Former UCL researcher killed in Mali hotel attack

27 people were killed

A former UCL research fellow has died following a terror attack in Mali.

Less than a week after the Paris attacks, a group of heavily armed Islamist militants raided and held 170 people hostage at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako.

Among the 27 victims was 60-year-old Shmuel Benalal,  a former research fellow at UCL’s Institute for Education between 2000-2001.

 Shmuel Benalal

Shmuel Benalal

An al-Qaeda affiliated group has claimed responsibility for the attack in which 27 people lost their lives.

Benalal was also a member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain and had written books on the development of schools and the integration of special needs students.

Benalal had over 25 years experience in developing education worldwide, and had been serving as the President of Telos Group, which provides consulting services in the field of education.

He had been in Mali to give advice to the government in limiting the effect that religious fundamentalism has on the country’s education system.

Shmuel’s family said: “We are shocked and in pain. We hope all relevant bodies are working to bring him back to us as soon as possible.”

Gaby Blauer, executive director of charity Manna UK and former neighbour of Benalal, told the Jewish News: “He was a lovely person, modest and always helping others. He always had a smile on his face.”