Ahmed Hamdane Mahmoud Ayach El Aswadi was born on 15 April 1984 in Samarra, Iraq.
In 2014, El Aswadi was imprisoned in Tikrit for terrorist acts. It was before the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked the city. He reportedly fled the prison where he was detained and left the city towards Erbil. A year later, in August 2015, he left Erbil for Turkey. After staying for two months in Turkey he reportedly arrived in Europe, passing through Greece, Hungary and Germany.
The Iraqi authorities claim however, that ISIS reportedly released El Aswadi during the capture of the city and that he joined the organization in 2014 to subsequently participate in the massacre of hundreds of people, mostly Shiite in Tikrit. The Tikrit massacre, also known as the Camp Speicher massacre (military academy of Iraqi Air Force) took place on 12 and 13 June 2014. Armed men allegedly kidnapped and executed hundreds of young cadets who were either Shia or non-Muslims. The toll is estimated at 1,700 deaths. Based on the testimonies of other suspects, Iraqi authorities claim that Ahmed Hamdane El Aswadi was personally responsible for death of 103 cadets. El Aswadi denies any participation in the attack
El Aswadi arrived in France during the summer of 2016 and applied to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) for refugee protection .He was granted asylum on the ground of persecution for political opinion in June 2017. This status was withdrawn by the authorities after his arrest. In fact, France revoked his status of a refugee following accusations of serious crimes raised against him, nevertheless acknowledging the risk to which he would be exposed after his return to Iraq, such as death penalty. France therefore did not expel El Aswadi, respecting its obligation of non-refoulement under human rights law.