The alleged Paris attacks mastermind was accompanied by scores of militants.
A key witness has confirmed that the Islamic State operative who is thought of as the Paris attacks mastermind boasted that he had entered Europe as a Syrian refugee with dozens of militants. The Paris attacks that occurred in November last year were the worst to hit the French capital in decades.
If the eye witness statement is true, it puts European security agencies under immense pressure to track down militants as well as people with links to militants, across the continent. Agencies are afraid that the extremist group may have smuggled other people like the Paris attacks mastermind, into Europe among the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled wars in Syria and Iraq.
The ongoing investigation into the November carnage and the presence of the alleged Paris attacks mastermind on European soil has raised several questions about the way in which security agencies are carrying out screening of the refugees. It has also come to knowledge that at least two of the people involved in the Paris attacks had registered themselves as refugees in Greece. Both of them later turned out in Paris.
The new testimony was reported on Thursday b y French media. It was offered by a woman who also provided information leading to a raid on the Paris attacks mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abaaoud is a Belgian who is believed to a planned and executed the attacks that resulted in 13o deaths and scores injured.
The woman spoke under a false name Sonia. She said that she had accompanied Abaaoud’s cousin to a hidden place located towards the north of Paris to meet the Paris attack mastermind, only a few days after the attacks took place in Paris.
Abaaoud told his interviewer that he had come to Europe without any papers, among other refugees. He also claimed that he was accompanied by at least 90 more ISIS operative. They militants belonged to difference countries including Britain, France, Germany, Syria and Iraq. Ms. Sonia also claimed that Abaaoud had told her that his operatives were scattered all over Paris and the rest of Europe.
More than half of these militants had entered the EU through the sea or through land routes from Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria. These people had travelled from Syria to Turkey from where they had spread to other parts of Europe.
There were no more detail regarding their routes and the time when they entered the EU.
Abaaoud had also sought help from his cousin in order to mount another attack that he had already planned. The target of this next attack was a commercial center and a school.
Sonia allegedly said to him that he had killed innocent people. To this, Abaaoud replied that they were not innocent people and she had to what was happening in Syria.
Abaaoud was killed in a raid in the St. Denis suburb of Paris shortly after Sonia tipped doff the police.