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How a call-girl and her Parisian lover were mistaken for terrorists

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Photo: AFP
13:23 CET+01:00
Police investigating the Paris terror attacks feared a fourth commando cell was still at large, but the suspected jihadists turned out to be a Belgian call-girl and her Parisian lover.

The reason the pair of lovers were believed to be jihadists was simply down to pure coincidence rather than anything more sinister, Le Parisien newspaper revealed.

On the fateful night of November 13th three separate jihadist commando units attacked the Stade de France, bars and restaurants across Paris and the Bataclan music venue, killing 130 people.

By pure chance a couple took a similar journey around Paris as some of the attackers that very night. Their paths were revealed to police after studying mobile phone data on the night of the massacres.

Investigators, fearing further attacks were planned, thought it was too much of a coincidence and spent months probing the pair, but in fact that's all it was.

The woman, who Le Parisien says was known to authorities in Belgium for prostitution, and her Parisian lover had decided to spend the weekend of November 13th together in the French capital.

She travelled down from Brussels on the Friday, the same path the terrorists had just taken days earlier.

At around 9.10pm her telephone was located near the Stade de France, when she received a call from a Paris number – that of her lover.

Just ten minutes later the first suicide bomber blew himself up at the stadium during the middle of the France - Germany match.

But the woman's placing near the stadium can be simply explained by the fact the train from Brussels passes very close to the Stade de France.

Then the couple's telephones were located together around twenty minutes later at avenue Philippe Auguste, a few minutes' walk from the Belle Equipe, where terrorists were about to kill 19 people in a hail of bullets.

Then throughout the weekend mobile data showed the couple spent much of their time in the 18th arrondissement.

They were picked up at a location just a stone's throw from where Salah Abdeslam, the wanted attacker who is still on the run, had abandoned his Renault Clio car that had been used to transport the Stade de France bombers.

Abdeslam spent part of the evening of November 13th hiding in the 18th arrondissement.

At 22.30 he bought a mobile phone SIM card from on rue Doudeauville, just “a few steps” from where the couple were spending their weekend.

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While it's easy to see why the coincidences concerned police, the pair have now been ruled out of any involvement in the attacks.

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