European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, discussing Friday’s attack on Paris and speculation about ISIS using refugees as infiltrators, reiterated that all of the identified attackers so far were European nationals with valid EU passports.
Indeed, most of the identified attackers appear to be either French or Belgian nationals, and while some indeed had gone to Syria to fight with ISIS at some point, they were the sort of returnees the Western intelligence community has been warning about, Western nationals with access that most jihadists simply wouldn’t have.
There were some conflicting reports in the early wake of the attack about an Egyptian passport holder, as a passport was found at one of the attack sites, though Egyptian officials have since insisted it belonged to one of the victims, not one of the attackers.
The attack and speculation about a refugee being involved, despite no real evidence to that effect, have sparked a new wellspring of xenophobia across the region, with nations that were already struggling to come to grips with an influx of civilian refugees suddenly believing they’ve found a tailor-made excuse to block their entry as a “national security” issue.
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