The suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks who was killed during Wednesday's dramatic police shoot-out was linked to four foiled terror plots in France this year, the country's interior minister has said.

Bernard Cazeneuve said French authorities had no information that Islamic State (IS) jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud was in France before Friday's massacre which left 129 dead.

He told a press conference: "Amongst six attacks foiled or avoided by the French intelligence services since spring of 2015, Abaaoud was involved in four of them."

Mr Cazeneuve said the French government was only informed on Monday of Abaaoud's whereabouts by an intelligence service "outside of Europe".

Mr Cazeneuve said Abaaoud, who had lived in Molenbeek in Belgium, had returned from Syria in 2014.

"It was the French intelligance services that had implicated him in a number of possible attacks in France and also the role he played in Islamic State," he added.

A suspected terrorist had confessed while under arrest that he had been trained by Abaaoud to carry out a "violent attack" in France or another European country, Mr Cazeneuve said.

The French interior minister said the six foiled attacks were all planned from abroad with the intention they would be carried out by jihadists living in Europe.

"It is urgent for Europe to come together, organise and defend itself against the terrorist threat," he added.

Abaaoud was killed following a major pre-dawn raid on Wednesday when Swat teams laid siege to the flat in the northern suburb of Saint-Denis for seven hours. His body had been identified based on skin samples.

Police confirmed that a female suicide bomber who blew herself up during the gunfight was Abaaoud's cousin, Hasna Aitboulahcen.

One official said Aitboulahcen is believed to have detonated a suicide vest after a brief exchange with police officers.

According to the official, one of the officers asked: "Where is your boyfriend?" and she responded angrily: "He's not my boyfriend!" before there was an explosion.

The bodies recovered in the raid were badly mangled, with part of the woman's spine landing on a police car, complicating formal identification.

She is believed to be the first female suicide bomber to hit Western Europe. Eight people were arrested following the raid.

Police fired about 5,000 rounds of ammunition during an early-morning exchange of gunfire which lasted about an hour as the terrorist cell barricaded themselves in the hideout.

Paros prosecutor Francois Molins said the operation neutralised a "new terrorist threat", and that "everything led us to believe that, considering their armaments, the structured organisation and their determination, they were ready to act".

The jihadis were set to carry out a second attack after Friday's massacre, this time targeting Charles de Gaulle airport and the city's financial district La Defense, according to reports.

Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspected gunmen from Friday's attacks who is now the focus of an international manhunt, was not among those arrested, the prosecutor added.

Belgian authorities today launched six raids in the Brussels region linked to Bilal Hadfi, one of the suicide bombers outside the Stade de France.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that terrorists could use chemical or biological weapons, and urged an extension of France's state of emergency.

He said: "Terrorism hit France, not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria ... but for what it is.

"We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons."

Belgian police are also reportedly searching for a man named Mohamed K, from Roubaix, northern France, who is suspected of supplying the terrorist gang with explosives.

The eight arrested included one woman and a man whose flat was used as a hideout by the terror cell and are being interrogated.