Eiffel Tower Bomb Plot Terrorist Can Be Deported

(Bloomberg) -- An Algerian convicted in 2015 for his involvement in an unsuccessful terrorist plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum in Paris can be deported to his home country without a credible risk of torture or other inhuman treatment, Europe’s top human rights tribunal has ruled.

Ali Meguimi was sentenced in 2015 to a six-year prison term for his role in the bomb plot as well as an order of permanent exclusion from France. In February of 2018, Meguimi was told he’d be sent to Algeria, where he was wanted by authorities since 2012, prompting him to immediately file an application to block his deportation.

“Taking account of the general situation in Algeria, neither the applicant’s past links with a jihadi cell in Annaba nor the fact that the authorities were aware of his conviction sufficed to persuade the court that he ran a real risk of being exposed” to inhuman treatment or torture, ruled the seven judge panel at the Strasbourg, France-based court.

Algeria’s bloody civil war in the 1990s was followed by a crackdown on terrorism under Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who stepped down this month after 20 years in power. But the disbanding of Algeria’s Intelligence and Security Department in 2016, blamed by the U.N. for the inhuman treatment of many Algerians, plus the addition of human rights guarantees to the country’s constitution that same year were developments the ECHR cited to approve Meguimi’s deportation.

France was rocked by deadly terrorist attacks at the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and then at the Bataclan concert hall in the French capital in November of that same year, both of which involved attackers of Algerian descent.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.