Top European al Qaeda operative arrested in Pakistan
June 20th, 2012
10:12 AM ET

Top European al Qaeda operative arrested in Pakistan

By Paul Cruickshank

A suspected senior European al Qaeda operative with alleged links to a plot to launch Mumbai-style attacks in Europe in 2010 has been arrested in Pakistan, a German intelligence official told CNN.

Naamen Meziche, 42, a French citizen of Algerian descent, was previously a longtime resident of Hamburg, Germany, and a friend of Mohammed Atta, lead hijacker in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

German authorities were informed by their Pakistani counterparts last week of Meziche's arrest, according to the official.The official said that Meziche traveled from Pakistan to Iran in the fall of 2011. German intelligence were able to trace him there after he placed phone calls to his wife in Hamburg, the official told CNN. German intelligence officials were not sure what he was doing in Iran, but the official said the presumption was that the Iranian government knew about his presence on their soil.

German intelligence agents believe Meziche traveled back to Pakistan this spring, several weeks before his arrest, the official said.

The official said German authorities are still trying to untangle Meziche's role in a stream of al Qaeda plots against Europe in the fall of 2010.

The plots led to an unprecedented U.S. State Department travel warning that October. Authorities hope Meziche's arrest will eventually provide more information, according to the official.

Meziche's alleged role in the plotting was revealed by his Hamburg associate Ahmed Sidiqi after Sidiqi was taken into custody by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in the summer of 2010.

Sidiqi claimed that he, Meziche, and another associate from Hamburg met with Younes al Mauretani, a senior North African al Qaeda operational leader, in the tribal areas of Pakistan that year to discuss plans to return to Europe to prepare attacks.

Mauretani at the time was emerging as one of al Qaeda's most promising operational leaders, according to correspondence recovered from the Abbottabad compound of the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Mauretani was arrested in Quetta, Pakistan in August 2011.

German intelligence officials told CNN the plot Meziche was allegedly involved in was in the early stages of preparation when Western counterterrorism officials learned of it. Drone strikes in Pakistan subsequently killed at least one of the German operatives tasked to be involved, but Meziche eluded them.

Meziche had traveled to the tribal areas of Pakistan in 2009 with a group of militants he recruited from the Taiba mosque in Hamburg, the same mosque frequented by Mohammed Atta's 9/11 Hamburg cell, according to German intelligence officials. There he is believed to have first connected with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan before linking up with al Qaeda, said the officials.

Meziche had committed much of his adult life to al Qaeda's cause, according to German intelligence officials. In the years after the 9/11 attacks, they suspect he helped recruit Europeans to join Abu Musab al Zarqawi's terrorist organization in Iraq.

Zarqawi, the former leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. attack in 2006.

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Barry Goldsmith

    In 2011 I was involved with Mossad, Israel IDF in installing wire fence in Ponjab Province, India along western border. Every night we were PNG from our work area as terrorists were smugggled from India to Pakistan by Indian BSF. Apparently, both Al Qaeda and Talibans. When we protested we were sent back to Tel Aviv. India is behind all terrorism in region and financing them. Americans know it.

    June 21, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Chen Ming

      I always suspected that.

      June 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  2. talibob

    Another terrorist harbored by ButtPhuckIsStan.

    June 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
    • Amit_Atlanta_USA

      isn't that in haramchod, india?

      June 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  3. MazeAndBlue

    Not sure why it took this long to arrest this thug. Anyway good job from the Germany Intel Team.

    June 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • Amit_Atlanta_USA

      Sonia gandhi wanted him all to herself !!!

      June 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  4. RCDC

    Now ask him where his comrades were hiding...

    June 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
    • Amit_Atlanta_USA

      Did ask...answer was....Simla, India

      June 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply

    Surfs Up!

    Can he water board! Lol.

    June 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Amit_Atlanta_USA

      Said he used to surf the Ganges...Got leprosy due to it...LOLZZ!!

      June 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  6. Chipotle stuffed Indians

    These Indians need to be have some chipotles stuffed up their butts

    June 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • The Kashmiri

      recommend kashmiri chili...more potent.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Sher Dil Afghani

      C-4 would be my vote

      June 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  7. Phallic Murti

    No one country has and can do more than Pakistan has done for the world in promoting peace and security. They should kiss their butts.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Patrick:::


      June 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  8. Hawk_Pakistan

    Ii for one has reached the conclusion that India needs to be taken out by pakistan without further ado. Nuke these suckers. Useless excuse for a nation gone awry, India.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • I have heard enough

      Let's do it.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  9. Le Chiffre'

    Vive Le Pakistan. Merci' Mon ami.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  10. Jan Matthews

    Thanks, Pakistan. Bravo.

    June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  11. Jaanbaaz

    All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims. That says everything. Pakistan milking billions of $$ in aid and hiding the terror masterminds in their own land.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply

      Nonsense. You make us Indians look bad.

      June 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  12. Jacober

    Great Job, Pakistan. Tip of my hat to you. Love you all. Thanks for helping the world out.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      One capture isn't nearly enough. Cut off funding to Pakistan completely unless they get their sh!t together and become a true ally.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  13. Haji Rajiv Patel


    We are Hindus from India,
    And we like to put on the Bindiya,
    We are mostly Haris,
    But we like to put on the Saris,
    Sadly, we are nothing but Bhikaris,
    Sadly, we are nothing but Bhikaris,
    We take the Americans to Heart,
    But get nothing in return except a F@rt,
    So we tend to kiss the American @ss,
    Again, we get nothing in return except the American gas,
    We are nothing but Bhikaris and are Indians No Mas.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Josh

      Send them a fish....sleepy one !! mwah ha ha

      June 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  14. Hanuman Harami

    LIPSTICK ON A PIG: The Story of India
    There is so only so much one can do to make a pig look pretty
    Slapping some lipstick is the epitomy.
    India is mired in sewage and poverty.
    GDP growth GDP growth
    Has done nothing but made the people loathe.
    Lipstick on a Pig is the Indian way
    The nukes will soon blow it away.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Sheikh Ahmed bin Al Huseini

      Is manny the one with the snout? Oink Oink

      June 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  15. oneworld

    I should have added Pakis using western names to spew their hatered. One being "Jonathan Halperin" or more likely a Javed something from Pakistan.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • Sheikha Bhavana Bint Deepa

      Oink Oink... Ram Ram RAm hare krishna hare ram....dum maro dum

      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  16. oneworld

    Lots of Pakis under various names showing their hatered. No wonder Pakistan is a basket case. Instead of moving ahead with the rest of the world, they are bogged down by their religious hartered. They have no achievements to show for since their independance.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Habib Muradabadi

      Mooo Mooo.... Chill man...have a Tbone for dinner

      June 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  17. MehBOOB BUTT

    my appa got big b00bs so we named her mehBOOB and brother is ugly arss so we named him azeemBUTT

    June 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Habib Muradabadi

      Gandhi liked Butts. Are you related?

      June 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  18. Jonathan Halperin

    I was in India for 18 months putting survelance cameras, i noticed all muslims in India are treated as slaves
    muslim women are used in red light areas, Hindus rule muslims in India and soon in Pakistan , pakistanis need to fight
    the terrorist Hindus

    June 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP


      June 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  19. mehBOOB BUTT

    we pakistani suck our sisters mBOOB and let donkeys play with our mehBUTT


    June 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  20. Tony "Beefshanks" Bologna

    Bizarre child-burying Hindu ceremony in India
    Indian police have charged 80 people for burying children alive in an ancient Hindu ceremony known as "the festival of pits."
    The ceremony, in which children - some less than a year old - are buried alive briefly and then dug up, happened on Monday in southern Tamil Nadu state, The Asian Age reported on Thursday.

    Every two years, parents who have vowed to bury their first-born if they are blessed with a child, take part in the Kuzhimattru Thiru Vizha ceremony.
    The children are drugged to make them unconscious and placed in shallow "graves" in temple courtyards.
    The pits are covered with leaves and dirt and the children are pulled out after Hindu priests chant a brief prayer - lasting up to a minute.

    In the news:
    Children buried alive in Hindu ritual

    June 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  21. Sammy "Samosa" Salvatore

    India poses a clear and present danger to the regional security of the world. USA...NATO...Pakistan and Afghanistan people and armed forces. Hindu cult extremism is on the rise and fanning all terrorism worldwide. Indians are the bankers to and financing terrorism and supporting Talibans and Al Qaeda and harboring them in India. These terrorists are being entertained in the Indian parliament building in New Delhi where they are residing and then smuggled over to Pakistan in Indian Army helicopters. Shame on these Indians. Like the NAZI's they need to be stopped forcefully and immediately.

    June 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Jonathan Halperin

      I was in India for 18 months putting survelance cameras, i noticed all muslims in India are treated as slaves
      muslim women are used in red light areas, Hindus rule muslims in India and soon in Pakistan , pakistanis need to fight
      the terrorist Hindus

      June 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  22. krm1007 ©™

    you cant name a single Indian terrorist ever got cought in any part of the world

    but we can name atleast few few 100 paki terrorist cought in last 3 months

    now we know why pakistan is 13the faild nation

    June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Jerry McDonnell

      cos Indians are not terrorist like Pakis you half knob lil hat lady pants wearing mulla

      June 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • The Bha-rats

      Sadly Gandhi
      Among the various charges disclosed in the book: Gandhi not only slept in beds with young women under the age of 18, but also engaged in a long-term, gay affair with German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder Hermann Kallenbach, for whom India's peace icon at one point left his wife in 1908. As the Wall Street Journal reports:

      June 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
      • mehBOOB BUTT

        see my name and we pakis smell exactly like BUTT .. ROLF

        June 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Habib Muradabadi

      manmohan Singh chutpayee, lal bahadur Shastri, Bondi Nehru, gandu gandhi, atal bihari vajpayee....want more names??? they are/were all terrorists...they invented terrorism in kashmir.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
      • CapitlP

        Mad little porki

        June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • sefa

      Can sure name millions of Indians who don't take showers and smell like crap though lolol.

      June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  23. krm1007 ©™

    i like paki names .. mehBOOB and usman BUTT

    hahahahaha even our pakistani names are embarssing

    June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  24. porkpak

    Pakistan–EPICENTER OF TERRORISM....NUKE their jihadi asses!

    June 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  25. GetReal


    June 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  26. Jonathan Halperin

    I was in India for 18 months putting up the surveillance system/fencing aliong the western border with Pakistan in Punjab. Every day Indian Intelligence wing RAW were sending counter insurgencing elements into Pakistan and so was ISI into India. No big deal. That is a way of life there. A lot of Talibans go back and forth into India or Iran or Afghanistan as their financing comes from those countries to a large extent.

    June 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • krm1007 ©™

      my muslim brother we live of lies ..bieng a lair its in our pakistani blood 🙂

      June 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  27. Mazal Rosenbloom

    As a former Mossad, have you noticed these people are caught in the border regions neighboring India, Iran and Afghanistan......Hmmmmm. Perhaps being harbored there.Hmmmmm????

    June 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  28. Jerry McDonnell

    Wonder where the Indian army is hiding? In bunkers !!!.....LMAO !!! So useless they have no contributions in helping US, NATO, the world out in this effort.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      India doesn't harbor terrorist or have lawless lands where the thrive. Pakistan did this as goodwill for soaking up so much American $. Is it hard to be that dense?

      June 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar


        June 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  29. George W

    We owe much thanks to Pakistan.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  30. krm1007 ©™

    PAKISTAN !!!!

    Since Sep 11, 2001, over 200,000 Pakistani civilians, armed forces personnel have either sacrificed their lives or wounded; more than 3.5 million have been displaced while the country has lost over
    US $ 1 Trillion due to terrorism.

    Despite sacrifices, Pakistan was still engaged in 'the war for world peace”.

    No other country has even come close to selflessly sacrificing so much.

    Pakistan, no one can ever repay you enough for your contributions.
    You deserve a permanent seat in the UN Security Council for your contributions to world peace and emergence of a new world order. We welcome your rise as the new regional military power. God Speed.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • The Truth

      You been smoking to much weed bro

      June 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Say it As You See It

        If you have nothing to add to the discussion then buzz off. Idotic comment. Utterly stupid.l Only a hindu can make such a pathetic comment.

        June 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • CapitlP

        Say it: Does that make you the kettle or the pot? Oh the irony of your hatred

        June 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • KickPakiButt

      paki boy, you break time is over, get back to your cab

      June 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  31. Andrew Z

    India is playing a double game with Americans in Iran. We are also aware of the other dirty games India is playing in the region...financing terrorists who are killing US/NATO/Pakistani troops ....undermining democracies, paying off some factions of talibans protection money so they won't do another Mumbai attack. India may pretend to drape itself in an American flag but it will never fool the world that the biggest threat to American interests in Asia and Middle East is India and their obsolete policies.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • CapitlP

      Ha.......nothing else to say regarding your ramblings than a simple "ha"

      June 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  32. SayanIndia

    Anybody surprised about the location?


    June 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • Ehud

      Thanks Pakistan for being in the forefront.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • CapitlP

        One terrorist caught with billions of US aid and they are at the "forefront"? This was a goodwill "capture" and nothing more

        June 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  33. citizenUSA

    Waterboard his a**!

    June 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  34. ghelf

    Paks probably know where this guy was all the time and probably want more aid money or they will release him.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply


      June 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad A Dar

        mind set of a hindu, ignorant from hindered terrorist artificial country india, do not expect word's of appreciation for smell of roses from a hindu, parasite, borne to live on dong of his mama,COW.

        June 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  35. michaelfury

    "a friend of Mohammed Atta, lead hijacker in the September 11, 2011, terrorist attacks"

    June 20, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply

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