Hungary continues investigation into terrorist Abdeslam’s local ties
At France’s request, Hungarian authorities are continuing an investigation into the local ties of terrorist Salah Abdeslam who made several trips to Hungary in 2015, daily Magyar Idők said on Monday.
Abdeslam was born in France and lived in Belgium. The fourteen-member terrorist team he belonged to was involved in the preparation and execution of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 and Brussels on March 22, 2016.
The Hungarian authorities are trying to identify all persons that Abdeslam made contact with while in Hungary.
Abdeslam has transported at least thirteen terrorists trained by the Islamic State in Syria to western Europe where they participated in three terrorist attacks. He is currently in remand together with the two surviving members of his team: Algerian Bilal C. and the Belgian citizen Ayoub El Khazzani.
Abdeslam visited Hungary three times two years ago. On the first occasion, he stayed for a few days in a Budapest flat near the Keleti railway station which belonged to an activist of an organisation helping migrants. He was waiting to pick up persons who had entered Hungary at Kelebia from Serbia. They were given Hungarian prepaid SIM cards purchased by an interpreter in Kiskőrös in southern Hungary.
He returned to Hungary at the beginning of September 2015 and again stayed at the flat of an activist near Keleti train station. The two terrorists he transported to western Europe at this time also had Hungarian mobile phones to be contacted by Abdeslam who used a new number every time he called them.
On September 17, 2015, he picked up three men in Budapest who later participated in the attack against the Bataclan Club in Paris. The men had arrived among the migrants in Budapest and stayed at a hotel in Budapest’s Zugló district for a few days. On September 16, Abdeslam received 1,000 euros from Belgium through Western Union which was collected with the help of fake papers issued to Omar Mostefai and the activist of an aid organisation also assisted him. This time, Abdeslam was staying at a hotel on Rákóczi Avenue.
Citing a study, János Lázár told a regular weekly press briefing that Hungary today is considered the fifteenth safest on the 163-country list.
Photo: MTI/AP/Kamil Zihnioglu