Magyar Idők: Bataclan terrorists spent time in Budapest

September 27, 2016

Salah Abdeslam Photo: Agence France-Presse
Salah Abdeslam.  Photo: Agence France-Presse

In what appears to be yet another attempt at fear-mongering on the part of the pro-government press, Magyar Idők published an article today claiming that one of the primary organizers of a multiple terror attack in Paris last fall, Salah Abdeslam, spent time in Budapest with other terrorists before the attacks which killed 130 people and injured hundreds more.

According to reports by Hungarian law-enforcement agencies, Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national, stayed at a hotel on Rákoczi út in Budapest in September 2015, where a copy of his Belgian residence permit was found in hotel records. It was allegedly Abdeslam’s third visit to Hungary in the weeks preceding the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015.

It is not believed that Abdeslam himself took part in the attacks. He is accused of having assisted in their planning and organization, and of transporting terrorists to Paris. Three of the terrorists who participated in the attack on the Bataclan Theater which killed 89 people were allegedly transported by Abdeslam from Budapest to Paris in an Audi A6 some weeks before the attacks. Those three terrorists, all EU citizens, had stayed for a week in a Zugló hotel and had reportedly slipped back into Europe at the Serbian-Hungarian border using false Syrian passports after having fought for ISIS in Syria.

According to information compiled by Belgian, French and Hungarian law-enforcement agencies, 10 perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels had stayed in or passed through Hungary between July and November last year.

It is not clear why this information is coming to light less than a week before Hungarians are scheduled to go to the polls to vote in a national referendum on whether migrants originating from outside the EU should be allowed to settle in Hungary temporarily while their asylum applications are processed.  The fact that the information was first published by pro-government Magyar Idők suggests that the “story” was leaked to it by the government for political reasons.