One of the Paris terrorists had previously visited Britain and phoned a number in the city of Birmingham several times before launching the attacks, according to reports.
Police are investigating the claims that one of the terrorists rang the number “on several occasions” before launching the attacks that killed 130 people, according to The Mirror. He is also alleged to have visited Britain on several occasions, including locations in London and Kent.
A source said of the calls: “They were made shortly before the Paris attacks. British police are urgently investigating whether anyone in the UK was involved in those atrocities and also whether there is a linked terror cell based here.”
Birmingham has become notorious in recent years as a centre for Islamist extremism. Last year, it emerged that fundamentalists had infiltrated several nominally secular schools and forced a strict Islamic curriculum on the students.
In what became known as the “Trojan Horse” scandal, hard liners allegedly joined school boards, hired teachers who conformed to their views and forced out staff who dissented.
At one school, a government official claimed he witnesses a “totalitarian” atmosphere where he got the impression that a struggling girl was denied extra mathematics classes purely because she was female.
A number of terror suspects have also been arrested in the city, including two earlier this month. One 16 year old Birmingham man was arrested just before the Paris attacks at the request of Italian authorities, who claimed he was part of a plot to kill diplomats.
Specialist officers from London’s Metropolitan Police force are currently in Paris helping French counterparts deal with the aftermath of last month’s attacks, which were the deadliest on French soil since the Second World War.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Post the Paris attacks, the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have been working closely with colleagues in France. It would be inappropriate to comment on the French investigation.
“A team of specialist counter terrorism officers, including family liaison officers, from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) have been deployed.”