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A Moroccan jailed in Portugal for recruiting terror fighters found dead in his cell

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Monsanto high-security jail in Portugal. / DR

A Moroccan inmate held at a high-security jail in Portugal was found dead, Thursday, in his cell, Portugal Resident reports.

The 65-year-old man, Abdesselam Tazi, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for recruiting for Islamic State (ISIS), financing terrorism and falsifying documents, appears to have died from natural causes, the same source suggests.

His body was taken for autopsy and internal inquiry has been launched within Monsanto, the prison where he was held.

Tazi was arrested in March, 2018, in Germany and was extradited to Portugal. In April, 2019, the Moroccan national appeared in court and was charged by the Portuguese public prosecutor of several counts : «joining a terrorist organization, another of forgery for the purpose of terrorism and four crimes of using fake documents for financing terrorism».

According to a statement released upon his arrest by the Portuguese public prosecutor, Tazi was the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by Portugal.

The same source revealed at the time that Tazi is a former Moroccan police officer who had lived in the region of Aveiro. In October 2013, he was granted asylum in Portugal.

Moreover, investigators suspected him of having recruited a young compatriot, Hicham El-Hanafi, 27 years old. The latter had been arrested in Marseille, where he was about to carry a terrorist attack.

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