Paris attacks ringleader 'had UK link'

Paris attacks: Plot leader ‘had UK links’ – reports

  • 4 December 2015
  • From the section UK
French raid police in St DenisImage copyright French Ministry of the Interior
Image caption UK police have been working in Paris since last month’s attacks

The ringleader of last month’s Paris terror attacks, which killed 130 people, is believed to have connections with the UK, it has been reported.

The man allegedly behind the plot, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is thought to have links to people in Birmingham, the Wall Street Journal said.

The BBC’s Frank Gardner said it was plausible there was social media contact with people in the UK.

The Home Office has not confirmed the report.

Eleven militants took part in the attacks on 13 November, which left 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded.

Abaaoud was killed in a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis five days after the attacks.

Potential plots

The Guardian has also reported that one of the men involved in the Paris attacks visited the UK earlier this year.

The newspaper says he met people in London and Birmingham “suspected of having the intention and capability of plotting or assisting terrorist activity against the UK”.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Abaaoud was known to have trained as a fighter with the so-called Islamic State and had “criss-crossed between Syria and Europe and back again”.

He added that officers from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command had been working in Paris since last month’s attacks to help with investigations and it was not surprising they would be following up any leads within the UK.

The UK terrorism threat level is currently set at severe – meaning the prospect of an attack is “highly likely”.

The government said security plans have been reviewed in the wake of recent events and at least seven potential plots have been foiled in the last year, although not on the same scale as the one carried out in Paris.

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