BERLIN, Nov 19 – A man from Montenegro who was arrested in southern Germany in early November after guns and explosives were found in his car is probably an arms runner and may have no connection to last Friday’s attacks in Paris, German officials said.
The 51-year-old was arrested on Nov. 5 near the Bavarian town of Rosenheim and his vehicle navigation system suggested he was heading to Paris.
Just over a week later, on Nov. 13, a group of gunmen and suicide bombers attacked bars, a concert hall and a football stadium in the French capital, killing 129 people in the worst atrocity in France since World War Two. Daesh militants have claimed responsibility.
“The investigations have established a link to France, but no link to terrorism so far,” a Bavarian police spokesman said on Thursday when asked about the Montenegrin.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ZDF television on Wednesday evening that the navigation system in the man’s vehicle had shown he had been to France several times. The suspect had hidden the arms in a way that suggested he smuggled weapons frequently.
De Maiziere said German authorities had informed the French side after the arrest.
“Everything points to the man being an arms runner, maybe belonging to the world of organised crime,” he said, noting that authorities were still investigating the matter and that any connection to the Paris attacks remained unclear.
Montenegro’s interior ministry has said the arrested man is an Orthodox Christian and there is no indication so far that he can be linked to the Islamist attacks in France.