A convicted Al Qaeda terrorist fundraiser with links to the Paris attacks is reportedly residing in the UK by using the Human Rights Act to prevent his deportation back to his native country of Algeria.
Baghdad Meziane, 49, who was jailed for 11 years in 2003 for running a terror support network, has successfully fought back UK Home Office attempts to deport him, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ newspaper reported.
Meziane was a close associate of Djamel Beghal, a convicted terrorist who mentored two of the Paris attackers while they were in jail together, the report said.
The pair lived close to each other in the city of Leicester and Meziane once supplied Beghal with a false passport allowing him to travel to an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.
Beghal, who converted Amedy Coulibaly, the killer of four hostages in a kosher supermarket in Paris as well as a policewoman, to radical Islamism while in jail.
He also heavily influenced Cherif Kouachi, one of the two brothers who attacked the staff at French satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’ in Paris last week.
The Home Office has attempted to remove Meziane, a father of two children born in the UK, for almost six years following his release from jail in 2009.
However, the attempt has been thwarted by Meziane’s claim that his deportation would breach his human right to a family life and that he might face torture if sent home.
There is now a growing row over whether Britain’s security and intelligence agencies have sufficient powers to
tackle the terrorist threat.
A Home Office spokesperson confirmed Meziane remained in the UK but would not comment on individual cases.