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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Still in the Game

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Melouk, Kouachi, Beghal, and Laidouni hitting the soccer field in Cantal, France, on 4/4/2011

In my last post, I mentioned that I had decided to take one individual from an old plot—in this case, Slimane Khalfaoui from the 2000 Strasbourg Cathedral/Christmas Market plot—and research what had become of him.  I ended up going off on a tangent and looking at Rabah Boukaouma, a conspirator most recently with respect to the Sid Ahmed Ghlam affair. Continue reading

A Year After the Thalys Attack And Still No Answers on Ayoub El Khazzani

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I was in the bookstore the other day and noticed a new book on the shelves of the Current Affairs section titled, “The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes” by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Jeffrey E. Stern.  I pulled it off with interest because I had recently been doing my own research on Ayoub El Khazzani, the perpetrator of the attack and hoped to pick up some new information.  Sadly, there didn’t seem to be anything new in the book on that front, but it’s probably a good a time as any to lay out to you what I have found. Continue reading

There’s No Risk to the Public in Birmingham

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Police conduct a house search on the Whitmore Road (The Sun)

British police counter-terrorism units have launched a number of pre-planned, intelligence-led operations in recent days in Birmingham and at Gatwick airport against individuals for Syria-related terrorism offenses or in connection with the events in Paris and Brussels.  Every time the public is told that there was no risk to them and that there was no information to suggest that an attack was being planned against the UK. Continue reading

The Latest French Terror Plot

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Ameroud incapacitated at the tram station

As I wrote in my last post, French police arrested Reda Kriket on Thursday, March 24, in Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine.  He led police to another apartment in Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise).  The 34-year-old Kriket was well-known to both French and Belgian authorities as a jihadist fundraiser who traveled himself to Syria in 2014.  He was convicted in the “La filière syrienne” trial in Belgium last year with Abaaoud, recruiter Khalid Zerkani (Papa Noël), and a host of other foreign fighters—some of whom are already dead. Continue reading

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

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

A Few More Details Emerge on Dahmani

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Dahmani under arrest in Antalya

The last few days have brought some new pieces of information about a presumed accomplice of the Paris attackers who has been under arrest in Turkey since November 16, Ahmed Dahmani.  I referenced him in a previous article about his former boxing mate and Abdeslam associate, Ayoub Bazarouj.  Dahmani, 26, flew out of Amsterdam the day following the Paris attacks to Turkey, where he was eventually arrested by authorities in Antalya at a five-star hotel where he was meeting with Syrian-national ISIS operatives, Ahmet Tahir and Mohammed Verd.  He was supposedly in the process of being ferried into Islamic State territory by the two. 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

Update to Terror Arrests in Germany

The 35-year old man in Attendorn is identified as Farid A., aka Abu al-Jarah al-Jazairi.  Security experts say that Farid has been spotted in pictures with a high-level Islamic State functionary who is said to have directed the local commander of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.  Other pictures show him in a corpse-strewn scene somewhere in Syria and surrounded by weapons like the one below.

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Farid A., aka Abu al-Jarah al-Jazairi

 

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