Paris attacks: My husband Djamel Beghal is innocent

Djemal Beghal

The wife of a man who has been linked to the Paris attacks has protested his innocence.

Sylvie Beghal, wife of Djamel Beghal, who was allegedly tortured by the CIA with British and French complicity in the UAE in 2001, has told CAGE that her husband “is being punished for something he didn’t do.”

CAGE said this isn’t the first time Mr Beghal has been wrongfully accused. In 2005 an appeal court quashed an earlier conviction for his alleged involvement in a plot to bomb the US embassy in Paris as it had been reliant on a confession extracted under torture.

Speaking to CAGE, Sylvie Beghal, wife of Djamel Beghal, said: “Once again my husband is punished for something he didn’t do. He has been placed in solitary confinement after all the false media coverage. He has nothing to do with the attack against Charlie Hebdo. The media is repeating false allegations which have been made against him for 14 years now.

“Our family too is suffering. We are trying to live a normal life. But now we have journalists harassing us, knocking at the door, calling us, staying all day in front of our home, taking pictures of my children. We just want to be left alone and live a peaceful life. We will consider legal actions if we can’t.”

Amandla Thomas-Johnson of CAGE, added: “Djamel Beghal has never encouraged or carried out any act of violence and there is absolutely nothing that can link him to the attack. The narrative that Djamel Beghal is a ‘radicaliser’ is an old rumour without basis, its endless repetition causing endless problems to him and his family.”

Charlie Hebdo Attack Suspects

French media has widely reported that Djamel Beghal radicalised two of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks.

And today the Daily Mail said Beghal recruited Cherif Kouachi in prison ten years ago when they were both serving sentences for terror offences, remaining close with him when they were released.

Beghal and Cherif Kouachi were on such good terms that intelligence officers saw them playing football together in Cantal, France, in 2010 with two other terrorists, the newspaper claimed.

The Daily Mail went on: “Amedy Coulibaly – the extremist who killed a woman police officer in Paris before taking hostages, of which four died, at a Jewish supermarket – and his wife Hayat Boumeddiene were also mentored by Beghal. Boumeddiene has fled to Syria and is France’s most wanted woman.

“Beghal was banned from the UK on grounds of national security in 2009, raising questions over why his wife and family are free to live in Britain. Beghal, jailed for 10 years for terrorism offences, is banned from Britain but his wife moved here so her children could grow up in a ‘Islamic environment’…

“Beghal was arrested at Dubai airport in 2001 for carrying a false passport, leading investigators to discover that he had organised an Al-Qaeda cell in the Midlands and was on his way back from meeting a senior terrorist leader. Beghal admitted plotting to attack the US embassy in Paris under interrogation and said he had been to mosques in Britain to recruit young jihadists.”

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