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Romania: man suspected of links to Paris attackers

Associated Press logo Associated Press 29/06/2017

BUCHAREST, Romania — Prosecutors detained a Romanian man Thursday on suspicion he was linked to a group involved in the November 2015 Paris attacks.

Organized crime prosecutors questioned the 39-year-old man, identified only as "Ibrahim," in the central city of Pitesti and later detained him for 24 hours. According to a statement, the suspect used to live in an unidentified European Union state where he adopted a radical form of Islam.

He allegedly was connected to people who claimed responsibility for the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, the statement said.

Organized crime spokeswoman Mihaela Porime later said the man had converted to Islam a few years ago, and had been imprisoned in France.

The prosecutors' statement said the visited a Romanian military base in 2015, sending information to a jihadi group in an EU country. He allegedly said he wanted to take part in an attack on the base.

Ovidiu Marincea, spokesman for Romania's intelligence service, said the man had tried to recruit people in Romania and take them to Syria.

Chief organized crime prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu said authorities had not acted earlier "for tactical reasons," adding that the man could face a 20-year prison sentence.

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