Meet Jawad Bendaoud: the extremist who blew up social media

Meet Jawad Bendaoud: the extremist who blew up social media
Jawad Bendaoud's newly-famed facial bemusement has gone viral on Twitter - but who is the Islamic State-linked drug dealer?
2 min read
02 Apr, 2019
Jawad Bendaoud went viral [AFP]
Over the past few days Jawad Bendaoud has turned into a meme sensation across the internet.

A video of him has gone viral on social media, showing him walking slowly, as the camera focuses in on his eyes which shift across the room.

The clip has become an internet sensation with captions fitting a number of hilariously relatable situations.

"This be that one person that does nothing but shows up for the presentation," one person tweeted.

"How I enter my sibling's room when my charger goes missing," another said - in a tweet that now has more than 21,000 retweets.

People have even used his face to caption awkward encounters with relatives:

"Me walking into a family gathering waiting for an auntie to ask me why I'm unmarried and childless. 🥊"

But how many of those retweeting know who Bendaoud really is, let alone the story behind his viral facial expression?

Bendaoud, 32, was last week sentenced to four years in prison, on appeal, for harbouring two militants - Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Chakib Akrouh - involved in the devastating 2015 Islamic State group-linked attack in Paris, which left around 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

He was cleared in November after claiming he did not know who Abaaoud and Akhrouh were, but the court appealed the verdict immediately.

Bendaoud, also a convicted drug dealer, can again appeal his sentencing, but it is unclear whether he will.