Masood murder accomplices jailed in Paris

17th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 17 (AFP) - A French court sentenced four Islamist radicals to up to seven years in jail Tuesday for helping the men who killed Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Masood two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

PARIS, May 17 (AFP) - A French court sentenced four Islamist radicals to up to seven years in jail Tuesday for helping the men who killed Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Masood two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks.  

The defendants stood accused of providing logistical support to the two Tunisians who, posing as journalists in Afghanistan, detonated a bomb hidden in a camera on September 9, 2001, killing Masood.  

The death of the Northern Alliance leader, who fought against the Taliban that then ruled Afghanistan, took place just two days before the Al-Qaeda attacks on US targets that killed nearly 3,000 people.  

Investigators traced the fake Belgian passports found on the two Tunisians that killed Masood back to a network run from Belgium by Tarek Maaroufi, who was sentenced to six years in prison in Brussels in 2003.  

Adel Tebourski, 41, who admitted to belonging to an Islamist group led by one of Masood's two Tunisian assassins, Dahmane Abd al-Sattar, was sentenced to six years in prison.  

Tebourski reportedly said he exchanged up to 30,000 French francs (4,500 euros, 5,800 dollars) into US currency for Dahmane before the Tunisian left for Afghanistan in May 2000.  

The court handed Abderahmane Ameroud, a 27-year-old Algerian, a seven-year prison sentence, while Mehrez Azouz, 37, who has dual French and Algerian nationality, was sent to jail for five years.   Youssef el-Aouni, a 31-year-old Frenchman, was sentenced to two years in prison.  

All four stood accused of criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise, and faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.  

Khellaf Hammam, 37, who was not implicated in the Masood affair, was sentenced to two years in prison for organizing paramilitary boot camps aimed at selecting recruits to go to Afghanistan.  

The training was alleged to have taken place in the Fontainebleau forest south of Paris, the coastal Normandy region and in the French Alps.  

Two other defendants - Ibrahim Keita, 38, and Azdine Sayeh, 32 - were acquitted.  

An eighth man linked to the group, who stands accused of living illegally in France and faces a lesser punishment, was to be tried separately after falling ill at the start of the trial.

© AFP

Subject: French News

 

 

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