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Belgian jihadi ID'd by French as mastermind of Paris attacks

Once a happy-go-lucky student at one of Brussels' most prestigious high schools, Saint-Pierre d'Uccle, Abdelhamid Abaaoud morphed into Belgium's most notorious jihadi, a zealot so devoted to the cause of holy war that he recruited his 13-year-old brother to join him in Syria.

The child of Moroccan immigrants who grew up in the Belgian capital's scruffy and multiethnic Molenbeek-Saint-Jean neighbourhood, the fugitive, in his late 20s, was identified by French authorities on Monday as the presumed mastermind of the attacks last Friday in Paris that killed 129 people and injured hundreds.

What's more, one French official with direct knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that Abaaoud is believed to have links to earlier terror attacks that were thwarted: one against a Paris-bound high-speed train that was foiled by three young Americans in August, and the other against a church in the French capital's suburbs.

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