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Alleged jihadist fugitive arrested in Martinique

Several media companies in the neighbouring island reported that Rachid Rafaa, 40, was found in the bungalow where he had been held under house arrest.

“He came back occasionally to retrieve fruit and food in the evening where he was staying and off again in the mountain woods,” said a witness to the local television station, adding that the man is currently in custody custody.

Rafaa was under house arrest in the town since May 15, 2014, an administrative decision taken in the context of a ministerial deportation order.

The Moroccan is said to be linked to a senior member of the Islamist militant organization, which aims to overthrow the government in Algeria.

It is reported that Rafaa used his computer skills to disseminate information on the internet on behalf of al-Queda in Islamic Maghgreb.

However, he has denied having any connection to the jihadist movement and had said he thinks he is being targeted because of his support for the cause of Western Sahara.

Rafaa claims he was subject to torture for 20 days in his home country, which led him to flee to France.

He was arrested in France in 2009 and transferred to Martinique after the European Court of Human Rights decided not to extradite him to Morocco for fear he may be tortured.

 

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