Djamel Beghal

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Djamel Beghal (also transliterated as Jamel Beghal and Djamel Begal) (Arabic: جمال بغال‎; born December 2nd 1965 in Bordj Bou Arréridj, Algeria) is a French-Algerian[1][2][3][4] man convicted of terrorism.[5] He married Sylvie, a French citizen, in 1990, while working as a youth worker in Corbeil-Essonnes. In 1997, he moved his family to Leicester, where Sylvie still lives with their four children.[1]

On 28 July 2001, he was arrested at Dubai International Airport while transferring from a flight from Pakistan to a flight to Europe; he held a fake French passport.[6][7] Over the next two months, he was tortured by the Emirati police, with the alleged complicity of the British and French governments.[8] Beghal confessed to UAE authorities that he was conspiring to destroy the U.S. embassy in Paris. His confession doomed the plot. After he was extradited to France on 1 October,[9] Beghal retracted his statement, saying that it had been given under torture.[10]

In October 2001, Beghal told magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière that he had visited Osama bin Laden's base in Afghanistan and planned a suicide bomb attack.[9]

In March 2005, French authorities convicted Beghal and five others for planning the attacks,[5] and Beghal began serving his 10-year sentence.[11][12] During his time in prison, he met and mentored fellow prisoners Chérif Kouachi, one of the two brothers who committed the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting, as well as Amedy Coulibaly, who carried out the Fontenay-aux-Roses shooting and Porte de Vincennes siege.[13] Stripped in 2006 of the French citizenship which he had acquired through his marriage, Beghal is set to be released from prison in the latter half of 2018, and will then be expelled to Algeria.[14][15][needs update]


  1. ^ a b "Mentor of Charlie Hebdo gunmen has been UK-based". The Guardian. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "French Premier Declares 'War' on Radical Islam as Paris Girds for Rally". The New York Times. 10 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Paris Shootings: Who was Djamel Beghal, the mentor of the Islamist gunmen?". IB Times. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Terror from the Fringes: Searching for Answers in the "Charlie Hebdo" Attacks". 19 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b "France." Frontline. PBS.
  6. ^ "They Had A Plan". 5 August 2002. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  7. ^ Muriel, Diana (2002-01-23). "Thwarting terror cells in Europe". CNN. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  8. ^ Mafille, Arnaud (2011). Djamel Beghal: British and French complicity in torture (PDF) (Report). London: Cageprisoners. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  9. ^ a b Henley, Jon (3 October 2001). "Paris plot reveals link to terror chief". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Six jailed over Paris bomb plot". 2005-03-15. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  11. ^ "Terrorist ‘aided abduction plot’." The Times.
  12. ^ NBC News: "Radical Islamist Djamel Beghal Eyed Over Links to Paris Attackers" 16 January 2015
  13. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini; Yardley, Jim (17 January 2015). "Chérif and Saïd Kouachi's Path to Paris Attack at Charlie Hebdo". Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  14. ^ (April 4, 2018). Le mentor des djihadistes, Djamel Beghal, bientôt expulsé vers l’Algérie. Le Parisien. Retrieved: May 31, 2018.
  15. ^ Jacobs, Josh; Dalton, Matthew (16 July 2018). "France Begins Release of Hundreds of Radicalized Inmates". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 July 2018.