Ghriba synagogue bombing

2002 Ghriba synagogue bombing
Part of the Maghreb insurgency
Synagogue entrance through which the fuel tanker drove during attack
Location Djerba, Tunisia
Date April 11, 2002 (2002-04-11)
Target El Ghriba synagogue
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Weapons Natural gas truck bomb
Deaths 20 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators al-Qaeda
Motive Antisemitism

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


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.

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

Although the explosion was initially called an accident,[3] 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. Al-Qaeda later claimed responsibility for the attack,[4] which was reportedly organized by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Saad bin Laden.[5][6][7]

In March 2003, five people were arrested in Spain who were believed to have financed this attack. In April 2003, a German man named Christian Ganczarski was arrested in Paris in connection with the bombing. 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. In February 2009, Ganczarski was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the bombing.[8]

Commemoration of the victims

10 years after the attack, thanks to freedom of expression and organization brought by the 2011 Tunisian revolution a Djerbian citizens' initiative to break the silence was adopted by the Presidency of the Republic and concerned embassies to commemorate victims of this attack.

On April 11, 2012, Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, professor Horst-Wolfram Kerll (de), the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tunisia and Boris Boillon, Ambassador of the French Republic to Tunisia, marched silently in homage to the victims. Moncef Marzouki met with present victims' families and delivered a memorial speech where he strongly condemned these heinous attacks and expressed on behalf of the people of Tunisia and the Tunisian government a deep compassion for victims and their families.

See also


Coordinates: 33°48′50″N 10°51′33″E / 33.81389°N 10.85917°E / 33.81389; 10.85917

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