France Shaken by New Terror Revelation
Woman says leader of Paris attacks told her dozens of Islamic State militants entered Europe with himBy Matthew Dalton and Inti Landauro, WSJ
Feb. 4, 2016 4:45 p.m. ET
PARIS—The presumed leader of the Islamic State operatives who attacked Paris in November boasted that he slipped into Europe among refugees from Syria as part of a team of dozens of militants, according to a key witness.
If true, the testimony adds urgency to a continentwide effort by security services to track down people with links to the extremist group. Authorities fear that Islamic State smuggled many of its fighters into Europe among the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled Syria and Iraq in recent years, officials say.
The investigation into the Paris attacks has raised questions about Europe’s ability to screen those refugees for potential threats. At least two people involved in the Paris attacks had registered as refugees on a Greek island in the months before they surfaced in Paris.
The latest testimony, which dominated French media Thursday, came from a woman who provided information that led French police to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian who is believed to have orchestrated the Nov. 13 killing spree in Paris that left 130 dead and hundreds injured.