French prosecutors confirmed that the alleged mastermind of the November 13 Paris attacks, Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, was killed in the early morning raid yesterday in Saint Denis. Two other persons were also killed in the raid that lasted seven hours firing 5,000 rounds. Will France and the West in general now change their policy of supporting these terrorists against the government of President Bashar al Asad of Syria?
Thursday Nov 19, 2015, 09:57 EST
The alleged mastermind of last Friday’s Paris attacks, Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, is among the dead in the November 18 police raid on Seine-Saint Denis neighborhood of the French capital. French prosecutors confirmed today the suspected Belgian mastermind of the terrorist attacks was dead. Forensic experts identified him through DNA tests. Police sources had already confirmed the death of a female, believed to be Abaaoud’s cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen, to have blown herself during the raid.
The Washington Post quoting European officials had already reported yesterday that Abaaoud was among the dead in the Saint-Denis raid but French Interior Minister Francois Mollins would not confirm. Hundreds of police and French commandos stormed an apartment in the north Paris neighborhood at 4 am. More than 5,000 rounds of ammunition were fired including the use of grenades.
The police raid followed intercepts of telephone and cell phone communications. After the seven-hour attack that sounded more like a pitched battle, the police would not say whether Abaaoud was among the dead or had managed to escape one more time. The apartment was severely damaged. Of Moroccan origin, Abaaoud was born in Belgium and boasted that he moved between Belgium and Syria without difficulty. How that was possible is still unclear an remains unexplained.
Two brothers among the several Paris attackers have been traced to Molenbeek, a suburb of the Belgian capital, Brussels. Not only have Belgian police been deployed in large numbers in Molenbeek, hundreds of arrests have been made both in France and Belgium. It is reported that on November 16, the French police had arrested more than 130 people. This came in the wake of French President Francois Hollande extending the state of emergency to three months. He has also granted vast new powers to the police and other security agencies.
Hollande also said France was now “at war with Daesh”, the terrorist takfiri group that the West has nurtured for nearly four years despite repeated warnings from the Syrian government that these people will attack its backers and supporters as well.
Belgium has emerged as an important piece in the terrorist jigsaw puzzle. There was a group called Sharia4Belgium that advocated the imposition of Sharia in the country. Led by a convert, the group was ranked as one of the main recruiters of terrorists to go to Syria.
How such a group could exist and operate freely in Belgium until early this year when a Belgian judge declared it a terrorist organization and banned it remains a mystery. At least 45 people linked to the group were found guilty of terror-related offences.
It is, however, Western policy that must ultimately be held responsible for what has happened in Paris and other places. These Western regimes have deliberately supported terrorists against the government of President Bashar al Asad. He has repeatedly warned against such liaison with terrorist groups that have no regard for human life.
Equally disturbing is the Western policy of turning a blind eye to the regional backers of these terrorists:Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Zionist Israel. When one considers the terrorists’ regional sponsors, then it becomes clear that it has been part of Western policy to support such groups to destabilize the Middle East whose ultimate objective is very different from what they proclaim: fighting terrorism.
Will France now change its policy in the aftermath of the Paris attacks? Hollande has said he wants to create a broad international coalition against the terrorists.
He plans to travel to Washington on November 24 followed by a trip to Moscow on November 26. While his proposal would be received sympathetically in Moscow, it is uncertain what kind of a reception he might get in Washington.