PARIS, France — Belgian authorities have transferred Mehdi Nemmouche, the French jihadist who killed four people at a Jewish museum in 2014, to Paris for questioning over his suspected role in the kidnapping of four journalists in Syria in 2013, a legal source said Friday.
Nemmouche, 34, was sentenced to life in prison in March for the anti-Semitic rampage in Brussels, when he gunned down two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer and a young Belgian employee.
The museum attack came after his return from Syria’s battlefields, where Nemmouche is accused of acting as the jailer of four French journalists taken hostage by jihadists in the northern city of Aleppo in 2013.
During his Brussels trial two of the journalists testified they had no doubt Nemmouche was one of their captors.
He was brought to France on Wednesday and is being held at the Meaux-Chauconin prison east of Paris, the legal source said, confirming a report in French magazine L’Express.
Nemmouche and Nacer Bendrer, his accomplice in the museum attack, were already expected to serve their sentences in France.
Even before the Brussels trial a French judge had summoned Nemmouche to France for questioning about the kidnapping, but he had refused to speak.
The journalists were held by the Islamic State group in Aleppo for 13 months until their release in April 2014, when they were found blindfolded and with their hands bound in the no-man’s land on the border between Syria and Turkey.
Nicolas Henin, one of the kidnapped journalists, described Nemmouche in a magazine article later that year as “a self-centered fantasist for whom jihad was finally an excuse to satisfy his morbid thirst for notoriety. A young man lost and perverse.”
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.