French-Algerian arms dealer
Ht: 5’7” Wt: 145# Average build, right handed, blood type O+ (per French Army records), fingerprints on file
DOB: 11 May 1940 Age 40
Citizenship: dual – France (native), Morocco (naturalized)
Languages: French, Arabic, Russian
Hair: Dark brown Eyes: Brown Distinguishing marks: Scar on left neck from assassination attempt, scars to left arm and torso from grenade fragments; no tattoos
Last known residence: Rabat, Morocco; business office in Casablanca, Morocco
Occupation: Shipping consultant
MESSAOUDI, Ahmed, born Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France; father, Hamid, a dockworker in the Port of Marseille, deceased 1971 (coronary disease); mother, Basma, cook, deceased 1957 (colon cancer)
MESSAOUDI attended public schools in Marseille; his academic records suggest a bright but unengaged student. Worked for two years on docks, then as motorcycle courier. Refused to report for national service in 1960 due to Algerian War; shortly thereafter recruited by the Armée de Libération Nationale (ALN) terrorist organization in France. Participated in bank robberies and other terrorist acts; arrested by French police and brutally interrogated, but escaped custody during transport.
In 1962, MESSAOUDI traveled to Algeria following independence. He made a favorable impression on Ahmed BEN BELLA, the leader of the FLN and the first president of Algeria; MESSAOUDI was assigned to the Algerian trade ministry. In 1965 MESSAOUDI was sent to Moscow for additional education; while he was in Moscow, BEN BELLA was deposed in a coup. Informed that he was not in favor with the new regime, MESSAOUDI remained in Moscow where he made acquaintance with the Yemeni revolutionary KAMAL.
MESSAOUDI and KAMAL worked together for more than a decade, providing direct assistance to Soviet-backed revolutionary movements throughout the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa. MESSAOUDI survived an assassination attempt in 1970, and was severely injured by a Rhodesian commando’s grenade blast in Tanzania in 1974. After KAMAL broke with Moscow at the outbreak of the Ogaden War in 1977, MESSAOUDI found himself under suspicion from the Soviet government as well. Using the contacts he developed over many years, MESSAOUDI continued to traffic in arms, assisting the MPLA-backed Katangese gendarmerie in the invasion of the Shaba province of Zaire that same year. The following year, MESSAOUDI established residence in Morocco, founding a shipping consulting firm to serve as a legitimate business cover for his arms deals.
MESSAOUDI is suspected of providing arms and arranged trainers for Chadian FAN rebels in 1978 and 1979, but under pressure from the Moroccan government (likely at the behest of the French), he discontinued this support; he also reportedly provided material aid to ZAPU in Rhodesia-Zimbabwe through Tanzania and Mozambique and an ANC splinter faction in Zambia. At present he is believed to be assisting factions in Uganda preceding elections there this winter which are likely to result in armed conflict. INTERPOL alleges a possible connection between MESSAOUDI and the IRA , but so far has not produced conclusive evidence of a link with the Irish terrorist organiation.
In the last year it appears that MESSAOUDI became indirectly involved with the European narcotics trade, providing arms and security training for a West African cartel based in Ivory Coast.
MESSAOUDI was exposed at an early age to the PCF (French Communist Party) but did not join the PCA (Algerian Communist Party); his radicalization appears to stem from nationalist tendencies, rather than ideological ones. He carries a long-standing hatred for the French government, but he proved willing to end his support for France’s enemies at the behest of the Moroccan government. MESSAOUDI occupies an unusual niche, trafficking in arms without ideological constraint or superpower allegiance; his loyalties appear to be available to the highest bidder.
MESSAOUDI maintains a private residence, a villa on the outskirts of Rabat. His legitimate front office is in Casablanca, but he often conducts business in Tangier. He is unmarried; his current mistress is the daughter of a Marrakesh textiles manfacturer.