Driss Basri (Arabic: إدريس البصري Idrīs al-Baṣrīy, November 8, 1938 in Settat – August 27, 2007) was a Moroccan politician who served as Interior Minister from 1979 to 1999. After General Oufkir's death in 1972, and then Ahmed Dlimi's death in 1983, Driss Basri became Hassan II's right-hand man and number two of the regime from the beginning of the 1980s to the end of the 1990s. His name has been associated with the Years of Lead.
Born in Settat, Morocco, Basri began his career as a police officer in Rabat. At the time of the "disappearance" of Socialist opponent Mehdi Ben Barka in 1965 in Paris, Driss Basri was head of the intelligence agency. Aged 24, he was following in parallel law studies, and graduated in the University of Grenoble in France. In 1973, he censored Mohamed Choukri's autobiography, For Bread Alone.
Basri was then appointed as Secretary of state for Interior Affairs in 1974, becoming Ahmed Dlimi's right-hand man. Basri became the iron fist of Hassan II during the Years of Lead. In 1979, Driss Basri was promoted to the post of Interior Minister in the government of Ahmed Osman, a post he held in all successive governments until 1999. Beginning in 1985, he held the post of Minister of Information as well. He won the confidence of King Hassan II, and during his time in office, the Ministry of Interior came to be known as the "mother of all ministries".
He was considered by his detractors as a hindrance to the democratization of Morocco in the 1980s and 1990s. He was accused of creating "administrative" parties to counter the traditional nationalist and popular parties, and of rigging elections in favor of loyalists. Under his term some demonstrations were harshly repressed by police as in 1981 in Casablanca and 1990 in Fes.
Exile and death
Three months after King Mohammed VI rose to the throne in 1999, succeeding Hassan II, Basri was at last discharged from his ministerial functions on November 9, 1999. He went to live in Paris. In March 2004, his Moroccan passport was terminated, leading Basri to become, in effect, an illegal alien in France. However, he still traveled (to Spain, etc.) and was not disturbed by the French police.
Basri was heard by the judge Patrick Ramaël in May 2006, as a witness, concerning Mehdi Ben Barka's kidnapping. Basri declared to the magistrate that he had not been linked to the Ben Barka Affair. He added that "it is possible that the King knew. It is legitimate to think that de Gaulle possessed some information…" 
Driss Basri died in Paris on August 27, 2007. He was buried in Rabat on August 29; current Interior Minister in 2007 Chakib Benmoussa was the only representative of the government at the funeral.
- Pierre Haski, La mort dans l'impunité de Driss Basri, le "superflic" d'Hassan II, Rue 89, 27 August 2007 (French)
- Mort de Driss Basri, symbole des années de plomb, RFI (audio interviews of Basri) (French)
- Affaire Ben Barka : Driss Basri chez le juge, Le Figaro, 23 May 2006 (French)
- Maroc: l'ex-puissant ministre de l'Intérieur de Hassan II inhumé à Rabat, AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), August 29, 2007 (French).
- French: « Je n'ai été mêlé ni de près, ni de loin, ni à l'époque, ni à aucun moment, à l'affaire qui s'est déroulée sur le sol français », explique-t-il au Figaro. « Seul un petit groupe, qui a gardé un silence total, savait. Il est possible que le roi savait. Il est légitime de penser que de Gaulle était en possession d'informations… Le problème est qu'aujourd'hui les protagonistes sont tous morts » in Ben Barka : Driss Basri chez le juge, Le Figaro, 23 May 2006 (French)
- Former Moroccan minister dies, AFP (The Times, South Africa), August 27, 2007 (English)
- David Bamford, Morocco's strongman dies in Paris, BBC News Online, August 27, 2007 (English)