Thursday, May 1, 2008

9/11 Conspirator On Trial Again

Funding Charges For Spain’s al Qaeda Chief And 9/11 Co-Conspirator

MADRID, Spain - The convicted leader of al Qaeda in Spain and two Syrian-born alleged accomplices have been charged in a new case on suspicion of financing terrorist cells.

The suspects in the latest case are Syrian-born Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, 44, who was sentenced in 2005 for leadership of al Qaeda in Spain; and Syrian-born Muhamed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, 47, and Bassam Dalati Satut, 48, both sentenced in the same trial in 2005 for membership in a terrorist group,

Yarkas was the key defendant convicted in an al Qaeda trial in September 2005 in Madrid, when the National Court sentenced 18 of the 24 defendants for al Qaeda and terrorism links, acquitting the other six.

It was one of the largest terrorism trials to date in Europe and prosecutors sought thousands of years in jail for Yarkas and two other prime defendants in that case, arguing that they were connected to the deaths of the victims of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

But in the end, the National Court convicted only Yarkas of a 9/11 link in the 2005 trial, and on the lesser charge of conspiracy.

The National Court sentenced Yarkas in 2005 to 27 years in prison — 12 years for al Qaeda leadership in Spain and 15 years for conspiracy in the 9/11 attacks.

But in June 2006, Spain’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction of conspiracy in the 9/11 attacks, leaving Yarkas with just the 12-year sentence for al Qaeda leadership


Pat Dollard

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