Hamburg man 'knew in advance' about 9/11

16th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2004 , HAMBURG - A German court heard on Tuesday chilling testimony detailing how the 11 September attacks were discussed in advance by plotters in Hamburg. Testimony came during the retrial of Moroccan-born Mounir al-Motassadeq before Hamburg Superior State Court on charges of being an accomplice to the deaths of the more than 3,000 persons who died in the 11 September attacks. The witness, a former roommate of Motassadeq during their time together as technical college students in Hamburg, tol

16 November 2004

HAMBURG - A German court heard on Tuesday chilling testimony detailing how the 11 September attacks were discussed in advance by plotters in Hamburg.

Testimony came during the retrial of Moroccan-born Mounir al-Motassadeq before Hamburg Superior State Court on charges of being an accomplice to the deaths of the more than 3,000 persons who died in the 11 September attacks.

The witness, a former roommate of Motassadeq during their time together as technical college students in Hamburg, told the court how Motassadeq alluded to the upcoming attacks.

"He said he knew something big was about to happen that would bring America and world Jewry to its knees," the witness said.

His testimony at last year's first trial was instrumental in bringing about Motassadeq's conviction.

In 2003 Motassadeq was sentenced to jail for 15 years for assisting more than 3,000 murders and being a member of a terrorist group. The conviction was quashed on appeal and a new trial ordered.

The Hamburg state superior court is later to watch a videotape made by bin Laden and broadcast on the Arabic TV channel al-Jazeera at the end of last month.

In the tape, bin Laden confirmed several key findings of investigations into the attacks, including stating that 19 men were involved and that their overall commander had been Mohammed Atta.

Motassadeq has sought to portray himself as ignorant of Atta's mission despite his close friendship with Atta and prayer meetings.

Germany's top domestic intelligence official has disputed the prosecution view that the 11 September 2001 attacks were essentially devised and prepared from Germany.

Echoing a videotaped statement three weeks ago by al-Qaeda chieftain Osama bin Laden, Heinz Fromm told the Hamburg court that is re-trying al-Motassadeq that the attacks were conceived in Afghanistan, not among Hamburg Arab students.

Fromm, 56, who heads the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said the accused had been among those under surveillance by German counter-terrorism agents before 2001, but the agents had no clue that suicide hijacks were planned.

Fromm's testimony was crucial in the February acquittal of another alleged plotter, Abdel-Ghani Mzoudi, who was also charged with membership in a terrorist organisation. Legal scholars say German law precludes a conviction for membership in any foreign-based group.

Defence lawyers predicted Fromm's statement would lead to Motassadeq's acquittal and said it was odd he had not been called to testify at the first trial.

But prosecutors said the location of the plotters was not important: the issue was whether Motassadeq had foreknowledge of the attacks.

The prosecution contends that eight students in Hamburg had by spring 1999 devised the idea of hijacking airliners and using them as suicide bombers, then approached bin Laden for assistance.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article