The Belgian who led the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris bragged that he slipped into France with a group of 90 extremists from Europe and the Middle East, according to testimony from the woman who tipped police to his location.
In an interview aired Thursday by RMC television and confirmed by her lawyer, the woman identified only as Sonia said Abdelhamid Abaaoud was proud of the attack that killed 130 people.
The 42-year-old woman was with Abaaoud’s female cousin on Nov. 15 when the younger woman got a call from a Belgian number. It was Abaaoud, asking for a hideout.
The two women drove to a deserted industrial road outside Paris and Abaaoud came out of a bush. It was at that moment she realized who he was, according to her testimony. What followed is Abaaoud’s only known conversation about the attacks and their aftermath – with a woman so horrified and angered by the bloodshed that she challenged him repeatedly.
She said the Islamic State group commander told her he had entered France without documents, among a group of 90 people that had scattered around the Paris region. She accused him of killing innocent people, which he denied, and challenged the deaths of Muslims that night. Those, she said, he described as “collateral damage.”