New German link to September 11 claimed

3rd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 August 2005, HAMBURG - A second German-based terrorist cell may have been involved with the September 11 attacks in addition to the Hamburg cell that produced the suicide skyjackers, according to a report Wednesday.

3 August 2005

HAMBURG - A second German-based terrorist cell may have been involved with the September 11 attacks in addition to the Hamburg cell that produced the suicide skyjackers, according to a report Wednesday.

One of the pilots, Ziad Jarrah, as well as the America-based logistical man Ramzi Binalshibh were recruited in the Ruhr Valley city of Duisburg, said the report in the weekly Stern magazine.

Hitherto, it was believed they had been recruited by Mohammed Atta, ringleader of the Hamburg cell.

The report in Hamburg-based Stern, in Thursday's edition of the magazine, said Moroccan terrorist suspect Karim Mehdi had divulged the Duisburg link to French interrogators after his capture in Paris.

Mehdi claimed he had sat in on a meeting of Jarrah and Binalshibh at the Duisburg apartment of Mauritanian-born Mohamedou Ould Slahi in 1999.

Stern said that claim had been backed up by statements from Slahi, who is now being detained at Guantanamo Bay as a key al Qaeda terrorist suspect.

Stern said the cell in Hamburg maintained close ties with the al Qaeda cell in the Ruhr Valley.

The leaders of that cell included Slahi and Christian Ganczarski, who was arrested in June 2003 at Charles de Gaulle airport in connection with the April 2002 suicide bombing of a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba that killed 21 people, including 14 Germans.

French officials say Ganczarski, a German citizen, was a high- ranking member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network,

Stern said intercepted e-mails indicated that Ganczarski was in close contact with an alleged Hamburg cell member, Mounir al- Motassadeq, whose retrial culminates next week with final arguments before a court in Hamburg.

Motassadeq's attorney Wednesday said she had no knowledge of any such connection.

Motassadeq is the only person ever convicted of a role in the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

A verdict at his retrial, which follows a successful appeal against his conviction and 15-year jail sentence, is expected on August 19.

DPA

Subject: German news

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