Scottish Daily Mail

Ger­mans found au­to­bahn arse­nal but didn’t tell France

- By Steven Wright As­so­ciate News Ed­i­tor Crime · Terrorism · Germany News · Incidents · France · Belgium · Germany · ISIS · Paris · Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi · Syria · Montenegro · Croatia · Slovenia · Austria · Bavaria · Bavaria · FC Bayern Munich · Volkswagen · Volkswagen Caribe · Berlin · Ar Raqqah · Europe · AK-47 · Turner Network Television

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK