From Ex Patica
France on Monday expelled a radical Islamic preacher to Algeria after his release from prison, where he became a mentor to at least two jihadis who carried out deadly attacks on a satirical newspaper and a Jewish supermarket in January 2015, officials said.
Djamel Beghal was given a 10-year jail term in 2005 after being sent to France following his arrest in the United Arab Emirates shortly after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the US.
He was suspected of leading a network charged by Osama bin Laden to attack American interests in France and is considered by French officials to have been a mentor for several generations of aspiring jihadists.
Beghal, now 52 and stripped of his French nationality, was freed from the Vezin-le-Coquet prison near the western city of Rennes early Monday.
He was brought to Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris for a flight to Algiers, a source close to the case told AFP.
Beghal had been under surveillance for suspected radicalism by French intelligence agents since the mid-1990s, following his arrival in the country from his native Algeria when he was 21 years old.
While serving his first prison sentence Beghal met Cherif Kouachi, one of the brothers who massacred 12 people in an attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in January 2015. Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed a policewoman and then four shoppers at a Jewish supermarket just outside Paris that same month, also came under Beghal’s influence at the Fleury-Merogis prison south of Paris, where he also met Kouachi. After their release, both Kouachi and Coulibaly visited Beghal while he was serving out his sentence under house arrest.
The Algerian native had been under surveillance for suspected radicalism by French intelligence agents since the mid-1990s, following his arrival in the country from his native Algeria when he was 21 years old. He eventually obtained French citizenship, working in a food factory and starting a family with a French woman. They moved to Britain for a short period and he is believed to have been radicalised in a London mosque before travelling to Afghanistan in 2000.