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Paris terrorist 'planned attacks in Germany'

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A French police image used in the hunt for Abdeslam. Photo: DPA
08:36 CET+01:00
Saleh Abdeslam, the man arrested in Belgium on Friday in connection with the Paris attacks, also had Germany in his sights, Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The terrorist network that carried out the attacks was "explicitly" built to carry out other attacks in Europe, including against the Federal Republic of Germany, a high-ranking security expert told Tagesspiegel.

In fact, the Paris group may have been just one of three groups put together by Isis to carry out attacks in western Europe.

Security sources told the newspaper that most of the first group was killed in a US airstrike on Raqqa, capital of the so-called "Islamic State" in Syria.

The second group carried out the Paris attacks – leaving security authorities to hunt for the remaining team.

Abdeslam is believed to have been one of the leading planners of the Paris attacks in November in which terrorists killed 130 people in suicide bomb attacks, drive-by shootings and the storming of the Bataclan concert hall.

But he is also known to have made a trip to Germany in October 2015, travelling from Belgium to Ulm, Baden-Württemberg to collect three men who had entered the country disguised as Syrian refugees.

The men may have been part of the Paris attacks group or have been slated to take part in further attacks in Belgium or Germany, Tagesspiegel's security source claimed.

He also travelled through Germany in September 2015 on the way to Vienna and had his identity checked on the border by Austrian police.

Abdeslam was captured in the Brussels district of Molenbeek on Friday after a months-long manhunt.

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He told police that he had planned to blow himself up in Paris but in the end decided not to, for unknown reasons.

French police found a discarded suicide vest in the Paris suburbs, believed to have been meant for Abdeslam, ten days after the attacks.

SEE ALSO: After Abdeslam, police still hunt for two Paris suspects

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