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Germany deported convicted 9/11 suspects to Morocco



BERLIN – A Moroccan who was convicted of helping Mohamed Atta and the other Hamburg suicide pilots of September 11 when they planned their attacks on New York and Washington was deported from Germany to his homeland on Monday. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…95&Itemid=55 He was a member of a terrorist organization and helped murder 246 passengers and crew members on the four aircraft used in the 2001 attacks. Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…95&Itemid=55 Convicted airman was flown helicopter from a Hamburg jail on Monday morning

Blindfolded and handcuffed with his hands and ankles, the 44-year-old was then led by two policemen to another helicopter while other heavily armed police patrolled in balaclavas and watched from the rooftops.

The authorities did not want to comment on the operation for safety reasons

"Mr. Motassadeq will leave the country soon," said the spokesman for the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior Frank Reschreiter told Associated Press. "All necessary process steps were ticked as planned."

El Motassadeq was released shortly before the end of his 1

5-year sentence, on the condition that he agrees to a deportation to Morocco. That would allow Germany to arrest him again if he ever returned to the country.

It was not immediately clear what awaited him in Morocco.

El Motassadeq was convicted of being part of the so-called Hamburg cell, including Atta and his colleague Sept 11 pilots Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah

German courts ruled that Motassadeq was planning to kidnap and tow the planes although he probably did not know the details of the attack. They said that Motassadeq had helped "to turn their backs on the aggressors and hide them" by helping them to act as normal university students, paying rent, and transferring money.

El Motassadeq confirmed training in an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, but insisted that he knew nothing of the plans of his friends to attack the US

"I swear to God that I knew that Attackers in America were, "he shouted in accented German at a hearing. "I swear to God that I do not know what they wanted to do."

Initially arrested in Hamburg in November 2001, Motassadeq was convicted in 2003 of membership in a terrorist organization and thousands of charges of murder. Victims were brought to justice and sentenced as the first person charged with charges of 9/11. He was sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison.

However, a federal court overturned that verdict in 2004, mainly because of a lack of evidence by Al Qaeda suspects in US custody and sent the case back to Hamburg.

Following a retrial in 2005, El Motassadeq was again convicted of membership of a terrorist organization that included Atta, al-Shehhi, and Jarrah. But he was acquitted of being an accessory to the murder after the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence that he knew of the kidnapping plot.

El Motassadeq was sentenced to seven years in prison at that time, but in early 2006 until his appeal could be heard.

Later that year, the federal court overturned the acquittal of the Motassadeq court in Hamburg for allegations of murder allegations and ruled that the evidence knew that the conspirators abducted and crashed planes. However, it limited the number of counts to the 246 people killed on board the aircraft and the 15-year prison sentence was restored.

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Frank Jordan contributed to this story.

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