Scottish Daily Mail

THE DEADLY BLUN­DERS

- From John Stevens in Leros, Claire Duf­fin and Stephen Wright Crime · Terrorism · Middle East News · Incidents · Politics · Paris · France · Greece · ISIS · David Cameron · Syria · Ar Raqqah · Europe · European Union · Aegean Cronus Airlines · Turkey · Serbia · Croatia · Afghanistan · Athens · International Criminal Police Organization

Po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices were ac­cused last night of a string of ap­palling blun­ders over the Paris mas­sacres.

As mourn­ers paid trib­ute to the 129 vic­tims of France’s ‘9/11’, it emerged that:

Po­lice stopped one of the gun­men hours af­ter the blood­bath but let him go;

One of the sus­pected sui­cide bombers had trav­elled to France from Greece pos­ing as a Syr­ian refugee;

Au­thor­i­ties in the Greek is­lands ad­mit­ted that ev­ery refugee is given on­ward travel doc­u­ments;

Ger­man po­lice failed to tell French coun­ter­parts they had seized a Paris­bound car laden with weapons.

The man let go by po­lice, Saleh Ab­deslam, is now the sub­ject of an inter- na­tional man­hunt. He is one of three Bel­gian-based broth­ers all thought to be part of the Is­lamic State terror gang.

One det­o­nated a sui­cide vest in cen­tral Paris and an­other is in cus­tody.

Ab­deslam was one of three peo­ple in a car stopped by po­lice near the Bel­gian border hours af­ter Fri­day night’s at­tacks. Even though he was al­ready known to be a sus­pect, of­fi­cers checked his iden­tity and let him go.

David Cameron will to­day re­spond to the raised threat by promis­ing ex­tra money for anti-ter­ror­ist spies and avi­a­tion se­cu­rity.

And France last night car­ried out in­stant ret­ri­bu­tion by launch­ing its big­gest air strike yet on IS in Syria. The raid by ten fighter jets saw 20 bombs dropped on a com­mand cen­tre, train­ing camp and mu­ni­tions de­pot in the terror group’s strong­hold of Raqqa.

But the shock­ing ease with which its

‘We didn’t la­bel him

as sus­pi­cious’

fol­low­ers were able to travel across Europe has sparked a re­newed de­bate about the Euro­pean Union’s open bor­ders pol­icy.

The sus­pected sui­cide bomber reached Greece af­ter cross­ing the Aegean from Tur­key on a raft with 198 mi­grants. The 25-year-old claimed asy­lum last month on the tiny is­land of Leros us­ing a sus­pected fake pass­port in the name of Ah­mad Al­mo­ham­mad.

He was ar­rested but later re­leased and given pa­pers that al­lowed him to travel to Athens and main­land Europe be­cause of­fi­cials be­lieved he was a gen­uine refugee.

He was al­lowed to travel through the Balkans, pass­ing through check­points in Ser­bia and Croa­tia, be­fore head­ing for North­ern Europe. Greece iden­ti­fied him af­ter the pass­port he used was found near the body of one of the gang near the Stade de France at­tack site.

The French have not con­firmed the refugee con­nec­tion but Greece’s mi­gra­tion min­is­ter, Yan­nis Mouza­las, last night said ‘Al­mo­ham­mad’ was pre­sumed to be a ter­ror­ist.

More than 500 peo­ple are land­ing on a daily ba­sis on Leros, which is just seven miles from Tur­key. But of­fi­cials last night ad­mit­ted the hand­ing out of travel doc­u­ments mean ‘ev­ery- one’ is able to pass on to Athens re­gard­less of whether they are a gen­uine refugee.

Greece said the man us­ing the Syr­ian pass­port in the name of Al­mo­ham­mad ar­rived with a boat­load of mi­grants on 3 Oc­to­ber.

They re­leased a mugshot of the man that was taken as he reg­is­tered with guards on the quay­side, claim­ing he was a refugee.

Au­thor­i­ties ar­rested him – as is rou­tine for all ar­rivals – but the next day he was told he would not be pros­e­cuted and handed pa­pers that al­lowed him to book a ferry ticket to Athens be­fore con­tin­u­ing his jour­ney through the Balkans. He was stopped in both Ser­bia and Croa­tia, but was al­lowed to con­tinue unim­peded be­cause of­fi­cials said they had no rea­son to sus­pect him.

A spokesman for the Croa­t­ian in­te­rior min­istry said: ‘There was no record about him at the time of reg­is­tra­tion and there was no rea­son for us to stop him. We did not la­bel him as po­ten­tially sus­pi­cious.’

The Ser­bians said they found no record of any In­ter­pol war­rant in his name, so did not de­tain him. Last night the mayor of Leros warned the whole of Europe should be fear­ful about the pos­si­bil­ity of more atroc­i­ties be­ing con­ducted by ji­hadists en­ter­ing the con­ti­nent among the crowds of mi­grants.

Mi­halis Ko­lias told the Mail: ‘It’s more than dan­ger­ous for all of Europe. So many peo­ple are pass­ing through our is­land and now we know amongst them are ter­ror­ists. This is a big prob­lem for Europe. We must have more se­cu­rity.’

Each week thou­sands of refugees land on neigh­bour­ing Far­makon­isi be­fore they are picked up by the Greek coast­guard and taken to the largest town on Leros, Lakki.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian aid work­ers and is­land of­fi­cials last night con­firmed ev­ery ar­rival was given doc­u­ments per­mit­ting on­ward travel no mat­ter what their cir­cum­stances.

When asked how many of the mi­grants com­ing to the is­land are is­sued the pa­pers, Mr Ko­lias said: ‘Ev­ery­one.’

He said peo­ple be­lieved to be from Syria are given doc­u­ments al­low­ing them to travel through Greece for six months, while oth­ers who would not be ex­pected to get asy­lum if they ap­plied, get pa­pers for 30 days.

A hu­man­i­tar­ian worker vol­un­teer­ing in the camp next to the quay in Lakki replied ‘That does not hap­pen’ when asked whether refugees were ever re­fused pa­pers.

A group of around 40 peo­ple claim­ing to have fled from Afghanista­n were last night due to leave the is­land on a ferry for Athens de­spite not be­ing able to prove where they came from.

One of the men said they had re­ceived travel per­mits de­spite not hav­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion such as pass­ports.

Mr Ko­lias said there has been a ‘min­i­mum of 500’ peo­ple com­ing daily to the is­land, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 8,000.

Last week a strike by ferry work­ers meant more than 4,000 mi­grants were camped in Lakki.

 ??  ?? Still on the run: Saleh Ab­deslam was stopped, but re­leased
BLUN­DER 2: This at­tacker was in po­lice clutches – but they let him go
Still on the run: Saleh Ab­deslam was stopped, but re­leased BLUN­DER 2: This at­tacker was in po­lice clutches – but they let him go
 ??  ?? Sui­cide bomber: Ah­mad Al­mo­ham­mad came to Europe on a raft
BLUN­DER 1: This bomber was waved into Europe pos­ing as Syr­ian refugee
Sui­cide bomber: Ah­mad Al­mo­ham­mad came to Europe on a raft BLUN­DER 1: This bomber was waved into Europe pos­ing as Syr­ian refugee
 ??  ?? Held: Po­lice ar­rest a man in the Brussels in con­nec­tion with the at­tacks
Held: Po­lice ar­rest a man in the Brussels in con­nec­tion with the at­tacks

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