• France's news in English

Father: Deported 'jihadist' son a good man

AFP · 3 May 2014, 12:49

Published: 03 May 2014 12:49 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Describing Sala Bouhabila as a gentle man who enjoyed partying and clubbing, they said the 37-year-old -- whom the interior ministry said was detained in Turkey in March in a bus taking a group of people to Syria -- had travelled abroad to do humanitarian work.

"I don't believe this story, I don't believe that he went to do jihad, we would go out partying together to nightclubs, he's not at all radical," Maydime, one of his friends, said in the Alpine city of Albertville where Bouhabila lived.

His father told AFP he had gone abroad for humanitarian work -- a claim echoed by his friends.

"He doesn't go to the mosque every day, he's innocent, he's a good man, he speaks to everyone, this is a mistake," Ferhat Bouhabila said at the foot of the building where he lives.

Tewfik, another of Bouhabila's friends, said he was "a partygoer, he went out, he lived like everyone else, he's got nothing to do with all this."

But according to the interior ministry, the suspect is linked to "members of the radical Islamist movement who were involved in recruiting people to integrate jihadist networks going to Afghanistan and Syria."

He was handed over to France by Turkey on Wednesday evening, and was sent back to his home country of Algeria the following morning -- the first immediate eviction from France of a foreigner allegedly involved in jihadist networks.

According to official figures, some 285 French nationals are currently fighting in Syria.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President Fran├žois Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available