Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zaoui case concluded

The long running Ahmed Zaoui saga has finally finished with the SIS withdrawing their security risk certificate against him. Since he already has refugee status courtesy of the RSAA, he remains in the country. The resulting cheering from is his supporters is unsurprising. I have been scathing here and in other forums about the RSAA's decision but believed Zaoui to be little more than a trusting soul of Damien O'Connor proportions who was used by others for their own malign purposes.

What is surprising is the information in the unclassified report by the SIS (judging from the URL, the link looks likely to change). Zaoui's interactions with the GIA are a lot stronger that his supporters had hitherto claimed. For example, he met with the (local?) GIA treasurer in Belgium regularly and when he was arrested at the Swiss Border, he was in the same car as the (local?) GIA armourer. Other links with people of nefarious intent are also described therein.

So Ahmed Zaoui remains here. I still firmly believe that the RSAA should not have given him refugee status, a decision that I consider validated by the unclassified SIS report. I am less concerned about his continued stay on the grounds that while he was an idiot for trusting the people that he did, that doesn't automatically make him a terrorist. One theme in the SIS report did interest me though - repeated mention is made of his increased candour with the SIS. I daresay had he had that attitude over a decade ago, he would still be a lawful refugee in Belgium.