-- The alleged mastermind of last week’s Paris terror attacks had been involved in planning several other would-be attacks in recent months, officials say.
Abaaoud was a Moroccan-born Belgian citizen, and officials have confirmed that he traveled to Syria in 2014.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve today said Abaaoud seems to have been involved in at least four of six terror plots that have been thwarted since this spring.
He was confirmed to have had connections to two jihadists who had been detained by French authorities. The first was detained in June after a trip to Turkey and another confirmed to officials in August that he had been trained and commissioned by Abaaoud to commit violent acts in France or elsewhere.
Officials are also investigating a possible connection between Abaaoud and a jihadist who was detained in July en route to Prague with a false Swedish passport and unspecified plans to commit a terrorist attack, Cazeneuve said.
Beyond those personal connections, French officials say they have also established that Abaaoud had a role in an attack in April that left one woman dead.
That incident involved Sid Ahmed Glham, a 24-year-old Algerian who moved to France in 2009. Glham is believed to have killed a French woman in her car, but then did not continue the rest of his alleged plan after he contacted authorities to call for an ambulance because he had injured himself.
"Documents were also found and they prove, without any ambiguity, that the individual was preparing an imminent attack, in all probability, against one or two churches," Cazeneuve said at the time.
Abaaoud's specific role in the April attack has not been publicly disclosed.
Officials are still working to see whether Abaaoud was connected in any way to the attempted shooting on a Thalys train that ended after U.S. passengers helped subdue the assailant in August.