Saturday 10 December 2016

Second major Paris terror attack foiled in pre-dawn raids as IS preparing attack on Charles de Gaulle airport

Published 19/11/2015 | 06:28

Forensics of the French police search for evidences outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
Forensics of the French police search for evidences outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic of the French police searches for evidences in the appartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic of the French police searches for evidences in the appartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic scientist (Top-R) of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic scientist of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic scientist of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment under the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic scientist (Top-R) of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Forensics of the French police work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, where French Police special forces raided an apartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris on November 18 in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Riot police stand guard as forensics of the French police (background) work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, where French Police special forces raided an appartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris on Wednesday in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGETJOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
This photo taken on November 18, 2015 at the city hall in Molenbeek shows a gathering to commemorate the victims of the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris. Islamic State jihadists claimed a series of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris that killed at least 129 people, including three Belgians, and injured over 300, with several links established between the terrorists and Molenbeek. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / THIERRY ROGETHIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images
Crowds gather in front of the city hall in Molenbeek on November 18, 2015, to commemorate the victims of the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris. Islamic State jihadists claimed a series of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris that killed at least 129 people, including three Belgians, and injured over 300, with several links established between the terrorists and Molenbeek. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / THIERRY ROGETHIERRY ROGE/AFP/Getty Images
A second body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A second body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A second body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Forensics of the French police search for evidence outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, where French Police special forces raided an appartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris on Wednesday in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Forensics of the French police search for evidence outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, where French Police special forces raided an appartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. French police said the assault had concluded on an apartment in northern Paris on Wednesday in which at least two jihadists were killed and seven arrested. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

A second attack on Paris was foiled in a major pre-dawn police raid on a suburb in the city in which the mastermind behind last week's atrocities was reportedly killed.

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A woman suicide bomber blew herself up and another person died following a gunfight after Swat teams laid siege to a flat in the northern Saint-Denis suburb for seven hours on Wednesday morning.

Eight people were arrested but Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said they did not include Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, the Belgian jihadist believed to be the ringleader of last Friday's massacres which left 129 dead, or Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspected gunmen who is now the focus of an international manhunt.

Two European sources told the Washington Post Abaaoud was killed during the police operation, but officials have not yet been able to identify the bodies due to their condition, Mr Molins said.

He also said the operation had neutralised a "new terrorist threat", and that "everything led us to believe that, considering their armaments, the structured organisation and their determination, they were ready to act".

The jihadis were set to carry out a second attack targeting Charles de Gaulle airport and the city's financial district La Defense, according to reports.

Belgian police are also reportedly searching for a man named Mohamed K, from Roubaix, northern France, who is suspected of supplying the terrorist gang with explosives.

Yesterday's raid was launched after a discarded mobile phone and tapped telephone conversations allowed investigators to identify a series of safe houses, with the suggestion that Abaaoud may have been holed up in an apartment less than a mile from the Stade de France, where one of the terror attacks took place.

Forensics of the French police search for evidence outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
Forensics of the French police search for evidence outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis

Police fired about 5,000 rounds of ammunition during an early morning exchange of gunfire that lasted about an hour as the terrorist cell barricaded themselves in the hideout.

Heavily armed police squads initially were thwarted by an armoured door and had to use assault guns, sniper rifles, grenades and explosives during the "extremely difficult" and "complex" operation.

Two bodies were found in the rubble of the building after an explosion thought to have been caused when a woman, named in reports as Abaaoud's cousin Hasna Aitboulachen, detonated a suicide vest.

Mr Molins said: "At least one terrorist killed herself with an explosive. The floor of the flat collapsed and the state of the bodies and what is left of them will demand some more investigation."

A second body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A second body is removed from the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis

He added: "I'm not in a position to give a precise and definitive number for the people who died, nor their identities, but there are at least two dead people

Two men were found inside the flat, one of whom was injured and arrested. The eight arrested included one woman and a man whose flat was used as a hideout by the terror cell and are being interrogated.

Riot police stand guard as forensics of the French police (background) work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
Riot police stand guard as forensics of the French police (background) work outside a building in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis

Mr Molins said: "The identities of the people who were arrested in this building are not absolutely certain but Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam are not part of the people who have been arrested."

Several police officers were slightly injured during the raid and a police dog named Diesel was also killed.

A forensic scientist (Top-R) of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis
A forensic scientist (Top-R) of the French police searches for evidence in the apartment raided by French Police special forces earlier in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis

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