Paris/ Nagpur: Every crime has tongue to speak, and cannot remain dumb for a lone time. 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, media reports quoted.
“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 travelled through Europe unnoticed by security forces to organise 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.
Police have named just two French attackers — Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, from Chartres, southwest of Paris, and Samy Amimour, 28, from the Paris suburb of Drancy. Media named the two other French assailants as Bilal Hadfi and Ibrahim Abdeslam. The man stopped in Greece in October was carrying a Syrian passport in the name of Ahmad Al Mohammad. Police said they were still checking to see if the document was authentic, but said the dead man’s fingerprints matched those on record in Greece.
Greek officials said the passport holder had crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands last month and then registered for asylum in Serbia before heading north, following a route taken by hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers this year.
The Associated Press has reported that the suspected mastermind behind the Prais Attack has been confirmed by French officials as The death toll was revised back down to 129 following a counting error. Dozens of people remain in intensive care.
France has declared three days of national mourning and President Francois Hollande will make a rare address to the joint upper and lower houses of parliament later in the day at the Palace of Versailles, just outside Paris. Schools in Paris re-opened on Monday, and many museums were due to open their doors in the afternoon after a 48-hour shutdown, but some popular tourist sites, including Disneyland, remained closed.