The former French Guantanamo detainee arrested Monday as he arrived in Toronto in Canada for a series of lectures against radicalization will be released soon, so take a plane and return to Europe, his lawyer confirmed.
“He goes home,” confirmed Mr. Nazami Hadayt when reached by telephone. The lawyer believes that the hype about his client in Canada and Europe put a lot of pressure on the Border Services Agency (CBSA).
“I think they would have kept otherwise. But the fact that it became a big deal in the media has had an impact, “he said.
Mourad Benchellali should take a plane this evening or tomorrow, probably aimed at Reykjavik, Iceland, to then continue to France, his country of residence. He had followed the same path to come to Canada in order to avoid flying over US airspace, where it has already indicated that it is forbidden to fly.
Former prisoner at Guantanamo
Shortly before September 11, 2001, Mourad Benchellali had been convinced by his brother, a hardened jihadist, joining Afghanistan. He had been arrested by the US military, who had sent him to spend 30 months in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay before transferring it to France, where he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
After his release, he recounted his misadventures in a book and began to lecture where he preached against violence and radicalization.
It is in this context that he had been invited to Canada, where he was particularly involved in activities in Toronto and Montreal.
However, it was intercepted on arrival on Canadian soil and detained because the CBSA believes it could still be a threat to national security.
A previous attempt by Mr. Benchellali to come to Canada was aborted because it was unable to board a transatlantic flight that was briefly cross US airspace.