Ali Mamlouk: Security chief in Syria, wanted man in France

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Ali Mamlouk, 72, is the director of the Syrian National Security Bureau of Bashar al-Assad's Ba’ath ruling party, and the man who oversees the entire Syrian security apparatus. He has been in office since 2012.

On Monday, France issued an international arrest warrant for Mamlouk following his connection with the deaths of Franco-Syrian nationals.

Warrants were issued by an examining magistrate, in accordance with the prosecution’s submissions, on the counts of “complicity in acts of torture, complicity in enforced disappearances, complicity in crimes against humanity, and war crimes.”

Before his current position, Mamlouk was the Syrian head of the General Security Directorate in 2005, where he was appointed by Assad. Before that he was deputy head of the nationally-feared Air Force Intelligence.

Mamlouk, of Circassian origin, is a special security adviser to Syrian de facto president, Bashar al-Assad, and one of his most trusted men.

A month after the beginning of the Syrian uprising against the regime, the US government imposed sanctions on Mamlouk, saying he’s responsible for human rights abuses – including violence against civilians.

His agency was known for repressing internal dissent, monitoring private citizens and had been involved in the Syrian regime’s killing spree of protesters in the early stages of the Syrian revolution when peaceful demonstrations were taking place.

The month after, the EU also imposed sanctions on Mamlouk, saying he had been involved in efforts to crush anti-government protesters.

Mamlouk was also previously accused of attempting to organize bombings in Lebanon in 2015 following the arrest of former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha with eplosives in his car brought in from Syria. Samaha had admitted that this was done in coordination with Mamlouk.

Mamlouk, along with two other suspects could face trial in France, whether they are arrested or not.

However, efforts to prosecute members of the Assad government have repeatedly failed because Syria is not a signatory of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. Russia and China have also vetoed attempts to give the ICC a mandate to set up a special tribunal for Syria.

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