This morning, French police raided a property in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, not only preventing a potential second terrorist attack on the city, but making seven arrests along the way.
Two suspects also died in the raid – one a female terrorist, who blew herself up using a suicide belt. The other was initially revealed to be a man wanted in connection with Friday’s attacks across the French capital.
The Washington Post is now reporting that the man killed in the raid was, in fact, the mastermind behind the Paris terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Two senior intelligence officials have reportedly confirmed to the Post, under the condition of anonymity, that the 27-year-old wanted jihadi had been killed inside the building and his body identified by forensics experts.
Abaaoud, from Belgium, was named as the man behind the massacre of at least 129 people and had previously bragged about how easily he could slip between Europe and the Islamic State strongholds in Syria.
More than 100 armed officers stormed the flat in Saint-Denis today after receiving a tip-off that Abaaoud was inside with six other terrorists, and 5,000 rounds of ammunition were fired during the hour-long shoot out. Five of the officers were injured during the dramatic raid in the French capital.
Earlier today, French prosecutor Francois Molins refused to identify the two terrorists who had died in the raid, but did say that neither Abaaoud nor Salah Abdeslam, who has been on the run since Friday’s attacks, were among those arrested.
It should be stressed at this stage that French authorities have still not confirmed if Abaaoud was in the flat at the time of the raid or if he is dead or alive.