There have been quite a few new developments in a little over the past week related to the Paris attacks. I will try to adequately summarize what’s occurred.
The Suicide Bomber of St Denis
A major identification was announced on January 14th when authorities revealed that the individual who detonated a suicide vest in the flat on the rue du Corbillon in St Denis was named Chakib Akrouh. Akrouh had been known to authorities in Belgium and had even been convicted in absentia late last summer in a trial of 32 individuals involved in the Belgian pipeline of foreign fighters to Syria. He was also named the third gunman involved in shooting up the cafés on the night of the attacks based on a DNA match to one of the recovered Kalashnikovs. Continue reading →
On December 30, Le Monde went to press with a story revealing that the Paris attacks had been coordinated from Belgium in real time, based on their reading of over 6000 records related to the investigation. The public had thus far been under the impression that Abdelhamid Abaaoud had been running the show, but the information showed that somebody in Belgium had coordinated the three teams, which Abaaoud could not have done as the driver for the attacks on the cafés. By January 6, La Libre Belgique reported that the coordinators in Belgium were the mysterious Soufiane Kayal and Samir Bouzid. No information was given as to how this was determined. Continue reading →
In the spate of raids and arrests following the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris, authorities focused intensely on the Brussels district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (Sint-Jans-Molenbeek), with one house receiving special scrutiny. Police conducted an operation at 47 rue Delaunoy on November 16 beginning at 10:15 in the morning and continuing for over 4 hours. The reported target was fugitive Salah Abdeslam, but he was not discovered. One person was brought in according to reports, but authorities stated that it was for administrative purposes and no information was given about who lived at that location [Note: I subsequently discovered an article from LaCapitale.be about a raid on the home of Mohamed Bazarouj, friend of the Abdeslam brothers, on the rue Delaunoy dated November 17]. Continue reading →
The raid in St. Denis that killed Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his “party-girl” cousin Hasna Aït Boulahcen when an as-yet-unnamed third individual triggered his explosive vest brought to light another individual who adds a curious twist to the story of the Friday the 13th attacks in Paris. As events unfolded in the rue de Corbillon, another property around the corner on the Boulevard Carnot was raided where authorities arrest a man and a woman. The man is Jawad Bendaoud, the “landlord” of the flat at 8 rue de Corbillon. Continue reading →