The Migrant Train to “The 15:17 To Paris”

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Khazzani Captured (Photo by Paris Match via Getty Images)

When I wrote my article bemoaning the lack of information and progress regarding the case of Ayoub el-Khazzani on August 20, 2016, I thought I had done an exhaustive search of the available information on him.  I think now that was largely true, but unfortunately, I missed something key.  It’s been a long time since I published anything, and in light of the February release of Eastwood’s new movie, I’d like to take the opportunity of my return to go over what I missed and bring you up to speed on the handful of developments that have taken place.

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A Flurry of Activity Around Europe

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Due to other requirements on my time, I was forced to sit back for a few days and watch as things unfolded in the aftermath of the Brussels bombings.  Thankfully, this was so, because we’ve seen raid upon raid and arrest after arrest since late last week with little clarity added to the picture since then.  All that seems to be apparent is that the situation is far more complex and worrisome than authorities have either believed or made known to the public before now. 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