French officials said Monday that one of the suicide bombers in the Paris attacks used a fake Syrian passport to enter Europe posing as a refugee fleeing the civil war in Syria.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Authorities in France and Greece have said that fingerprints taken from the remains of a suicide bomber outside France’s national sports stadium, the Stade de France, match the prints of a man who entered Europe via the Aegean island of Leros on Oct. 3. Police on Leros registered the man under the identity in the passport he showed them: Ahmad AlMohammad, 25, from Syria. The same passport was found near the man’s body outside the stadium on Friday night.
Using the passport, the Paris attacker, his true identity unknown, blended in with the thousands of refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war to Europe that Greek officials on the Aegean islands encounter daily. Greek police record the data and fingerprints from these refugees and sometimes ask them a few questions, a simple check that allows them to travel into Europe.
Greek officials said that the attacker’s Syrian identity was checked in police databases when he arrived on the island, which turned up no results. It is unclear where the man traveled after he eventually reached Croatia via a route through the Balkans, as officials from Austria, Germany, Italy, and Hungary have said they have no record of a man with that identity entering their respective borders.
There is currently a booming black market for fake Syrian passports in Turkey.
The revelations about the Paris attacker come just as an increasing number of governors in the United States move to block Syrian refugees from entering their respective states through President Obama’s refugee resettlement program.
Citing security concerns in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, at least half of U.S. governors have pledged to refuse Syrian refugees.
Earlier this year, Obama ordered the government to accept at least 10,000 refugees from Syria during the current fiscal year. The administration has said that it still plans to accept the thousands of refugees.