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Jaber A. Elbaneh

Jaber A. Elbaneh (w/an alternate spelling of "Gabr al-Bana") (Arabic: جبر البنا‎) (born: September 9, 1966) is a Yemeni-American[1] who was convicted of participating in several Al-Qaeda-led actions. The U.S. claims he was an associate of the Buffalo Six terrorist cell and he was added as a fugitive to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list. Yemen convicted him in connection with the 2002 Limburg oil tanker bombing and for plots to attack oil installations inside Yemen.

Elbaneh has worked as a salesman and a taxi driver. He is related to Susan Elbaneh, the only American victim of a terrorist attack against the U.S. Embassy in Yemen in September 2008.[2]


Buffalo Six

He has been associated with the Buffalo Six domestic terrorist cell (also known as the Lackawanna Six, Lakawanna Cell, or Buffalo Cell), a group of six Yemeni-Americans from Lackawanna, New York (near Buffalo) who were convicted of providing material support to al-Qaeda. The Lackawanna Six had traveled to Afghanistan to what later became known in the American media as the "al-Farooq terrorist training camp."[3]

The six were arrested in Lackawanna, New York, near Buffalo, New York in September 2002 after four to eight months of investigations. The Buffalo Six pleaded guilty in court to terrorism related charges. Elbaneh was also indicted in absentia in a federal criminal complaint unsealed on May 21, 2003, in the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, Buffalo, New York. He is charged with the Buffalo Six of providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda.[4] By June 2003, Elbanehhad been added to the FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism list[5]


Jaber A. Elbaneh c. 2000
Jaber A. Elbaneh in 1996

In 2002, the French oil tanker Limburg was bombed in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen, leaving 1 dead and 12 injured. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility. Yemen also claims that Elbaneh was involved in a plot to attack oil facilities in Yemen around this time. Yemen arrested and convicted a large group of people including Elbaneh for the Limburg attack. Elbaneh was sent to maximum-security prison in the capital San'a.

Prison escape

Elbaneh was named as one of 23 people, 13 of them al-Qaeda members, who escaped from a Yemeni jail on February 3, 2006.[6] Many of the escapees had been imprisoned for the USS Cole and Limburg bombings.

On February 23, 2006, the U.S. FBI confirmed the escape, as they issued a national press release naming Elbaneh as one of the escapees, and also as one of the first new additions, since inception in 2001, to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list.[7] A reward of up to $5 million was offered for his arrest.[8] He appeared on the FBI list with three photos on his wanted poster under the name Jaber A. Elbaneh.

2007 conviction

In 2007, a Yemeni court convicted Elbaneh in absentia for the 2002 oil facilities plot and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.

2008 surrender

In December 2007, Elbaneh surrendered himself but he was not returned to prison. Reported on May 19, 2008, Elbaneh was jailed in Yemen after an appeals court upheld his 10-year prison sentence[8]

See also


  1. ^,2933,184273,00.html
  2. ^ "". U.S. student, husband among dead in embassy attack in Yemen, September 18, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-18.  
  3. ^ "" (PDF). Is the Buffalo, NY terrorist cell for real? (pdf), December 14, 2003. Retrieved 2006-05-29.  
  4. ^ FBI Most Wanted Terrorists wanted poster for Elbaneh
  5. ^ FBI Seeking Information, War on Terrorism list archive, Internet Archive Wayback Machine, June 3, 2003
  6. ^ Hunt on for Yemeni jailbreakers, BBC, February 4, 2006
  8. ^ a b "FBI Most Wanted terror suspect jailed in Yemen", Ahmed al-Haj, Associated Press, May 19, 2008

External links



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