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 man convicted of terrorism. 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.
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. Over the next two months, he was tortured by the Emirati police, with the alleged complicity of the British and French governments. 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, Beghal retracted his statement, saying that it had been given under torture.
In March 2005, French authorities convicted Beghal and five others for planning the attacks, and Beghal began serving his 10-year sentence. 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. 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.[needs update]
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