Alleged Terrorist Ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud Killed in Paris Raid, Identified by Fingerprints

Abdelhamid Abaaoud
An undated photograph of a man described as Abdelhamid Abaaoud that was published in the Islamic State's online magazine Dabiq and posted on a social media website. LANDOV

French prosecutor Francois Molins confirmed on Thursday, Nov. 19, that Abdelhamid Abaaoud — the alleged mastermind behind the horrific Paris attacks that took 129 lives on Nov. 13 — was killed in a police raid on Wednesday, Nov. 18, BBC News reports. 

The raid took place in the Paris suburb of St.-Denis in the early morning hours, killing two and leading to eight arrests. But on Wednesday, police were hesitant to identify the fatalities until they had conducted all of the proper tests. One body was described as that of a female. The Associated Press now reports that she was the cousin of Abaaoud, and “believed to have blown herself up” during the raid.

Police in Paris suburb Saint-Denis on November 18
Policemen stood guard in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on November 18, 2015 Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

ABC News reports that Abaaoud was posthumously identified by his fingerprints. And the New York Times reports that the confirmation came after a series of forensic tests. 

NYT reporter Aurelien Breeden tweeted, “#Paris prosecutor just sent 1 sentence specifying: ‘We do not know at this stage whether #Abaaoud blew himself up or not.’ #ParisAttacks.”

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