During the week of 30 October to 6 November, the French secret services struck a major blow by arresting several agents acting on behalf of the Algerian secret services. The network's mission was to prepare attacks and attacks against Algerian political opponents and journalists.
Among those arrested was a youtuber known for his outrageous and immoral behaviour and his repeated defamation of countless people whom he generally did not know. He is Saïd Bensdira, known by the pseudonym "London Rat". With him is his campaigner, Amira Houa, and Mohamed Aït-Aftis, known as Djahid to some and Carlos to others. The latter is an old acquaintance of the French secret services, having been involved in the attempted kidnapping and assassination of an Algerian journalist based in France. It was an operation that failed miserably, given the clumsiness and amateurism of the man who led him into the clutches of the French police.
Multiplying defamations on his YouTube channel and enjoying the impunity that anonymity guaranteed him, as his victims could not file complaints against him, "the London rat" ended up falling on hard bones. It was Karim Amellal, the French ambassador of Algerian origin and inter-ministerial delegate for the Mediterranean. He had been the target of a series of insults and defamatory comments by this youtuber, who thought he was still safe from prosecution given the support of the Algerian secret services, for whom he has become a media liaison and on whom they rely heavily, not to mention the fact that no one knows his affiliation or address. These two elements are absolutely necessary for any case to be brought to court. Added to this is the exorbitant cost of lawyers' fees in Britain, the country of residence of the "London rat".
Karim Amellal, thanks to his position in the French administration, was able to obtain from the British authorities the address of this Hurluberlu, as well as his affiliation. The legal machinery was then set in motion in both the UK and France against this specialist in public defamation and blackmail.
Fleeing the UK, where he was now being pursued, the "London rat" divided his time between Spain and France. In France, feeling empowered by the instructions he received from DGDSE agents, he let loose completely, confusing criminal misdeeds with actions to be taken against the Algerian opposition in France. He soon came to the attention of the French Directorate General of Internal Security, which has already set its sights on his accomplice Mohamed Aït Aftis, an Algerian travelling on a British passport. Aftis, believing himself to be protected by the Algerian services after believing his murder case against an Algerian journalist to be closed, has made a series of blunders that have attracted the attention of the French security services. The London troublemaker and his accomplice eventually fell into the DGSI's net, taking with them Amira Houa, who presented herself as the personal representative of General Djebbar Mehenna. Only Lotfi Nezzar, son of retired General Khaled Nezzar, who was in Algiers, escaped arrest. But he will soon be arrested with the re-launching of the judicial investigation into the attempted murder of an Algerian journalist, in which he is widely implicated. As is a certain Kaci Ghilas, an accomplice of Mohamed Aït-Aftis in the operation against an Algerian journalist.
Other elements are likely to be questioned in the coming days, in particular an Algerian psychiatrist who supplies psychotropic drugs to the network and a businessman who finances the group.
The network is directed from Algiers by General Hamid Oubelaïd, alias Hocine Boulahia, head of the department in charge of operations against the Algerian political opposition abroad. His relationship with Mohamed Aït-Aftis is demonstrated by the traceability of their exchanges of messages on the signal application, as recorded in the minutes of the latter's hearing.
After just over 48 hours in police custody, from 30 October to 2 November, the detainees were released under judicial supervision. A measure that "the London rat" did not respect when he left French territory just after his release. But in another case, whose investigation has just been concluded by the Nanterre judicial police, an international arrest warrant will take him out of his hole and send him to another from which he will not emerge for many years, given the seriousness of the charges against him. We mentioned them in a previous edition.
This crackdown by the French counter-espionage services is the third failure of the DGDSE chief's troops, now known as the "nickel feet" of espionage. Not only is General Djebbar a novice when it comes to foreign intelligence gathering, having spent most of his career in army security, but even his closest colleagues, brought in from army security, have the same profile as him. Hence the multiple failures in the various operations carried out, starting with the planned assassination of five political opponents in France, through the attempt to create a separatist movement in the Moroccan Rif, to the very recent one aimed at damaging the Algerian opposition by various means.