BERLIN (Reuters) – A Moroccan associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers is being dragged out of a German jail for deportation after serving a 15-year jail term for helping organize the 2011 attacks on targets, authorities said on Monday.
Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq is escorted at Hamburg airport as it is released from prison in Hamburg, Germany, October 1
Mounir El Motassadeq was a member of a group of radical Islamists based in the northern German port city of Hamburg who helped bring about the suicide attacks with hijacked airliners that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Motassadeq is one of only two men convicted of involvement in the plot.
"Everything is going on according to plan," said the spokesman for the state of Hamburg's interior ministry, declining to give details, other than saying that Motassadeq's release was permissible from Oct , 15 if he was deported immediately.
Photographer showing a man with a closed eye being guided by a pair of armed policemen to a helicopter. Deported to Morocco, where his family lives.
The spokesman in Hamburg could not say exactly when his sentence was due to end. November, November or early next year.
At his 2007 trial, his lawyers argued that Motassadeq knew nothing about the Sept. 11 plot. But prosecutors said he played a central role in suicide hijackers Mohammed Atta's group.
Authorities in Hamburg said they would confirm the deportation once it has taken place.
Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Mark Heinrich