The leader of the group of terrorists who carried out the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris two weeks ago also planned to strike at the French Jewish community, Reuters reported Friday, quoting a witness statement related to the investigation into the November 13 terror attacks. The report did not specify which Jewish targets were intended to be hit.
The terrorists were also planning to disrupt the education and transportation systems in the French capital, Reuters said.
The Reuters report quoted the witness statement saying that Belgian national Abaaoud “also boasted of the ease with which he had re-entered Europe from Syria via Greece two months earlier, exploiting the confusion of the migrant crisis and the continent’s passport-free Schengen system.”
The quotes were apparently taken from a confidential police witness statement leaked this week to French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.
Two days after the Paris bloodbath, Abaaoud asked his cousin Hasna Ait Boulahcen to hide him as he prepared more attacks, the witness statement reportedly said.
He told her “they would do worse (damage) in districts close to the Jews and would disrupt transport and schools,” the witness statement said.
“Abaaoud said he would give Boulahcen 5,000 euros (about $5,000) to buy two suits and two pairs of shoes for him and an unidentified accomplice to ‘look the part’ in a planned attack on Paris’s commercial district La Defense,” Reuters said.
Boulahcen was killed in the same raid as her cousin.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday it would launch an investigation into how the confidential statement was leaked to the press, Reuters said.
Islamist terrorists have targeted the French Jewish community on more than one occasion. In January, four people were shot dead in an attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris, two days after 12 people were killed in an attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in the French capital.
In March 2012, a rabbi, his two young children and another young girl were shot and killed by an Islamist gunman at a Jewish school in the city of Toulouse.