The suspected explosives expert behind the Paris attacks has handed himself in to police, it has been reported. Mohammed Khoualed, who is from Roubaix in northern France, is thought to have assembled the explosives and detonators in the suicide vests, used by the terrorists, who killed 129 people in Paris on Friday 13 November.
French police released an international alert for Khoualed which warned: "Urgent detect: attacks Paris! Very dangerous. Specialising in explosives and detonators".
The 19-year-old turned himself in to police in the northern city of Lille on Wednesday (18 November) evening, France3 regional TV station reported. He surrendered following a raid on his home in which C4 explosives were found. It had been feared he had teamed up with Salah Abdelslam, the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, and the pair were on the run together.
Seven of the jihadis who died in the attacks wore identical explosive vests to blow themselves up after carrying out the atrocities in the Bataclan theatre and the Stade De France. According to security and intelligence experts, the suicide vests, normally associated with bombings in the Middle East, were made by a highly skilled professional.
A former French intelligence chief told the AFP news agency: "Suicide vests require a munitions specialist. To make a reliable and effective explosive is not something anyone can do.
"A munitions specialist is someone who is used to handling explosives, who knows how to make them, to arrange them in a way that the belt or vest is not so unwieldy that the person can't move. And it must also not blow up by accident."
News of his detention comes following confirmation of the death of Belgian IS terror cell leader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, who was killed in a shootout with more than 100 police officers last night during a raid in the Saint Denis suburb of Paris. His body was identified from skin samples.