The Levant News–
The suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks has been on the counterterrorism radar for some time and was targeted in French airstrikes on Syria last month, a French counterterrorism source told CNN.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, in his late 20s, is believed to be close to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and is probably the link between the senior ISIS leadership and ISIS operatives in Europe, European counterterrorism officials have said.
Authorities raided a building Paris suburb of Saint-Denis that is linked to Abaaoud.
French police on Wednesday were trying to determine if Abaaoud had been in the apartment, or if he is even still alive. Investigators were using DNA to analyze the body parts found in the Saint-Denis building where a female suspect first blew herself up, then French forces used powerful munitions to combat others, which led to one floor of the building collapsing.
French military forces carried out airstrikes in October targeting an ISIS training camp for foreign fighters in Raqqa, Syria, in an effort to kill Abaaoud, the French counterterrorism source said.
“He was the one training foreign fighters,” and he spent time at the camp, the source said, but it’s not clear if Abaaoud was there at the time of the airstrikes.