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Thread: Who Is Mohammed Haydar Zammar?

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    Who Is Mohammed Haydar Zammar?

    Who Is Mohammed Haydar Zammar?

    Thanks to www.cooperativeresearch.org



    1995-1999: Monitored Al Jazeera Reporter Allegedly Couriers Money from Spain to Turkey and Afghanistan for Militants
    Al Jazeera reporter Tayseer Allouni makes several trips to Turkey and Afghanistan, taking money with him and giving it to people who are later said to be militants. Allouni, some of whose telephone conversations are recorded by Spanish authorities from the mid-1990s, makes five or six trips to Turkey and Afghanistan, carrying no more than $4,000 each time. Allouni’s associates include Mamoun Darkazanli and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who are linked to 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah (see November 1, 1998-February 2001 and October 9, 1999), as well as Spain-based al-Qaeda operative Barakat Yarkas, who is in contact with Darkazanli and Zammar (see August 1998-September 11, 2001). However, Allouni will later say he is not a member of al-Qaeda and was only taking the money to friends and other Syrian exiles. Allouni will later interview Osama bin Laden (see October 20, 2001) and be sentenced to jail for his alleged al-Qaeda membership (see September 26, 2005). [Miles, 2005, pp. 306-313]

    1996: Germans Begin Investigating Hamburg Cell Member after Tip from Turkey
    Turkish intelligence informs German’s domestic intelligence service that Mohammed Haydar Zammar is a radical militant who has been traveling to trouble spots around the world. He has already made more than 40 journeys to places like Bosnia and Chechnya. Turkey explains that Zammar is running a dubious travel agency in Hamburg, organizing flights for radical militants to Afghanistan. As a result, by early 1997 German intelligence will launch Operation Zartheit, an investigation of Islamic militants in the Hamburg area. The Germans will use a full range of intelligence techniques, including wiretaps and informants. [Stern, 8/13/2003; Vanity Fair, 11/2004] Apparently, while Zammar was a teenager in Syria, he became friends with Mamoun Darkazanli and the two of them joined the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Muslim group banned in Egypt. In 1991, Zammar trained and fought in Afghanistan with the forces of the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In 1995, he fought in Bosnia against the Serbs, while based in Zenica with other mujaheddin. German intelligence apparently is familiar with at least some of Zammar’s background, because the New York Times will later report that Zammar “had been identified [in the late 1980s] by German authorities as a militant who frequented mosques in Hamburg and elsewhere.” [Washington Post, 9/11/2002; New York Times, 1/18/2003] Operation Zartheit will run at least three years and connect Zammar to many of the 9/11 plotters.

    March 1997: German Government Investigates Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell
    An investigation of al-Qaeda contacts in Hamburg by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, begins at least by this time (Germany refuses to disclose additional details). The investigation is called Operation Zartheit, and it was started by a tip about Mohammed Haydar Zammar from Turkish intelligence (see 1996). [New York Times, 1/18/2003] It is later believed that Zammar, a German of Syrian origin, is a part of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [Los Angeles Times, 1/14/2003] He later claims he recruited Mohamed Atta and others into the cell [Washington Post, 6/19/2002] From 1995-2000, he makes frequent trips to Afghanistan. [New York Times, 1/18/2003; Stern, 8/13/2003] German intelligence is aware that he was personally invited to Afghanistan by bin Laden. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt), 2/2/2003] It is not clear if or when the investigation ends, but it continues until at least September 1999. [Associated Press, 6/22/2002]

    August 1998: Germany Investigates Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell Member
    A German inquiry into Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell with Mohamed Atta, begins by this time. Although Germany will not reveal details, documents show that by August 1998, Motassadeq is under surveillance. “The trail soon [leads] to most of the main [Hamburg] participants” in 9/11. Surveillance records Motassadeq and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who had already been identified by police as a suspected extremist, as they meet at the Hamburg home of Said Bahaji, who is also under surveillance that same year. (Bahaji will soon move into an apartment with Atta and other al-Qaeda members.) German police monitor several other meetings between Motassadeq and Zammar in the following months. [New York Times, 1/18/2003] Motassadeq is later convicted in August 2002 in Germany for participation in the 9/11 attacks, but his conviction is later overturned (see March 3, 2004).

    October 2, 1998: Italian Tip Leads to Increased German Surveillance of Hamburg Cell
    Three Yemeni men are arrested in Turin, Italy. They are connected to planned attacks on US facilities in Europe. They are members of Islamic Jihad, the Egyptian militant group led by al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Italian police search their apartments and discover beards, wigs, weapons, and contact details for Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. This information is quickly passed to the German domestic intelligence service. Prior to this point, Germany has been investigating Zammar (see March 1997), but apparently they are uncertain if his claims of training in Afghanistan and meeting bin Laden are idle boasts. But after these arrests in Italy, German intelligence will realize Zammar has connections to real terrorists. The surveillance operation on him, and others in the Hamburg cell, will increase in intensity. [Stern, 8/13/2003; Vanity Fair, 11/2004]

    November 1, 1998-February 2001: Atta and Other Islamic Militants Are Monitored by US and Germany in Hamburg Apartment
    Mohamed Atta and al-Qaeda operatives Said Bahaji and Ramzi Bin al-Shibh move into a four bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse, in Hamburg, Germany, and stay there until February 2001 (Atta is already living primarily in the US well before this time). Investigators believe this move marks the formation of their Hamburg al-Qaeda cell [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/2002; New York Times, 9/10/2002] Up to six men at a time live at the apartment, including other al-Qaeda agents such as hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and cell member Zakariya Essabar. [New York Times, 9/15/2001] During the 28 months Atta’s name is on the apartment lease, 29 Middle Eastern or North African men register the apartment as their home address. From the very beginning, the apartment was officially under surveillance by German intelligence, because of investigations into businessman Mamoun Darkazanli that connect to Said Bahaji. [Washington Post, 10/23/2001] The Germans also suspect connections between Bahaji and al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002] German intelligence monitors the apartment off and on for months, and wiretaps Mounir El Motassadeq, an associate of the apartment-mates who is later put on trial in August 2002 for assisting the 9/11 plot, but apparently do not find any indication of suspicious activity. [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/2002] Bahaji is directly monitored at least for part of 1998, but German officials have not disclosed when the probe began or ended. That investigation is dropped for lack of evidence. [Associated Press, 6/22/2002; Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002] It is now clear that investigators would have found evidence if they looked more thoroughly. For instance, Zammar, a talkative man who has trouble keeping secrets, is a frequent visitor to the many late night meetings there. [Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp. 259-60; Los Angeles Times, 9/1/2002; Chicago Tribune, 9/5/2002] Another visitor later recalls Atta and others discussing attacking the US. [Knight Ridder, 9/9/2002] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is in Hamburg several times in 1999, and comes to the apartment. However, although there was a $2 million reward for Mohammed since 1998, the US apparently fails to tell Germany what it knows about him (see 1999). [Newsweek, 9/4/2002; New York Times, 11/4/2002] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri also apparently stays at the apartment “at times.” [Washington Post, 9/14/2001; Washington Post, 9/16/2001] The CIA also starts monitoring Atta while he is living at this apartment, and does not tell Germany of the surveillance. Remarkably, the German government will claim it knew little about the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell before 9/11, and nothing directed them towards the Marienstrasse apartment. [Daily Telegraph, 11/24/2001]

    January 31, 1999: Germany Monitors 9/11 Hijacker’s Calls, Shares Information with CIA
    German intelligence is tapping the telephone of al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar, and on this date, Zammar gets a call from a “Marwan.” This is later found to be hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Marwan talks about mundane things, like his studies in Bonn, Germany, and promises to come to Hamburg in a few months. German investigators trace the telephone number and determine the call came from a mobile phone registered in the United Arab Emirates. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file; Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Hamburg), 8/13/2003; New York Times, 2/24/2004] German intelligence will pass this information to the CIA about one month later, but the CIA apparently fails to capitalize on it (see March 1999).

    End Part I
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    February 17, 1999: Germans Intercept Al-Qaeda Calls, One Mentions Atta’s Name
    German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone. On this day, investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with “Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,” and can be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. However, apparently the German police fail to grasp the importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation. [Associated Press, 6/22/2002; New York Times, 1/18/2003] Atta’s last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it is not known what they make of the information. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 2/3/2003]

    March 1999: Germany Provides CIA Hijacker’s Name and Telephone Number
    German intelligence gives the CIA the first name of hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and his telephone number in the United Arab Emirates. The Germans learned the information from surveillance of suspected Islamic militants. They tell the CIA that Alshehhi has been in contact with suspected al-Qaeda members Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli. He is described as a United Arab Emirates student who has spent some time studying in Germany. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file; Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Hamburg), 8/13/2003; New York Times, 2/24/2004] The Germans consider this information “particularly valuable” and ask the CIA to track Alshehhi, but the CIA never responds until after the 9/11 attacks. The CIA decides at the time that this “Marwan” is probably an associate of bin Laden but never track him down. It is not clear why the CIA fails to act, or if they learn his last name before 9/11. [New York Times, 2/24/2004] The Germans monitor other calls between Alshehhi and Zammar, but it isn’t clear if the CIA is also told of these or not (see September 21, 1999).

    Summer 1999: US Intelligence Links Zammar to Senior Bin Laden Operatives, Fails to Share Information
    Around this time, US intelligence notes that a man in Hamburg, Germany, named Mohammed Haydar Zammar is in direct contact with one of bin Laden’s senior operational coordinators. Zammar is an al-Qaeda recruiter with links to Mohamed Atta and the rest of the Hamburg terror cell. The US had noted Zammar’s terror links on “numerous occasions” before 9/11. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file] However, apparently the US does not share their information on Zammar with German intelligence. Instead, the Germans are given evidence from Turkey that Zammar is running a travel agency as a terror front in Hamburg. In 1998, they get information from Italy confirming he is an Islamic militant. However, his behavior is so suspicious that they have already started monitoring him closely. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file; Stern, 8/13/2003]

    September 21, 1999: German Intelligence Records Calls Between Hijacker and Others Linked to Al-Qaeda
    German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone, and on this day investigators hear Zammar call hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Officials initially claim that the call also mentions hijacker Mohamed Atta, but only his first name. [Daily Telegraph, 11/24/2001; New York Times, 1/18/2003] However, his full name, “Mohamed Atta Al Amir,” is mentioned in this call and in another recorded call. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt), 2/2/2003] Alshehhi makes veiled references to plans to travel to Afghanistan. He also hands the phone over to Said Bahaji (another member of the Hamburg cell under investigation at the time), so he can talk to Zammar. [Stern, 8/13/2003] German investigators still do not know Alshehhi’s full name, but they recognize this “Marwan” also called Zammar in January, and they told the CIA about that call. Alshehhi, living in the United Arab Emirates at the time, calls Zammar frequently. German intelligence asks the United Arab Emirates to identify the number and the caller, but the request is not answered. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 2/3/2003]

    October 9, 1999: Wedding Connects Darkazanli with Hamburg Cell
    Mamoun Darkazanli, along with most of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, attends the wedding of Said Bahaji. Bahaji is one of Mohamed Atta’s roommates and believed to be a core member of the cell. The wedding takes place at the Al-Quds mosque in Hamburg. A videotape of the wedding is discovered by German investigators shortly after 9/11, and eventually more than 20 men are identified from the video. Other attendees include: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Mounir el Motassadeq, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, and Abdelghani Mzoudi. [New York Times, 9/10/2002; CBS News, 5/7/2003; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 345, 561; Vanity Fair, 11/2004] Zammar is Bahaji’s best man in the wedding. [New York Times, 6/20/2002] The video first shows Bahaji’s nuptial ceremony, followed by a series of radical militant speeches and songs. The songs celebrate violent holy war and martyrdom. The New York Times will later report, “The presence of all of these men at the wedding of Mr. Bahaji has led investigators to believe that the plan to attack the United States had essentially been formed by then… .” [New York Times, 9/10/2002]

    Late November-Early December 1999: Hamburg Cell Members Travel Monitored Route to Afghanistan
    Hamburg cell members Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and possibly Said Bahaji travel to Afghanistan via Turkey and Karachi, Pakistan. They travel along a route often used by one of their associates, al-Qaeda recruiter Mohammed Haydar Zammar, to send potential operatives to Afghanistan for training. Turkish intelligence is aware of the route and informed German intelligence of it in 1996, leading to an investigation of Zammar (see 1996). However, it is unclear whether German or Turkish intelligence register the Hamburg cell members’ travel and how and whether they disseminate and act on this information. Jarrah is reportedly noticed by an intelligence service in the United Arab Emirates on his return journey from Afghanistan (see January 30, 2000). [New York Times, 9/10/2002; CBS News, 10/9/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 167; McDermott, 2005, pp. 89]

    March 2000: German Intelligence Places Two Hijacker Associates on a German Watch List
    German intelligence places two members of the Hamburg cell, Mounir El Motassadeq and Said Bahaji, on a German watch list. The two men, associates of 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, had come to the Germans’ attention because of their association with al-Qaeda recruiter Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who they meet regularly. The watchlisting means that their arrivals and departures to and from Germany will be reported immediately. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 2/3/2003; US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file] Motassadeq was first investigated by German authorities in 1998 (see August 1998) and Bahaji may have recently traveled to Afghanistan with some associates using a route monitored by European intelligence agencies (see Late November-Early December 1999).

    May 22, 2000: German Intelligence Notices Hijackers’ Associate Traveling Monitored Route
    Hamburg cell member Mounir El Motassadeq leaves Germany for Afghanistan and his travel is immediately reported to the German authorities because he is on a watch list (see March 2000). Motassadeq, an associate of Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, flies from Hamburg to Karachi, Pakistan, via Istanbul. At least two of the hijackers had previously traveled this route to Afghanistan (see Late November-Early December 1999). Although Turkish intelligence is aware that radicals from Germany travel to Afghanistan via Turkey, it is not clear whether they pick up the travel by Motassadeq (see 1996). There are two versions of German intelligence’s reaction to this trip. An early 2003 article in Der Speigel will say that the intelligence report only gives Motassadeq’s destination as Istanbul, so there are no consequences for him. However, a later article in Stern magazine will say, “Naturally, the officials know that Istanbul is not his real destination but only the usual stopover on his way to Afghanistan, to the camps of Osama bin Laden.” [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 2/3/2003; Stern, 8/13/2003]

    End Part II
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    August 27, 2001: Spanish Police Tape Phone Calls Indicating Aviation-Based Plans to Attack US
    Spanish police tape a series of cryptic, coded phone calls from a caller in Britain using the codename “Shakur” to Barakat Yarkas (also known as Abu Dahdah), the leader of a Spanish al-Qaeda cell presumably visited by Mohamed Atta in July. A Spanish judge will claim that a call by a man using the alias “Shakur” on this day shows foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. “Shakur” says that he is “giving classes” and that “in our classes, we have entered the field of aviation, and we have even cut the bird’s throat.” Another possible translation is, “We are even going to cut the eagle’s throat,” which would be a clearer metaphor for the US. [Observer, 11/25/2001; Guardian, 2/14/2002] Spanish authorities later claim that detective work and voice analysis shows “Shakur” is Farid Hilali, a young Moroccan who had lived mostly in Britain since 1987. The Spanish later will charge him for involvement in the 9/11 plot, claiming that, in the 45 days preceding 9/11, he travels constantly in airplanes “to analyse them and to be prepared for action.” It will be claimed that he is training on aircraft in the days leading up to 9/11. It will further be said that he is connected to the Madrid train bombing in 2003. [London Times, 6/30/2004; Scotsman, 7/15/2004; London Times, 7/16/2004] The Spanish Islamic militant cell led by Yarkas is allegedly a hub of financing, recruitment, and support services for al-Qaeda in Europe. Yarkas’s phone number will later also be found in the address book of Said Bahaji, and he had ties with Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli. All three are associates of Atta in Hamburg. [Los Angeles Times, 11/23/2001] Yarkas also “reportedly met with bin Laden twice and was in close contact with” top deputy Muhammad Atef. [Washington Post, 11/19/2001] On November 11, 2001, Yarkas and ten other Spaniards will be arrested and charged with al-Qaeda activity. [International Herald Tribune, 11/21/2001]

    October 27, 2001: Zammar Arrested, Detained by US in Syria
    Suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar travels from Germany to Morocco. Not long after, perhaps in December, he is arrested by Moroccan police with US assistance. Although he is a German citizen and under investigation by Germany, German intelligence remain unaware of his arrest, and only learn about it from the newspapers in June 2002. He is sent to Syria, where there are formal charges against him. Zammar reportedly now claims he recruited Mohamed Atta and others into the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell. [Washington Post, 6/19/2002] It is widely suspected that the US arranged for Zammar to be sent to Syria so that he could be more thoroughly interrogated using torture. The Germans are angry that the US has been submitting questions for Zammar and learning answers from Syria, but have not informed Germany of what they have learned [Daily Telegraph, 6/20/2002; Christian Science Monitor, 7/26/2002]

    November 2001
    Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who holds joint German and Syrian citizenship, is arrested in Morocco, where he is reportedly interrogated by US agents. Zammar is suspected of having served as a recruiter for al-Qaeda. [Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Amnesty International, 8/19/2003]

    Early 2002-January 2003: Syrian Government Helps US with Al-Qaeda Intelligence until US Cuts Off Relationship Because of Iraq War Priority
    By early 2002, Syria emerges as one of the CIA’s most effective intelligence sources on al-Qaeda. Syria is one of seven countries on a State Department list of sponsors of terrorism. It has been on that list since 1979, mostly because of its support for Hezbollah combating Israel. But Syria is also an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaeda has many connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, especially its Syrian branch. According to journalist Seymour Hersh in New Yorker magazine, “The Syrians had compiled hundreds of files on al-Qaeda, including dossiers on the men who participated—and others who wanted to participate—in the September 11th attacks. Syria also penetrated al-Qaeda cells throughout the Middle East and in Arab exile communities throughout Europe.” It appears Syrian intelligence may even have penetrated the Hamburg cell tied to the 9/11 plot, as hijacker Mohamed Atta and other cell members, such as Mohammed Haydar Zammar, occasionally worked at a German firm called Tatex Trading, which was infiltrated by Syrian intelligence (see September 10, 2002-June 2003). For a time, the Syrians give much of what they know to the CIA and FBI. A former State Department official says, “Up through January of 2003, the cooperation was top-notch. Then we were going to do Iraq, and some people in the [Bush] administration got heavy-handed. They wanted Syria to get involved in operational stuff having nothing to do with al-Qaeda and everything to do with Iraq. It was something Washington wanted from the Syrians, and they didn’t want to do it.” Hersh reports, “The collapse of the liaison relationship has left many CIA operatives especially frustrated. ‘The guys are unbelievably pissed that we’re blowing this away,’ a former high-level intelligence official told me. ‘There was a great channel… The Syrians were a lot more willing to help us, but they’—[Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld and his colleagues—“want to go in [Syria after the Iraq war].’” [New Yorker, 7/18/2003]

    June 2002
    With help from the US, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a German and Syrian citizen suspected of being a top al-Qaeda member, is taken in secret to Syria. When the German government learns of the arrest and transfer, it strongly protests the move. After his arrival in Syria, according to a former fellow prisoner, Zammar is tortured in the Far’ Falastin, or “Palestine Branch,” detention center in Damascus. [Daily Telegraph, 6/20/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] The center is run by military intelligence and reportedly is a place “where many prisoners remain held incommunicado.” [Washington Post, 1/31/2003] His Syrian interrogators are reportedly provided with questions from their US counterparts. [Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] This is alleged by Murhaf Jouejati, Adjunct Professor at George Washington University, who tells the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States that, “Although US officials have not been able to interrogate Zammar, Americans have submitted questions to the Syrians.” [911 Commission, 7/9/2003] In the “Palestine Branch” prison, Zammar is locked up in cell number thirteen. According to Amnesty International, the cell measures 185 cm long, 90 cm wide and less than two meters high. Zammar is said to be about six feet tall and now “skeletal” in appearance. [Amnesty International, 10/8/2004]

    End Part III
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    September 10, 2002-June 2003: Germans Begin, Then Cancel, Investigation into Company with Ties to Hamburg Cell and Syrian Intelligence
    On September 10, 2002, German police raid the Tatex Trading company, a small textile business located just outside of Hamburg. According to Newsweek, German authorities has been “keeping a close watch on the company… for years.” Germans begin preparing a case against the company and the US prepares to freeze the company’s assets. But by June 2003, the investigation is closed and no action is taken by the US or Germany. Newsweek will claim that “Some US and German officials suggest that both countries decided not to proceed with legal action against Tatex to avoid antagonizing the government of Syria.” [Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Hamburg), 9/7/2003; Newsweek, 1/18/2004] The New Yorker will claim “Tatex was infiltrated by Syrian intelligence in the eighties; one of its shareholders was Mohammed Majed Said, who ran the Syrian intelligence directorate from 1987 to 1994.” [New Yorker, 7/18/2003] Some believe the Syrians infiltrated the company to spy on extremist Syrian exiles in Hamburg, while others believe Syrians were using the company as a front to illegally acquire high-tech equipment from the West. It is claimed that the investigation into Tatex is dropped because Syria has been cooperative with Germany and the US in other areas. [Newsweek, 1/18/2004] Abdul-Matin Tatari, the Syrian in charge of Tatex, admits that his company had employed Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli, both of whom have been tied to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. Further, the Chicago Tribune claims, “Investigators also say Mohamed Atta himself worked for a time at Tatex, something Tatari vehemently denies. But Tatari admits that one of his sons signed Atta’s petition to establish an Islamic ‘study group’ at Hamburg’s Technical University that served as a rendezvous for the hijackers and their supporters.” Tatari’s son took trips with Mounir El Motassadeq, who also has been tied to the Hamburg cell. Tatari, Zammar, Darkazanli, and Atta all are believed to be members of the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a secret society banned in Egypt. [Chicago Tribune, 11/1/2002]

    October 25, 2002: German-US Breakdown in Communications Hampers Anti-Terrorism Measures
    PBS Newshour reports, “[German authorities] say they’re not getting the cooperation they need from the authorities in the [US], and they’re worried that a political dispute between Washington and Berlin is hampering their ability to protect the public… In Hamburg, the police say that breakdown in communications between the US and German governments has also led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of investigative help they’re getting from the [US]” The Bush administration has not spoken to the German government since it won re-election four months earlier while openly opposing Bush’s planned war on Iraq. Germans say existing prosecutions of 9/11 suspects are now threatened by the information breakdown. [Online NewsHour, 10/25/2002] The Germans helped capture suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Heidar Zammar and turned him over to a third country, yet now they’re learning very little from his interrogations, even though he has admitted to being involved in a plot to attack a consulate in Germany. A US State Department official denies there is any problem, aside from a few “bumps in the road.” [New York Times, 11/4/2002] June 2004, German prosecutor Matthias Krauss, who investigated the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, will be scheduled to testify before the 9/11 Commission about both pre-9/11 communication problems between German and US intelligence officials and the US government’s cooperation with foreign governments prosecuting suspected terrorists in the post-9/11 period. However, he will unexpectedly cancel at the last minute. [Associated Press, 6/15/2004]

    February 18, 2003: Alleged Al-Qaeda Member Convicted in Germany
    Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, is convicted in Germany of accessory to murder in the 9/11 attacks. His is given the maximum sentence of 15 years. [Associated Press, 2/19/2003] Motassadeq admitted varying degrees of contact with Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Ziad Jarrah, and Zakariya Essabar; admitted he had been given power of attorney over Alshehhi’s bank account; and admitted attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan from May to August 2000; but he claimed he had nothing to do with 9/11. [New York Times, 10/24/2002] The conviction is the first one related to 9/11, but as the Independent puts it, “there are doubts whether there will ever be a second.” This is because intelligence agencies have been reluctant to turn over evidence, or give access to requested witnesses. In Motassadeq’s case, his lawyers tried several times unsuccessfully to obtain testimony by two of his friends, bin al-Shibh and Mohammed Haydar Zammar—a lack of evidence that will later become grounds for overturning his conviction. [Independent, 2/20/2003]

    July 24, 2003: 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Suggests Hijackers Received Considerable Assistance Inside US
    The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry’s final report concludes that at least six hijackers received “substantial assistance” from associates in the US, though it’s “not known to what extent any of these contacts in the United States were aware of the plot.” These hijackers came into contact with at least 14 people who were investigated by the FBI before 9/11, and four of those investigations were active while the hijackers were present. But in June 2002, FBI Director Mueller testified: “While here, the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage. As far as we know, they contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States.” CIA Director Tenet made similar comments at the same time, and another FBI official stated, “[T]here were no contacts with anybody we were looking at inside the United States.” These comments are untrue, because one FBI document from November 2001 uncovered by the Inquiry concludes that the six lead hijackers “maintained a web of contacts both in the United States and abroad. These associates, ranging in degrees of closeness, include friends and associates from universities and flight schools, former roommates, people they knew through mosques and religious activities, and employment contacts. Other contacts provided legal, logistical, or financial assistance, facilitated US entry and flight school enrollment, or were known from [al-Qaeda]-related activities or training.” [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file] The declassified sections of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry’s final report show the hijackers have contact with:
    • Mamoun Darkazanli, investigated several times starting in 1993 (see 1993; Late 1998); the CIA makes repeated efforts to turn him into an informer (see December 1999).
    • Mohammed Haydar Zammar, investigated by Germany since at least 1997 (see 1996), the Germans periodically inform the CIA what they learn.
    • Osama Basnan, US intelligence is informed of his connections to Islamic militants several times in early 1990s but fails to investigate (see April 1998).
    • Omar al-Bayoumi, investigated in San Diego from 1998-1999 (see September 1998-July 1999).
    • Anwar Al Aulaqi, investigated in San Diego from 1999-2000 (see June 1999-March 2000).
    • Osama “Sam” Mustafa, owner of a San Diego gas station, and investigated beginning in 1991 (see Autumn 2000).
    • Ed Salamah, manager of the same gas station, and an uncooperative witness in 2000 (see Autumn 2000).
    • An unnamed friend of Hani Hanjour, whom the FBI tries to investigate in 2001.
    • An unnamed associate of Marwan Alshehhi, investigated beginning in 1999.
    • Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who had contact with Basnan, al-Bayoumi, Aulaqi, Mustafa, and Salamah, “maintained a number of other contacts in the local Islamic community during their time in San Diego, some of whom were also known to the FBI through counterterrorist inquiries and investigations,” but details of these individuals and possible others are still classified. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 pdf file] None of the above people have been arrested or even publicly charged with any crime associated with terrorism, although Zammar is in prison in Syria.


    End
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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