Two men held in Austria for suspected links to the Paris attacks are not French, a source close to the investigation told AFP Thursday, denying media reports about their nationality.
The two men arrested at the weekend at a refugee centre in the western city of Salzburg “are not French, but are an Algerian and a Pakistani,” the source said, asking not to be named.
Salzburg prosecutors had on Wednesday said the two had “arrived from the Middle East” with officials probing “indications of a possible link” to the November 13 Paris attacks.
The arrests reportedly came after a tip-off from French police and the source said Thursday that French investigators had travelled to Salzburg to question the men.
The Kronen-Zeitung tabloid, which first reported the arrests, had said the two were French and were holding fake Syrian passports.
The paper said they arrived in October together with members of the cell behind the Paris attacks as part of the huge wave of migrants who have entered Austria from the Balkans this year.
Salah Abdeslam, the fugitive 26-year-old French citizen thought to have played a key logistical role in the attacks, was known to have been in Austria on September 9.
According to the Austrian authorities, he was pulled over in a routine traffic check on his way from Hungary to Germany. With him in the car, which had Belgian number plates, were two unidentified men. They were all allowed to continue.