European Union officials have told a Lebanese newspaper they do not believe the Algerian-French gunman who allegedly murdered three people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and seriously injured another acted alone, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.
The report said that according to the Beirut-based As-Safir newspaper the idea that Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year old who was born in France, was a “lone wolf” in the shooting last month is “being rejected by the European Union.”
Breitbart London reported yesterday that Nemmouche was known to have fought with jihadists in Syria last year before returning to France by way of Germany, where security at Frankfurt airport made him the subject of a “covert security alert.” The alert was passed to the authorities in France, however they took no action and Nemmouche was left free to travel to Brussels.
After his arrest, French authorities said he had been radicalised in prison where he was serving a sentence for armed robbery before travelling to Syria to fight with a jihadist group allied to Al-Qaeda.
Today the English language edition of As-Safir reports that Nemmouche was in prison with Mohammad Merah who carried out a series of gun attacks in 2012 in Toulouse and Montauban in the southwest of France in which French soldiers and Jewish civilians, including three children, were targeted. Seven died and five more were injured by Merah, who was killed by police after a 30-hour siege.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday, Gilles de Kerchove, the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator, said that the threat posed by “EU citizens” returning after having fought in Syria was now one of the gravest security threats facing the EU.
He said that the Brussels shooting was “probably not the last attack we will see. It is a sad concretisation of a threat that we know was there for months.” He said counter terror officials “have been ringing the bell and alarming people of this risk since 2013.”
Europe must brace itself for more Syria-linked terror attacks, he warned.