Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

New high speed railway threatens Kenyan wildlife

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Senegalese court convicts 13 people in country's first mass terrorism trial

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron's bodyguard scandal grows

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump invites Putin to Washington, France celebrates the World Cup, Macron's first scandal, Nicaragua's crackdown

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A closer look at France's World Cup victory

Read more

ENCORE!

I want your sax: France's love affair with jazz

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Maracaibo, the story of Venezuela's collapse

Read more

FOCUS

Knife crime on the rise in London

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Nicaraguans 'betrayed' by Ortega, says Bianca Jagger

Read more

Asia-pacific

Pakistan expels three suspected French jihadists

© AFP

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2013-04-04

Pakistan has deported three French nationals who planned to fight NATO forces in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday. The case is likely to draw parallels with Mohammed Merah, who shot dead seven people in 2012 after returning from Pakistan.

Pakistan has deported three Frenchmen who have been held in secret since they entered the country illegally 10 months ago to fight NATO troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, officials said Thursday.

Investigators are expected to question the men in France, where the case is likely to draw parallels with Mohammed Merah, the 23-year-old who shot dead seven people in southwest France in March 2012 after returning from Pakistan.

Investigators said Pakistani police arrested the trio on May 28 last year after they entered the country illegally from Iran.

They were detained along with Naamen Meziche, another Frenchman of North African extraction previously known to Western security services as a presumed member of Al-Qaeda.

"They said they came to Pakistan to deepen their knowledge of Islam and to fight in Afghanistan," one investigator told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Meziche's arrest was announced last June but French and Pakistani officials had kept quiet about the other three.

At the time, Pakistani officials said Meziche was probably heading to Somalia.

But Western experts said he had been en route to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, an Al-Qaeda and Taliban stronghold.

Investigators believe Meziche could have been taking the other three to the tribal belt, a rear base for the Taliban's war in Afghanistan and a location of Al-Qaeda training camps.

Officials say the three men left France in January 2012, telling their families in Orleans south of Paris that they were going on pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. But five months later they were detained in Pakistan.

On Thursday a French diplomatic source confirmed that the last of the three suspects was now back on French soil, after being deported over the last 48 hours.

Their precise link to Meziche, who will also be deported, remains unclear.

It also remains unclear whether they will face trial. A new law banning French citizens from going abroad for militant training came into force last December, only after their arrest.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-04-04

  • FRANCE

    French serial shooter Mohamed Merah was 'out for revenge'

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    At least 50 French citizens ‘waging jihad in Syria’

    Read more

  • FRANCE-MALI

    French Salafist captured waging jihad in Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)