Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paris Terrorist Mastermind 'Was Riding Metro as Attacks Unfolded' Abaaoud Able to Wander onto Train despite Being on Most-Wanted List

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Paris Terrorist Mastermind 'Was Riding Metro as Attacks Unfolded' Abaaoud Able to Wander onto Train despite Being on Most-Wanted List

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil in London and Kiran Randhawa and Peter Allen in Paris

TERRORIST mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud took the Metro as the Paris massacre was under way, it emerged today.

Despite being one of the world's most wanted men, Abaaoud, 27, was able to wander onto a train running into the heart of the French capital.

He jumped automatic barriers on Line 9 without a ticket last Friday. CCTV caught him at 10pm, around the time suicide bombers and gunmen were targeting multiple venues, including the Stade de France and Bataclan theatre, in attacks that left 129 dead.

Abaaoud died on Wednesday in a dawn gun battle with police in the Saint-Denis district. Forensic experts took more than 24 hours to confirm his death as his body was so badly mutilated from shrapnel and bullet wounds. Hasna Aitboulahcen, believed to be Abaaoud's cousin, blew herself up in the siege. Today a Paris prosecutor said a third body had been discovered in the flat, also believed to be a woman.

It had been thought Abaaoud had masterminded the Paris atrocities from Syria. But he was in fact travelling back and forth to the city, where he is believed to have co-ordinated up to six terror attacks in the past year alone.

According to witnesses, in Paris he posed as an asylum-seeking migrant without papers as he smoked pot and drank openly in the streets.

The CCTV footage was shot at Croix de Chavaux station, near the Paris suburb of Montreuil and 200 yards from the site where a Seat was found abandoned with three Kalashnikovs inside. French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he was baffled as to how Abaaoud routinely got into France overland from Syria, and that the EU needed to "wake up" to the scale of the terrorist threat.

Today pictures also emerged of Aitboulahcen, 26, blowing herself up. She is the first female suicide bomber to die in Europe. According to reports, she had only recently been radicalised, having been a party-loving extrovert who enjoyed drinking and smoking. …

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