Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot

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Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot
Location Strasbourg, France
Date December 2000 - Planned; Never executed
Target Strasbourg Cathedral
Attack type
Non-fatal injuries

The Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot was an al-Qaeda plan to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market (Christkindelsmärik) at the feet of Strasbourg Cathedral during the Christmas celebrations of 2000.[1] It was prevented by French and German police.[2]

In March 2003, four suspects linked to the terror plot were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years imprisonment by a court in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The German court said the group had planned to blow up pressure cookers packed with explosives, a technique they allegedly learned in Afghan camps.

In December 2004, ten other suspected Islamic militants were jailed in Paris for their part in the failed plot. These suspects – all Algerian or French-Algerian[3][4] – were sentenced to terms of up to 10 years. One of the convicted persons was said to have been an associate of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

The 10 sentenced in Paris were convicted of criminal association with a terrorist enterprise, which according to state prosecutor Christophe Tessier had links to Islamic networks in Britain, Italy and Spain.

The group's alleged leaders, Mohamed Bensakhria, 37 and Slimane Khalfaoui, 29, were given 10 years, and Mohamed Yacine Aknouche, 30, was given eight. Rabah Kadre, 37, who was in detention in the UK was given six years and was banned from entering French territory. The six other suspects, who received lesser terms, were alleged to have given logistical support to the plot by providing false documents to other group members.[5]


The numerous people, mostly Algerians, who are wanted or who have been convicted over this plot include:

  • Abu Doha, a senior terrorist who has been held in the UK since 2001. On 3 July 2008 the British bench released Abu Doha from prison, under several security measures.
  • Slimane Khalfaoui, arrested in the United Kingdom by British authorities, extradited to France, convicted with nine others, and sentenced to ten years.[6]
  • Rabah Kadre, arrested and held in the United Kingdom since 2001, sentenced by France in absentia to six years.[6]

See also[edit]