Author: PETER ALLEN IN PARIS FOR MAILONLINE
A suspected Islamic State mass murderer has been charged with war crimes in France after slipping into the country as an asylum seeker and being granted a residency card.
The 33-year-old, identified only as Ahmed H, is currently in a high-security prison near Paris after being arrested in Lisieux, Normandy, in early March.
He is said to have taken part in the so-called Camp Speicher Massacre of up to 1,600 unarmed Iraqi airforce cadets, in northern Iraq, four years ago.
Some 1,600 Iraqi airforce cadets were lined up and shot by ISIS militants
Mainly young servicemen, many of them teenagers training for a new career, were herded into a building inside former dictator Saddam Hussein’s palace complex in Tikrit.
They were then lined up, as if on an assembly line, and butchered one-by-one with a bullet to the head, while Isis filmed the atrocity.
After taking part in the bloodbath, Ahmed H. took advantage of immigrant routes into the European Union, and was granted refugee status in 2016.
He was then given a 10-year residency card to settle in France, a source close to the case told AFP, the country’s national news agency.
Intelligence agents were on Ahmed’s H’s case, however, and within months he was identified as a high-ranking Isis operative.
After two days of questioning, he was indicted on March 9 for a range of charges including ‘terrorist-related murders’ and ‘war crimes’ and then placed on remand. All could see him locked up for life.
A prosecuting source in Paris said Ahmed H denied any wrongdoing, and was being represented by French lawyer Mohamed El Monsaf Hamdi, who refused to comment.
Ahmed H also faces criminal action in Iraq, where he was said to have been an Isis commander in the Samarra region, north of Baghdad.
Murder victims were mostly teenagers training for a new career to serve Iraq
France has been blighted by Isis operatives returning from the terrorist group’s so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Members of the Isis cells which carried out murderous attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016 had managed to return to Europe from the Iraq-Syria war zone by mingling with genuine refugees.
Two of the Isis suicide bombers involved in the November 13 2015 attack on the French capital – in which 130 died – were, for example, Iraqis who had come into France on bogus passports.
France registered more than 100,000 asylum applications in 2017, many of them from war-torn countries in the Middle East, according to official figures.