The US is seeking the extradition of Christian Ganczarski from France, where he has been imprisoned since 2003. A French court convicted Ganczarski on terror-related charges for his role in the Apr. 11, 2002 suicide bombing at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The bomber called Ganczarski beforehand to receive his “blessing.” A newly-released indictment focuses on Ganczarski’s other ties to al Qaeda, including a plot targeting American interests in Australia.
The Pentagon announced today that a former Guantanamo detainee, Yasir al Silmi, was killed in a bombing on Mar. 2 in Yemen. Joint Task Force Guantanamo identified al Silmi, also known as Muhammad Yasir Ahmed Taher, as a “high” risk and warned that he would “engage in extremist activities upon release.” He was transferred to Yemen on Dec. 19, 2009.
Mohammed Al Ansi was one of ten Guantanamo detainees transferred to Oman earlier this week. Ansi had been denied transfer as recently as March 2016. The US government found that he “participated in advanced combat training and may have met with al Qaeda external operations chief Khalid Shaykh Mohammed.” Ansi may have been “considered for participation in a suicide attack or deployment in the West” as part of the 9/11 hijackings.
Al Qaeda claims that two of Ayman al Zawahiri’s daughters and a third woman were exchanged for the son of Ashfaq Pervez Kayani in either late July or early August. The Long War Journal cannot independently verify the claim, but it is known that al Qaeda had been trying to exchange at least one kidnapped son of Pakistan’s elite for the women. Al Qaeda announced that the women and their children were released in early August.
The US government has released an unclassified summary of Abu Zubaydah’s career. Some claim that Abu Zubaydah wasn’t really an al Qaeda member when he was detained in March 2002, but the newly released file alleges that he worked closely with multiple senior al Qaeda operatives and possibly had foreknowledge of the terror group’s three most successful attacks between August 1998 and September 2001.
Al Qaeda-linked Twitter feeds, including one attributed to a senior al Qaeda leader, are claiming that Idris al Balushi was killed during a counterterrorism raid by Pakistani forces. Balushi is purportedly the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. His death has not been confirmed.