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Paris attacks: Greek & Belgian police were seeking alleged ‘mastermind’ Abaadoud in Athens last January

French official have named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, Belgian national of Moroccan origin, as the alleged mastermind behind the dreadful attacks in Paris last Friday, where 129 people were killed and at least 350 were injured. He was allegedly the leader of “an Islamic State cell” in Belgium and the mastermind of a terrorist plot that was foiled in police operation in Vervries, eastern Belgium in January 2015.

Intelligence agencies had reportedly intercepted Abaaoud’s phone calls made from Greece to one inmate in Belgian prison who was also brother of two suspects killed by police in Vervries.  Abaaoud has been on the run ever since. A police operation in Athens after a Belgian request last January had ended in the extradition of an Algerian citizen. Reckoning KTG’s report of January 17th 2015, it seems clear that the Belgians were seeking to have Abaaoud arrested in Athens.

Abaaoud’s home in Belgium was raided in January 2015 after police intercepted phone calls between him and suspected jihadi following counter-terror raids a week earlier aimed at dismantling the Belgian terror cell. In janurary 2014 he had traveled to Syria.

VTM, a Flemish-language channel, reported today, Monday:

“Abaaoud made calls from Greece to the brother of one of two heavily armed suspects killed in Verviers during the counter-terrorism raids in January.”

In January 2015, VTM had reported:

“The police had been informed of suspicious telephone calls between an inmate of the Liège Lantin prison and a man returned from the fighting in Syria, now established in Greece.

The prisoner also maintained regular contact with his brother, one of the two jihadists killed Thursday during the anti-terrorist action in Verviers.

The interception of the phone calls by police led to the operation that foiled the terror plot and planned attacks on Belgian soil. 

Police had identified the one who pulled the strings from the point of view of both operational and financial.”

On January 16th and 17th 2015, KTG had reported citing several Greek, US and Belgian media about a police operation in an apartment in Pangrati suburb of Athens. Greek police had launched the operation following a request by the Belgian authorities in the context of investigation concerning the Belgium operation against jihadists in the city of Vervries two days ago.” The Belgians had allegedly sent “a name and one mobile phone number to the Greek police.”

The alleged mastermind of Vervries’ terror plot, “a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin, who was trained in Syria” was not in the apartment. Police detained four to five people “from the Arab world”, one of them, an Algerian citizen was later extradited to Belgium.

The police operation in Vervries had ended with the killing of two suspects and the arrest of a third one.

What was interesting at that time was that the Belgians dismissed any connection between the Greek police operation and the counter-terror operation in Vervries and that “the men detained in Athens had no link to the terror plot in Belgium.”

Belgian federal magistrate Eric Van der Sypt had told CBS News that “his office made the determination based on information shared by Greek police.”

CBS reported also that “the ringleader suspected to have ran the operation in Belgium from Greece was an Algerian man, and not a Belgian of Moroccan origin, as Belgian media reported.”

“A U.S. official confirmed to CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton that the suspected ringleader returned from Syria and allegedly ran the operation from Greece to attack police and government officials in Belgium.” (CBS news)

According to the Americans the Vervries plot mastermind was Algerian, according to the Belgians he was Belgian of Moroccan origin.

Fact seems to be that they both were trained in Syria and that both had been in Greece. The name of the Algerian has not been revealed.

According to German RTL TV, Abaaoud is currently in Syria.

The Guardian gives excerpts of an interview of Abaadoud with the Islamic State magazine Dabiq, he boasted that he had been able to plot attacks against the west right under the nose of Belgian intelligence agencies, and that he was in Syria in February.

Among others he said

“They arrested Muslims in Greece, Spain, France, and Belgium in order to apprehend me … All those arrested were not even connected to our plans! May Allah release all Muslims from the prisons of these crusaders.” He described as “crusaders of America, France, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Belgium,”

On Monday, an Iraqi-based Isis group released a video threatening with new attacks and warning Washington “to be new Paris” (ERT TV).

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned on Sunday that “Europe should be prepared for a repeat attack in the coming few days and weeks.” Valls said also that French “authorities knew attacks were being prepared.”

Associated Press published a report on Sunday according to which “Iraqi intelligence had warned France of Isis attack day before the Paris carnage.”

Alternate Minister for Migation Yannis Mouzalas told Mega TV this morning that “security measures have been stepped up at possible targets.”

KTG’s report original title Greek police detains four in connection with jihadists in Belgium.

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13 comments

  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Terrorists having phone-calls into prison is as possible as pro-terrorists doing the job of the police and endanger and hinder their comrades by bringing passports plus a chopped off finger to the attack.
    I guess the times when there was no phone in prison were the times when most terrorists got killed by police in and outside prison and terrorists stole cars instead of renting them and using GPS.

    • you unfair. or police clever gave him a mobile so that police intercepts his phone calls.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Plus the terrorist knows all the numbers of all the cell-phones that usually get used only one time. “Hey mister policeman, can you help me please, what number I have to dial for Greece?”
        That reminds of the Portuguese anarchist who was 20 years in a German prison cell and got accused for building up a terrorist group for a phone call from prison to prison from Italy to Germany.

        • you are naive to expect police and investigators will leak to media all clues and evidence while investigation is still ongoing.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            No, but in their sense this will open up speculations as the normal way to make a phone-call from a prison is to buy an overcharged phone-card from a parasitic company and wait in a line in strictly limited times of service but only if it’s not a high security prison and the prisoner is allowed to call; as it was a prison in Belgium – in a French prison this would not be possible.
            If prisoners get busted with mobiles they scandalize it and they can’t cover it up as they have to punish the prisoners for this out of prison-regime reasons. So at least it’s opening up the pretty speculation that they even don’t have control over their prisons. To make a more smart media service they should publish what kind of phone-calls they were wire-tapping.
            BTW: There was no lights at the Parthenon in the French national colours but the fake of it was friendly going round the planet.

          • at least in Greek prisons mobiles are very in. By leaking ‘confusing’ information police PR has people like you get crazy in speculating and in the end doubt on everything they read about. But every Hollywood crimes series shows how police works in such issues, hides certain evidence and beware, someone mentions something/a detail that it was not in the press. Bingo! It’s Hollywood, Basics.

          • Giaourti Giaourtaki

            No idea about police stories in Hollywood – except from the LAPD-executions-style – but for Europe the first mobile scanners for fingerprints came into films after they were revealed to broader public due to the refugee-crisis; reality more than five years after being praxis for police.
            In fact the police will only care for readers of printed news as the readers of digital loose their minds after a few weeks as they forget all of their writing skills they’d from school. Smart people will write with pencil on paper to find the learnt stuff back.
            Why should I believe after years of lies about Greece in anything these pigs write? Unfortunately I have no money to travel to Paris and look if it’s still there or already nuked but even if I would have the money, I guess with the money one needs to get a drink there one can buy food for a week back home.
            So about the victims in Kunduz I don’t know nothing of but with the victims in Paris I can still make friends on facebook.
            A cyclist who screams at a car that nearly killed gets a much higher sentence than the driver when he murders a ped and now we’ll have Marshall-law and all demos against the climate-killers are forbidden.
            And why all this? Because they allow insanities like religion for people under 18.

  2. THEY WILL TRY TO KILL YOU ALL RATHER THAN TO LET GO OF THEIR CASH COW.

  3. As the terrorists and mafiosi go global, I see an opportunity to strengthen the rule of law and role of international law enforcement agencies, e.g., Europol in the EU. Collaboration between national police institutions is helpful, but we are not talking petty crimes in these cases. What is needed is Europe-wide laws to fight high crimes such as terrorism, and a powerful law enforcement organization that can quickly reallocate significant resources across the continent in response to shifting risk patterns and that is not beholden to local politicians (a la the FBI in the U.S.). Of course, there will be resistance to change, but the sense of crisis should help overcome it.

    • this is not possible. Eu has not managed to established even a properly operating “Foreign Ministry”. (glad to see you back, BTW).

      • I agree the national European governments are clinging to their powers. Unfortunately, it is also true of most of the peoples in Europe, who do not trust the EU bureaucrats. Paradoxically, the bureaucracy in Brussels was given control over minutia of product specifications (e.g., banana shape standards). However, there is no agreement to delegate powers where the scale of the EU as a whole would multiply them (foreign policy, defense, transnational / high crimes policing). If the EU is to be taken seriously and become the world power it has a potential for, it has to move forward on integration in these areas, where size matters.

        They say a crisis is a terrible thing to waste… The tragedy in Paris last Friday could be an opportunity to move towards greater integration in an area, where it really can help.

        (Thank you; good to be back. Unfortunately, I am too busy nowadays to visit as often as I would like).

    • Giaourti Giaourtaki

      But for what purposes? Except of a few farmers most people in the north exist and profit only on mass-murder and brutal exploitation of the 3rd world and the price for this milk and honey is that in most big cities close to half of the population has to hide inside because they are addicted to alcohol that is allowed to be sold by dealers everywhere and to top that the society tells them it’s their own problem and not the dealers’