US military intelligence has informed France in May of the potential terror attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) in the capital city and even identified the alleged mastermind in Friday’s carnage.
An AFP report said details of the information were included in an assessment report published by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, in coordination with the FBI.
The report made reference to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspectedringleader of Friday’s coordinated suicide bombings and shooting in the French capital that killed 129 people, said the report.
Abaaoud has reportedly been in counter-terrorism radar for some time and was targeted in French airstrikes on Syria last month.
After Friday’s attacks, the Belgian national was believed to have been killed in an hour-long gun battle with French commandos following a pre-dawn raid of a flat in the nation’s capital, according to Mirror Online.
The assessment also focused on the lesson learned from a plot disrupted by Belgian authorities in January in several cities and called it “the first instance in which a large group of terrorists possibly operating under ISIL direction has been discovered.”
It added that the plot “may indicate that the group has developed the capability to launch more complex operations in the West,” as opposed to so-called “lone wolf” attacks or assaults by smaller or less sophisticated groups.
The assessment also said that threat was more acute in Europe and the United States.
It further cautioned that “we cannot discount the possibility for potential complex attacks here in the Homeland.”
The report, citing European media, called Abaaoud the purported leader of the Belgian plotters and said he directed operations from a safehouse in Athens using a cell phone, possibly in a bid to hide his involvement.
Investigations into the group’s activities spanned several European countries, including France, said the report.