Safia Benaouda

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Safie Benaouda
Born 1989 [1]
Citizenship Sweden

Safie Benaouda is a citizen of Sweden who had fallen under suspicion of an association with terrorism.[2][3][4]

In an interview with Raymond Bonner of the International Herald Tribune Benaouda said she and her fiance fellow Swede Munir Awad had traveled to Dubai, on vacation, but were disappointed at how commercialized facilities for tourists were.[2] So they traveled to Somalia to see a more traditional Muslim culture. They arrived in Somalia shortly before it was invaded by Kenya.

Benaouda described an American woman dying in her arms, and described caring for her three children until they were captured. She said the soldiers who captured her were led by three Americans.[2] She said that her interrogations, in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, were overseen by Americans.

According to the International Herald Tribune the American woman who died was the wife of Daniel Maldonado, an American suspected of undertaking military training at an Afghan training camp.[2] According to the International Herald Tribune the American woman died of malaria.

On August 20, 2009 the pair and their young child were apprehended in Pakistan, together with fellow Swede Mehdi Ghezali, and nine other non-Pakistanis.[4] Ghezali is reported to have told authorities that they were traveling to Lahore to participate in a Tablighi Jamaat conference. Mohammad Rizwan, the chief of police of Dera Ghazi Khan, who captured the individuals, has told the press that their luggage included a laptop computer, $10,000 USD and a suicide belt.

On September 17, 2009 Swedish newspaper The Local reported sources close to the Pakistani authorities said that Benaouda was not a suspected terrorist, and that she and her child could expect release soon.[5] The Local reported that none of the Swedes had been granted consular access to Swedish diplomats.

On September 25, 2009 some Swedish newspapers reported that Benaouda had been released by Pakistani security officials.[6] On September 27, 2009 The Local reported that reports of her Benaouda's release were unconfirmed. On September 29, 2009 The Local reported that Pakistani officials said Benaouda had been offered release several times, but had refused to be released if her husband remained in detention.[7]


  1. Ratsit
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Raymond Bonner (2007-04-15). "Lark to Africa descends into Somali nightmare". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. 
  3. "Swedish teen says US led detention". Press TV. 2007-04-14. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Terror suspect Swedes still detained: Pakistan". The Local. 2009-09-16. Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. 
  5. "Woman 'not a suspect' in Pakistan terror probe". The Local. 2009-09-17. Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. 
  6. "Mystery grows over whereabouts of Pakistan Swedes". The Local. 2009-09-27. Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. 
  7. "Swede held in Pakistan 'refuses to be released': official". The Local. 2009-09-27. Archived from the original on 2009-09-29.