Mohamed Tahraoui was born in Algeria in 1982.
Mohamed Tahraoui was arrested in Barcelona on 01/24/2003, with other 15 suspects, in connection with the European investigation related to the Ricin Plot and, specifically, over his connection to Lyon Cell . On his arrest police found a relatively big amount of cleaning detergents and in his apartment a false French passport. Later an FBI analysis suggested that the seized materials could be made into "homemade napalm" (see – ** Note)
14 of the other detainees were released on bail after six weeks, on 03/2003.
Although there was no evidence to connect Mohamed Tahraoui to the Ricin Plot he was kept in Spanish jail as a material witness and for further investigation.
On 03/24/2004, after the Madrid Trains Bombing, the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon ordered the rearrest of four defendants: Smail Boudjelthi, 31; Ali Kaouka, 32; Mohamed Nebbar, 35 and Souhil Kaouka, 35, who were arrested with Mohamed Tahraoui on 01/24/2003 and released on bail on 03/2003. Another suspect Mohamed Amine Benaboura, was already in detention from 10/2003 because of an extradition request issued by the Algerian authority. The reason for the new arrest was changes that they made in their cell-phones compatible to the changes in the cell-phone used as detonators in the Madrid Trains Bombing and in the Bali ‘02 Bombings.
The six, including Mohamed Tahraoui, were charged over planning a chemical terror attack on USA Navy Base in Rota, Spain, near the Strait of Gibraltar. The basis to the new charges was the confession of Said Arif in his interrogation in France. Mohamed Tahraoui trial, with his associates, began in 10/20/2006 in Madrid.
The charge was not proven in court. Instead Mohamed Tahraoui was sentenced with other 4 Algerians: Smail Boudjelthi, 31; Ali Kaouka, 32; Mohamed Nebbar, 35 and Mohamed Amine Benaboura, 30, on Friday, 02/09/2007, to 13 years imprisonment for membership in a terrorist group and document forgery. A sixth defendant in this case, Souhil Kaouka, 35, was acquitted.
** Note - Triacetone Triperoxide, a home made highly unstable but effective explosive commonly used by the Palestinians in their terror campaign against Israel is manufactured by using large amount of cleaning detergents.
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