Spanish judge charges Moroccan over Sept 11
29 April 2004, MADRID - A judge has charged a fugitive Moroccan for involvement in planning the 11 September attacks in the US, it was reported Thursday.
29 April 2004
MADRID - A judge has charged a fugitive Moroccan for involvement in planning the 11 September attacks in the US, it was reported Thursday.
Judge Baltasar Garzon said Amer Azizi helped to organise a meeting in Spain in July 2001 where key 11 September plotters finalised their plans.
Azizi fled Spain in November 2001 after several al-Qaeda suspects were arrested by the Spanish authorities.
Some Spanish newspapers reported a connection between Azizi and the 11 March massacre in Madrid, but this has not been confirmed.
Judge Garzon has accused Azizi of multiple counts of murder - "as many deaths and injuries as were committed" on 11 September, according to court documents.
The Moroccan provided lodging for people who attended a meeting in the north-eastern Tarragona region of Spain in July 2001 and acted as a courier to pass messages between the plotters, the judge said an indictment.
Azizi is described as the right-hand man of Imad Eddim Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah.
Yarkas was arrested by the Spanish authorities in November 2001 on suspicion of heading an al-Qaeda cell in the country that allegedly provided funding and logistics for the terrorists behind the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
Judge Garzon, who had already charged Azizi with belonging to al-Qaeda, said the new indictment was based on information from the UK, Turkish and US authorities, the Associated Press reports.
The indictment says Azizi in October 2000 met a fellow Moroccan, Said Berraj, in Istanbul.
Berraj is a key suspect in the Madrid attacks.
Media reports have described Azizi as one of the brains behind the March bombings.
But Spanish Interior Ministry and court officials say they cannot link Azizi directly to the attacks.
Spanish authorities have brought provisional charges against more than a dozen people over the bombings in the Spanish capital.
International arrest warrants have been issued for five more suspects.
Subject: Spanish news