A Syrian-born German national accused of helping to plan the September 11, 2001 attacks has been detained by Kurdish forces in Syria, a senior Kurdish commander told AFP Wednesday.
“Mohammed Haydar Zammar has been arrested by Kurdish security forces in northern Syria and is now being interrogated,” the top official said, without providing further details.
Zammar, who is in his mid-fifties, has been accused of recruiting some of the September 11 hijackers.
He was detained in Morocco in December 2001 in an operation involving CIA agents, and was handed over to the Syrian authorities two weeks later.
A Syrian court sentenced Zammar to 12 years in prison in 2007 for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge that at the time could have resulted in the death penalty.
But conflict broke out in Syria four years later, and many hardline Islamist prisoners were released from jail or broke free and went on to join militant groups fighting in the war.
Al-Qaeda operated a branch in Syria known as Al-Nusra Front, but the affiliate has since claimed to have broken off ties.
The ISIS group also rose to power in the country’s north and east, but a US-backed alliance has ousted it from swathes of its onetime territory.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Arab and Kurdish fighters, has caught several foreign members of ISIS in Syria in recent months, particularly since the SDF captured the northern city of Raqa from the militants.
The Kurdish commander who spoke to AFP on Wednesday declined to say whether Zammar had been actively fighting as a member of an extremist group in Syria.
The Pentagon said it had nothing to confirm on Zammar’s capture but was looking into it.
Documentary exposing Iranian regime involvement in September 11Al Arabiya News Channel will be airing a special news documentary unravelling Iran’s involvement in the September 11 attacks. ‘Iran ... World News
Abbottabad files reveal Iran helped train al-Qaeda recruits to hijack planesThe Abbottabad documents revealed that late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden insisted to use jets in attacks against the US even after the September 11 ... Features
Abbottabad files reveal how Iran, Assad recruited al-Qaeda militantsFollowing the events of September 11, 2001, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard helped relocate al-Qaeda members and leadership by providing them with new ... Features
CIA files shows depth of al-Qaeda's relationship with IranThe recently released CIA bin Laden files provide new details concerning al Qaeda’s relationship with Iran.One never-before-seen 19-page ... Middle East