Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old Belgian born extremist who authorities say planned the horrific attack on Paris Friday night, died Wednesday in a pre-dawn raid by security forces, according to French prosecutors, who confirmed his death on Thursday. He was reportedly killed by a sniper.
According to The Washington Post, Abaaoud was among two people who died when security forces descended on the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, where several terrorists were holed up. A woman identified as Abaaoud's cousin reportedly detonated a suicide vest and was killed. Three men were also taken into custody.
A SWAT team led the assault on Wednesday and "neutralized" what Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins called a "new team of terrorists" that appeared ready for a fresh attack. French officials, who did not immediately confirm Abbaoud's death, used fingerprints to ensure he was dead.
Abaaoud's family had believed he was killed fighting in Syria last year, according to The New York Times. His family, described as middle-class business owners in Belgium, even celebrated his death. "We are praying that Abdelhamid really is dead," his older sister, Yasmina, said at the time.
With reporting from The Associated Press.
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