The wife of Djamel Beghal says her husband ‘is the victim’ and is being held hostage by the French authorities, despite his string of convictions relating to terrorism, the Daily Mail reports.
Beghal, who was once one of al-Qaeda’s top recruiters in the UK, has come to the forefront of investigations into Islamic extremism and terror plots after it emerged he was connected to three of the people involved in the horrific events in Paris last week.
He is said to have radicalised Chérif Kouachi, one of the brothers who killed 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo attack, as well as Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people after entering a Kosher grocery store in Paris.
As well as providing the lynch pin between the terror cell where police and security services believe the atrocities were planned, he also arranged crossbow training for Coulibaly’s wife Hayet Boumeddiene, now the world’s most wanted woman.
Born in Algeria, Beghal moved to France aged 22 where he met and married Sylvie. He became a French citizen which meant the couple could relocate to ‘Islamic friendly’ UK in 1998. Although the couple lived in Leicester he regularly travelled to the notorious Finsbury Park mosque in North London and was allegedly radicalised by Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.
Following the attacks last week his wife, who still lives in Leicester at the expense of the British tax payer claiming she cannot work because of ‘media pressure’, complained that prison guards had turned his cell upside down.
“Djamel is under huge amounts of pressure,” she complained as the country was still in mourning. “They turned his cell upside down, wasted all of his supplies, mixing up all his sugar, pasta and coffee on the floor. They opened up the TV in a hateful and vengeful manner.”
She even claimed that her husband was “a victim of French injustice. And yes, he’s a French hostage.”
British based Sylvie still lives in Leicester with her children in a four bedroom house provided by the local authorities. Based on an average calculation of allowances it is estimated she is given about £20,900 while her two sons at university would be entitled to almost £35,000 in loans and grants.
Mrs Beghal previously said that she chose to live in Britain because “I wanted to educate my children surrounded by Muslim brothers and sisters.”
The husband she claims is a victim was sentenced to ten years behind bars in 2005 after confessing to a bomb plot. He moved his family to Afghanistan in November 2000, apparently keen to be trained by Al Qaeda but returned just a few weeks before the 9/11 attacks where he was arrested at Abu Dhabi airport, suspected of returning to Europe to lead the war against the West.
In addition to radicalising those involved in the murders last week, Beghal has also been linked to the Al Qaeda shoe bomber Richard Reid and the suspected 9/11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui.