Munir Awad

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Munir Awad
Born1981 (age 36–37)
Kenyan Army
Detained atblack sites
Charge(s)extrajudicial detention
Munir Awad
Spouse(s)Safia Benaouda
MotiveIslamist revenge over Muhammad cartoons
Conviction(s)Guilty, June 2012
Criminal chargePlanning a terrorist attack in 2010
Penalty12 years in prison

Munir Awad (Arabic: منير عوض‎) is a Lebanon-born citizen of Sweden and a convicted terrorist.[1] Munir Awad, and his fiancée were arrested in Kenya in 2007 when Ethiopian forces invaded Somalia and foreigners were detained to stem suspected terrorists. In 2009 police who arrested them in Pakistan found a suicide belt in their luggage. On December 29, 2010 Awad was arrested in Denmark for the Copenhagen terror plot, and found guilty in 2012.[1][2][3][4]

Captured in Kenya[edit]

Munir Awad, and his fiancée, Safia Benaouda (daughter to Helena Benaouda, head of Muslim Council of Sweden), were arrested in Kenya on January 18, 2007 when they fled Somalia after Ethiopian forces, with United States support, invaded Somalia.[citation needed]

The pair describe being held in extrajudicial detention following the invasion, together with a large number of foreigners. They were eventually released.[2][3] They told reporters for Press TV that the soldiers who captured them were led by Americans and that Americans ran their interrogations.[citation needed]

According to an interview his fiancée gave to Raymond Bonner of the International Herald Tribune her interrogators kept asking her questions about a trip they said her boyfriend took to Denmark to recruit jihadists.[5] Benaouda told her interviewer that she told her interrogators that Awad had never been to Denmark, and that he did not convert to Islam until after 2004.[citation needed]

Benaouda said she and her boyfriend had traveled to Dubai, on vacation, but were disappointed at how commercialized facilities for tourists were.[5] So they traveled to Somalia to see a more traditional Muslim culture. They arrived in Somalia shortly before it was invaded by Kenya.[citation needed]

Captured in Pakistan[edit]

On August 20, 2009 the pair and their young child were apprehended in Pakistan, together with fellow Swede Mehdi Ghezali, and nine other non-Pakistanis.[4] Ghezali is reported to have told authorities that they were traveling to Lahore to participate in a Tablighi Jamaat conference. Mohammad Rizwan, the chief of police of Dera Ghazi Khan, who captured the individuals, has told the press that their luggage included a laptop computer, $10,000 USD and a suicide belt.

In November 2010, two Muslim organisations Cageprisoners and The Muslim Human Rights Committee (MMRK) published a report asserting Munir Awads innocence. [6] The paper was co-authored by the spokesman for the MMRK, Kitimbwa Sabuni, who is related to Swedish Minister Nyamko Sabuni.

2010 Copenhagen terror plot[edit]

On December 29, 2010 he was once again arrested in Denmark, this time for the Copenhagen terror plot that was allegedly planning a "Mumbai-style" attack in revenge for the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.[7][8][9] In addition to Awad the suspects include 30-year-old Swede Omar Abdalla Aboelazm, 44-year-old Tunisian national Mounir Dhahri, and 37-year-old Swede of Tunisian descent, Sahbi Zalouti.[10] In June 2012 Awad along with the three other suspects were found guilty by the Danish court and they were sentenced to twelve years in prison.[1]

He was silent during the proceedings of the lower instance (Danish: Byret), but told his version of events in the next instance (Danish: Landsret). The state prosecutor demanded a 14 year sentence, while a lay judge recommended a 10 year sentence. The judges and the other lay judges chose a sentence of 12 years.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Four guilty of Danish plot over Muhammad cartoons". News Europe. BBC. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ethiopia shows eight terror detainees on TV". CTV News. 2007-04-11. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16.
  3. ^ a b "Swedish teen says US led detention". Press TV. 2007-04-14. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16.
  4. ^ a b "Terror suspect Swedes still detained: Pakistan". The Local. 2009-09-16. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16.
  5. ^ a b Raymond Bonner (2007-04-15). "Lark to Africa descends into Somali nightmare". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16.
  6. ^ NOWHERE TO GO - Sweden’s complicity in the world-wide detention of Monir Awad Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine., Cageprisoners & MMRK, November 2010
  7. ^ Josefine Elfström (2010-12-30). "Munir Awad en av de häktade Munir Awad en av de häktade - tidigare misstänkt som terrorist (In Swedish)". Expressen.
  8. ^ Alexandra Sandels (2010-12-30). "Denmark terrorism suspects plead not guilty". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Chilling details emerge in Danish terrorist attack plot probe". The Vancouver Sun. 2010-12-31.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Fourth terror suspect remanded in Stockholm", The Local, 30 Dec 2010.
  11. ^ "12 års fængsel for terrorplaner mod JP/Politiken". Journalisten (in Danish). 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2018-10-13.