Paris mastermind planned second attack just days later, official says; New suspect sought

By Doug G. Ware  |  Nov. 24, 2015 at 6:01 PM
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PARIS, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The man who authorities believe plotted the bloody terrorist assault on Paris this month had planned to follow that up with another major attack just days later in a nearby business district, a French prosecutor said Tuesday.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud was tracked down and killed by police last week during one of many raids in and around the French capital. But investigators believe he had been hard at work while security forces were looking for him, ABC News reported.

French prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters Tuesday that Abaaoud was planning to attack the French business district of La Defense -- located just northwest of Paris -- to be carried out either the day he was killed or the following day.

A man who died inside the same apartment as Abaaoud on Nov. 18, after detonating a suicide vest, was believed to have been aiding him in the second plot.

Also Tuesday, Molins said evidence indicates that Abaaoud returned to the scene of the attacks as police were responding to the chaos.

"We can presume that Abdelhamid Abaaoud returned to the scenes of the crime," Molins said.

Cellphone data obtained by police apparently place Abaaoud near the Bataclan music hall as police were trying to handle the hostage situation. Nearly people 90 were methodically shot to death inside the venue by gunmen.

For two hours the night of the attacks, Molins said, Abaaoud's cellphone indicates he moved around the city. Investigators believe he was responsible for passing out instructions to the attackers and participating in some of the actual assaults.

Officials have also detained Jawad Bendaoud, the owner of the apartment Abaaoud was living in, because investigators said his cellphone data indicates he was in contact with Abaaoud's associates before and after the attacks.

However, officials are unsure if Bendaoud knew he was participating in terrorism.

"The investigation must continue to determine his precise role," Molins said.

Authorities on Tuesday continued to search for Salah Abdeslam, 26, the only known remaining suspect believed to have taken part in the attacks. ABC News reported that French officials are also looking for another man, Mohamed Abrini, who was seen with Abdeslam two days before the attacks, which killed 130 and wounded more than 350.

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