The Paris attack that unfolded last week was a gruesome image of violence and hate. Since the tragic incident, millions of people all over the world expressed their sympathy for Paris thru social media. A number of Facebook users updated their profile pictures including France’s flag in it. The hashtag #PrayforParis was widely used as people continued to show their support and love to the Parisians who lost a loved one in this tragic event.

A couple of days after the attack, France began its campaign to “get back” at ISIS for the atrocities that occurred in the famous city. On Sunday, November 15, France launched massive airstrikes against Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

Launching more than 30 airstrikes since Sunday, the French government was also doing a manhunt operation to seize the suspected mastermind of the Paris bombings, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

On Wednesday November 18 a massive raid was carried out by the French police. After receiving “tip-offs” of Abaaoud's whereabouts, the French police carried out the raid early in the morning in an apartment in Saint-Denis. There were two suspects killed as a result – with speculations that Abaaoud as one of them.

After a series of forensic examinations and identification by Abaaoud's fingerprint, a French prosecutor later confirmed that Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in the raid. The other suspect who died was Abaaoud’s cousin, who blew herself up by activating her suicide vest.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud was a Belgian national who grew up in the suburbs of Molenbeek in Brussels. Abaaoud studied in Catholic schools but had the overwhelming thirst for power and violence. According to reports, his sister Yasmina mentioned that her brother’s “desire” to join ISIS was never about religion.

She further added that her brother never even went to the mosque to pray. It was January 2014 when Abaaoud decided to travel to Syria, bringing his then 13-year old brother Younes with him.

Since joining ISIS, Abaaoud is believed to have been involved in other terror-related activities in Europe. Prior to the November 13th Paris attack, Abaaoud is also believed to be behind the terror attack in a Paris-bound high-speed train.

That attack was immediately stopped, all thanks to two U.S. soldiers who were able to subdue the attacker.

Prior the manhunt operation against Abdelhamid Abaaoud, officials did not know that he is in Europe. This raised an intense alarm with regard to border security since Abaaoud is included in the “most wanted” list but was able to re-enter Europe undetected.

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