Terrorist jailed for life for Jewish Museum murders extradited to France over ISIS kidnappings

Mehdi Nemmouche killed four people in Brussels and now faces questioning over the kidnapping of four journalists in Syria

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 12, 2019, the accused Mehdi Nemmouche looks on during the verdict at his trial for a 2014 terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels at The Brussels Justice Palace in Brussels.  According to local reports on May 17, 2019, Mehdi Nemmouche, who was handed in March 2019, a life sentence for the terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014, was transferred May 15, to France and placed in provisional detention at Meaux-Chauconin prison, east of Paris in the case of French journalists and hostages in Syria who claim that Mehdi Nemmouche was allegedly one of their guards when they were detained in Syria.
 / AFP / POOL / YVES HERMAN
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A French extremist who shot dead four people at a Jewish museum has been transferred from Brussels to France to face questioning over the kidnapping of four journalists in Syria.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 34, was jailed for life in March for the incident which was the first attack on European soil by a returning foreign fighter from Syria.

Now, authorities in Brussels have handed him over to French officials in relation to his suspected role in the 2013 kidnappings.

Nemmouche is accused of acting as the jailer of four French journalists taken hostage by ISIS terrorists in the northern city of Aleppo.

He had been serving a life sentence after he killed four people in less than 90 seconds with a handgun and a Kalashnikov rifle in Brussels in May 2014.

Two of the hostages gave evidence during his trial that they had “no doubt” he was one of their captors.

He is now being held at the Meaux-Chauconin prison east of Paris.

A judge had previously summoned him to Paris to face questioning over the kidnappings but he had refused to cooperate.

The journalists were held captive for 13 months until their release in April 2014 where they were found bound and blindfolded close to the Syrian border with Turkey.

The transfer Nemmouche took place under the European arrest warrant issued against him on 30 June 2016 by the French courts.

During his murder trial, prosecutor Yves Moreau had described Nemmouche as a “coward” who shot people from behind and killed because it gave him pleasure.

His victims included Israeli tourists, Miriam and Emmanuel Riva, who had two daughters, aged 15 and 16, a French volunteer and a young Belgian employee.

Prosecutors say the attack was the first carried out in Europe by a person returning after fighting in Syria but has since been followed by others in France, the UK and Belgium as governments scramble to confront the threat.

Up to 4,300 foreign fighters from the EU – mostly from Belgium, France, Germany and the UK – are suspected to have travelled abroad, according to an EU 2016 report. Some 30 per cent had returned, the research found.