Special to WorldTribune.com
The leader of the Paris terrorist attacks slipped into France with a group of 90 jihadists who then spread out “everywhere” around the city.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud “was proud of himself. That was the worst. He appeared to fear no one, a superman,” according to testimony from the woman who tipped police to the terror leader’s location.
The woman said that she had asked Abaaoud whether he had entered France with Syrian refugees and he told her he came in with a group without any documents.
“There are Syrians, Iraqis, French, Germans, British. We came in a group of 90 and we’re a little bit everywhere around Paris,” Abaaoud told the woman.
“He told me they left a lot of traces and they’ll be identified quickly. And that it’s not over,” the woman, identified only as Sonia, said.
Abaaoud described the suicide bombings at the French national stadium, which killed one person on Nov. 13, as a failure.
“The exact words of his response were: ‘There were some failures. I am here to make sure that there will be no more.’ ”
Sonia testified that she was with Abaaoud’s female cousin on Nov. 15 when the cousin received a call from a Belgian number. It was Abaaoud, asking for a hideout. The women drove to a deserted industrial road outside Paris and Abaaoud came out of a bush.
Sonia said she tried to persuade the younger woman to abandon Abaaoud, who she said planned an attack on Nov. 19 on a nursery school, a shopping mall and a police station in the La Defense business district.
The cousin, Hasna Ait Boulahcen, died in the Saint-Denis apartment with Abaaoud and another of the Paris gunmen.
“She’s not a victim of terrorism. She chose to help her cousin, which means he was stronger than me,” Sonia said.
Sonia “is in a state of permanent fear,” Patrick Baudouin, her lawyer, told The Associated Press.
“We do not have witness protection in France,” Baudouin said. “My fight is larger, so that the public understands the need to protect these witnesses, so any future potential witnesses are not dissuaded from coming forward when they decide it’s too risky. It is important for the future.”