We, undersigned, demand in the name of justice the reopening of Mounir El Motassadeq’s case, who was sentenced in 2007 to 15 years imprisonment by a German court for complicity in the mass murder of September 11, 2001.
Facts of the case
Mounir El Motassadeq is a Moroccan citizen born in 1974. He studied electrical engineering in Hamburg, Germany, where he befriended Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah, three of the four persons alleged to have piloted hijacked aircraft on September 11, 2001, in a murderous suicide operation.
Mounir’s alleged crime was to take care of various personal commissions for his friends and transfer the equivalent of $2,500, to Ramzi Binalshibh, who is said to have transferred this money to Atta, Alshehhi, and Jarrah, with the alleged intent to help them prepare the attacks of 9/11. These acts led to his condemnation as an accomplice in mass murder.
Assisting others to commit murder is without doubt a criminal offense. In order for such a participatory act to be punishable, a court must, however, determine, beyond reasonable doubt, not only that the assistance was intended to contribute to the crime actual but also that those who received the assistance actually committed the crime. Sending money to innocent friends is certainly no criminal offense.
In the case of Mounir El Motassadeq, the Hamburg court determined the guilt of Mounir’s friends in mass murder by relying principally upon an oral presentation by an FBI official who said to have participated in the investigation of this mass murder. This official did not testify under oath, refused to answer most questions, and did not provide authenticated documentation to substantiate his statements. He neither witnessed the actual commission of the crime nor interviewed eyewitnesses to the crime. The court was not either provided with evidence proving that Mounir’s friends actually boarded the aircraft with which they allegedly committed their suicide operation. In spite of the absence of such evidence, the court determined that Mounir’s friends planned, participated and died in the attacks and that Mounir knew about his friends’ murderous plans.
It has meanwhile been established that the US authorities have not produced to date any evidence that Arab terrorists had actually boarded the aircraft they allegedly used as weapons of mass destruction: Their names do not appear on authenticated passenger lists; their boarding cards have never been produced; no certified security videos have been presented that prove their presence in the respective airports; no person has seen them board the aircraft; and their bodily remains from the crash sites have not been identified. In addition to the lack of hard evidence of their presence in the aircraft, serious questions remain regarding the identity of the crashed aircraft because the FBI has declined to formally identify the wreckage. The FBI, itself, declares on its website that “attempts to confirm the true identities of these [hijackers] are still under way”.
The Hamburg court alleges in its judgment that Atta, Alshehhi, and Jarrah were chosen by Osama bin Laden to act as pilots in the 9/11 attacks. But the US Department of Justice has never charged Bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks, and the FBI, when asked why not, replied that the “FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”
Mounir El Motassadeq admitted to have travelled to Afghanistan for military training, admitted to have befriended Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah, admitted to be a religious Muslim, admitted to oppose Israeli policies towards the Palestinian people, but denies that he hates Jews. He also emphatically denied to have known of any wish or plans by his friends to commit terrorist acts.
Demand for justice
Justice means that only those found guilty of a criminal offense may be punished. Such guilt must be established beyond reasonable doubt by an independent judiciary in a fair trial. In the light of the absence of hard evidence that Mounir’s friends – Atta, Alshehhi, and Jarrah – actually planned and committed mass murder, Mounir El Motassadeq must be considered as having been wrongly punished.
Relatives of victims from the mass murder of 9/11, as well as society as a whole, are entitled to obtain justice. Justice means that real offenders, not scapegoats, be punished. None of those who actually planned and facilitated the mass murder of 9/11 have yet been punished.
Accordingly, we urge the German judicial authorities to facilitate the reopening of the case against Mounir El Motassadeq. We believe that a retrial of Mounir El Motassadeq will lead to his release from prison, help uphold trust in the German judicial system and prompt judicial authorities around the world to press for the identification and trial of those who planned and facilitated the mass murder of 9/11.