by WorldTribune Staff, April 19, 2018
Kurdish security forces in northern Syria have reported the arrest of a Syrian-born German national who, before joining ISIS, was accused of recruiting some of the hijackers who carried out the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
Mohammed Haydar Zammar was detained and “is now being interrogated,” a senior Kurdish commander told AFP on April 18.
Zammar, who is in his mid-50s, had been detained in Morocco in December 2001 in an operation involving CIA agents, and was handed over to the Syrian authorities two weeks later.
The pro-Kurdish ANF media outlet said Zammar was “said to be a close friend of Muhammad Atta, one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attacks.” Zammar reportedly left Hamburg “shortly after the planes flew into New York’s twin towers and the Pentagon in Washington, but was captured in Morocco with U.S. help and sent to Syria,” ANF said.
In 2007, a Syrian court sentenced Zammar to 12 years in prison for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge that at the time could have resulted in the death penalty, according to an Arutz Sheva report.
The Syrian government handed Zammar over to an Islamist group in 2013 as part of a prisoner exchange and he then joined Islamic State (ISIS), the ANF report said.
The Pentagon said it could not confirm Zammar’s capture but was looking into it.