Paris terrorist ‘phoned Birmingham several times before attacks’

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From the Birmingham Mail

One of the terrorist gunmen who brought terror to Paris is believed to have called a number in Birmingham several times before launching the sickening attack.

Counter terror police are investigating information that one of the nine attackers rang the number “on several occasions” before the assault that killed 130 people.

It is also understood that one of the attackers may have further links to the UK, having previously travelled to addresses in London and Kent.

A source told the Birmingham Mail’s sister Daily Mirror newspaper: “These calls to Birmingham were made shortly before the Paris attacks. If the French police know who made the call to Birmingham, it is likely that they also know who received those calls. British police are urgently investigating whether anyone in the UK was involved in the Paris attacks. They also want to determine whether there is a linked terror cell based here.”

Dozens of others in France and Belgium have been arrested in the wake of the Paris shootings and attention has turned to links with possible British jihadis. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Post the Paris attacks, the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command have been working closely with colleagues in France. It would be inappropriate to comment on the French investigation. . . “

There have been no reported arrests in the UK directly linked to the Paris attacks. It is believed they were planned in Brussels and involved French and Belgian terrorists, along with fighters who are believed to have posed as refugees from Syria. The terrorists exchanged messages with prominent British jihadi Aine Davis and other members of a Turkish ISIS cell based in Istanbul before the attacks.

But Davis, a close friend of serial killer Mohammed Emwazi, was arrested during raids in the city days before the Paris attacks. The Muslim convert and former drug dealer from West London was inspired by Al Qaeda preacher Anwar Al Awlaki and cleric Abu Hamza, and was responsible for guarding foreign prisoners in Syria. Last year his wife Amal El Wahabi was jailed for 28 months for asking a friend to smuggle 20,000 euros to Syria hidden in her underwear.

A number of terror suspects in Birmingham have been arrested for links to ISIL in Syria, including two people earlier this month.

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