French authorities have confirmed that the “mastermind” behind Friday night’s deadly attacks in Paris was also behind the thwarted train attack in August, where off duty U.S. marines apprehended a jihadist gunman.
Jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud has previously been described as “one of the most active Isis executioners” in Syria and is known to have fought with Islamic State (ISIS) in the region. He appeared in an online video driving a car loaded with mutilated bodies.
The 28-year-old is thought to come from the infamous Molenbeek district of Brussels. Belgium authorities have admitted that Islamist terrorism is “out of control” in the area.
A French official says the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks was also linked to thwarted train and church attacks.
A French official has identified the suspected mastermind as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and says he is believed linked to thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train and Paris area church.
The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, was not authorized to be publicly identified as speaking about the ongoing probe.
Seven people are in custody in Belgium suspected of links to the attacks and an international arrest warrant has been issued for a Belgian-born Frenchman believed involved in the attacks and who is still at large.