Overturning a ruling by a lower court, Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has held that Moroccan Mounir El Motassadeq, a friend of Mohammed Atta and several other September 11 hijackers, was “guilty not only of membership in a terrorist organization, but also as an accessory to murder of the 246 passengers and crew members of the crashed aircraft.” El Motassadeq aided the hijackers by paying their tuition at Hamburg University and otherwise helping them keep up the appearance of being normal university students. The court held that he had ample knowledge of the terrorists’ plans:
In his ruling, Presiding Judge Klaus Tolksdorf said the evidence showed el Motassadeq knew the plotters planned to hijack and crash planes, and said it was irrelevant to his guilt whether he knew of the planned timing, dimension or targets of the attacks.
The ruling makes El Motassadeq eligible for a fifteen-year prison term. It’s good to see justice done, and it is also a useful reminder of the serious issues that the new Congress must either confront or avoid.