• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Paris attacks ringleader 'had visited Britain'
Paris attacks ringleader Abdemlhamid Abaaoud. Photo: Screengrab BFM TV

Paris attacks ringleader 'had visited Britain'

AFP · 11 Jan 2016, 08:04

Published: 11 Jan 2016 08:04 GMT+01:00

Abdelhamid Abaaoud's alleged trip to Britain could add to pressure on the interior ministry, which is struggling to tighten border controls amid high-profile reports of Britons going to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

The newspaper said photos of British landmarks were found on Abaaoud's phone after he was killed in a raid in Paris just days after the November 13th coordinated gun and bomb attacks in the French capital that killed 130 people.

The Guardian cited no sources and the interior ministry declined to comment.

Abaaoud entered Britain through a ferry port in England's southeast, the newspaper said, giving no dates.

The Guardian said he had met several jihadists in London and in Birmingham in central England, but that it was not clear whether the photos on his phone were part of plans for an attack.

He had been the subject of an arrest warrant issued by Belgium, where in July he was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for recruiting jihadists to fight in Syria.

The 28-year-old of Moroccan origin had in the past boasted of evading police dragnets in Europe, and taunted European authorities from what was assumed to be an Isis base in Syria.

Story continues below…

He also bragged about escaping from Europe after Belgian police shot dead two of his fellow jihadists in the eastern town of Verviers as they broke up a cell planning attacks on security personnel last year.

Abaaoud had first popped up on the radar of Belgian security forces after featuring in an Isis video released in 2014, laughing as he drove a car which dragged mutilated bodies behind it.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Photo: Eurovizion/Flickr

"You have to kill this dog, he doesn't deserve to live," the princess allegedly said.

Paying for sex in France: Has the new law been effective?

Around 40 sex buyers are caught each month across the whole of France. Does that sound like much?

Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Photo: Rexness/Flickr

You know you're in France when...

France gives lift off to tough new drone laws
Photo: AFP

Time to crack down on drones, say French lawmakers.

Bienvenue en France: France cuts red tape for UK firms
Photo: AFP

France is ready to roll out the red carpet for UK firms quitting Britain because of Brexit fears.

VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Photo: Canal Plus

Bird poo, bums and butts: Is life on les terraces really as bad as this?

'Five terror plots thwarted' on Riviera since Nice attack
A police boat patrols the waters off the beach in Nice during the summer. Photo: AFP

Authorities in Nice say five potentially deadly terror plots on the French Riviera have been foiled since the Bastille Day truck attack in the resort.

IN PICTURES
French firefighters calendar to provoke global palpitations
Photo: Fred Goudon

Warning: Some readers may suffer palpitations, sweats or other side-effects when reading this story.

Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
Photo: AFP

Is a beach with no sand still a beach?

Lost without translation: The struggles of Calais migrants
Communication problems in the Calais jungle camp. Photo: AFP

So many languages are spoken in the Calais jungle migrant camp but French is rarely heard.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,731
jobs available