French authorities have detained several suspects allegedly linked to a cell that carried out the terrorist attacks in Paris. Meanwhile sources close to the investigation revealed that at least two of the assailants “very likely” entered Europe as refugees via Greece.
According to the French television channel iTele, at least one person linked to those involved in the Paris attacks has been arrested.
Meanwhile, AFP reports that the father and brother of a 29-year-old Frenchman identified as one of the suicide bombers at the Bataclan, have been taken into custody.
Police have been searching the house of the attacker’s father in the small town of Romilly-sur-Seine, around 130 km from Paris. They have also been checking the residence of the assailant’s brother, in the near-by town of Bondoufle, source told AFP.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins earlier announced that the authorities have already identified several terrorists who took part in Friday’s attacks.
“We have to find who these people are, who their accomplices are, who ordered this, where they come from, how they were financed,” Molins told journalists.
At this point of the investigation “a terror suspect” has been “formally identified,” the prosecutor said. “It is of an individual born November 21, 1985 in [town] Courcouronnes, in Essonne, [and the person is known to the French authorities] for ordinary crimes.”
One of the suicide bombers identified by the French authorities allegedly traveled to Turkey back in 2013, and “very likely” visited Syria as well, according to BFMTV.
Meanwhile, German authorities are investigating a man who was earlier arrested in Bavaria for possibly being connected to the Paris massacre.
“There is a connection to France but it’s not certain that there is a link to this attack,” said Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s interior minister, as cited by AP. According to the Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer “there are reasonable grounds to assume that there may be a link to the matter.”
Attackers ‘very likely’ entered EU via Greece
The investigation believes that “three co-ordinated teams” were responsible for the attacks, Molins added.
According to the Greek authorities and a source in the government, at least two of those who took part in Friday’s terror assaults in Paris are “very likely” to have entered the European Union via Greece.
French police said they found a Syrian passport “near the body of one of the attackers” during the investigation into the assaults. On Saturday, Greece’s deputy minister in charge of police, Nikos Toscas, confirmed that the holder of the passport might have entered Europe via Greece back in October.
“The holder of the passport passed through the island of Leros on October 3, 2015, where he was identified according to EU rules,” said Toscas. The official however couldn’t provide any additional information as to whether the gunman’s passport had been checked en-route to France.
However, the Syrian passport found at the site of the attack might be fake, a US intelligence official told CBS News, pointing out that it did not contain the correct numbers for a legitimate Syrian document and the picture did not match the name.
Later on Saturday, government sources in Athens confirmed to Reuters that a second identified attacker seemed to have travelled to Europe via Greece as well.
“It is very likely that a second suspect also passed through Greece. The investigation is continuing,” one of the sources told Reuters. According to reports from the Greek television station Mega, the second attacker also passed via Leros island in August.
Security officials in European states have long voiced concerns that extremists might use the unprecedented refugee flow to sneak into the EU undetected.
“It is clear now that together with the victims of Islamo-fascism in the Middle East that come as refugees, extreme elements are crossing to Europe,” Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said, as cited by AFP.