Moez Fezzani

Moez Fezzani is a Tunisian citizen and an ISIS leader in Libya.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/. In 2014, he traveled from Syria to Libya to lead ISIS’s elite Kalibat al-Battar Special Forces. According to Tunisian Ministry of Interior, Fazzani planned two major ISIS attacks in Tunisia, including the March 2015 attacks at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, and the June 2015 attack on the beach in Sousse.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/;
“Tunisia attack: Sousse ceremony to remember victims,” BBC News, July 3, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33378374;
“Tunis Bardo Museum attack: Thousands join protest march,” BBC News, March 29, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32105232.

Fezzani was previously held in U.S. custody between 2001 and 2009.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/. In December 2009, he was transferred to Italian custody and, in 2012, extradited to his home country of Tunisia. There, he reportedly joined the domestic militant group Ansar al-Sharia Tunisia.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/. He traveled to Syria in 2013, where he reportedly joined the Nusra Front, and later ISIS.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/;
“Tunisia attack: Sousse ceremony to remember victims,” BBC News, July 3, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33378374;
“Tunis Bardo Museum attack: Thousands join protest march,” BBC News, March 29, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32105232.

Government and media sources disagree as to where Fezzani was previously detained. While several U.S. and Italian media outlets claim he was held at Guantanamo Bay,Anna Momigliano, “Why Italy is taking Gitmo prisoners,” Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2009, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2009/0617/p06s17-woeu.html. leaked U.S. State Department documents reveal Fezzani was transferred from the Baghram Theater Internment Facility to Italy on December 22, 2009.“Informing the GOT of the Transfer of Tunisian Detainee from Bagram to Italy,” U.S. Department of State, December 22, 2009, https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09STATE130318_a.html. Fezzani also appears on an October 2010 U.S. Department of Defense list of detainees who were held at the Baghram Facility. However, the date of his arrest, the location and circumstances of his capture, and the number of days that he spent at the facility are redacted.“Redacted List of Detainees Held at Bagram Air Base,” ACLU, April 18, 2013, https://www.aclu.org/other/redacted-list-detainees-held-bagram-air-base?redirect=national-security/redacted-list-detainees-held-bagram-air-base.

Upon Fezzani’s reported extradition to Italy in December 2009, he was tried for providing logistical support the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), the precursor to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Italian prosecutors allege Fezzani was raising funds for the group while in Milan between 1997 and 2001.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/;
Anna Momigliano, “Why Italy is taking Gitmo prisoners,” Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 2009, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2009/0617/p06s17-woeu.html.
He was acquitted from terrorism charges in 2011 and was deported to Tunisia following a request from the Tunisian government.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/.

Fezzani reportedly joined the al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia when he returned to his home country in 2012.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/. In 2013, he is reported to have traveled to Syria to join the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s then-affiliate in Syria.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/. Fezzani joined ISIS one year later, and reportedly relocated to Libya to lead the group’s Kalibat al-Battar Special Forces unit. In this role, he is also believed to have helped to plan attacks against the Tunisian government.“MENASTREAM ID #1: Moez Ben Abdelkader Ben Ahmed Fezzani,” Menastream, February 9, 2016, http://menastream.com/menastream-id-1-moez-ben-abdelkader-ben-ahmed-fezzani/.

On February 8, 2016, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior issued an arrest warrant for Fezzani, claiming he was involved in planning two separate attacks in Tunisia in March and June of 2015. In the first attack, on March 18, 2015, ISIS gunmen stormed the Bardo Museum in Tunis, killing 21 foreign tourists and a Tunisian. On June 26, 2015, ISIS gunman killed at least 38 individuals on a beach in Sousse.“Tunisia attack: Sousse ceremony to remember victims,” BBC News, July 3, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33378374;
“Tunis Bardo Museum attack: Thousands join protest march,” BBC News, March 29, 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32105232.

On August 16, 2016, the internationally recognized Libyan National Army (LNA) reported Fezzani had been arrested while attempting to flee to Tunisia from the ISIS stronghold of Sirte.Lisa Daftari, “Libyan authorities arrest senior ISIS recruiter, former U.S. detainee: Libyan media,” Foreign Desk, August 19, 2016, http://www.foreigndesknews.com/world/middle-east/libyan-authorities-arrest-senior-isis-recruiter-former-u-s-detainee-libyan-media/.

 
Return to Full Database

Take action:

Help Counter Extremism

Stay updated on the latest

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

The Hispanic population is willing to return to their home countries if given the right incentive. An incentive that myself and many other patriotic Americans will provide… [terrorist attacks will] remove the threat of the Hispanic voting bloc.

Patrick Crusius, El Paso Shooter Aug. 2019
View Archive

CEP on Twitter