The two men, a 28-yo Algerian and a 34-yo Pakistani, arrived in Salzburg in late November with fake Syrian passports, had suggested they were destined for Germany.
Austrian authorities arrested the pair, suspecting the Algerian of having links to ISIS and the Pakistani of having links to Al Qaeda explosives experts.
A recent Austrian inquiry also linked the pair to the “assassins of Paris”, the pair of suicide bombers who blew themselves up on November 13th at the Stade de France.
The two men arrived on the Greek island of Leros with the two suicide bombers, in the same group of refugees, on October 3rd.
Unlike the bombers, however, the Algerian and Pakistani men were arrested in Greece for using false documents (fake Syrian passports) and detained until October 28th. They were eventually released, with orders to leave the country within 30 days.
Their cell phones were found to contain several numbers which were also stored on the mobile phones of the Paris bombers and their accomplices.
On December 18th, a 25-yo Moroccan and a 40-yo Algerian were also arrested in Salzburg, having been suspected of being “in close contact” with the two previously arrested suspects (the Algerian & Pakistani men, arrested on December 10th). They are also suspected of planning ISIS terrorist attacks in Europe.
References and further reading
- Verbindung zu Paris-Attentätern: Inhaftierte Flüchtlinge sind Dschihadisten. N-TV.de, 09/03/2016.