Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Suspected Mastermind Of Paris Attacks, Is Believed To Be In Saint-Denis — REPORT
Update: After seven hours, the Saint-Denis police raid ended Wednesday with two suspected terrorists dead, including a woman who died after detonating her suicide vest, according to officials. A total of seven people were arrested, three of whom were inside the apartment during the raid. It was not immediately clear whether the target of the raid, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people and wounded more than 350 others, was among those killed or arrested.
Earlier: According to The Guardian, the man suspected of masterminding the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is believed to be in Saint-Denis, where a police raid resulted in gunfire and explosions early Wednesday morning. Abaaoud was reportedly the target of the police raid that began at around 4:30 a.m. local time. The Guardian also reports that Salah Abdeslam and a possible ninth attacker may also be holed up in an apartment in the neighborhood, though it is unclear how many people are currently inside.
While there are unconfirmed reports of deaths, Agence France-Presse also reports that there are two people dead, including a female suicide bomber who possibly may have blown herself up during the raid. At least seven explosions could be heard during live broadcast of the standoff, though the exact source of their locations were not immediately known.
Abaaoud was believed to be in Syria so his reported presence in Paris comes as a surprise. The 27-year-old is reportedly the ringleader for Friday's Paris attacks. Raised in the Brussels, Belgium, suburb of Molenbeek, Abaaoud was a high-level target of Belgian authorities having been linked to other terrorist activities over the years.
Roads are currently closed off, and a major police operation is ongoing as the sun rises. Local schools have been suspended, public transportation in the area has been shut down, and residents are being told to stay indoors.
Saint-Denis is where the Stade de France is located. Three suicide bombings happened at the sports stadium on Friday, which was part of a series of terrorist attacks that killed at least 129 people and wounded more than 350 people.