Paris terror attacks: Reactions: Greece

Two linked to Paris attacks registered as refugees

A photograph taken in Belgrade on Nov 15, 2015 shows the frontpage of Serbian magazine Blic, displaying a Syrian passport found by police at the scene of one of the Paris attacks.
A photograph taken in Belgrade on Nov 15, 2015 shows the frontpage of Serbian magazine Blic, displaying a Syrian passport found by police at the scene of one of the Paris attacks. PHOTO: AFP

ATHENS • Two men whom French police are seeking to trace in connection with the Paris attacks registered as refugees with the Greek authorities this year, the Greek police have confirmed.

The French authorities had asked their Greek counterparts to check a passport and the fingerprints of one man and the fingerprints of another thought to have registered in Greece, the main entry point into Europe for Syrian refugees.

At least one Syrian passport was found at the scene of the Stade de France attack.

The Greek Minister for Citizen Protection, Mr Nikos Toskas, said in a statement that one of the men had been registered on the Greek island of Leros last month.

"We confirm that the (Syrian) passport holder came through the Greek island of Leros on Oct 3, where he was registered under EU rules," said Mr Toskas.

French police said the passport was found "near the body of one of the attackers" at the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were killed last Friday.

The Serbian Interior Ministry said yesterday that the holder of the Syrian passport last month passed through Serbia, where he sought asylum.

The authenticity of the passport was being checked. Police did not rule out that the passport may have changed hands - it could have been stolen or bought in the black market - before the assault.

European security officials have long feared that militants would take advantage of the mass migration influx.

In Syria, residents and activists joined the global outcry over the carnage in Paris. "We extend our hands to all the people that love peace and freedom, most of all the French people," residents of the besieged town of Douma near Damascus wrote in an open letter.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2015, with the headline 'Two linked to attacks registered as refugees'. Print Edition | Subscribe