Lionel Dumont is a former French soldier currently serving a 25-year sentence in prison. He converted to Islam after serving with peacekeepers in Somalia. He was later accused of participating in the Gang de Roubaix, which unsuccessfully tried to set a car bomb during the G7 meeting in Lille in March 1996.
Dumont grew up in a traditional Christian family, and attended journalism school in hopes of becoming a reporter. He dropped out in 1992, and joined the French Army. He volunteered for a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, but found himself unable to adapt to civilian life when he returned. He turned to Islam, and adopted the kunyaAbu Hamza, and joined the Yugoslav War on the side of the Bosnian mujahideen in defence of the local Muslim population being attacked by Croatian and Serbian forces.
Dumont was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the 1990s for the murder of a Bosnian police officer. He escaped from the Sarajevo prison where he was incarcerated and fled to Japan, where he lived quietly for a number of years, using a fake passport to enter and leave the country. Eventually, Japanese police arrested him, claiming that he was attempting to form an Al Qaeda ring in Japan. Dumont was extradited to France, where he had been convicted in absentia for his role in a number of robberies and violent crimes and sentenced to 25 years in appeal.