Ghriba synagogue bombing

Coordinates: 33°48′50″N 10°51′33″E / 33.81389°N 10.85917°E / 33.81389; 10.85917
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Ghriba synagogue bombing
Part of the Maghreb insurgency
El-Ghriba Synagogue.jpg
Synagogue entrance through which the fuel tanker drove during attack
LocationDjerba, Tunisia
DateApril 11, 2002; 21 years ago (2002-04-11)
TargetEl Ghriba synagogue
Attack type
Suicide bombing
WeaponsNatural gas truck bomb
Deaths20 (including the perpetrator)

The Ghriba synagogue bombing was carried out by Niser bin Muhammad Nasr Nawar on the El Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia in 2002.


On April 11, 2002, a natural gas truck fitted with explosives drove past security barriers at the ancient El Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba.[1] The truck detonated at the front of the synagogue, killing 14 German tourists, three Tunisians, and two French nationals.[2] More than 30 others were wounded.[3][4][5]

Deaths by nationality
Country Number
 Germany 14
 Tunisia 3
 France 2
Total 19

Although the explosion was initially called an accident,[6] as Tunisia, France, and Germany investigated, it became clear that it was a deliberate attack. A 24-year-old man named Niser bin Muhammad Nasr Nawar was the suicide bomber, who carried out the attack with the aid of a relative.[who?] Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for the attack,[7] which was reportedly organized by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Saad bin Laden.[8][9] However, Saad's family denied he was involved in the attack.[10][11]

In March 2003, five people were arrested in Spain in connection with the attack.[12] On May 10, 2006, two of them, Spanish businessman Enrique Cerda and Pakistani national Ahmed Rukhsar, were sentenced to five years in prison for collaborating with a terrorist group.[13] In June 2003, a German man named Christian Ganczarski was arrested at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in connection with the bombing.[14][15] He was arrested by a joint intelligence operation, in the frame of Alliance Base, which is located in Paris, and transferred to Fresnes Prison in Paris.[16][17] In February 2009, Ganczarski was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the bombing.[18]

Commemoration of the victims[edit]

On April 11, 2012, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, Tunisian Grand Rabbi Haim Bitan, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tunisia, and Boris Boillon, Ambassador of the French Republic to Tunisia, visited Djerba to pay their respects to the victims on the attack's 10th anniversary. Marzouki met with victims' families and delivered a speech where he strongly condemned this attack and reassured Tunisian Jews of their place in Tunisian society.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blast at Tunisian synagogue kills five". 11 April 2002.
  2. ^ Official Procès-Verbal, July 20th, 2002 in Tunis, El Fadel El Malki, Central Directorate of the Judicial police, The Criminal Affairs Bureau
  3. ^ Tepper, Greg. "Citing terror threat, Israel advises travelers to stay out Tunisia". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  4. ^ "RFI - Ouverture du procès de l'attentat de Djerba". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  5. ^ "Béji Caïd Essebsi, président de la Tunisie: "Notre premier créancier, c'est la France"". La Tribune (in French). 2015-06-04. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  6. ^ "Synagogue explosion 'no accident'".
  7. ^ "Al-Qaeda claims Tunisia attack". 23 June 2002.
  8. ^ "Two jailed over Tunisia bombing". 5 February 2009.
  9. ^ "Bin Laden son 'takes leading role'". 30 July 2002.
  10. ^ "Bin Laden's Family Under House Arrest in Iran « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT". Archived from the original on 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  11. ^ "Osama Bin Laden's Family Seek Asylum « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT". Archived from the original on 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  12. ^ Yoldi, José (2003-03-12). "Tres de los cinco detenidos por su vinculación con Al Qaeda quedan en libertad sin cargos". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  13. ^ "2 men convicted in Tunisia bombing". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  14. ^ "France arrests al-Qaeda suspects". 2003-06-06. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  15. ^ "RFI - Ouverture du procès de l'attentat de Djerba". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  16. ^ "Help from France key in covert operations". NBC News. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  17. ^ "De la Haute-Silésie à Médine, l'itinéraire d'un "haut responsable d'Al-Qaida" arrêté en France". Le (in French). 2005-07-12. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  18. ^ "Michel Moutot. Al Qaeda militant found guilty for Tunisian synagogue attack". Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  19. ^ Bouazza, Bouazza Ben; Press, Associated (2012-04-11). "Tunisia marks 10 years since bloody synagogue bomb". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
33°48′50″N 10°51′33″E / 33.81389°N 10.85917°E / 33.81389; 10.85917