Swedish national Muslim terrorist Osama Krayem, linked to the deadly attacks in Paris on November 13 and in Brussels on March 22, is now suspected of having plotted to attack also the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.
Twenty-four-year-old Krayem, from Malmö, in southern Sweden, was charged in Brussels earlier this year over his links to the terror cell that carried out the attacks in the French and Belgian capitals in 2015 and 2016 and in which 162 people were killed. On Thursday, a Belgian court ruled to extend Krayem’s detention by another two months.
According to an anonymous judicial source cited by Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, the extended detention comes on the back of new findings suggesting the Swede, along with an accomplice, planned to attack the international Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.
The findings include two bus tickets, bought under fake names, from Brussels to Amsterdam with departure on the day of the November 13 attacks in Paris. Another key finding is a laptop found in police raids carried out after the March 22 bombings in Brussels and which contained a list of five terror targets, three of them which were hit in the Paris attacks as well as two more: the “metro” and “Schiphol”.
The paper says French police now suspect the terror cell was planning to also attack the Paris metro and the Schiphol airport, but that something went wrong.
“There were two single-journey tickets [to Amsterdam],” the source told Sydsvenskan. The paper said that Krayem, a Swede of Syrian origin, has admitted during police questioning to have travelled to Amsterdam on November 13 and that he had booked a hotel room there, but for some reason he then decided to return to Brussels on the same day. They still don’t know why.
“That makes the trip [to Amsterdam] a mystery,” the source told the newspaper.
One of the main police theories is that the manhunt and subsequent capture of Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the terrorist teams who carried out the massacres in Paris, unleashed a wave of panic among fellow accomplices in Brussels, prompting them to put a halt to their imminent plans.
Krayem is believed to have left Sweden in 2014 and made his way to Syria where he joined ISIS. Facebook posts from that time show him posting pictures of himself posing with Kalashnikovs, and with the black ISIS flag in the background. He also posted videos of the group killing people.
Krayem used a false passport to return to Europe on September 20 last year and after making his way to Belgium via Greece and Germany, he was picked up in Brussels by Abdeslam on October 3, 2015, some five weeks before the coordinated terror attacks in Paris.