Just yesterday, a hunt was launched for several newly-identified or named terrorists – one thought to be the bomb maker and one a driver during the Paris attacks of November 13th. A third entered Europe as a ‘refugee’ via Greece.
Experts are already saying that today’s attacks in Brussels are likely to be linked to Paris – many of the Paris attackers were from Molenbeek in Brussels.
The bomb maker was only identified after the arrest and capture of Salah Abdeslam (pictured above) on Friday. He planned to be a suicide bomber during the Paris attack before changing his mind and going on the run. His lawyer has now said he may become an informer.
The DNA of Najim Laachraoui, 24, was found on two explosive belts – one used at the Bataclan theatre and the other at the Stade de France – and also in a Brussels apartment that was used as a bomb factory.
Police also released the details of one Mohamed Abrini, 31, who was pictured driving the Renault Cleo car used during the Paris attacks.
Mr. Laachraoui is said to be a well known Jihadist. He traveled to Syria in 2013 and was pick up from the station by captured Salah Abdeslam.
Laachraoui was travelling with another man, Mohamed Belkaid, 35, who was killed in the police raid on Tuesday that led to the arrest of Abdeslam and another suspected terrorist known as “Amine Choukri”, whose true identity remains unknown.
According to the Times, Mr. Choukri enter Europe via the Greek island of Leros on a fake Syrian passport last October.
Thanks to Europe’s open door ‘refugee’ policy and free movement within Europe, several attackers traveled unhindered, back and forth between Syria and France. If confirmed, Mr. Choukri would be the fourth Paris-linked terrorist to have posed as a ‘refugee’.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 29, the “mastermind” behind the November 13 attacks and a notorious Belgian member of Islamic State, himself travelled freely between Syria and Europe pretending to be a refugee.
He boasted in early 2015 in the Islamic State propaganda magazine that he had travelled freely through Europe and plotted numerous attacks under the noses of the European authorities.
“My name and picture were all over the news yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them and leave safely when doing so became necessary”, he said in the pages of Dabiq magazine.
A Syrian passport was also found next to the first Stade de France suicide bomber. The man named on the document, 25-year-old Ahmad Almohammad, entered Greece as an asylum seeker on the eastern Aegean island of Leros.
He travel along the popular Balkans migrant route, into the Schengen free movement zone and on to France, unchecked and unimpeded.