No evidence jihadist was in Greece, says ministry
Greece vehemently denied on Friday that the alleged leader of the terrorist cell that carried out the recent attacks in Paris passed through Greece.
The Citizens’ Protection Ministry issued a statement expressing disappointment regarding comments attributed to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in which he claimed that a foreign intelligence service had informed authorities in France that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian national, had been in Greece.
“This information was never verified and until now no source has provided us with any evidence that supports this claim, which is based exclusively on reports from January 2015, which are constantly recycled,” said the ministry.
Kathimerini understands that Greek authorities and foreign officials mounted a search in Athens for Abaaoud, who was killed by French police in a siege in Paris earlier this week, in January after his phone was allegedly traced to the Greek capital and he was thought to be coordinating a terrorist cell in the Belgian town of Verviers.
The phone was eventually found in the possession of an Algerian man who was extradited to Belgium. The Greek ministry asked the French authorities to make the necessary clarifications regarding the matter.