Shocking footage of terror suspect released

De Francophone public broadcaster RTBF has got hold of mobile phone videos of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged brain behind the terror unit in Verviers. The terror group was (partly) dismantled as an anti-terrorist raid took place 10 days ago, but the brain behind the planned attacks is still on the run.

The footage released by the RTBF shows Abaaoud in Syria. He ties bodies of civilians behind a moving car to drag them to a mass grave. The footage is not part of propaganda videos. The first pictures show friends and family, and normal daily activities. From 7 January, footage suggests that Abaaoud is looking for big and fast vehicles to make a long journey (to Syria).

He takes selfies with smiling brothers-in-arms. Videos show how they are sitting around a campfire to discuss their worldview ("What kind of life do you prefer? Life in Europe or here? No, life is zero in Europe." Abaaoud calls himself "The terrorist tourists" in a Facebook status together with a fellow fighter.

The mobile phone data also contain footage of brutal acts. Abaaoud and others are searching a village and come across dead bodies of civilians. These are tied behind a car to drag them to a mass grave. Abaaoud has taken the lead in this action and also drives the car.