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Germany

Convicted 9/11 Terrorist Reiterates Innocence

Convicted terrorist Mounir el Motassadeq, who was sentenced to 15 years in a German jail for aiding and abetting the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, told a Hamburg court he was not guilty. The 29-year-old Moroccan man gave evidence on Tuesday as a witness in the trial of countryman Abdelighani Mzoudi, who has also been charged with accessory to murder in 3,066 cases and membership in a terrorist organization. Motassadeq said a Hamburg terrorist cell that independently planned the attacks on New York and Washington never existed. Referring to information from the U.S. Congress and the German Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Motassadeq said the attacks were planned in Afghanistan and that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network recruited pilots. Both the verdict against Motassadeq and the charges against Mzoudi's maintain that the Hamburg terror cell led by Mohammed Atta, who hijacked and flew one of the planes into the World Trade Center, planned and carried out the attacks in Sept. 2001. Motassadeq is currently appealing his conviction.