Man in Failed Attack on Paris Police Station Lived in German Shelter for Refugees

French officers patrol Thursday outside a police station in Paris where a man with a fake suicide vest was killed. (Ian Langsdon/EPA)
French officers patrol Thursday outside a police station in Paris where a man with a fake suicide vest was killed. (Ian Langsdon/EPA)

The Islamist extremist who staged a failed attack on a Paris police station last week had been living in a shelter for asylum seekers in western Germany, police said, deepening fears that militants may be infiltrating Europe disguised as migrants.

The revelation that the assailant had been trying to pass himself off as an asylum seeker is likely to spur further debate about the vetting and processing of hundreds of thousands of migrants from the war-torn Middle East seeking sanctuary in Europe. The man had assumed several aliases and at one point claimed to be from Syria, according to police in Germany.

French authorities fatally shot him on Thursday, the first anniversary of terrorist attacks on a satirical publication in Paris and other targets, as he approached the police station brandishing a butcher knife and wearing a fake explosives vest.

Several assailants in the Nov. ­13 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, also are thought to have used the same routes being traveled by a record number of asylum seekers and economic migrants. They include at least two attackers who entered Europe posing as Syrian asylum seekers on the Greek island of Leros.

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SOURCE: Anthony Faiola and Stephanie Kirchner
The Washington Post