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Alleged Al-Qaeda leadership member detained in France

October 08, 2013, 18:50 UTC+3

French intelligence services believe that Meziche is linked to the "historical leadership" of Al-Qaeda

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PARIS, October 8. (ITAR-TASS). - French authorities have detained in Paris Naamen Meziche, allegedly belonging to the Al-Qaeda leadership, extradited from Pakistan. This was reported by local media on Tuesday.

He was detained was made on request of the judge investigating cases of terrorism filed in March 2013. French Justice intends to pursue Meziche for activity that falls under article “creating a criminal group with a view to prepare one or more terrorist acts”.

The investigators also suspect that he was actively involved in training of jihadists.

According to unofficial data, French intelligence services believe that Meziche is linked to the "historical leadership" of Al-Qaeda, and, in particular, was member of the so-called ‘Hamburg group’, which includes hijackers - authors of the terrorist attack staged September 11, 2001 in the United States.

He is also believed to be involved in a series of terrorist attacks carried out in the West in late 20th century. There are reports that he was planning them directly instructed by Osama bin Laden.

At present, the detained, delivered under custodial control from Pakistan to Paris, is within the jurisdiction of the Main Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DCRI). French law on combating terrorism allows such detention for up to four days. Meziche, native of Algeria, holds dual citizenship - French and Algerian.

He was imprisoned in Pakistan for 16 months after having been arrested along with several other French in the so-called ‘tribal zone’ near the Afghan border.

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