Paris attacks ringleader passed through Germany early 2014: police

19th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud was checked by German police when he passed through last year, but was allowed to travel on as the authorities had no indication that he should be stopped, police said Thursday.

"Abdelhamid Abaaoud was on January 20, 2014 checked by federal police at the Cologne Bonn airport. He was on the way to Istanbul," a federal police spokesman told AFP, confirming a report in the Spiegel magazine.

"Federal police had no indication that we should forbid this journey or arrest him," the spokesman said, adding that as a Belgian, Abaaoud was free to travel within the EU without restrictions.

The spokesman was not aware if Abaaoud travelled through Germany on his return journey.

Abaaoud, 28, was killed on Wednesday in a massive police raid five days after a series of deadly attacks on Paris that left 129 people dead and over 350 wounded.

His return to Europe has sparked questions about security failings.

France's Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the Islamic State jihadist was implicated in four thwarted terror plots this year.

He added that France received "no information" about the jihadist from other European countries that Abaaoud could have travelled through before arriving on French territory.

It was only three days after the attack that "intelligence services of a country outside Europe indicated they had knowledge of his presence in Greece," Cazeneuve said, without specifying which country.

© 2015 AFP

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