SAID ARIF

QDi.323
SAID ARIF
Date on which the narrative summary became available on the Committee's website: 
15 August 2014
Reason for listing: 

Said Arif was listed on 15 August 2014 pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 2161 (2014) as being associated with Al-Qaida for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of” and “recruiting for” Jabhat al-Nusrah, listed as Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QDe.137).

Additional information: 

Said Arif is an Algerian army officer who deserted and travelled to Afghanistan in the 1990s. While in Afghanistan, he trained in Al-Qaida (QDe.004) camps with weapons and explosives. Arif is suspected of training in the production of chemical and biological weapons in Georgia, allegedly under the guidance of Al-Qaida senior leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also known as Ahmad Fadil Nazal al-Khalayleh (deceased). Arif was one of al-Zarqawi’s closest lieutenants, and was a suspect linked to the ‘Frankfurt Group’ (not listed) plot to bomb Strasbourg Cathedral and Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, in December 2000, which was planned by Al-Qaida senior member, Abu Doha (not listed).

Arif is involved in a facilitation network that sends foreign recruits from Europe to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chechnya, the Russian Federation. In 2003, Arif was arrested in Syria and put on trial in France in 2004 with 25 others as part of the ‘Chechen Network’ (not listed). The group was accused of plotting in 2002 to blow up the Eiffel Tower and to carry out attacks on malls and police stations in France. In 2006 Arif was convicted for his role and membership in the group, which an appeal court in 2007 increased to the maximum sentence of ten years. After his arrest, Arif confessed that Al-Qaida was planning to attack an American military base in Spain using chemical weapons. Arif was also connected to an Al-Qaida cell whose members were arrested in Barcelona, Spain. Arif was released in December 2011 and was placed under house arrest in France.

However, in October 2013 he escaped and travelled to Syria where he joined Jabhat al-Nusrah, listed as of Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant (QDe.137).