A French official on Monday identified Abdelhamid Abaaoud of Belgium, 27, as being the mastermind behind the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Paris on Saturday, in which at least 129 people were murdered.
The official said the man was born in Belgium and apparently orchestrated the six coordinated shooting and suicide bombing attacks from there, reports Associated Press. He hails from the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, which has a high concentration of Muslim immigrants.
Abaaoud, whose family originally comes from Morocco, is a notorious ISIS terrorist who spent time in Syria.
He was also connected to a thwarted attack in August against a train from Amsterdam to Paris via Brussels, in which a terrorist opened fire before passengers managed to overpower him.
One of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks, who was part of a team that struck a crowded concert hall, had gone to Syria two years ago after being radicalized in France, his family had told AFP before Friday’s attacks.
Paris-born Samy Amimour, 28, had been charged with terrorist offences “after an abortive attempt to travel to Yemen,” Paris prosecutors said, but his family said he traveled to Syria in 2013.
Investigators believe he was one of the three men to attack the Jewish owned Bataclan music venue where 89 people were murdered.
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