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Alleged Paris mastermind caught on Metro CCTV while attacks were going on

The suspected mastermind behind the attacks in Paris last week has been identified in CCTV footage from a metro station while the attacks that killed 129 people were under way, a police source said on Friday.

Police on November 19 confirmed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in gunbattle when they raided a house in a Paris suburb early on November 18 where he was holed up.

Abaaoud can be seen on CCTV footage at the Croix de Chavaux metro station in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, not far from where one of the cars used in the attacks was found, the police source said, confirming a report on BFM TV.

He was spotted on the tape at 10:14 PM (2114 GMT) after shootings at several cafes and suicide bombings near a packed soccer stadium, but while a massacre was still underway at a concert hall.

A petty criminal who went to fight in Syria in 2013, Abaaoud is believed to have recruited similar young men from immigrant families in his native Brussels district of Molenbeek and elsewhere in Belgium and France.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud

A photograph of Abdel Hamid Abaaoud also known by his nom de guerre Abu Umar Al Baljicki

Before the attacks, European governments thought that Abaaoud was still in Syria.

Eyewitnesses say he was “drinking whiskey on streets of Paris”

Meanwhile, two eyewitnesses told a UK TV channel that they say Abaaoud “smoking cannabis and drinking with a group of men after the atrocities”.

Amel Alla, whose mother lives nearby the Saint-Denis flat in which Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Hasna Aitboulahcen, died during a police raid on November 18, said she often saw the group of men outside.

“I saw him in Muslim dress, down at the building with all these guys, perhaps eight or 10 of them,” the estate agent told the TV channel.

Ms Alla, who claims Abaaoud was wearing “Islamic dress” while his companions were dressed “in normal clothes”, said she only recognised the Paris attacker after she watched television with her sister that evening.

“I am 99.9 per cent sure it was him, it is crazy.”

 

 

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