THE mastermind of the Paris terror attacks was planning another strike on the French capital days before he died in a police siege.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud and an accomplice are believed to have been planning a double suicide bombing targeting business district La Defense on November 18 or 19, says Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.
The terrorist was among three people killed during a dramatic police shootout in a northern Paris suburb in the early hours of November 18.
During the raid Abaaoud’s female cousin, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, was killed after another terrorist detonated a suicide vest while standing next to her.
The explosion led to part of the apartment collapsing.
Abaaoud was killed in a police shootout
Molins said the unidentified third person is believed to have been Abaaoud’s accomplice for the planned attack on La Defense, the high-rise district that is headquarters to major companies on the western edge of Paris.
The prosecutor said information found inside the apartment "suggested the two attackers - Abaaoud and the man we found by his side in the apartment - were planning an attack consisting of blowing themselves up at La Defense either on Wednesday the 18th or Thursday the 19th".
Molins also revealed Abaaoud is believed to have returned to the sites of some of the attacks, including the Bataclan concert hall, while police special forces were at the scene.
130 people were slaughtered in the November 13 attacks, including Briton Nick Alexander, with hundreds of people left seriously injured.
"The geolocalization of Abdelhamid Abaaoud's alleged phone between 22:28 p.m. and 0:28 confirms a presence in the 12th, 11th, and 10th districts, and notably near the Bataclan concert hall," Molins said. "This allows us to think that Abdelhamid Abaaoud returns to the crime scenes following the attacks on terraces of the cafes and restaurants of the 10th and 11th districts while special police were still taking action at the Bataclan."
As police continue to hunt down the terrorists, yesterday the landlord who provided a hideout for the killers before the massacre, became the first person in France to be charged in connection with the attacks.
Jawad Bendaoud was charged with criminal association and detention of incendiary or explosive substances linked to a terrorist enterprise.
Abaaoud and two others were killed in the shootout
Bendaoud acknowledged in a television interview giving shelter to two people from Belgium in his home in Saint-Denis but said he didn't know who they were. The prosecutor differed and said his suspected links with the attackers were being investigated.
The Paris attacks have been traced to a network of people with ties to both France and Belgium, where Abaaoud was from.
Belgian authorities charged a fifth suspect Tuesday with terror-related offenses relating to the Paris attack, while the federal prosecutor's office issued an international arrest warrant for Mohamed Abrini, who is being tracked by both Belgian and French police.
Abrini, who has been described as "armed and dangerous," was seen with Salah Abdeslam - another top fugitive suspect in the attacks who crossed into Belgium the day after the killings - at a petrol station in Ressons on the highway to Paris two days before the attacks.
The Paris attackers, including Abaaoud, top right
An international arrest warrant has also been issued for Abdeslam.
The Belgian capital, Brussels, has remained on the highest level of alert since the weekend for fear of a "serious and imminent threat," with shops, schools and subways shut. Schools are expected to reopen today along with parts of the subway system, although the alert level will remain.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told lawmakers on Tuesday that 124 people have been handed preliminary charges since a state of emergency was imposed hours after the attacks, following more than 1,230 searches in which 230 weapons were recovered. He didn't specify what the charges were or if they were linked to the attacks.
French President Francois Hollande visted Washington for talks with President Barack Obama.
Speaking at a joint news conference, Obama said Islamic State, which he described as a "barbaric terrorist group," cannot be tolerated and must be destroyed.
*Recommendations by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips that all residents take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed”.*– Watch This FREE Video