Sunday, October 6, 2013

Global Impact: Tunisian al-Qaeda Terrorist Nizar Trabelsi, 43, Extradited to the US

According to The Latin American Tribune, Nizar Trabelsi, 43, a Tunisian national, has been extradited to the United States to face charges in federal court in Washington, DC stemming from a conspiracy to carry out a suicide bomb attack against US citizens in Europe.

Trabelsi was arrested in Belgium on September 13, 2001, before he carried out the planned attack. After twelve years in prison in Belgium, where he served time, Trabelsi was extradited and transported earlier today to face charges in the United States. 

Trabelsi was indicted in 2006 by a grand jury in US District Court, and a superseding indictment was filed the following year.

The indictment alleges that Trabelsi personally met in the spring of 2001, with Osama bin Laden to volunteer for a suicide bomb attack against US interests. Preparations unfolded over the next several months, according to the indictment, with Trabelsi allegedly obtaining chemicals in Europe and subsequently joining others to scout a potential target: a military facility that was used by the US.

Trabelsi is charged with conspiracy to kill US nationals outside of the United States; conspiracy and attempt to use weapons of mass destruction; conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization; and providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

COMMENT: According to the indictment, Trabelsi was residing in Germany in 2000, when he met with other co-conspirators and made preparations to travel to Afghanistan to train for violent Jihad.

In the spring of 2001, Trabelsi met with bin Laden in Afghanistan and offered to carry out a suicide bomb attack. According to the indictment, he later spoke with Muhammed Atef, a high-ranking member and chief military planner of al-Qaeda, at bin Laden’s direction. Additionally, the indictment states, he met with others with whom he was to form a cell for the purpose of carrying out a suicide attack.

In June 2001, the indictment states, Trabelsi traveled to Pakistan, where he obtained money from an al-Qaeda associate for use in carrying out his mission. The following month, he rented an apartment in Brussels.

While in Belgium, Trabelsi purchased quantities of chemicals to be used in manufacturing a 1,000-kilogram (2,205 pounds) IED, a bomb that was never detonated because Trabelsi was thankfully arrested and incarcerated.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.