Abdelhamid Abaaoud. File photo

PARIS – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday hailed the death of Abdelhamid Abaaoud at the hands of security forces in a massive police raid in Paris.

“We know that Abaaoud, the mastermind of these attacks — or one of the masterminds because we must be careful and we know the threats — is among the dead,” Valls said.

The body of the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks has been identified among those killed in a police raid, the prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

“Abdelhamid Abaaoud has just been formally identified… as having beenkilled during the raid” in a northern Paris suburb on Wednesday, the prosecutor said in a statement.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that Abaaoud was implicated in four of six foiled attacks in France this year.

“Six attacks were avoided or foiled by the French services since spring 2015. Abaaoud was implicated in four of them,” Cazeneuve told reporters on Thursday, shortly after Abaaoud’s death was confirmed by the prosecutors’ office. 

Abaaoud has reportedly tried to recruit women living in Spain for ISIS, Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said Thursday.

“This person, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, tried to recruit Spaniards, especially women, though social networks to join and fight with Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS “This was not to carry out attacks in Spain. Regarding this we have no knowledge,” he added.

The minister said ISIS has focused on recruiting women to “repopulate the caliphate” which it proclaimed in 2014 in the huge swathes of Syria and Iraq under its control.


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