Prosecutors in Germany have accused an Algerian man of aiding in the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, reported the Wall Street Journal. Accused terrorist Bilal C. is reportedly already behind bars for theft and fraud, but now Germany says he was also part of the Islamic State. According to the allegations, Bilal C. was responsible for informing ISIS ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud about the state of the refugee route through Europe, information prosecutors charge aided in carrying out the Paris attacks in November of last year.
According to German federal prosecutors, 20-year-old Bilal C. traveled from Syria on Abaaoud’s orders along the Balkan route that hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees also used last year to escape from parts of the Middle East and Africa. Along the way, he sent intel back to Abaaoud whenever possible – a move that officials say ultimately helped ISIS carry out the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, which killed 130 innocent people and wounded hundreds more.
“The detention of Bilal C., who had requested asylum in Germany, is the latest evidence that Islamic State was trying to use record migration to Europe last summer to smuggle operatives into the country,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
According to Reuters, Abaaoud told Bilal C. to check out smuggling routes – including border controls, waiting times, entry and exit points – along the Balkan route. This took Bilal C. to parts of Syria, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, between June and August of 2015, when he finally entered Germany and began to seek asylum prior to the Paris terror attacks. The Algerian reportedly joined the Islamic State terror organization during late 2014 in Syria.
“Bilal C. was also thought to be in touch with Ayoub el Khazzani, who shot at passengers on a Thalys fast train between Amsterdam and Paris last August,” said prosecutors in Germany according to a report by Reuters.
Abaaoud went on to plan several ISIS attacks in Europe, including the bombing and shooting attacks across Paris last November, before he was killed in a gun battle with French police following the attacks.
Officials also said there is no evidence Bilal C. had been actively working for the Islamic State after his arrival in Germany, but the incident is already adding to existing fears among German citizens about increased security risks following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the country’s borders to migrants headed west along the Balkan route.
According to the Wall Street Journal, French authorities are reportedly still investigating whether Belgian-born Abaaoud was involved in other attacks and terror plots in the region. He is already suspected of having coordinated the three teams that carried out the terror attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.
“German officials, after initially playing down the risk of terrorists sneaking into Europe as part of last year’s influx of refugees and migrants, have in recent months warned repeatedly about security risks of the migrant flow.”
Although ISIS might have more effective ways of getting terrorists into Europe, officials say smuggling them in as migrants or refugees like they did prior to the November 2015 Paris attacks serves a dual purpose by inflaming anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment throughout Europe and across the entire western world. Just a few months prior to the attacks in Paris during November 2015, the number of migrants and refugees entering Europe rose drastically when around one million people arrived in Germany from Syria and elsewhere. To put this in perspective, at certain points in August of 2015, refugees were flooding into Germany at a rate of more than 10,000 per day — many entering without background checks, which are typically required for those applying for visas.
“Bilal C. registered as an asylum seeker in Germany but got into trouble with police for stealing and collecting asylum-seeker benefits in two different cities under different identities,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
The Algerian terror suspect was sentenced Wednesday to eight months in youth prison for theft and fraud, but the investigating judge issued a new arrest order Thursday on findings related to the new terror allegations regarding his involvement in the Paris attacks of November 2015.
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