Greek Intelligence Service statement on arrest of Syrian national by Hungarian authorities in Dec.

The Greek Intelligence Service (EYP) was the first intelligence service to locate and identify, in August 2018, Farhoud Hassan, the Syrian national who was arrested by Hungarian authorities in December 2018, and to immediately inform its international partners about him, it said on Thursday.

In a statement, EYP said that as of August 2018 and despite its thorough and continuous controls, there was no indication Farhoud Hassan was involved in terrorist activities, while the Greek service never received any intelligence from any other international service linking this man with terrorist networks.

The full text of the statement released by EYP follows in English (official translation):

“Regarding the case of the Syrian citizen Farhoud Hassan, arrested by the Hungarian authorities in December 2018, the Greek Intelligence Service, EYP, issued the following statement:

1. Farhoud Hassan is a subject of investigation for all intelligence services since July 2018, when the Belgian Service transmitted unconfirmed information about the activities of an unnamed individual in the area of conflict in Syria. According to this information the individual resided in Greece and allegedly was involved in extremist activity as a member of the terrorist organization DAESH.

2. The Greek national Intelligence service, ΕΥP, managed to locate and identify this individual in August 2018. His name was Farhoud Hassan. EYP immediately informed all its international partners. Since that time, no agency in Europe was successful in providing details about the alleged extremist activities of Farhoud Hassan. In addition the Greek Intelligence Service (EYP) never received any information from anywhere that could prove Farhoud Hassan’s involvement in terrorism or terrorist networks.

3. The Syrian citizen named Farhoud Hassan entered illegally Leros island on 27/02/2016, a period during which illegal migration flows were extremely large. During his entrance and registration as illegal migrant, he was debriefed by the Greek and International authorities (FRONTEX, EUROPOL) which operate in the registration centers. During his debriefing, no incriminating indications were found. It should be underlined that since the date of his arrival in Greece in February 2016 until July 2018 no European or other Service transmitted any information or data proving his involvement in extremist activity.

4. The above mentioned individual was granted asylum in 27/10/2017 by the Asylum Service according to the European legislative framework for asylum granting which has been integrated in Greek legislation.

5. It is noted that the asylum status given to individuals that come from the war zones in Syria is regulated by the International Treaties which are respected by all the countries of the European Union. Τhe prerequisites for granting asylum are governed by the International Geneva Convention (1951) and the relevant European legislative framework regarding the status of refugees. Moreover, granting of asylum is not based on arbitrary decisions and interpretations. The Greek State has adopted the International Geneva Convention regarding the refugee’s status as it is defined by the relevant regulations and directives of the European Union. This has been integrated into the national Greek legislation.

6. All references in the Greek and international mass media alleging that Farhoud Hassan was a collaborator of EYP, originated in various publications. In these publications allegedly based the articles on statement made to the press by officials of the Hungarian Intelligence Service. These officials supposedly stated that Farhoud Hassan had claimed that he was working with the Greek Intelligence Service. This claim is absolutely false. EYP was never informed by the relevant intelligence agency of his claims. It seems that TEK (the hungarian intelligence agency) did not take into account that very often detainees make wild claims in order to receive favorable treatment by the authorities.

7. The truth is that Farhoud Hassan has been a target of the Greek Intelligence Service and he is under investigation regarding his activities as part of a criminal network involved in human trafficking. Since last summer, this fact is known by all European intelligence agencies.

8. EYP finds it distressing that it is possible that terrorism issues and terrorists are being exploited in order to serve petty political needs. Such tactics threaten to break apart the cooperation and the work that the European Intelligence and Security Services and Agencies have adopted in their continuous effort to fight terrorism, in order to keep safe the citizens of Europe.”