the Villejuif trafficker, the terrorist attack in Spain and the shadow of Iran

the Villejuif trafficker, the terrorist attack in Spain and the shadow of Iran
the Villejuif trafficker, the terrorist attack in Spain and the shadow of Iran

He never saw the face of the man who tried to murder him. He barely heard her voice. Alejo Vidal-Quadras was preparing to return home after his usual walk in Retiro Park, one of the most beautiful in Madrid, when a figure behind him said these words: “Hola señor. »

At 1:30 p.m., this Thursday, November 9, 2023, Nuñez de Balboa Street was packed with people. This 78-year-old senior Spanish politician, who was vice-president of the European Parliament before founding the far-right Vox party, was a few steps from the entrance to his building. “I turned around, and I did something that saved my life, he tells World. I nodded. » The shadow behind him pulled the trigger: the 9mm Parabellum bullet that should have split his skull went right through his jaw.

Passers-by immediately rushed to help the political leader who was staggering on the road. A man took off his jacket and pressed it to his wounds to stem the bleeding while waiting for help to arrive. Alejo Vidal-Quadras then spent sixteen days in hospital, where he underwent facial reconstruction. A few weeks later, when Spanish investigators came to question him at his home, he did not hesitate for a second: he accused the Iranian regime of being behind his assassination attempt.

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Alejo Vidal-Quadras only heard two words and the sound of an explosion before collapsing. But passers-by described his assailant. Dressed in a blue jacket and wearing a motorcycle helmet, the shooter fled aboard a black Yamaha scooter on which an accomplice was waiting before disappearing into the streets of Madrid.

Thanks to video surveillance images, the two-wheeler was found two hours later, completely burned, in an industrial zone on the outskirts of Fuenlabrada, about twenty kilometers south of Madrid. He lay on the road like a charred skeleton. But the flames were not enough to erase its chassis number, and investigators quickly made the link with an individual checked two days earlier on board the same scooter. He is a Tunisian national who grew up and lives in France, in Villejuif precisely, in Val-de-Marne. His name is Mehrez Ayari.

Suspect arrested in Netherlands

At the headquarters of the judicial police in Versailles, the revelation of the identity of the main suspect in the Madrid attack is an explosion. Mehrez Ayari is one of their “clients”. For more than a year they have been trying to locate him in order to arrest him in a case of a completely different kind: the Tunisian is suspected of the murder of a small-time cannabis dealer committed fifteen months earlier, in August 2022, in Val-d’Oise. The day before the assassination attempt on Vidal-Quadras, investigators from the criminal brigade had obtained that the Pontoise investigating judge in charge of their case issued an international arrest warrant against the fugitive.

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