Scottish Daily Mail
Germans found autobahn arsenal but didn’t tell France
POLICE in France, Belgium and Germany were last night accused of a string intelligence failings that allowed Islamic State to carry out the Paris massacre.
It emerged that a man suspected of supplying the attackers with arms was arrested in Germany eight days before the bloodbath, his car loaded with weapons, munitions and explosives.
His car’s satnav revealed he was heading for France’s capital.
But German officers neglected to tell their French counterparts and an opportunity to tighten security in Paris ahead of Friday’s atrocity was missed.
Yesterday it also emerged that an Iraqi intelligence dispatch warned of imminent assaults by Islamic State the day before the atrocity in Paris killed 129 people. Officials warned that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ordered an attack ‘through bombings or assassinations or hostage taking in the coming days’. French police were also made aware of plot to carry out a mass attack on a concert venue as far back as August.
In addition, at least one of the killers had been on the radar of the security services in France since 2010 while another based in Belgium was known to have fought with Islamic State in Syria – suggesting an intelligence failure in Brussels.
Last night French intelligence officials were in Germany to quiz the man suspected of being a quartermaster to the Paris murder gang. The suspect, identified only as ‘Vlatko V’, 51 – had driven 750 miles from Montenegro through
Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, before he was stopped on an autobahn in Bavaria last Thursday.
Officers discovered eight fully-loaded AK-47 assault rifles in secret compartments of his Volkswagen Golf. Three handguns, two hand grenades, fuses, detonators and almost half a pound of TNT completed the mini arsenal. Also found in the vehicle were several Parisian telephone numbers and other addresses.
The man, who is Muslim according to unconfirmed reports, has no apparent previous criminal record or specific links to radical Islamists. But police believe he is linked to organised crime groups in Montenegro that may have agreed to supply weaponry to jihadi groups.
A German intelligence source said police officers blundered by not reporting the seizure to anti-terror specialists in Berlin, who may have alerted France.
It also emerged that French security police arrested a man in August on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on a concert venue. The man was held just two months after he returned from a six-day trip to Raqqa, Syria.
According to reports, the suspect confessed that he was ordered by an IS leader to return to Europe or France to carry out an atrocity and suggested a busy concert hall as an ideal target.
The apparent intelligence failures come amid an on-going inquiry into the fatal errors by the security services in the lead up to the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris in January.