One of the suspected ringleaders of last month’s Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, travelled to Hungary where he “recruited a team” from unregistered migrants passing through, senior Hungarian government officials said on Thursday.
“I can confirm that one of the main organisers of the Paris terror attacks was in Budapest,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Janos Lazar told a regular news conference in Budapest.
Lazar did not name the man or say when he was in Hungary, nor whether those he picked up went on to take part in the November 13 atrocities in the French capital claimed by the Islamic State group.
Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, a government source later confirmed to AFP that the man was in fact Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris attacks who is currently on the run.
Lazar meanwhile said the suspect had been in Keleti station in Budapest, “recruiting a team from immigrants who had refused to register with Hungarian authorities”, referring to migrants.