Prague, May 25 (CTK) – The Manchester bomb attacker, Salman Abedi, did not fly via Prague before the Monday attack, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec wrote on Twitter today, citing the information Czech security forces gained from their foreign counterparts.
Chovanec dismissed the information carried by today’s issue of the German daily Der Tagesspiegel.
He tweeted that Czech security forces had not had any information about Abedi having flown via Prague before the attack but they checked the possibility earlier today.
“From our foreign partners, we know the flight route of the person whom the media mention in connection with the Manchester attack. I can confirm that the information about the person having flown via Prague is not true,” Chovanec said.
Before, Der Tagesspiegel carried the information about Abedi having flown to Manchester from Libya via Prague on May 18, referring to German intelligence sources.
The Czech counter-intelligence service (BIS) told CTK earlier today that it treats the information that Abedi, who is suspected of the suicide attack in Manchester, Britain, on Monday, May 22, arrived in the city from Dusseldorf, where he flew in from Libya via Prague.
The BIS has been long focusing on the question of whether terrorists have been using the Czech Republic to travel to the regions of Islamic State operations and back to Europe.
According to its report, the BIS did not register any departures to IS by foreigners living in the Czech Republic, nor did it register cases of IS fighters travelling via the Czech Republic last year.
On the contrary, the BIS registered a continuing trend of non-IS foreigners travelling to the areas of military operations in Syria via the Czech Republic, mainly using the Prague airport.
In its report for 2015, the BIS wrote that seven people left the Czech Republic for Syria with the aim to join terrorist groups. These people came from the Islamic world and stayed in the Czech Republic only for a short time, the BIS wrote.
Earlier today, BIS spokesman Ladislav Sticha said the BIS was dealing with the serious information carried by Der Tagesspiegel in a priority regime.
“We are in intensive contact with foreign partners and share all information with them…The addressees of our intelligence information, defined by law, will also be continuously receiving our information,” Sticha said.
He would not speak in greater detail citing the sensitivity of the case. BIS does not want to threaten the work of its British colleagues, Sticha added.
The Manchester attack claimed the lives of 22 persons plus Abedi’s. Almost 60 people suffered injuries. Many of them are in a critical condition.