Hamyd Mourad, who was cleared of being the getaway driver in the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, has been arrested for allegedly trying to join Islamic State in Syria.
The alleged third accomplice and getaway driver for the attacks on the office of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which saw 12 people fatally shot and 10 wounded, has reportedly been arrested for trying to join Islamic State, reports the Daily Mail.
Hamyd Mourad was reported missing by his family on the 25th of July. He was intercepted on the Turkish border on the 28th of July trying to enter Syria to join the terrorist organisation. He was then deported to Bulgaria and is being held in a detention centre where he awaits extradition.
French intelligence sources told the Journal du Dimanche that material found in Mourad’s backpack, including a laptop and mobile phone, pointed to him being a “candidate for jihad”.
The newspaper reported that anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris had “opened a judicial investigation in order to issue a European arrest warrant for him”.
The alleged would-be jihadist, who was 18 at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, surrendered to police after his name was released by French authorities as a possible accomplice. He was detained and questioned for two days at a police station in his home town of Charlesville-Mezieres. A social media campaign was launched declaring his innocence, his friends providing an alibi for him leading to his subsequent release without charge.
After being released, Hamyd said: ‘I was stunned, completely overwhelmed by the events.
‘I’m in shock, people said horrible and false things about me on social media even though I am a normal student who lives quietly with his parents.’
Mourad was the brother-in-law of Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, jihadists who gunned down journalists and cartoonists who they accused of insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed – both were shot dead by police. After his interrogation and release, Mourad was subsequently put on a terror watch list.
Jihadists Abdel Malik Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, who brutally murdered Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel as he was celebrating mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, were both on the French terror watch list. A video released by Islamic State showed Petitjean and Kermiche pledging allegiance to the terrorist organisation.