Poland says suspect arrested in 2016 was linked to Paris attacks

WARSAW (Reuters) - A Moroccan man arrested in Sept. 2016 in Poland was connected to Islamic State and attacks in Paris the previous year in which 130 people were killed, Polish prosecutors said on Wednesday.

He was involved with the militant group in 2015 and 2016 and was an informant for Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a coordinator of the November 2015 attack and an assault on a Paris-bound train that August that was thwarted, the National Prosecutor’s Office said.

“Photo files with instructions on creating explosive devices (such as) a homemade bomb that could be detonated by using a mobile phone as well as photos of objects on which the explosives were to be used, were discovered on the phone of Mourad T.,” the office said.

“The investigation has also revealed that the suspect, Mourad T., was a collaborator of ISIS recruiter Abdelhamid Abaaoud,” it said in a statement.

It did not give the suspect’s last name but said he was arrested in the southwestern city of Rybnik on Sept. 5, 2106.

“He has been in a pre-trial detention used as a preventive measure,” it said.

He participated in a meeting in Turkey’s Edirne in December 2014, attended, among others, by Abaaoud and militants killed in January 2015 by Belgian police in Verviers while thwarting an alleged plot.

The suspect said he was a Syrian refugee and used fake birth information to receive a special identification card in Austria. He came to Poland through the Czech Republic, it said.

Prosecutors charged him with participation in an armed criminal organization, Islamic State, and he faces up to eight years in prison. He is to be tried in Poland, the statement said.

Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg