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Police arrest French terror suspect in Munich
Aftermath of Casablanca bombings, 2003. Photo: DPA

Police arrest French terror suspect in Munich

Published: 31 Oct 2012 08:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 31 Oct 2012 08:16 GMT+01:00

A Frenchman wanted over the 2003 suicide attacks in Casablanca that killed 33 people plus the bombers has been arrested at Munich airport, German police said Tuesday.

Authorities in Morocco had issued an international arrest warrant for the 37-year-old French national of Moroccan origin, who was arrested while in transit in Munich with his family on Monday, police said in a statement.

The suspect is being held in custody ahead of his eventual extradition, German police said, adding that he had arrived in Munich en route from France to Dubai.

A Moroccan security source and French police later named the suspect as Fouad Charouali.

A French police source also noted that he had already been sentenced by a French court in July 2007 to eight years in prison for his participation in a cell that provided support to Casablanca suicide bombers.

According to the charges laid against him then, Charouali had housed members of a Moroccan Islamist group which is suspected of having masterminded the Casablanca attacks.

It is unclear when he was released from prison.

Asked why he was not detained in Paris as he was leaving for Munich, the French police source noted that there were no police checks in place for flights from France to Germany due to their passport-free travel agreement under the Schengen border-free zone.

The May 2003 suicide bombings in the coastal city of Casablanca were the deadliest ever in Morocco. Forty-five people died including 12 suicide bombers, and dozens more were wounded.

The north African kingdom was hit by another bombing in April last year when 17 people were killed in an attack on a Marrakesh café, dealing a heavy blow to the tourist industry.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:44 October 31, 2012 by rutledm
"Asked why he was not detained in Paris as he was leaving for Munich, the French police source noted that there were no police checks in place for flights from France to Germany due to their passport-free travel agreement under the Schengen border-free zone."

Ahhh yes, the open borders of Europe....and cross border, or should it be non border, crime has gone up a thousand fold. An experiment that's failing dismally.
13:29 October 31, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ rutledm

Thank you for pointing out the laughable statement from the French police. The guy was not caught because of a border check, but because the police had the right information. So security can be achieved even without painful and costly border checks.

"crime has gone up a thousand fold" - maybe you are right, if you are referring to other continents. According to an European report from April 2011, "It is worth noting that 12 years after the adoption of the Schengen Implementing Agreement, there is no evidence to suggest a correlation between the lifting of internal border controls and levels of insecurity in the Schengen area. In fact, crime statistics gathered by Eurostat show a steady reduction in the incidence

of reported crimes in the EU over the past decade. See Eurostat statistics:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/crime/data/database"
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