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Said Bahaji (also transliterated as Saeed Bahaji, born 15 July 1975 in Haselünne, Lower Saxony) was an alleged member of the Hamburg cell that provided money to the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks.


File:Said bahaji passport.jpg

This photocopy of his passport photo was released by the FBI.

He is a German citizen, and was born to a Moroccan father and a German mother in 1975. The family moved to Morocco when he was nine years old. He came to Hamburg in 1995. He enrolled in an electrical engineering program at a technical university in 1996. He spent five months in the German army and then received a medical discharge. He lived in a student home during the weekdays and he spent weekends with his aunt, Barbara Arens. Both of them loved computers, and he called her his "high-tech aunt". She saw that he was secular until other students introduced him to radical Islam. She later put an end to the weekend visits.

On November 1, 1998, he moved into an apartment in Germany with future hijackers Mohamed Atta and Ramzi Binalshibh Wikipedia.png. The Hamburg cell was born at this apartment.[1][1] They met three or four times a week to discuss their anti-American feelings and plot possible attacks. Many al-Qaeda members lived in this apartment at various times, including hijacker Marwan al-Shehhi, Zakariya Essabar, hijacker Waleed al-Shehri, and others. He apparently served as the group's Internet expert.

He had already been under investigation by German Intelligence for his connections with Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a radical Islamic cleric. Through this, German Intelligence was able to learn some of the activities of Atta and others, but the investigation was eventually dropped for lack of evidence.

In October 1999, he got married at the Al-Quds Mosque in Hamburg. Atta, Jarrah, Shehhi, Zammar, and Binalshibh all attended his wedding.

In late 1999, Atta, Shehhi, Jarrah, and Binalshibh decided to travel to Chechnya Wikipedia.png to fight against the Russians, but were convinced by Khalid al-Masri and Mohamedou Ould Slahi at the last minute to change their plans. They instead traveled to Afghanistan to meet with Osama bin Laden and train for terrorist attacks. There are conflicting reports as to whether he went with them; some news reports say that he went, but the 9/11 Commission Report says he stayed in Germany and helped cover for them in their absence. When the group returned to Germany, he was put on a border patrol watch list.

He told his employer in June 2001 that he was going to an internship for a software company in Pakistan. His aunt, Barbara Arens, says that she was suspicious and that she went to the police and pleaded to them "to do something." She says that police took no action against him. Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told him in August that if he wanted to go to Afghanistan, he should go in the next few weeks, because it would soon become more difficult. He left Germany on September 4, 2001, just a week before the attacks, and flew to Karachi via Istanbul.

Aftermath of the attacks[]

He and cohort Ramzi Binalshibh were charged with 5,000 counts of murder by German officials.[citation needed] Binalshibh has since been arrested, but Bahaji is still at large.

During the October 2009, Pakistan military operation against terrorists in South Waziristan, his German passport was found in a captured militant town.[2][3]


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Early 1996: Future 9/11 Hijackers Begin Attending Mosque Monitored by German Authorities

The Al-Quds mosque in Hamburg was monitored by German authorities. [Source: Knut Muller] Mohamed Atta and other members of the Hamburg cell begin regularly attending the Al Quds mosque and fall under surveillance by the German authorities. Atta becomes a well-known figure both there and at other mosques in the city. He grows a beard at this time, which some commentators interpret as a sign of greater religious devotion. The mosque is home to numerous radicals. For example, one of the preachers, Mohammed Fazazi, advocates killing non-believers and encourages his followers to embrace martyrdom (see Mid-Late 1990s). After a time, Atta begins to teach classes at the mosque; he is stern with his students and criticizes them for wearing their hair in ponytails and gold chains around their necks, as well as for listening to music, which he says is a product of the devil. If a woman shows up, her father is informed she is not welcome and this is one of the reasons that, of the 80 students that start the classes, only a handful are left at the end. One of Atta’s associates, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, also teaches classes and fellow hijackers Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah attend and possibly first meet Atta there. Other mosque attendees who interact with the future hijackers at the mosque include Said Bahaji, and al-Qaeda operatives Mamoun Darkazanli and Mohammed Haydar Zammar. According to author Terry McDermott, German investigators notice Bahaji meets frequently with Darkazanli and Zammar at the mosque, so they presumably have a source inside it. [PBS FRONTLINE, 1/2002; BURKE, 2004, PP. 242; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 1-5, 34-37, 72] The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will later report that there was an informer working for the LfV, the Hamburg state intelligence agency, inside the mosque by 1999 and that he appeared to be interested in Atta, Jarrah, Alshehhi, bin al-Shibh, Bahaji and others (see April 1, 1999). [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Marwan Alshehhi, Mamoun Darkazanli Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 1998: Germany Investigates Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell Member

Mounir El Motassadeq. [Source: Associated Press] 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). Entity Tags: Mounir El Motassadeq, Said Bahaji, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed Haydar Zammar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

November 1, 1998-February 2001: Atta and Other Islamic Militants Are Monitored by US and Germany in Hamburg Apartment

The Marienstrasse building. [Source: Associated Press] 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] Entity Tags: Germany, Zakariya Essabar, Al-Qaeda, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Mounir El Motassadeq, Mamoun Darkazanli, Central Intelligence Agency, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 17, 1999: Germans Intercept Al-Qaeda Calls, One Mentions Atta’s Name

Said Bahaji, computer expert for the Hamburg cell. [Source: German Bavarian Police] 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] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Mohammed Haydar Zammar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Central Intelligence Agency, Said Bahaji, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, United Arab Emirates Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 9, 1999: Wedding Connects Darkazanli with Hamburg Cell

Video footage of Said Bahaji’s wedding in October 1999. Clockwise from top left: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Mamoun Darkazanli, Ziad Jarrah, and Marwan Alshehhi. [Source: Agence France-Presse] 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] Entity Tags: Mounir El Motassadeq, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ziad Jarrah, Said Bahaji Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late November-Early December 1999: Hamburg Cell Members Travel Monitored Route to Afghanistan

Mohamed Atta filmed in Afghanistan in January 2000. [Source: London Times] 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] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Turkish intelligence, Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

2000: German Intelligence Stops Monitoring Atta’s Apartment

Zakariya Essabar. [Source: Associated Press] German investigators are monitoring Said Bahaji, a member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, for his ties to Mamoun Darkazanli. They had been monitoring a Marienstrasse address where Bahaji had been living. But Bahaji moved out after his 1999 wedding (see October 9, 1999) to live down the street with his new wife. A request to continue monitoring the Marienstrasse address is denied in 2000 for lack of evidence. Bahaji had lived at that address with Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and other members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. Although Bahaji, Atta, and Alshehhi all moved out by mid-2000, other associates like Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Zakariya Essabar, and Abdelghani Mzoudi moved in. Atta’s name stayed on the lease until early 2001. [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/20/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 495] Entity Tags: Zakariya Essabar, Al-Qaeda, Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta, Germany, Abdelghani Mzoudi, Marwan Alshehhi, Mamoun Darkazanli Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

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 ] 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). Entity Tags: Said Bahaji, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Mounir El Motassadeq Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

August 14, 2001: Atta’s Hamburg Associates Purchase Tickets to Pakistan Two apparent associates of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, Ismail Ben Mrabete and Ahmed Taleb, purchase tickets to fly to Pakistan on September 3, 2001. They will be joined on that flight by cell member Said Bahaji. All three will disappear into Afghanistan thereafter. It is later discovered that Taleb had been in e-mail contact with al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] Note that these purchases occur one day before Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest in Minnesota, suggesting the date for the 9/11 attacks was set before his arrest (see August 16, 2001). Entity Tags: Abu Zubaida, Said Bahaji, Ismail Ben Mrabete, Ahmed Taleb Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

August 27, 2001: Spanish Police Tape Phone Calls Indicating Aviation-Based Plans to Attack US

Farid Hilali, a.k.a. Shakur. [Source: Reuters] 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. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/20/2001] Entity Tags: Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta, Farid Hilali, Said Bahaji, Al-Qaeda, Mamoun Darkazanli, Barakat Yarkas Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 3-5, 2001: Members of Hamburg’s Al-Qaeda Cell Leave for Pakistan Members of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg al-Qaeda cell leave Germany for Pakistan. Said Bahaji flies out of Hamburg on September 3. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] German intelligence already has Bahaji under surveillance, and German border guards are under orders to report if he leaves the country, yet the border guards fail to note his departure. [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] German agents later discover two other passengers on the same flight traveling with false passports who stay in the same room with Bahaji when they arrive in Karachi, Pakistan. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Investigators now believe his flight companions were Ismail Ben Mrabete and Ahmed Taleb, both Algerians in their late 40s. Three more associates—Mohammed Belfatmi, an Algerian extremist from the Tarragona region of Spain, and the brothers Mohammad Sarwar Joia and Patrick Joia—also travel on the same plane. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] Ramzi bin al-Shibh flies out of Germany on September 5 and stays in Spain a few days before presumably heading for Pakistan. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Some of these men are reported to meet in Karachi around this time, possibly with others (see September 3-5, 2001). Entity Tags: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Patrick Joia, Said Bahaji, Ismail Ben Mrabete, Ahmed Taleb, Mohammad Sarwar Joia Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

September 3-5, 2001: Operatives Connected to 9/11 Meet in Karachi Several al-Qaeda operatives connected to the 9/11 plot appear to have a meeting in Karachi, possibly to finalize details related to the plot. Some of the operatives arrive from Germany, via Istanbul, by plane (see September 3-5, 2001). They include Said Bahaji, an associate of the hijackers, Afghan brothers Mohammad Sarwar Joia and Patrick Joia, an Algerian named Mohammed Belfatmi who also just arrived from Istanbul and is said to have a role in arranging a meeting in Spain between lead hijacker and Mohamed Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see July 8-19, 2001), and men known as Abdellah Hosayni and Ammar Moul. However, these last two may be traveling under false identities and it will later be reported that they are really Ismail Ben Mrabete and Ahmed Taleb, who an informer says later attended the same al-Qaeda training camp as Bahaji. Hosanyi is suspected by German investigators of having a “major role” in preparations for 9/11. A Pakistani newspaper will say that, “It was, in all probability, a meeting to tie up loose ends before the countdown to the attack.” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Hambali are in Karachi at this time, although it is unclear whether they meet with Bahaji and the others (see Early September 2001). The Joia brothers, who are apparently under surveillance by German police around this time, return to Istanbul on October 5 and 16. In Germany in late October, Patrick Joia will even talk to a reporter and admit recently traveling to Pakistan. [FORTUNE, 10/30/2001; CNN, 10/31/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003; PIONEER, 8/7/2003] What happens to the Joia brothers after this time is unclear. Entity Tags: Ismail Ben Mrabete, Hambali, Said Bahaji, Patrick Joia, Mohammed Belfatmi, Ahmed Taleb, Mohammad Sarwar Joia, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Shortly After September 11, 2001: Investigators Find Links between Abu Qatada, Madrid Cell, and 9/11 Hijacker Cell in Hamburg In searches conducted shortly after the 9/11 attacks, investigators discover direct links between the 9/11 hijacker cell in Hamburg and the Madrid al-Qaeda cell led by Barakat Yarkas. German police find Yarkas’s phone number in papers belong to 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta. His number is also found in the diary of Hamburg cell member Said Bahaji. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/28/2001; IRUJO, 2005, PP. 150-153] Investigators also find many videos of sermons by Abu Qatada in the apartment where Atta and other members of the Hamburg cell used to live. Qatada is already closely linked to Yarkas and his Madrid cell (see 1995-February 2001). [GUARDIAN, 8/11/2005] Since Spanish intelligence had been monitoring Yarkas’s call since 1995 (see 1995 and After), it is unknown if they ever monitored a call between Yarkas and Atta or Bahaji. However, no such calls will be mentioned in subsequent trials in Spain. The Spanish did monitor numerous calls between Yarkas and Hamburg associates Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli (see August 1998-September 11, 2001). For years, the Spanish have merely been monitoring Yarkas’s cell. But after discovering these links, the decision is made to shut the cell down. Yarkas and others are arrested in November 2001 (see November 13, 2001). [IRUJO, 2005, PP. 162-163] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Said Bahaji, Abu Qatada, Barakat Yarkas Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

September 24-October 2, 2001: US and Germany Freeze Darkazanli’s Bank Accounts On September 24, 2001, the US freezes the accounts of 27 individuals and organizations, alleging that they had channeled money to al-Qaeda (see September 24, 2001). Included in the list is the Mamoun Darkazanli Import Export Company, which may have been used to funnel money to the hijackers (see June 2000-August 2001). US officials say Darkazanli took part in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia (see June 25, 1996). Darkazanli attended Said Bahaji’s wedding in 1999 (see October 9, 1999). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/29/2001] On October 2, 2001, Darkazanli’s other accounts are also frozen. The US and German governments suspect Darkazanli of providing financial and logistical support to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 10/28/2001] Shortly thereafter, Spanish police listening in to Barakat Yarkas’ telephone hear Yarkas warn the leader of a Syrian extremist organization that Darkazanli has caught the “flu” going around. This is believed to be a coded reference meaning that communicating with Darkazanli is not safe (see August 1998-September 11, 2001 and Spring 2000). [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/17/2002] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Said Bahaji, Mamoun Darkazanli, Barakat Yarkas Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

February 18, 2003: Alleged Al-Qaeda Member El Motassadeq Convicted in Germany for 9/11 Role 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] Entity Tags: Zakariya Essabar, Said Bahaji, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mounir El Motassadeq, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Germany, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline


  1. Richard Bernstein (2002-09-10). "On Path to the U.S. Skies, Plot Leader Met bin Laden". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-11-08. 
  2. "Passport with 9/11 suspect's name found in Pakistan". CNN. Archived from the original on 2009-11-08. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  3. Neal E. Boudette (2009-10-31). "Passport Reveals a Suspected Terrorist's Journey". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2009-11-08. 

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