LONDON: A number of Islamic State (IS) terrorists are believed to have left Syria and entered the UK with the ringleader of the Paris attacks in November last year, a media report said on Sunday.
According to ‘The Sunday Times’, counter-terrorismofficials believe the suspects used the migrant crisis as cover to travel across Europe and passed through Turkey before entering the European Union by sea or land and eventually heading to countries including the UK, France,Germany and Spain.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris ringleader, had boasted in a recent video: “We are already in your lands”.
It has now emerged that the 28-year-old was accompanied by up to 90 IS recruits when he left Syria last year to embark on attacks in Europe.
He told the friend of a relative in France that the group had mingled with refugees on their journey.
At least two of the Paris attackers used Syrian passports and entered the EU through the Greek island of Leros.
A western counter-terrorism official told ‘The Wall Street Journal’ that 50 to 60 members of Abaaoud’s network travelled through Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, before fanning out to other countries, including Britain.
This weekend the German authorities said there was a “high risk” of a terrorist attack after the arrest of four suspected IS plotters – at least three of whom were posing as refugees.