Ghayour Amine

Ghayour Amine was born in Casablanca, Morocco, on the 3rd of March 1980. He was another member of the terrorist cell led by M’Sahel Mohamed, based in Milan. Of that cell were also part: Koutari Bouchaib, Tarkhani Houcine, and Laredj Ameur. He was arrested in Milan on the 16th of March 2006 on the charges of being part of a terrorist organisation as well as for drug dealing. Interestingly he was the only member of the cell whose name emerged exclusively in the investigation that led to the cell dismantling. All the others had emerged in previous and occasionally international investigations.

Ghayour met M’Sahel in the early 2000s in the mosque in Via Padova in Milan together with Koutari Bouchaib. Ghayour and Koutari on the other hand were long-time acquaintances. While Ghayour never directly contributed to the plans for the terrorist attacks that were being laid out by M’Sahel, he was M’Sahel’s flatmate and one of his closest confidants. In fact, when M’Sahel went to Algeria to meet the leaders of the Salafi Group for Preaching and Combat (SGPC), the only member of the cell who knew of the meeting (aside from Laredj Ameur) was Ghayour, who was kept updated through cryptic phone calls.
On the other hand, Ghayour provided considerable logistical and financial support to M’Sahel’s activities. In January of 2006 when M’Sahel went to Morocco to help some jihadist volunteers to make the trip to Iraq, Ghayour offered him his family’s house as a place to stay. Ghayour kept in contact with M’Sahel, and it is evident he was well aware of the illegality of his activities. Aside from this, Ghayour was also later tasked by M’Sahel to send money to Touri Abdelhak, one of the jihadist volunteers, so that he could continue his trip.

The financial support that Ghayour could offer the cell, also in the form of money for basic necessities such as food and rent, came from his main activity, which was drug dealing. This aspect sets him apart from M’Sahel, because while Ghayour too was found to be a fervent Salafi radical, he did not have any problems conducting an activity that was shunned by his friend. The drug dealing was done together with Koutari Bouchaib and other associates, and the two were long-time partners as they had already been arrested in 2003 by the police in Milan.
On January 10, 2006, the Carabinieri arrested a Moroccan citizen called Chafri Lassn, alias Said, for dealing cocaine and hashish. As it emerged, Chafri was an associate of Ghayour – he also occasionally lived in the same house as Koutari and M’Sahel – and was the one who had built and managed the dense network of clients that the group benefitted from. After the arrest Ghayour took on Chafri’s responsibilities to ensure the continuation of the illegal activity. To preserve the pool of clients created by Chafri, Ghayour re-activated his accomplice’s phone number which had been deactivated after his arrest. After that he started to personally manage dozens of deals daily.

After the arrest of M’Sahel in Morocco, Ghayour grew increasingly restless. Believing, correctly, that his phone might have been wiretapped, he, together with Koutari and Chibani (the last housemate of M’Sahel’s apartment, also involved in the illegal activities of the group), started verbally distancing themselves from M’Sahel’s activities. They were also overheard rummaging through their apartment, likely trying to dispose of proof that might have linked them to jihadist activities, and to M’Sahel’s operations. They also scrambled to inform many of M’Sahel’s contacts not to call him on his phone, as it had probably been put under control by the Moroccan police.
When Ghayour was arrested on the 16th of March 2006, the police found on him 575€ and an additional 117.000€ of drug money were found hidden in his apartment. In his possession were also found numerous notes and phone numbers related to members of the terrorist network that had contacts and relations with M’Sahel’s cell. Furthermore, analysis of his e-mail address, filled with jihadist content and links, confirmed his stance as a hardline Salafi fully on board with his associates’ plans.
Ghayour, then illegally residing in Italy, was later expelled from the country towards Morocco.