The mastermind in France terrorist attacks named

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A French official says Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is also linked to the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train in August.
A French official says Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is also linked to the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train in August.

The suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks has been named as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud by French officials.

It has been reported that Abaaoud had links to thwarted attacks on a Paris-bound high-speed train when two US soldiers overpowered a heavily-armed gunman and a separate attack on a church.

He also had links to two suspects killed in a counter-terrorism raid in Verviers, Belgium, in January.

Abaaoud, who also uses the name Abu Omar al Baljiki, is of Moroccan origin and is believed to be in Syria currently.

He is thought to be the older brother of 14-year-old Younes Abaaoud, one of the youngest European teenagers to have travelled to Syria to fight.

Seven people are in custody in Belgium suspected of links to Friday’s attacks and an international arrest warrant has been issued for a Belgian-born Frenchman who is still at large.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 168 locations across France have been raided overnight, and 104 people have been placed under house arrest in the past 48 hours.

Investigators have also named another suspect who was questioned and released by police hours after the massacres which left 129 people dead.

Salah Abdeslam, who has become known as “Public Enemy Number One”, reportedly helped with logistics and rented a black Volkswagen Polo used by the gunmen who stormed the Bataclan concert hall and killed at least 89 people.

The 26-year-old was apparently spoken to by officers on Saturday morning when they pulled over a car carrying three people near the Belgian border.

Police then checked Abdeslam’s ID and subsequently let him go, officials told the Associated Press.

Abdeslam, who was born in Brussels, is described as 1m 75cm (5ft 8in) tall and has brown eyes.

A French official says Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is also linked to the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train in August.
A French official says Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud is also linked to the foiled attack on a Paris-bound train in August.

Ibrahim Abdeslam​, the brother of Salah, was reportedly among the seven suicide bombers in the co-ordinated assaults targeting six sites across the French capital.

A third brother was apparently arrested in Belgium and questioned before being released.

Samy Amimour,  28, blew himself up inside the Bataclan theatre.

Prosecutors said he was from Drancy in northeast Paris and had been charged in a terrorism investigation in 2012.

He had been placed under judicial supervision but dropped off the radar and was the subject of an international arrest warrant.

Three people in Amimour’s family have been in custody since early on Monday.

A Syrian passport for suicide bomber Ahmad al Mohammad​, a 25-year-old born in Idlib, was found after he died outside the national football stadium.

The identity of the man in the passport has not been verified but the prosecutor’s office said fingerprints from the attacker match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.

Bilal Hadfi is another suicide bomber who also lived in Belgium, said the Washington Post.

Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old from Courcouronnes, a town 16 miles south of Paris in Essonne, has been officially identified as another assailant.

He was one of the terrorists inside the Bataclan and had been flagged for links to Islamic radicalism. His father and brother have been arrested.

French newspaper Le Monde said he was identified from a print from his severed finger, discovered after he detonated a suicide vest inside the Bataclan.

The Turkish authorities said they identified Mostefai as a possible “terror suspect” in October 2014.

It notified French authorities in December 2014 and in June 2015.

SkyNews

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Dusty Fields

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