The Daily Beast reports: Mohamed Lahlaoui was not supposed to be in Europe when he was arrested in Germany last week on terrorism charges. The 28-year-old Moroccan was deported from the northern Italian city of Brescia back in May 2014 after he violated the conditions of his house arrest, which he was serving for attempted murder, concealing an illegal weapon, and garden-variety drug charges.
But he apparently never left Europe. Or, if he did, it wasn’t much of a getaway, because traces of him in Belgium, France, and Germany date back to the summer he was deported. When Lahlaoui was arrested at a train station in Giessen, Germany, last week, his name wasn’t at the top of any terror watch list, but he was identified as persona non grata in Europe because of his Italian criminal record. Acting out of an abundance of vigilance, German police said they checked his cellphone and found a message from Khalid el-Bakraoui, one of the suicide-bomber brothers who blew himself up along with 20 passengers in a Brussels subway on March 22. The message was sent at 9:08 a.m., just three minutes before the bomb went off. It said, simply, “fin” — French for “the end.”