French Investigators Focus on Syrian Passport Holder Who Passed Through Greece  


As French investigators continue to identify the seven dead terrorists who are responsible for last night’s attack, The Guardian (and other news agencies) confirmed that a Syrian passport “belonging to a man born in 1970, and an Egyptian passport had been found lying close by the bodies of two other jihadis.”

Moments ago, the Associated Press tweeted:

Another man has been identified as a French national with ties to terrorist groups.

Nikos Toskas, Greece’s minister of citizen protection, separately confirmed that the holder of the Syrian passport had entered the European Union through Leros, a Greek island in the south. Toskas said the passport holder entered Greece on October 3, but added, “We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries through which the holder likely passed.”

The Guardian reports:

“As Europe struggles to contain an influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants, the revelation that one of the Paris killers may have travelled the refugee route, been registered in Greece in accordance with EU rules, and managed to make his way northwards to join what unconfirmed reports suggested was effectively an independent jihadi cell could prove explosive.”

The Guardian’s observations are likely right. On the heels of the attacks that left 129 dead and 352 injured, France’s far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, called for the country to “ban Islamist organizations” and “expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here.” Le Pen, who built her entire political career off of spouting xenophobic bullshit, was recently tried for inciting “racial hatred.”

There is a likelihood that the passports are fake, CNN reports. On their liveblog, The Guardian notes that forged Syrian passports are hot commodities on the black market.

As of now, no arrests have been made in France, but French authorities continue to screen CCTV footage from across the city.

Earlier today, Germany confirmed that a man arrested in Bavaria last week, for possession of “many machine guns, revolvers and explosives,” might be related to the attacks.

Belgian authorities also confirmed that multiple arrests had been made after a series of raids in Brussels. Koen Geens, the justice minister, said that the arrests were in response to the Paris attacks after a car with a Belgian license plate was seen near the Bataclan concert hall. “There were arrests relating to the search of the vehicle and person who rented it,” Geen said. The BBC recently confirmed that three arrests had been made in Brussels.

Update: The three men arrested in Belgium are French nationals. Greece again confirmed that the man with the Syrian passport passed through the country but warned against “automatically concluding” that the bomber was the passport holder. “Either this person passed through Greece posing as a refugee, or along the way he bought or stole the passport. At this stage either scenario is possible,” the official said.

Image via AP.

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