US authorities are seeking the extradition of Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian convicted in Belgium for planning terrorist attacks and have suspected links to an Al-Qaeda network. Trabelsi lodged an appeal to a Belgian court to approve his extradition. “The Americans think that Nizar Trabelsi is an active Al-Qaeda member who was developing activities beyond those he was convicted of in Belgium,” said Lieve Pellens, a spokesperson for federal prosecutors. Trabelsi was arrested just two days after the 9/11 terror attacks. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to drive a car bomb into a NATO airbase in northern Belgium, where American military personnel work.
Full text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
The Belgian interior ministry tightened security around the country over the risk of a possible terror attack. The security alert in mid-December came after police arrested 14 suspected Islamists who allegedly planned to free a Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian al-Qaeda sympathizer from jail using weapons and explosives. According to reports, Trabelsi was arrested on September 13th, 2001, in an apartment in Brussels; Trabelsi had been in possession of a cache of chemicals which could have been used to make powerful explosives. The interior ministry said that security had been tightened at busy public places such as the capital’s underground and train stations, markets, shopping districts, as well as airports. The security measures remained in place until January 2nd, 2007.
Nizar Trabelsi, Amor Sliti, Tarek Maaroufi and six other radical Islamists sentenced in September 2003 by the court in Brussels for preparing the attack on the American base in Kleine-Brogel (in the region of Limbourg, Belgium) and of being involved in the murder of an Afghan opposition leader in 2001, went on appeal.