The Islamic militant whose disclosures under U.S. interrogation in Afghanistan triggered Europe's terror alert is an old friend of a man convicted in the 9/11 attacks and, as the strikes were being planned, frequented the same mosque where the Hamburg-based plotters often met, officials say.
Hamburg security officials in August shuttered the Taiba mosque, known until two years ago as al-Quds, because of fears it was becoming a magnet for homegrown extremists who, unlike foreigners, could not be expelled from the country.
Ahmad Wali Siddiqui, a 36-year-old German of Afghan descent arrested by the U.S. military in July in Afghanistan has emerged as the latest link between Germany and al-Qaida's worldwide terror campaign. Siddiqui is believed to have been part of the Hamburg militant scene that also included key 9/11 plotters.
Intelligence officials say he was a friend of Mounir el Motassadeq, who was convicted by a German court in 2006 of being an accessory to the murder of the 246 passengers and crew on the four jetliners used in the 2001 terrorist attacks, and also frequented the al-Quds mosque.
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