France identifies suicide bomber from raid after Paris attacks

A suicide bomber who blew himself up during the police raid following the jihadist attacks in Paris was a Belgian-Moroccan man also suspected of being one of the gunmen in the November rampage, a prosecutor said Thursday, according to AFP.

Chakib Akrouh, 25, was identified from DNA matched to his mother, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said in a statement quoted by the news agency.

“The suicide bomber who blew himself up… was identified as Chakib Akrouh, born on August 27, 1990 in Belgium, of Belgian Moroccan nationality,” Molins said.

Akrouh was holed up in an apartment in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis with the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abelhamid Abaaoud, who was also a Belgian of Moroccan origin, and was also killed in the attack. He had planned attacks on Jewish targets in France as well.

A French woman, Hasna Aitboulahcen, who is thought to have been Abaaoud’s cousin, was also killed in the raid.

Prosecutors initially mistakenly said the woman had been the suicide bomber, before correcting their account, noted AFP.

The delay in identifying Akrouh points to the devastation left after the massive raid that sent explosions ringing through the area while terrified residents were told to stay indoors.

Investigators now believe he was also one of the Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen who sprayed restaurants and cafe terraces with bullets on November 13, killing dozens of people, in one of the combined attacks on the French capital.

Attackers also stormed the packed Bataclan concert hall and killed 90 people. In another attack, three men blew themselves up outside the Stade de France national stadium during a friendly match between France and Germany.

A total of 130 people were killed and more than 350 were injured in the attacks that were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

Meanwhile, investigators are still seeking Salah Abdeslam, a 26-year-old Frenchman living in Belgium who is thought to have hired the cars used by the attackers and arranged hotel apartments for the nights before the rampage.

Earlier this week, the first images of Abdeslam were released, showing him along with a friend at a petrol station on the Belgium border shortly after fleeing France.

It has been speculated that Abdeslam fled from Belgium to Germany, and that from there he might have even managed to flee to Syria.