France Deports Moroccan-French Convicted of Terrorism Charges to Morocco

France Deports Moroccan-French Convicted of Terrorism Charges to Morocco

France has expelled Rachid Ait El Hadj, an individual convicted of terrorism in 2007 and stripped of French nationality.

El Hadj, who was under surveillance for his alleged persistent links with terrorist groups, was expelled on Saturday morning, French news outlet Le Figaro quoted a police source as saying.

The prefect of Yvelines issued an expulsion order against El Hadj on March 22. El Hadj was sentenced as well as four other suspects for their involvement in a criminal group with the aim of preparing a terrorist act.

They were sentenced for their links with members of a terrorist group in charge of the Casablanca terrorist attack of May 2003.

The terrorist attack targeted restaurants and a hotel, resulting in the death of 45 people, including three French citizens. Dozens of victims were injured.

The suspects sentenced received prison terms ranging between six to eight years in jail.

Le Figaro said all defendants have been released between 2009 and 2011 but caused concerns among security services.

“Rachid Ait El Hadj is thus suspected of having had links with Sid Ahmed Ghlam, the perpetrator of the failed attack against a church in Villejuif, as well as Larossi Abballa, the perpetrator of the Magnanville attack in which the police officers Jean Baptiste Salvaing and his partner, Jessica Schneider were murdered,” the news outlet said.

All of the defendants were stripped of their French nationality.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin expressed satisfaction with El Hadj’s deportation, extending thanks to law enforcement.

“Firmness. Thanks to the prefects, police, officers, gendarmes, and intelligence service agents. We work hard, but the efforts pay off to protect France,” he wrote on X, (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

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