French Press Further Unmasks Islamic State Operatives in Salzburg

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Muhammad Usman and Adel Haddadi

French newspaper Le Monde ran with a story Wednesday telling us a little more about the two feaux refugees held in custody by Austrian authorities since early December.  Le Parisien on Saturday was so kind as to dispense with the initials and give us the full names, both aliases and real.  I previously wrote about them and their path into Europe on February 17, based on information reported in Der Spiegel. Continue reading

Spiegel Gives More Detail on Salzburg Suspects’ Identities and Travel

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Mohammad G. A. and Adel H.

The day after writing my Cold Comfort article reporting on the new information revealed in Bild am Sonntag (BamS) about the two IS suspects arrested in Salzburg, Spiegel Online ran with an article giving firmer information on the matter. A whole series of aliases for the two were provided as well as details about their travel over the Balkan route.  Furthermore, the article gave some insight into the thinking of officials and analysts and how it’s evolved in light of what happened in Paris. Continue reading

Cold Comfort

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A few more details have emerged about the Salzburg IS suspects that I wrote about
yesterday. Bild am Sonntag (BamS) is reporting that the “foreign intelligence service,”
which provided the Austrians with information about the pair was Germany’s Federal
Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz). Furthermore,
they reported that the European border control agency FRONTEX recognized the false
passports the two were using and held them for weeks from continuing on their trip.
Thus, they were not able to take part in the Paris attacks in November. This sounds
interesting, but a number of things do not compute when you think about it. Continue reading

Islamic State Operatives in Salzburg

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LeParisien revealed important new details on February 13 related to the arrest of two suspected Islamic State associates in Salzburg, Austria.  The two were arrested on the weekend of December 12-13, 2015.  Few details were given at the time and some of those turned out to be wrong.  At first the two were described as possibly French citizens, but that was quickly corrected.  In fact, neither of the two males were from Europe at all—one was a 28-year-old from Algeria and the other a 34-year-old from Pakistan.  They had entered Greece as Syrian refugees and made their way to Austria via the Balkan route.  They were arrested living in the refugee center in the old Autobahnmeisterei on Münchner Bundestrasse 54.  Authorities indicated that the two possibly had connection to the attacks in Paris the month before. Continue reading