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French jihadist arrested in northern Mali

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-14

French jihadist Gilles Le Guen, who appeared on a video in October warning France against attacking Mali, was arrested by French forces near the west African country's border with Algeria on Tuesday.

French jihadist Gilles Le Guen, suspected of taking part in the attack on the Algerian gas plant in January, was arrested by French forces a few days ago in northern Mali, a French military spokesman reported on Tuesday.

The attack on Algeria's In Amenas gas plant saw 38 hostages and 29 assailants killed over a four-day period.

French Col. Thierry Burkhard said Tuesday that Gilles Le Guen was arrested this week north of Timbuktu, the fabled city which had been his base for some two years.

Extradited to France?

Burkhard says the military was interrogating Le Guen, thought to be in his 40s, but would hand him over shortly to Malian forces. Le Guen could eventually be extradited to France.

In October last year, the Frenchmen from Brittany - who goes by the name of Abdel Jelil - was seen on a YouTube video where he appeared as a spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), threatening France, the US and the UN, should they intervene in Mali.

In the video he states that he is married with three children and that he converted to Islam in the 1980s while in France.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-04-30

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