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failed coup

The attack on the plane of the king of Morocco, 1972 (17 and last part)

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat.  The following year, air force officers committed a new coup.  This time King Hassan II’s plane, on its return from France, was attacked in the air by fighter jets.

Amazigh Information Centre has reconstructed this historic event using a series of 17 articles.  We have done this on the basis of testimonies from people who experienced this event, such as fighter pilot Salah Hachad, and on the basis of books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

King Hassan II made good use of the failed attack on him and used it against the soldiers he wanted to eliminate.  For example, in addition to imprisoning officers he did not trust, he retired a number of senior officers after the failed attack on Boeing 727.  The posts of Minister of Defence and Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces were abolished in 1972.

Hassan II also used the failed coup against his subjects who are more than half illiterate and do not understand the ‘state languages’ of Morocco (Arabic and French).  Thus, through radio and television, he let it be known that as a person he possesses extraordinary powers and that God is on his side and therefore survived this second armed attack.  Because he is said to be a saint and a descendant of the prophet Mohamed.  He also sent his shelled Boeing 727 to Mecca for pilgrimage and after his return he personally received the Hadj Boeing.

Hassan II distinguishes his Boeing 727

The human factor played a role in the king’s escape from death.  The captain of King Hassan’s Boeing 727, his private pilot Major Mohamed Kabbaj was a fighter pilot and colleague of the attacking fighter pilots, so he received the same training, had technical knowledge of the F-5 fighters and he knew the qualities of the pilots and all this together enabled him to make a good analysis of the situation and to take the right action when the F-5 fired the first shots at the Boeing 727.

Mohamed Kabbaj

Kabbaj reportedly resigned from the Moroccan Air Force to work as a civilian pilot for the Moroccan national airline Royal Air Maroc RAM before Hassan II appointed him as his private pilot.  In the Moroccan Air Force he was listed as a good fighter pilot.

Other factors that contributed to a safe landing of the Royal Boeing: the altitude of the 727 and the distance to the airfield, if the airfield was further away there is a good chance that the Boeing 727 would not have made it to the runway.  When the Boeing was attacked by F-5’s it was 15 minutes away from the runway of Rabat-Sale airport.  General Oufkir had not given Colonel Amekrane space to deploy more armed fighters or to involve more people in the putsch.  At the very last moment the technicians were ordered to arm the three F-5 fighters.  The pilots did not have a briefing on the day of the coup about an air raid.

Coups don’t always succeed, even if they are carried out by powerful people in large organisations such as the KGB intelligence service.  In 1991, an attempted coup in the former Soviet Union, despite participation in this coup of among others the head of the KGB, Vladimir Kruchkov, and marshal Dmitry Timofeyevich Yazo failed.

But the coup d’état may benefit those in power, such as the attempted coup in Turkey in 2016.  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses this coup as an excuse to deal with his opponents.  And he has opened a manhunt for the Gülenists.  Many possible supporters of the Gülen movement have been fired or arrested.

The coups in neighbouring Morocco, Algeria, did not bring any positive change to the country after colonel Houari Boumédienne carried out a coup in 1965.  The same applies to Colonel Moammar al-Qadhafi of Libya, Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, General Hafiz al-Assad of Syria and Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Literature

– American pilots underwind problems with the F-5 guns in the Vietnam War. Tijdschrift Militairespectator (Dutch)

https://www.militairespectator.nl/sites/default/files/bestanden/uitgaven/1918/1968/1968-0421-01-0138.PDF

– Oufkir, un destin marocain, 1999, Stephen Smith (French)

– Notre ami le roi (1990, Gallimard; 1992, Folio) – A friendly head of state, Hassan II of Morocco, absolute monarch (French/Dutch)

– Kabazal – Les Emmurés de Tazmamart: Mémoires de Salah et Aïda Hachad, 2004, Abdelhak Serhane (French)

– Aboubakr Jamai, le Journal, 2001 Les dessous des cartes du putsch de 1972 (French)

– European Convention on Human Rights Year: 1973, Council of Europe/Conseil de L’Europe (English)

– Historical Dictionary of Morocco, Thomas Kerlin Park, 1996 (English)

– Article about the 1972 coup, The New York Times, 1972 (English)

https://www.nytimes.com/1972/08/18/archives/key-morocco-aide-apparent-suicide-defense-chief-found-dead-after-2d.html

– Century Witness, Salah Hachad, Al Jazeera Arabic 2009 (Arabic)

– La Prisonniere, Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi, 1999 (French, English, Dutch)

– Les jardins du roi: Oufkir, Hassan II et nous, Fatima Oufkir, 2000 (French/Dutch)

– European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Amekrane case (French)

– https://juricaf.org/arret/CONSEILDELEUROPE-COUREUROPEENNEDESDROITSDELHOMME-19731011-596172

– https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonbotx/7412786568/in/photostream/

– Livre blanc sur les droits de l’homme au maroc, 1991(French)

– Officers of Sa Majesté: Les dérives des généraux marocains 1956-2006, 2006, (French)

– Eighteen years of solitude: the imprisonment of the Bourequat brothers in Tazmamart.  1994, Ali-Auguste Bourequat (Dutch)

– Nancy Gatewood Touil, wife of a Mbarek Touil (English)

http://www.decaturalumni.com/nancy_gatewood_touil.htm?fbclid=IwAR1suBFGdlzJrZI9KsEYP7pXJXU5krv9BnP9vuvsXSC1GgZfHhw6a2uBDkE

The attack on the plane of the king of Morocco 1972 (part 16)

Mohamed Amekrane together with his wife Malika Amekrane

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year, air force officers committed a new coup, this time King Hassan II’s plane, on its return from France, was attacked in the air by fighter jets.

In the coming period, the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historic event with short articles. We will do this on the basis of testimonies from persons who experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

The family of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Amekrane
The widow of lt Colonel Mohamed Amekrane, Malika Amekrane (1939), left Morocco on 17 August 1972. Together with her two minor children, she went to live at a secret address in Germany for security reasons.
She filed a lawsuit against the English authorities. Her husband had applied for asylum in the English colony of Gibraltar, but within a day he was extradited to Morocco where he was sentenced to death. He was executed in January 1973. Mrs Amekrane was assisted by Mr Klaus Seelig, who is also a relative of hers.

Gibraltar

Before the Colonel was executed, his wife wrote a letter to the English government immediately after his extradition to Morocco. The British ambassador in Bonn Nicholas Hendersen answered her with a telegram on 20 December 1972 in which he wrote that the English government had extradited lt Colonel Mohamed Amekrane to Morocco on condition that he would not be tortured or executed. The British ambassador also writes that his government has asked for guarantees from the Moroccan government.
At the time of these events lieutenant-colonel Amekrane had been seriously ill for a year. He suffered from a complicated kidney infection which, after treatment with cortisone, had affected his muscles and his joints in such a way that he could hardly move when he was extradited to Morocco. Even an officer on duty without medical training should have noticed that Amekrane could not walk normally.

After the sentence of death against Amekrane, his wife asked the English queen for mediation, the request remained unanswered, receipt was not even confirmed. Amekrane’s widow then brought an action against the United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights. Subsequently, the British government decided to pay damages “without admitting that Great Britain has violated the convention”. In exchange for an amount of £37,500, Mrs Amekrane waived further legal action.

Left: Rachid Amekrane

Her son Rachid Amekrane (1964) wanted to become a pilot, just like his father, he says to the German local newspaper Der Bremer Tageszeitung. But nothing came of it. His next dream job was a veterinarian. When that didn’t work, he turned to technology and graduated as an aerospace engineer. Since 1997 he has been freight manager at Astrium, a subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
Rachid Amekrane received the Förderkreis medal for his voluntary work with students of the so-called Summer Schools of European Universities at the 40th Annual Meeting of the International Space Association Hermann Oberth / Wernher von Braun in Dresden.

Right: Rachid Amekran

This article will be continued.

Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-16-cf72f65915ba

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 15)

Omar el Khattabi, documentary by NPS, Abdel Krim: legend or freedom fighter? 1999

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

Mohamed ben Abdelkrim Khattabi in La Réunion

Torture of Omar el Khattabi
Omar el Khattabi was born in 1926 on board the boat that took the whole family of Abdelkrim el Khattabi to the exile on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, almost nine thousand kilometres away from the Rif. Omar is a son of Abdeslam el Khattabi, uncle of the resistance hero Mohamed ben Abdelkrim Khattabi who founded the first Rif Republic in the 1920s. He was exiled after Spain, France and Morocco won the war against the Rif Republic. A battle in which the Rif was bombed on a large scale with poison gas.

Omar el Khattabi attended secondary school in La Réunion together with the lawyer, activist and anti-colonialist Jacques Vergès and Raymond Barre, who will become Prime Minister of France and with whom he has remained friends. Omar el Khattabi completed his medical studies in Switzerland and returned to Morocco in the early 1960s to settle there for good. He stayed in the city of Kenitra where he worked as a doctor, first in a state hospital, later he opened a private clinic where he met the Riffian officers Mohamed Amekrane and Louafi Kouera, with whom he became friends.

The Moroccan media claim that Omar el Khattabi would be appointed president, if the 1972 coup succeeded. An agreement would have been made with the Moroccan socialist party USFP to clear the way for a republic in Morocco after the coup of general Oufkir. However, there is no evidence to support this assertion, nor is there any credible testimony.

After the execution of his friends Amekrane and Kouera in January 1973, Omar el Khattabi financially supported Amekran’s widow and her children, who fled to the Federal Republic of Germany, through his friend ‘engineer Temsamani’ who acted as an intermediary. Lieutenant-Colonel Amekrane’s family received a monthly amount of money from the Riffians.

In May 1973 Omar el Khattabi was arrested together with his friend the ‘engineer Temsamani’ by the Moroccan police in Tiṭṭawin (Tetouan) on charges of attempting to blow up a number of locations. At the police station Derb Moulay Chrif in Casablanca, known as the secret detention centre, Omar Khattabi was physically and mentally tortured, he was hanged for more than three weeks, until he fell on his back. He broke his spine and hip. In 1974 he was released and placed under house arrest for a year, losing a lot of weight and being unable to walk for a while. He never recovered and will continue to suffer for the rest of his life.

In 1996, he founded the Abdelkrim el Khattabi Foundation for Studies, Research and Documentation: this organisation was never recognised by the Moroccan authorities. Omar el Khattabi died of an illness in 2006.

This article will be continued.
Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-15-7186bdf9a77d
Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 14)

Last picture of Hassan II (left) in public together with the president of France Jacques Chirac. Paris 14 July 1999

In July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We do this on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

International pressure on sick king
The changes in world politics and the state of health of Hassan II played a role in the closure of Tazmamart.
The year 1989 saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union, with the prospect of the end of the Cold War, which means that the Moroccan regime is no longer able to respond to the conflicting interests of the superpowers: the US and the Soviet Union. 

The book Notre Ami Le Roi (Our Friend the King) by Gilles Perrault

In 1990 the book Notre Ami Le Roi (Our Friend the King) was published by the author Gilles Perrault, who denounces the large-scale human rights violations in Morocco and devotes an entire chapter to Tazmamart entitled: The living dead of Tazmamart.

International human rights organisations bring Tazmamart to the fore, Danielle Mitterrand, the wife of former French President François Mitterrand, chairman of the France Libertés Foundation – the Danielle-Mitterrand Foundation has pleaded with Hassan II for the release of political prisoners in Morocco.

At the beginning of the 1990s, doctors announced to Hassan II that he was suffering from an incurable disease and this was one of the reasons for him to revise his political policy so that his son, the current King Mohamed VI, could follow him without interruption when he dies. In this way he pardoned all his opponents.

More than half of the prisoners dead
More than half of the prisoners of Tazmamart died in the dungeon and were buried in the courtyard without any religious Ritual, their remains were sprinkled with a chemical substance so that no traces remain. The survivors were taken to the Ahermoumou school for cadets in 1991 to have them treated and to erase the visible traces of Tazmamart on their bodies with food and medication.

The prisoners sentenced to 20 years in prison have been returned to the prison from which they were abducted 18 years ago, the Kenitra prison. To add to the suffering, the prison director reads to them the pardon of Hassan II.

Royal grace and threat
Other prisoners sentenced to less than 20 years have served much longer than their sentences, some of them have died in Tazmamart. This explains Colonel Ahmed Dlimi’s words on the day of the Kenitra court ruling: “There is no difference between three years and twenty years in prison, it is all the same“. The trial was just a show trial, the plan for the regime’s revenge on the prisoners.

The executioner of Tazmamart, Colonel Bouchaib Feddoul, warns the survivors on their release in a threatening tone: “Forget everything you saw there [Tazmamart]! We will give you proof of identity, but if you ever reveal anything, we will make you disappear forever“.

Ahmed Marzouki

Arrest after release
Army officer Ahmed Marzouki was arrested, threatened and intimidated again after his release from Tazmamart after the intelligence service found out that he wanted to publish a book together with a French writer. According to Marzouki, a university lecturer, who works as a supporter for the French writer, has reported him to the Moroccan secret service.
Marzouki was attacked by two people in Brussels in 2010. They beat up Marzouki and insulted him in Arabic. He was in Belgium to give a lecture on the theme of ‘reconciliation’ and human rights in Morocco.
Marzouki is the author of the French bestseller ‘Tazmamart, cellule 10’. 

This article will be continued

Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-14-fa5551ec5cb0
Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 13)

Tazmamart

In July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We do this on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

Kidnapping from prison to the hell of Tazmamart
On 7 August 1973, the military prisoners in the Kenitra prison were handcuffed and blindfolded and put into trucks. They were taken to Kenitra’s military airfield where they were thrown into planes. The first feeling the prisoners get is that they will be thrown into the sea, because they have heard stories about opponents of the regime who have been dumped into the sea. After about an hour and a half flight the planes land in the city of Imetgheren (Errachidia) in the desert. Then they were thrown into trucks again and then taken to a large building surrounded by high walls with watchtowers. They are locked in individual cells. The building contains two separate buildings, each with 29 cells, a total of 58.

Tazmamart, secret prison
Tazmamart is a secret prison in southeastern Morocco in the Atlas Mountains. It is located near the city of Er-Rich, between Errachida and Midelt. Tazmamart was built near a former French ammunition depot. For many years the Moroccan authorities have denied the existence of Tazmamart. Its existence has been widely denounced by human rights organisations and activists thanks to letters smuggled out of this prison.

Captain Salah Hachad and Lieutenant M’Barek Touil

Contact with the outside world
The captured pilot Salah Hachad managed to send a letter to his wife Aida through a guard at the end of the seventies. Hachad asked his fellow prisoner lieutenant M’Barek Touil to write a letter to his American wife asking him to leave Morocco and return to the United States to inform American politicians of the appalling conditions of her husband’s imprisonment in Tazmamart.

Nancy Gatewood Touil

Return to the United States
Nancy Gatewood Touil, M’Barek Touil’s wife, left Morocco with her son Amine and returned to Iowa where she has family. She was not allowed to leave the country so she left clandestinely and started a new life in the US where she raised the issue of her husband’s detention conditions in Morocco with American politicians. The American State Department was informed and the Moroccan regime was put under pressure by the US.

This led to results: in 1982 M’Barek Touil was medically treated in a mobile hospital that was brought to Tazmamart. He was brought to Rabat for questioning by the colonel of the gendarmerie, Bouchaïb Feddoul, who promised him good treatment. From 1983 onwards, M’Barek Touil received his rights as a prisoner, such as normal food, blankets and a mattress, and he was allowed to air outside. All the other prisoners are held in concrete isolation cells without light, no daylight or artificial light, without a bed, without any care, with hardly any food, drinks, clothes and hermetically separated from the outside world.

Salah and Aïda Hachad

Daughter of Tazmamart prisoner speaks to the king
Salah Hachad’s wife and the other prisoners feel contempt and pain when they find out that M’Barek Touil has obtained his rights because he is married to an American woman. Some prisoners who had American girlfriends felt sorry that they didn’t marry them, as in the case of Lieutenant Mohamed Zemmouri had American girlfriend but didn’t marry her. Aïda Hachad, Salah Hachad’s wife, decided to tell her story to the king in person.

King Hassan II loved to play golf and had a large golf course built at Rabat: the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam. Aïda received a tip that the best opportunity to meet the king is when he is playing golf. She went there in 1986 with her 15-year-old daughter Houda. Aïda was able to come to the golf course because she had blue eyes and looks like a European tourist, mother and daughter spoke French to each other and the guards thought they were tourists who wanted to see the king play golf. When the king had finished playing golf, Houda went running towards him, the guards chased her to stop her, the king said they could let her. Houda gave Hassan II a letter and told him that she is the daughter of Captain Salah Hachad who is imprisoned in Tazmamart and that his family knows nothing about him.

Houda Hachad

Houda Hachad: “I am the daughter of Salah Hachad, an officer convicted of the 1972 coup. I hope Your Majesty will pardon him. I surprised him [Hassan II] with my letter and my action. He jumped up when he heard the word Tazmamart, he thought I was coming for a pitiful problem or social support. I realized that he knew of the existence of Tazmamart when he turned to one of his companions and asked him: are there still living in Tazmamart? He asked me to stop crying and said that he could not speak to me in front of his guests, he asked me: go with these people, they will take you to the palace, so that we can talk at ease. They took me to a small room with a table and two chairs. I was questioned there by detectives. Hassan II did not get there, he promised something to a child, and he did not keep his promise. He didn’t learn to make a promise only if you can keep it. I want to tell you, my mother, that you are not alone and tell you, my father, that you are not the only victim of Tazmamart, we are all victims of Tazmamart. The whole Moroccan people are victims of Tazmamart”.

This article is to continued

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-13-6d1643933525

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 12)

Boeing of the King of Morocco after the emergency landing. AFP

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

An execution during the Second World War

The execution of eleven people on an Islamic holiday
For the execution of the death penalty, the choice was made for the day of an Islamic holiday: the Feast of Sacrifice or the ‘Great Feast’, which falls on 13 January 1973. Eleven people were shot by the firing squad on the firing range of the airbase in Kenitra. Below is the rank, name, age and family situation of the soldiers who were killed:
1- Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Amekrane, 39 years old, father of two children.
2- Major El Ouafi Kouira, 38 years old, father of two children.
3- Captain El Hadj Larabi, 35 years old, father of three children.
4- Lieutenant Abdelkader Ziad, 35 years old, father three children.
5- Lieutenant Ahmed Boukhalif, 27 years old.
6- Second lieutenant Lyazid El Midaoui, 39 years old, father of six children.
7- Adjutant Abdelkader Mehdi, 33 years old, father of two children.
8- Sergeant Tahar Bahraoui, 25 years old.
9- Sergeant Larbi Binou, 29 years old.
10- Sergeant Ahmed Belkacem, 28 years old, father of two children.
11- Adjutant Abderrahman Kamoun, 25 years old.
*The age and spelling of the names of some of the executed soldiers vary by source.

Execution platoon of the soldiers of Ahermoumou in 1971

The execution of Kenitra was not broadcast on Moroccan state television like that of the soldiers of Ahermoumou in 1971. At the scene of the execution, Lieutenant Lyazid El Midaoui encouraged his friends, calling them to be brave and to die courageously. Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed Amekrane asked Captain El Hadj Larabi for forgiveness, he replied, “It is a great honor to die with you. Amekrane had to shed a tear, which his lawyer Farouki noticed and asked him why he was crying. Amekrane replied, “I am crying because these innocent people will be executed”.

Kenitra’s condemned soldiers did not fall into the same trap as Ahermoumou’s. The latter was told that the death sentence would not be carried out in the event that they called out “long live the king” at the place of execution. A few of them fell for it and shortly before the order was given to the firing squad to shoot: long live the king. They were shot just like the rest. A few of those present said that they had died a cowardly death. The soldiers of Kenitra did not ask for the king’s forgiveness and did not wish him a long life.

The families of the executed were allowed to take the bodies of their loved ones for the funeral under the watchful eye of the cameras of the intelligence services. Even the dead have not been respected; the family of Amekrane and Kouera were forbidden to bury them in the cemetery of the city of Chaouen: they are buried in a forest, alone and far away from the cemetery. It was also forbidden for people to attend the funeral. Amekrane’s wife would later demand that he be reburied at the city’s cemetery. She dropped this demand after more and more people were buried next to Mohamed Amekrane and El Ouafi Kouira.

This article is to be continued.

Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-12-165c0a26cc3f

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 11)

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

Court martial in Kenitra

The court ruling
It was decided to pronounce the court verdict on an islamic holiday: the end of the Ramadan feast or the ‘Little Feast’, which falls on 7 November 1972. Eleven people were sentenced to death: 1- Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Amekrane, 2- Major Louafi Kouera, 3- Captain Larabi El Haj, 4- Lieutenant Ziad Abdelkader, 5- Lieutenant Boukhalif Abdel Hamid, 6- Second Lieutenant El Yazid Midaoui, 7- Adjutant El Mahdi Abdelali, 8- Adjutant El Bahraoui Tahar, 9- Sergeant Binoi Larbi, 10- Adjutant Belkacem Ahmed, 11- Adjutant Kamoun Abderrahman.

Thirty-two people receive prison sentences ranging from three to twenty years, including: Salah Hachad, M’barek Touil, Zemmouri Mohamed, Allal Oulhaj, M’faddel Maghouti, Mohamed Dahho, Mohamed Doukali, Ahmed Ben Boubker, Ahmed Louafi, Batoui, Laidi, Benaissa Rachidi, Sbika, Zyane, Raji, Radi, Demnatte, Kasem Bahraoui, Yekko, Abdelkarim, Mesbah, Haddane, Bouamalate, Larbi Zyane, Chemsi.

Left Ahmed Dlimi, right Mohamed Oufkir, Rabat, October 1965 / AFP

Maghouti, one of the suspects, was sentenced to three years in prison by the court, but his name is on the list of prisoners sentenced to 20 years. His lawyer raises this issue and asks the court for redress. Colonel Ahmed Dlimi, one of the members of the court, has the following reaction: “Stop it, there is no difference between three years or twenty years of imprisonment, it is all the same“. Later in this story it will become clear what Colonel Dlimi means by this. Ahmed Dlimi (1931-1983) is an aide to King Hassan II. He becomes director of the secret service after the death of Oufkir. He died in 1983 under very suspicious circumstances.

Captain Salah Hachad, Al Jazeera 2009

Air Force pilot Salah Hachad declares towards Al Jazeera that on the day of the verdict he saw a crying guard (a gendarme) when he entered the courthouse. When Hachad stood next to him, the guard whispered in his ear: “You have been sentenced to 20 years”. Hachad wondered how the guard could have known this, even though the judge had not yet pronounced a verdict.

The convicts were all taken to Kenitra prison, in a wing reserved for those sentenced to death. They are placed with the prisoners who have been sentenced to death for crimes. The imprisoned military personnel are not allowed to receive visitors, even from their family members. Salah Hachad’s wife gave birth to her second child during the imprisonment of her husband. Salah Hachad is told by his lawyer that he has become a father again.

Mohamed Amekrane, Al Jazeera 2009
Louafi Kouera

The prisoners are told that they will be pardoned by the king. On January 9, 1973, the gendarmerie, led by Lieutenant Fadoul, entered the prison and took Kouera and Amekrane to an unknown destination. Later, it will appear that they were taken to Hassan II in Rabat. After two days of absence, they were returned to the prison in Kenitra around three o’clock in the morning. The fellow prisoners hear that Kouera and Amekrane are in enormous pain: they have been severely tortured for two days, says fellow pilot and fellow prisoner captain Salah Hachad to Al Jazeera in 2009. Kouera shouts to Amekrane: “Why? Why didn’t you tell him [Hassan II] what he wanted to hear? When he asked you questions and promised to release us? You are the cause…” But Amekrane did not answer, either to Hassan II or to his friend Kouera.

Perhaps Hassan II wanted a confession from Amekrane that political parties are involved in the coup attempt. On the day of the execution of the coupleggers, three prominent members of the Moroccan political parties M’hamed Douiri, Omar Benjelloun and Mohamed Elyazghi were sent bomb letters. Mohamed Elyazghi escaped death and had to be operated on, he will carry the visible mutilation of the bomb all his life.

Hassan II liked people to ask him for forgiveness. Shortly before the trial of the soldiers of Ahermoumou the following order was given to his closest associates: “Condemn the soldiers to the maximum punishment and then leave to me the choice to grant their pardon”. After Amekrane was sentenced to death, he did not ask Hassan II for a pardon. That hit the king hard, as if Amekrane had committed a second attack against Hassan II.

This article is continued.

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-11-379dd70ed82f

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the plane of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 10)

Permanent Court of the Royal Army in Kenitra, farmaroc.com

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

The criminal trial
During the Skhirat coup attempt in 1971, 10 people were executed the next day for alleged involvement in the failed coup. In this coup attempt, the Moroccan regime was forced to hold a trial for the suspects on the condition of Britain for extraditing Amekrane and el-Midaoui.

Members of the court from left to right: General Belarbi, President Bouachrine, Colonel Dlimi, Colonel Skirrej. On the right Major Kouera

Victims among the members of the court
The trial against the conspirators had already been framed before the start: it should not have a political turn, it should be treated as a crime and it should remain that way. The trial was opened on October 17, 1972 before the permanent court of the Royal Forces in Kenitra, there were two hundred and twenty men in the dock, all of them officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers from the air force base of Kenitra. Most of them had just executed the orders.

At the first session, lawyers of the suspects asked for the challenge of two members of the court: Colonel Ahmed Dlimi and Lieutenant Colonel Boubker Skirrej, both passengers of the attacked Boeing. That already questions the independence of the court. The request for challenge was rejected by the court.

Lt. Col. Amekrane is brave in spite of a real risk of death penalty
When asked by the court why Amekrane committed a coup against the king, he replies: “What Oufkir told me about what is going on in the king’s palace I would conspire against the king, even though if he was my own father“.

Amekrane and other accused during the trial in Kenitra

During the trial there was a film crew in the courtroom who filmed the trial but it was not known what the purpose of the video recording was. During the trial, the suspects heard the phone ring, which may indicate that the members of the court are being instructed.

In the course of the trial, François Mennelet, the special reporter of the French daily Le Figaro in Kenitra, Morocco, was deported. His always well-documented articles had displeased the palace.

Role of the United States
The role of the US, which was briefly mentioned and was quickly put aside by the president. No further questions could be asked about this.  But outside the courthouse this happens all the more emphatically. Undoubtedly, General Medbouh (1927-1971) had been the CIA man in Morocco. Oufkir also maintained close and old contacts with the American secret service. The F-5s had taken off in Kenitra under the eyes of the Americans who had seen the attack on their radar, there was no other way. There are indications, but no evidence.

The American personnel at the Kenitra base turned on the runway lighting when the six F-5 hunters taxi to attack the Rabat Palace, but on landing, after the attack, they have switched off the lighting on the runway and the pilots have landed on the lights of their aircraft. Two American planes were then flown from Kenitra to Spain with perhaps intelligence staff on board. Hundreds of Americans and their families are stationed at the Kenitra base.

Role of France
Whether France had a role in the failed coup is unknown. Morocco is a former colony of France. It has strong economic and political ties with Morocco. France still provides advisers for the Moroccan army. General Oufkir was formed by France in the colonial era. He fought under the French flag in the Second World War and the first Indochinese War. Oufkir was part of the French officials in Morocco during the colonial era.

This article will be continued.

Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-10-c8b0a2d76548

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the aircraft of the King of Morocco 1972 (part 9)

Hassan II Boeing 727 after the emergency landing, far-maroc.forumpro.fr

On 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

Arrest of one-third of air force staff
The Kenitra airbase is surrounded by armoured vehicles on the evening of August 16th. About a thousand people work at the Moroccan part of the base, that is one third of the Moroccan air force personnel and they were all arrested and imprisoned without resistance. The king seems to be hiding in the palace of Skhirat and is under the protection of the paratroopers. The events followed quickly, Major Louafi Kouera broke his leg during the parachute landing, he was arrested by the gendarmerie and handed over to the king. When the king hears that one of the fighter jets has crashed and the pilot jumps with his parachute, he gives the order to bring the pilot to him.

General Mohamed Oufkir, Getty Images

Death of Oufkir
In the early hours of August 17th, the official press agency MAP, Maghreb Arab Press, reports that General Oufkir committed suicide during the night. There are doubts about this version of the story. The general is said to have been shot because he is the head of the conspirators. His wife Fatima and daughter Malika state that Oufkir’s body has four separate gunshot wounds. This is too much for someone who was known as a good shooter to commit suicide. The right hand of Hassan II, General Mohamed Oufkir (1920-1972) is said to have been shot through by General Hafid Allaoui and Colonel Ahmed Dlimi and then Hassan II gives his Minister of Defence the shot.

The Moroccan newspapers and radio publish the news about the attack in a sharply censored form. At the airport of Casablanca, all foreign newspapers of incoming travelers are confiscated.

Lt. Colonel Amekrane, far-maroc.forumpro.fr

Delivery of Lieutenant Colonel Amekrane
On 18 August it was announced that the British government had extradited Lieutenant-Colonel Amekrane and Lieutenant-El-Midaoui to Morocco at night. The only explanation given is that ‘their presence in Gibraltar is not in the public interest’. London fears that the three thousand Moroccans working on the rock would be recalled to their country if extradition were refused and that supplies to the English colony blocked by Spain would be stopped. The English press has strongly condemned this decision. Colonel Amekrane’s German wife, together with her two minor children, left Morocco on 17 August 1972, Rachid (1964) and Yasmina (1965).

Abolition of the Ministry of Defence
On 19 August, King Hassan II accuses his Defence Minister Oufkir of a perfect crime. According to the king, the general would like to kill him so that the general can set up a council of regents with the nine-year-old crown prince Mohamed as a member. In this way Oufkir, according to Hassan II, wants to take all power. However, there is no evidence to support the king’s claim. At a press conference, Hassan II announced that the posts of Minister of Defence, Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff of the army would be abolished and that he would personally interfere with the army, and added that from now on he would spend four hours a day in the army.

Hassan II (1929-1999)

Captured pilots taken to Hassan II
All the pilots who shot at the Boeing were taken to the king. Colonel Amekrane is also taken to the king after he has been extradited to Morocco on the condition that he will get a ‘fair’ trial. Hassan II makes the following remark to Amekrane: “I sent you to France for treatment and you want to kill me”, he continued, “your days were already numbered, even if you don’t die for the firing squad, your illness will claim your life.” Amekrane will later declare in court that he had decided to eliminate the king after he had heard of the scandals taking place in the palace, even if the king was his own father, he had done the same.

At pilot Boukhalif, Hassan went to take a closer look at him and asked him, “How could you hit my plane with your little eyes?” Boukhalif replied, “I swear to God, if I had known in advance of the coup, I would have shot down the plane. Pilot Boukhalif was only informed in the air of the true nature of his mission.

Children of Oufkir, private archive of the Oufkir family

Family of Oufkir On December 23, the family of Oufkir, his wife Fatima, six children, the youngest of whom is Abdellatif, and a daughter suffering from epilepsy, were taken by army cars to an unknown destination. They will be detained without trial for 15 years in a secret place in the Sahara, followed by 11 years’ house arrest in a penal camp 45 kilometres from Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca.

Source:https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-9-b3c070b1f98c

Translated by: Najat M.

The attack on the plane of the King of Morocco in1972 (part 8)

Rabat-Sale airport, RBA / GMME

In 10 July 1971, the Moroccan army carried out a failed coup against the king in the palace of Skhirat. The following year airmen made a new coup, this time the plane of King Hassan II, on his return from France, was attacked in the air by jet fighters.

In the near future the Amazigh Information Centre will reconstruct this historical event with short articles. We will do so on the basis of testimonies from people who have experienced this event, such as the fighter pilot Salah Hachad, books by critical authors such as Gilles Perrault, Stephen Smith and various newspaper articles.

Emergency landing of the Boeing at Rabat-Sale airport, Getty Images

Emergency landing at Rabat airport
The captain of the Boeing succeeded in landing the aircraft at Rabat-Sale airport. This is due to the fact that a wheel is jammed, which causes the aircraft to fall off the runway. The king and the rest of the 60 passengers leave the aircraft, which could explode at any moment.

Passengers leave the bombarded Boeing, far-maroc.forumpro.fr

Operation Pink
Mohamed Oufkir is waiting at Rabat-Sale airport, in the company of other ministers, for the King to welcome him. Just before the landing of the Boeing, Oufkir leaves the company to go to the control tower of the airport. As soon as Hassan II enters the waiting room, three F-5 fighters shave over the airport. They carry out the reconnaissance flight Pink on order of lt. Colonel Amekrane who coordinates the attack from the control tower of Kenitra base.

Red Flight
The king leaves the airport with an unknown destination. He does let the royal procession drive, empty cars whose drivers serve as bait for the attackers. Colonel Amekrane launches Operation Red Flight: Lieutenants Ziad and Boukhalif attack the airfield of Rabat-Sale with machine gun fire. This caused a lot of damage to buildings and cars. Eight people were killed and about fifty wounded, including several ministers.

Rabat-Sale airfield after the attack

Red Lightning and asylum application in Gibraltar
As a final action, Lieutenant Colonel Amekrane launches Operation Red Lightning: six F-5 fighters attack the Royal Palace in Rabat, but the target Hassan II is not in the palace. Amekrane suspects that his superior, accomplice and sponsor of the attack, General Mohamed Oufkir, will not use all means to overthrow the king and leaves the base of Kenitra aboard in a helicopter. Together with his accomplice Lieutenant El-Midaoui, they set off for the British colony of Gibraltar to seek asylum there, because Morocco and Great Britain do not have an extradition treaty.

Royal Palace in Rabat, Wikimedia Commons

Translated by: Najat M.

Source: https://medium.com/@AmazighInformatieCentrum/de-aanslag-op-het-vliegtuig-van-de-koning-van-marokko-1972-deel-8-fd3bea9aabf

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