US seeks to extradite German al-Qaida member linked to 9/11 | News | DW | 18.01.2018
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US seeks to extradite German al-Qaida member linked to 9/11

Christian Ganczarski was born in Poland and later converted to Islam. He allegedly had personal ties to former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and helped the organization carry out multiple terrorist attacks.

The United States is seeking to extradite a German convict who allegedly gave al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden critical support before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York prosecutors said Wednesday.

Department of Justice officials accused Christian Ganczarski of conspiracy to kill US citizens, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida.

Ganczarski, who was born in Poland and later converted to Islam, allegedly met multiple times with senior leaders of the terrorist organization between 1999 and 2001 and developed close personal ties with bin Laden.

Read more: Six years since bin Laden's death, al Qaeda weakened - but not finished

He "had been aware that a significant event was about to occur" while he was in Germany shortly before the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Ganczarski also provided al-Qaida "with the knowledge and technology to carry out attacks against the US military and its allies," US Attorney Dana Boente said, and lived in al-Qaida camps while planning bomb attacks against US embassies in Africa.

Read more: Opinion: September 11 was a historic turning point

Imprisoned in France

Ganczarski is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence in France after a Paris court found him guilty of plotting a 2002 bomb attack that killed 21 people, including 14 German tourists, at a synagogue in Tunisia.

He injured three guards at a prison in northern France last week with a pair of scissors and a razor blade after hearing he could be extradited to the US.

If convicted in the US, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Read: #NeverForget: The United States remembers 9/11 attacks

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amp/rc (dpa, AP, AFP)

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