Greek Officials: Paris Attacker May Have Entered Europe As A Syrian Refugee

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Paris Attacker Syrian PassportParis Attacker Syrian Passport

A Syrian passport found next to one of the Paris attackers belonged to a man who registered as a refugee on the Greek island of Leros in October, Greek authorities have confirmed.

Greek authorities are investigating whether the passport may have changed hands before the attacks, Telegraph reports. Fingerprints of another man are also being checked at the request of French investigators.

According to records, the Syrian passport holder traveled through Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia, where he applied for asylum on Oct. 7, reports Telegraph. He is being referred to as A.A. in the French media and was known to security services in France, though there was no warrant for his arrest.

The passport was found next to his body at the Bataclan concert hall.

"We announce that the passport holder passed through Leros on 03.10.2015 where identity was checked under EU rules," Greek minister Nikos Toskas said. “We do not know if the passport was checked by other countries which the holder is likely to have passed through.

“We will continue the painstaking and persistent effort under difficult circumstances to ensure the security of our country and Europe."

If the passport or fingerprints match the attackers, it would mean they used refugee status to enter Europe from Syria, heightening concerns that ISIS members are using this method in order to cross borders.

A second man suspected to have been among the attackers is “very likely” to have entered Europe through Greece, according to Greek government sources, Telegraph reports.

“It is clear now that together with the victims of Islamo-fascism in the Middle East that come as refugees, extreme elements are crossing to Europe,” Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos said, according to The Blaze.

The name of one of the attackers has been released, 29-year-old Omar Mostefai.

Mostefai was identified by his finger, which was found among the rubble of the Bataclan concert hall. He was a French citizen with a criminal record consisting of petty crimes between 2004 and 2010, but no jail time.

Before the attack, Mostefai was a priority target for radicalization, but had “never been implicated in an investigation or a terrorist association,” Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The investigation is looking into whether he visited Syria last year, according to police sources.

Relatives of Mostefai have been taken into custody by police for questioning.

Sources: Yahoo News, Telegraph, The Blaze / Photo credit: Telegraph