Osama Krayem

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Osama Krayem
Born (1992-08-16) 16 August 1992 (age 25)
Malmö, Sweden
Status In custody
Known for Alleged involvement in the 2016 Brussels bombings

Osama Krayem (born 16 August 1992), also known as Naïm or Naim al Hamed,[1] is a Swedish national of Syrian origin and a suspected terrorist involved in the 2016 Brussels bombings.[2][3] He was one of five men arrested on 8 April 2016 by the Belgian police.[4][5]

Personal background[edit]

Krayem was born in 1992 in Malmö, Sweden to Palestinian immigrants from Syria and grew up in Rosengård, Malmö Municipality.[6] At eleven years old, he participated in the 2005 documentary "Utan gränser – en film om idrott och integration" (Without Borders - A Film About Sports and Integration),[6] a film described by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as "a documentary on how to succeed with integration" of migrants into Swedish society.[7][8]

Krayem is thought to have been radicalized in his early twenties, frequently watching videos by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American and Yemeni imam and Islamic lecturer and alleged senior recruiter and motivator involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda. Krayem also reportedly tried to recruit other Arab Swedish youth to join the fight in Syria.[9][10]

Until he was arrested in Brussels on 8 April 2016, he was one of Europe's most wanted fugitives, considered to be a hardened operative of ISIS.[11]

The Wall Street Journal reported that on 20 April 2016 that Belgian authorities spelled the subject's first name as "Ossama," where previously it had been publicised as "Osama." His detention was extended by one month on the same day.[12]

Terrorist activities[edit]

Krayem left Sweden sometime in 2014 to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Syria to fight alongside the anti-Assad Islamic militant group. He was said to be one of the first Muslim Swedes to have left the country to join ISIS. In January 2015, he was identified by the Swedish press yet again in a Facebook post sent to his brother in Sweden showing him reportedly in Deir ez-Zor, Syria dressed in military fatigues, standing in front of an ISIS flag and holding an AK-47. On 14 March 2015, he uploaded a film clip to his Facebook page showing an execution of a 19 year old Palestinian from Jerusalem. Several people from Malmö, among them Krayem's brother and friends, liked the clip along with individuals in Syria.[13][14][15] In 2018, Belgian investigators found that Krayem was at the scene where 26-year-old Jordanian air force pilot Moaz al Kasasbeh was burned to death by ISIL in January 2015.[16][17]

He later returned to Europe using a false passport travelling the migrant route from Syria to Turkey to Leros, Greece where he presented himself on 20 September 2015 as Naïm Al Hamed (identified as a Syrian national born on 1 January 1988 and originating from Hama, Syria according to the falsified papers).[18] Under this guise as Naïm Al Hamed, he continued to Europe residing in Belgium. The beginning of October 2015, Krayem allegedly met Salah Abdeslam in Ulm, Germany to discuss possible cooperation in terrorist attacks.[3] Abdeslam was one of the Belgian suspected terrorists involved 13 November 2015 Paris attacks. Fleeing the scene, Abdeslam later went on hiding in Molenbeek, Belgium where he was eventually arrested on 18 March 2016.[19]

Krayem is believed to be the man seen on CCTV at the Brussels City 2 shopping centre, where he bought the rucksacks used later for the 22 March 2016 terror attack in Brussels Airport in Zaventem. His DNA was found in the Schaarbeek (Brussels) apartment used by the Zaventem airport bombers.[20] He was thought to have been the second man alongside bomber Khalid El Bakraoui at the Pétillon metro station. El Bakraoui is thought to have carried out the bombing of Maelbeek metro station minutes later on the morning of 22 March 2016.[10] During interrogation, Krayem confessed that he was the second metro bomber[21] and explained that he felt regret at the last moment and therefore never tried to detonate his suicide bomb.[6]

On 19 April 2016, Krayem was linked to the November 2015 Paris attacks, as it was determined that his DNA was present in the apartments used by the assailants.[22][23] In June 2018 he was extradited to France into custody of the National Gendarmerie to be interrogated on his role in the November 15 Paris attack, where 130 were killed.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Man in the hat': Brussels airport suspect in custody". CNN. 9 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Osama Krayem, a Swedish radical linked to Brussels attacks". France24. AFP. 9 April 2016. Archived from the original on 10 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Paris Match': Qui est Osama Krayem, complice présumé des kamikazes de Bruxelles? (in French)
  4. ^ "Osama Krayem caught thanks to Facebook wall, DNA and CCTV". Flanders news. 9 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Aftonbladet: Uppgifter: Osama, 23, från Malmö gripen för Brysseldådet (in Swedish)
  6. ^ a b c "Osama Krayems väg från Rosengård till kalifatet". Sydsvenskan. 16 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Nilsson, Christoffer; Melin, Eric (15 April 2016). "Swedish terror suspect was in movie about successful integration - Terrormisstänkt svensk var med i film om lyckad integration". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 April 2016. As an eleven-year-old Osama Krayem participated in a documentary on how to succeed with integration. 
  8. ^ Alexander, Harriet (15 April 2016). "Brussels terrorist suspect featured in Swedish documentary about integration". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 April 2016. A Swedish man believed to be part of the Brussels and Paris terrorist network once starred in a documentary about successful immigration in Malmo. 
  9. ^ "Osama Krayem lived a delinquent lifestyle in Rosengard, an immigrant neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, before he was "brainwashed" and joined Islamic militants in Syria, community activists and his aunt say". U.S.News. AP. 10 April 2016. 
  10. ^ a b RTBF: Qui est Osama Krayem, l'accompagnateur du kamikaze du metro Maelbeek, interpellé à Laeken? (in French)
  11. ^ "Europe's Terror Fears Won't End with the Arrests of the Likely Last Paris and Brussels Attackers". Time. 8 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "Further Details Emerge on Links Between Paris, Brussels Terror Attacks". Wall Street Journal. 20 April 2016. 
  13. ^ "Malmöbo uppges gripen i terrortillslag". Sydsvenskan. 8 April 2016. (in Swedish)
  14. ^ "Jihadist från Malmö i IS propagandakrig". Sydsvenskan. 18 March 2015. (in Swedish)
  15. ^ "Kontakten med brodern i Malmö avslöjade Osama Krayem". Sydsvenskan (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  16. ^ Nyheter, SVT (2018-07-06). "Svensk terrormisstänkt kan ha koppling till brutalt IS-mord". SVT Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  17. ^ Libre.be, La. "Le point sur l'enquête Krayem: le terroriste du 22 mars avait déjà tué!" (in French). Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  18. ^ "Brussels attack: Who is Osama Krayem the jihadi from Malmo arrested with 'Man in the Hat'?". ibtimes.co.uk. 10 April 2016. 
  19. ^ "Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam shot and arrested in Brussels". The Guardian. 18 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "Osama Krayem caught thanks to Facebook wall, DNA and CCTV". Deredactie.be. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  21. ^ "Brussels ISIL cell 'initially' planned to 'strike France again'". POLITICO. 10 April 2016. 
  22. ^ "Uppgifter: Malmöbon Osama, 23, misstänkt för Paristerror". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Le Suédois Osama Krayem inculpé à son tour dans le dossier des attentats de Paris". Le Monde. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "Attentats de Paris : la Belgique remet à la France un suspect-clé". leparisien.fr (in French). 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2018-06-09.