According to the Washington Post, Benchellali was known as "the chemist. French investigators assert that, when Benchellali returned to France, from Afghanistan, he built a home lab in his bedroom, where he manufactured ricin.
Benchellali, was convicted, along with 24 others, on June 14, 2006 for their roles in planning a terrorist attack that was to have taken place in France to support Chechen independence. Benchellali was described as the group's leader, and received a 10-year sentence. Benchellali's father, , , a younger brother, and , his mother, were also convicted for their roles.
Mourad Benchellali published a book about his experiences, and on June 14, 2006 the New York Times published an op-ed by Mourad, in which he blamed Menad for tricking him into attending a military training camp on what he thought would be a kind of vacation. Mourad said he was looking forward to his day in court, for attending that training camp, after spending years in detention, without charge, in Guantanamo.
- Al-Qaida terror plot foiled, say French police, The Guardian, January 12, 2004
- An Al Qaeda 'Chemist' and the Quest for Ricin, Washington Post, May 4, 2004
- Nizar Sassi: A French Detainee Waiting to Return Home, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism
- French court convicts 25 for planning attack, Globe and Mail, June 14, 2006
- New York Times, June 14, 2006
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