A German court this week convicted a Moroccan man of belonging to the Hamburg terrorist cell that planned the 9/11 attacks. Mounir el-Motassadeq, 31, was a friend of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta, and paid rent for two other hijackers to conceal their whereabouts after they left for the U.S. He was convicted in 2003, but an appeals court ordered a new trial. One reason was the U.S. refusal to let German officials interview other al Qaida prisoners to confirm Motassadeq’s involvement. Prosecutors said Motassadeq knew of the plot, but a defense lawyer insisted his client was not a terrorist. The court found Motassedeq didn’t play a direct role in the attacks, and sentenced him to seven years in prison.
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