Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Belgian National Jihadist, Suspected Mastermind Of Paris Terror Attacks
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national of Moroccan origin, is believed to be the jihadist who organized the terror attacks in Paris last Friday.
Who Is Abdelhamid Abaaoud?
Belgian officials have identified Abaaoud, 27, a trained ISIS fighter, as the mastermind of the attacks, serving as a middleman between the central ISIS organization in Syria and a European cell of ISIS fighters. If it turns out that Abaaoud was behind the coordinated attacks that killed 129 people, it would not be the first time he had attempted such an act of terror in Europe.
Abaaoud was reportedly responsible for a terror plot in Verviers, Belgium, back in July, according to The Guardian. The plot was foiled and police raided residences in Verviers, killing two of the supposed jihadi and 13 others. Abaaoud managed to escape and possibly returned to Syria at that time.
“Last night’s arrests did not succeed in nabbing the right person,” Koen Geens, the Belgian justice minister, said at the time, referring to Abaaoud. “We are still actively looking for him and I presume we will succeed.”
Abaaoud boasted of his escape from European authorities in Dabiq, ISIS’s English-language magazine.
“I was able to leave … despite being chased after by so many intelligence agencies. All this proves that a Muslim should not fear the bloated image of the crusader intelligence,” Abaaoud told the publication. “My name and picture were all over the news yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them, and leave safely when doing so became necessary.”
Abaaoud is thought to have been involved in planning the attack on a Paris-bound train over the summer, as well as an orchestrated attack on a church outside Paris – both of which were foiled.