Global Independent Analytics

Terror Network in Paris Attacks Said to Have U.K. Links

Western officials say alleged connections are based in Birmingham area

Benoit Faucon and Alexis Flynn from The Wall Street Journal report: officials suppose that culprits suspected in deadly Paris terror attacks are allegedly connected to wider network with affiliates in the United Kingdom.

It was revealed that several people in the Birmingham district very likely are connected to the criminal extremist network and have been acquainted with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a terrorist who launched a  set of brutal attacks resulted in hundreds dead. The alleged extremists, as well as Abaaoud himself, are of Moroccan origin.

Police of London declined to comment on the issue.

There are several other examples of Birmingham’s nationals who reportedly took part in Islamic terrorist attacks. Junaid Hussain went to Syria to become the chief hacker-programmer at the Islamic State. He was eliminated during U.S. strike in Raqqa. Rabah Tahari, an Algerian Islamist and Birmingham resident was announced to be a leader of a combat group in Syria.

Mark Rowley, the counterterror officer assumed that Paris mass murders might indicate the intent to further expand terroristic attacks in Europe. “You would be expecting us and the security services to be working flat out to look for any possible links and connections of that network to anything in the U.K. I can give you 100% assurance we are doing that but it would be wrong to discuss the detail of what we are or are not finding”, cite Faucon and Flynn.

Belgian security officials announced Friday that from now on they are looking for four Paris attacks suspects, up from two. Recent investigation demonstrated that two new suspects have been using fake Belgian IDs. The authorities also continue looking for Salah Abdeslam, who allegedly returned to Belgium after he failed to detonate his suicide vest.

The level of terror alert in the U.K. is now the second-highest, implying the high possibility of terrorist attack any time, any day. The level has been raised from “critical” to “severe” after ISIS’s activity intensification in the Middle East.  Concerning this, David Cameron urged to join airstrikes against ISIS in Syria because London is endangered similarly to Paris. Britain’s bombing campaign has been since reinforced in order to defeat Syrian and Iraqi combat groups.

Faucon and Flynn give a U.S. official’s quote: “Many countries in Europe, including the U.K., are justifiably concerned about the possibility of follow-on terror attacks after the tragedy in Paris and remain on high-alert. This is heightened by the fact that law enforcement and security agencies are still seeking to identify and roll-up terrorist networks that may be connected to Islamic State plotting.”

In light of such a threat British government intensified national security measure by increasing the police presence, strengthening border control and reviewing its response to gun-related crimes.

Rowley supposed that counterterrorist measures have to be generally widened in order to get those on periphery involved in plotting and to overthrow their plans. Although British security officers are monitoring individuals suspected in violent extremism, only few of criminals are under heavy surveillance.

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