Dodi Hoxha was born in France and lived in the Parisian suburb. She has a ten years old son. In 2007, she moved to Cairo in order to study Arabic.
In May 2009, a group of seven people was arrested by the Egyptian security forces: a British-Egyptian, a Belgian of Tunisian descent (Farouk ben Abbes), two Egyptians, two Palestinians and a French-born woman originally from Albania: Dodi Hoxha. Around twenty other persons were arrested because they knew or might have known Dodi. They were mainly French citizens originated from North Africa as well as converts. All the arrested were placed in police custody without any legal assistance under the emergency laws.
The group arrested was initially accused of being the author of a bomb attack next to the market Khan el-Khalil and Masjid al Husayn in Cairo on 22 February 2009. A group of tourists was caught in the explosion. A French teenager was killed and 24 people were injured. As for Dodi, she was first suspected by the Egyptians investigators to have carried reconnaissance mission or even transported a bomb. Eventually, she was only accused of having kept at her home important amounts of money delivered by one of her friend (Fatima F.), the wife of a Palestinian know by the police in relation with the attack of Cairo.
While French sources say that French officials were not able to see the people arrested, Egyptian reports affirm that the French Consul was present during the investigations and visited the suspects more than once in their place of detention.
Release of the 20 people arrested
The twenty people arrested in May 2009 were all released over June/July 2009. Even though, they were entirely cleared from any kind of accusations, they were requested to live Egypt as they were seen as “religious extremists” who were not welcome in Egypt.
Suspicion of mistreatments
Dodi and Farouk were subjected to heavy handed interrogations according to a diplomatic source reported on condition of remaining anonymous. The same source also situated the arrest of Dodi in April rather than May 2009. The fear of mistreatment is corroborated by the statements made by the director of the institute in which Dodi was studying:
“Agents treat the foreign students who are arrested terribly”.
Farouk ben Abbes would have confessed the preparation of an attack in France. He would have admitted that he travelled to France to identify targets, including a theatre hall in Paris (le Bataclan). Several other arrested would also have also admitted that Jaish al Islam was preparing an attack against a synagogue in France, the French embassy or the cultural centre in Cairo. However, the conditions in which these confessions were made are unknown. Furthermore, the French ambassador in Cairo when asked about this “confessions” said he was not aware of any specific threat against France. He assured that he had not taken any extraordinary security measures and that he had not received any instructions to take any.
Visit of a French investigative judge
In December 2009, the French anti-terrorist investigative judge Jannier officially travelled to Egypt (under an international rogatory letter) in order to take part to the investigations. Upon his return, he reported the conclusions of the Egyptian security force: the seven persons arrested had nothing to do with the 2009 Cairo attack.
Dodi was then cleared. She was deported to France three months later.
Dodi was free when she came back to France. However, she was placed under surveillance by the DCRI (Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence).
On 15 November 2010, eight months later, the French police rearrested her in her home in order to pursue the investigations made by the Egyptian security force.
Dodi was interrogated 15 times during her 96 hours police custody without a lawyer. The police superintendant transmitted his conclusion to Judge Jannier: “her friendship and her financial relationship with one of the alleged masterminds of this terrorist attack (in Cairo), Khaled Mostafa, incite to pursue the investigations about her”.
Outcome of the interrogations
During the interrogations conducted by the DCRI and judge Jannier, Dodi would have said that she had been brainwashed by Umar Bakri’s group. She would have admitted her contacts with two of the leaders of Jaish al Islam (the Army of Islam) presented as a branch of Al Qaeda in Gaza. These two men would be Khaled Mahmoud Mostafa and Amad Mohammed Cetiq Chafia. Khaled Mostafa was known to have been in contact with Farouk ben Abbes between February 2008 and April 2009. Phone tapping revealed that Dodi hold Farouk ben Abbes responsible for her arrest. Dodi admitted that she was in contact with Khaled Mostafa before she arrived in Egypt and that he helped her finding a flat in Cairo. He would have sent her significant amounts of money, including 10 000 dollars for his wife Fatima F. Dodi would also have said that she stopped transporting money because she feared she could be manipulated.
Arrest of Khaled Mostafa
In June 2011, Khaled Mostafa was arrested in his hometown in Egypt. He was still presented as the mastermind of the Cairo attack. Security sources said he had repeatedly travelled illegally to Gaza strip.
Dodi remains incarcerated in France awaiting for a possible trial.