Paris Attacks Mastermind Killed in Saint-Denis Raid, Officials Say

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PARIS — French investigators said Thursday that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks, died Wednesday in a major police operation in a suburb of the city.

Another key suspect linked to Friday’s atrocities by ISIS attackers in the French capital is still at large. And Belgian authorities are conducting fresh raids around Brussels.

Here are the most important recent developments:

• NEW: Abaaoud was linked to several other known jihadists, and France is continuing to investigate those links, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Thursday.

• NEW: Video released by dailymail.com in London captures one of the horrific Paris attacks at a cafe. A gunman — believed to be e 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, according to the website — is seen spraying the front of the cafe and its outdoor bistro tables with bullets as glass shatters inside and patrons scramble to safety. The gunman approaches a woman near the front door of the eatery and points an assault rifle at her. The weapon appears to jam, and the gunman walks off. The woman and another customer make a run for it.

• NEW: President Obama will travel to Paris this month, as scheduled, to attend climate talks, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said, adding that the administration has “great confidence” in France’s ability to maintain security.

• Though authorities have confirmed that Abaaoud died as a result of Wednesday’s police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, they don’t yet know whether he blew himself up, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

• Papillary prints — which include prints from fingers, palms and soles — led officials to identify Abaaoud’s remains, the French prosecutor’s office announced Thursday in a statement. He was one of two people killed in raids Wednesday in Saint-Denis, the office said.

The investigation and the raids

• Belgian authorities carried out six raids around Brussels on Thursday in relation to one of the Paris attackers, said Eric Van Der Sypt of the country’s federal prosecutor’s office. The raids are targeting people connected to Bilal Hadfi, one of the suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside France’s national stadium Friday. A separate raid was carried out in the suburb of Laeken, and one person was taken in for questioning, the official said.

• Seven men and a woman were detained in the major police operation Wednesday in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

• The suspects appeared to be “prepared to act” in another possible attack, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said, noting their weaponry, structured organization and determination.

The scene in France

• Lawmakers approved a plan by French President Francois Hollande to extend until February 2016 the state of emergency declared the night of the Paris attacks. The bill, which gives the government sweeping powers, now goes to France’s Senate, for a Friday vote.

• Hollande has reiterated his country’s commitment to accepting refugees, describing it as a “humanitarian duty.” In the next two years, 30,000 refugees will be welcomed, he said, but authorities also will conduct security screenings.

• Amid tensions across France, a veiled Muslim woman was hit and stabbed Wednesday at the exit of a metro station in Marseille “because of her religious symbols,” authorities said. Also in Marseille, a Jewish teacher was stabbed “by several individuals uttering anti-Semitic remarks and glorifying terrorism,” officials said. One of the attackers was reported to be wearing a T-shirt bearing an ISIS symbol.

Around the globe

• Obama has warned of the long road that lies ahead in the global effort to defeat ISIS. “It’s going to be a multiyear task,” he said at a regional conference in the Philippines. “And we’re not going to be able to fully succeed in eliminating their safe havens until we have a political settlement of some sort in Syria.”

• An ISIS video released Wednesday warns of an impending attack on New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio said police are “taking all necessary precautions” in areas shown in the video and throughout the city. “Stoking fear is the goal of terrorist organizations,” he said, “but New York City will not be intimidated.”

• In the latest publication of ISIS’ Dabiq magazine, the terrorist group includes a list of the latest attacks for which it claims responsibility, including the downing the Russian passenger plane in Sinai, the suicide attacks in Lebanon and the attacks in Paris.

CNN’s Greg Botelho, Euan McKirdy, Allie Malloy, Carmen Paun, Jason Hanna, Catherine E. Shoichet, Anna-Maja Rappard, Ivan Watson, Tim Lister, Paul Cruickshank, Erin Burnett, Margot Haddad and Don Melvin contributed to this report.

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