Facing U.S. extradition, bin Laden associate attacks French prison guards

From Reuters - January 11, 2018

PARIS (Reuters) - A German believed to have been an associate of Osama bin Ladenand convicted for his part in an attack on a synagogue in Tunisia in 2002 attacked four prison guards on Thursday weeks before being eligible for extradition to the United States.

Christian Ganczarski, a German convert to Islam who spent time in Afghanistan and is believed to have been an adviser to former al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was arrested in France in 2003.

He was sentenced in 2009 to 18 years in prison for being one of the masterminds behind the attack in Djerba that killed 21 people.

The victims were killed when the bomber drove a tanker truck filled with cooking gas to the synagogue and blew it up as they were entering the building, which was virtually destroyed. A synagogue had stood on the site for 1,900 years.

Ganczarskis sentence was due to end in February. The United States had indicated it wanted him extradited for his role in the September 11 attacks.

Officials said that he attacked four guards with a bladed weapon on Thursday.

The head of the establishment told him that he would be extradited to the United States where he is suspected of being one of the organizers of the Sept. 11 attacks, Jean-Francois Forget, secretary general of the UFAP-UNSA penitentiary union, told Reuters.

He was recorded in a telephone call saying he would do something to stay in France.


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