NEWS

Another Greek link to Paris terrorist attacks

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Two men being held in Austria on suspicion of links to the Paris terrorist attacks in November passed through the Greek island of Leros before reaching Central Europe, Kathimerini has learned.

The two suspects are French, of Algerian and Pakistani origin, and reached Leros on October 3 along with two other men who were among the suicide bombers at the Stade de France on November 13, sources told Kathimerini.

The men claimed to be Syrian refugees when they were questioned by officers from the European Union border agency Frontex. They are believed to have had genuine Syrian passports but ones that were stolen by ISIS.

During their debriefing by Frontex, it emerged that the men were not from Syria. They were charged with forgery by a prosecutor on Kos and were handed documents asking them to leave Greece within 30 days.

They were arrested on December 10 at a refugee center in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

They are believed to have helped the two bombers they were traveling with, who were not stopped by authorities in Leros, where their passports were also checked and registered. Sources said that the serial number on one of the passports found at the site of the Stade de France bombing was similar to the numbers in the travel documents used by the two men arrested in Salzburg.

Meanwhile, police sources said that three Britons of Kurdish origin who were arrested in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, over the weekend with four rifles and 200,000 bullets, were aiming to ship the arms and ammunition to accomplices in Turkey via Chios.

Sources said that two of the men had recently crossed the Greek-Turkish land border on foot and in their car to assess security checks. However, it appears that after doing this, the men decided that they should transport their load by ship instead.

British authorities told their Greek counterparts that the three suspects were not known to the police in the UK and not on any terrorist watch list. It is suspected that they were trying to get the guns and ammunition to Kurdish rebels in Turkey.