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Austria apprehends terrorism suspects who have freely passed through Greece

23 December 2015 / 12:12:12  GRReporter
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The Greek police denied a publication in yesterday's issue of the German newspaper Die Welt, according to which the Greek authorities allowed two terrorism suspects to leave the country and go to Western Europe.

The information published in the newspaper indicates that two people suspected in connections with the circle around the organizers of the terrorist attacks in Paris had been able to pass through Greece and to continue their journey to the west, although their passports were registered in the Schengen Information System with the recommendation for a further investigation.

In addition, the newspaper recalls the threat of Greek Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos that Athens would send refugees, including members of the Islamic State to Berlin. Kammenos had said for the British newspaper The Times in early April, "Europe has to realise that by keeping Greece stable, the West’s front against Isis is secure. But if pushed out or forced out of the euro zone, waves of undocumented migrants will spill in from Turkey, making their way to the heart of the West."

According to Die Welt, the challenge by Kammenos is not very far from reality. "Sources of German circles in the security field also believe that Greece has allowed the suspected terrorists to leave, rather than to arrest them," reads the article.

The reason for it was the arrest of one Algerian and one Pakistani national in a refugee camp near the Austrian city of Salzburg on 10 December. There are suspicions that the two are members of the terrorist group that carried out the attacks in Paris, killing 130 people. Both are apprehended at present and subject to interrogation by the Austrian authorities.

The Algerian and Pakistani arrived on the Greek island of Leros on 3 October by the same ship that transported the terrorists of Paris. The Greek authorities established that their passports were included in the Schengen Information System because of doubts about their involvement in the core of the Islamic State, reads Die Welt.

Instead of arresting them, however, they only gave them 30 days to leave Greece, although they came across at least one of them due to the information in the Schengen electronic system. Thus, the terrorism suspects continued their trip to Austria via Slovenia.

According to the publication, the Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection did not provide any response to the criticisms nor comments as requested by Die Welt. The Greek authorities directed the newspaper to the French prosecutor’s office.

Tags: Crime newsTerrorism suspectsSchengen Information SystemArrested in Austria
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