The pair were arrested in a centre for refugees in Salzburg “on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organisation”.
They had been posing as refugees and had travelled up from Greece through the Balkans into Austria.
According to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper the pair were stopped by Frontex border guards in November as they were found to have fake Syrian passports and were not allowed to travel onto France, as they had planned.
Bild reports that the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution tipped off the Austrian authorities that the pair were staying in a refugee camp in Salzburg – and they were arrested on December 10th.
The two men, a 28-year-old Algerian and a 34-year-old Pakistani, applied for asylum in Austria and had their fingerprints taken. According to French newspaper Le Parisien they had arrived on the Greek island of Leros on October 3rd, along with two of the Paris attackers who have still not been identified.
They had reportedly been in contact with the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in a shootout with French police days after the November 13th attacks.
The Salzburg prosecutor's office would only confirm that currently six people suspected of involvement in a terrorist organization are in pretrial detention in Salzburg and that due to the ongoing investigation it could not divulge any further details.