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Germany

Terror Suspect Mzoudi Quits Germany

A Moroccan who was dubiously acquitted of playing a role in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, has left Germany for Morocco, his lawyer said Tuesday. Abdelghani Mzoudi, 32, was acquitted last year of being an accessory to the Sept. 11 murders and of belonging to a terrorist organization, but the court in Hamburg specifically refused to rule him innocent, saying it was forced to acquit him because of lack of credible evidence. Hamburg was a rear base to three of the suicide hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The federal court of justice confirmed the verdict on June 9, and the state minister of the interior in Hamburg gave Mzoudi 14 days to leave the country after that date, saying that his presence had been tolerated only so long as there was a judicial case against him. Lawyer Gul Pinar said Mzoudi had left for Agadir in the company of another lawyer, Michael Rosenthal. "We want to be absolutely sure what happens to him," she said, adding that it was likely he would be interrogated by authorities in Morocco, where his family has lined up legal counsel for him. According to a German security expert, Mzoudi risked being arrested and transferred to the US military camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects are held. Mzoudi, who studied electronics in Hamburg, moved in the same circles as three of the Sept. 11 hijackers. He was only the second person anywhere in the world to face trial over the attacks. The first, Moroccan student Mounir El Motassadeq, is being re-tried in Germany after his original guilty verdict was overturned. Both men had attended al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

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