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Paris terror mastermind was in UK months before: Report

By PTI
|

London, Dec 27: The mastermind behind the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris slipped into Britain on a false passport just months before and met British jihadists to seek "logistical support" from them, according to a media report.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 28, killed in a police raid days after the Paris atrocity is thought to have stayed in the UK only for a short period. He reportedly travelled to London and met up with suspected British jihadists to seek "logistical support" from extremists, despite being on international terror watch lists, 'The Sun' claimed.

Shocking revelations in Paris attack

One counter-terror source told the newspaper they were investigating the possibility he arrived in Kent, south-east England.

The revelations about Abaaoud's movements before the attack come weeks after it emerged he had been in contact with a network of associates in Birmingham in the run up to the attacks. Data on his phone reportedly showed he was in contact with Moroccans living in the Alum Rock and Bordesley Green areas of the city.

Police warned residents in the city to be "alert, vigilant but not alarmed" and said they are helping French detectives investigate the attacks. Abaaoud is believed to have masterminded the attacks against bars, restaurants, a concert hall and sports stadium last month.

The Belgian-born terrorist was shot dead days later during a police siege in Paris that killed 130 people. He is known to have left his native country for Syria in 2013 to fight alongside other extremists. He then returned to Belgium to organise a plot to kill police officers. It was smashed in January but he managed to escape.

PTI

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