An original translation by Ava Lon with much thanks!
The Point.fr had access to documents that establish concrete links between Larossi Abballa and jihadists well known to the authorities.
They are three to have been placed in custody in connection with the investigation of Larossi Abballa, the murderer of a couple of policemen in Magnanville. Although one man emerged free, Rajraji Saad Sharaf Din Aberouz, 27 and 29, were brought before the public prosecutor for a possible indictment. Both were familiar with Larossi Abballa. They were convicted and imprisoned at the same time, clearly evolving in jihadist circles. Abballa’s relational map is gradually emerging . It indicates that the author of the two murders maintained direct links with members of the group responsible for the Buttes-Chaumont, Forsane Alizza or the Casablanca attacks.The theory of “lone wolf” seems less and less likely.
Sharaf Din Aberouz is a relative of Larossi Abballa. The two men were part of a group of seven French suspected of having links with Taliban and Al-Qaeda.Two of them were arrested in Lahore by Pakistani intelligence in 2011, just before reaching Waziristan, where they planned to train for jihad. Back then Sharaf Din Aberouz was 25 years old.He was sentenced to five years in prison in France for criminal association for the preparation of a terrorist act. He was released on 12 November 2015 on a conditional remission.
“Violent in its relations with the disbelievers”
According to the information we have seen, he was far from being a perfect prisoner. The prison administration calls him “radicalized”, behaving “like a recruiter”, and notes: “he approaches newcomers detainees, promotes Islam and begins teaching individuals that he takes under his tutelage.”
On 21 February 2012, Sharaf Din Aberouz organized a gathering of forty prisoners during the walk and gave a speech for 10 minutes ” while the prisoners present -that seemed conquered and admiring- listened in complete silence” noted the worried agents. On January 27, 2013, he delivered a call to prayer in the middle of the night. On June 6, the guards reported behavior “violent in his relations with the disbelievers,” December 31, 2014, he welcomed the announcement of the execution of Hervé Gourdel in Algeria.
To prevent him from radicalizing all his fellow prisoners, he was transferred from one establishment to another five times over a period of three and a half years.
Those trips in French prisons were also an opportunity to make friends with bigwigs of Islamist terrorism. He met Maximilian Thibaut, member of the group Forsane Alizza – called nickel feet of jihad – and Teddy Valcy, well known relation of brothers Kouachi Amedy Coulibaly, perpetrators of the attacks of January. Even more troubling, the prison administration noted that Larossi Abballa was friends with Rachid Ait El Hadj, a terrorist, also a native of Mureaux, convicted in 2007 for the Casablanca attacks. The latter was stripped of his French nationality in October 2015. He was not the only member of the Casablanca bombings group that knew Abballa: as explained by our RTL colleagues, Fouad Charouali (also stripped of his nationality), mastermind behind the Casablanca bombings, was a neighbor of the Abballa family. They lived in the same building.
A self-proclaimed imam
Another relationship brought before the prosecutor, Saad Rajraji. He too was part of the Pakistani jihadist connection busted in 2011. Sentenced to 5 years in prison, he was free since November 2014. He was also associating with people that aroused the suspicions of the secret service.In the phone seized by the prison administration, there could be found under different names, four telephone numbers corresponding to Bouchnak Thamer, a self-proclaimed imam, considered responsible for the radicalization of many inmates.The latter organized the reading of religious texts during walks and enjoyed the attention of many stooges “because of his mastery of religious texts,” noted the administration.
Thamer Bouchnak was a member of the group of the Buttes-Chaumont and trained … Cherif Kouachi. Bouchnak knows very well Djamel Beghal, a former GIA and al-Qaida.According to a source close to the case, Thamer Bouchnak was previously considered by the intelligence services as “most likely to take action.” The investigation is ongoing and will determine whether Larossi Abballa acted on orders received and if he had any accomplices.