neighbors said she saw him Monday. “I recognized him from his picture on TV,” she said.
Salah Abdeslam is another suspect of the Paris attacks who remains on the run. Officials believe he may be in Paris or Belgium, where he and about lived and spent time in prison. Nine people have been detained in raids carried out around Brussels in the wake of the attacks. Two of these are suspected to have been involved in the attacks.
French authorities have detained dozens of people in nationwide raids that have been carried out, according to CNN. As many as 100 have been placed under house arrest. Several weapons have also been seized in the raids. The state of emergency declared by President Francois Hollande was voted by France’s lower house to extend for three more months. The bill will go to the Senate for a vote Friday.