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Asia-Pacific

France charges alleged Al-Qaida member deported from Pakistan

media The compound where Al-Qaida leader Osama Ben Laden lived in Abbottabad, Pakistan AFP

An alleged longstanding member of Al-Qaeda, who was thrown out of Pakistan on Tuesday, has been charged with plotting terrorism and kept behind bars in France. Naamen Meziche, 33, left France for Afghanistan in 1990 and is believed to have been active in the Islamist network ever since.

Meziche was charged Friday with participation in a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and

Dossier: Pakistan General Election 2013

kept in detention, where he has been since intelligence officials greeted him off a plane from Islamabad to take him for questioning in connection with a case opened in March 2013.

Pakistan deported Meziche on Tuesday after holding him for 16 months following his arrest along with three other French citizens in May 2012 in a remote part of south-east Pakistan.

French anti-terror operatives have had Meziche in their sights for 10 years but he has no known criminal record in Europe, despite being suspected of membership of Al-Qaida's "Hamburg cell", to which several of the 9/11 attackers belonged.

French investigators are reported to want to question him about leads given to them by Germany's secret services.

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