Al Qaeda Suspect Arrested in Germany
German authorities on Friday arrested a Syrian-born businessman wanted by Spain on charges that he helped fund the Al Qaeda terrorist network and who was recorded in a video at a mosque with some of the Sept. 11 hijackers, German officials said.
Mamoun Darkazanli, 46, was taken into custody in Hamburg on a Spanish warrant and is being held for possible extradition, city judicial spokeswoman Sabine Westphalen said.
German police questioned Darkazanli shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, but he was freed for lack of evidence and continued to live in the port city.
The Bush administration has labeled his Hamburg-based trading company a front for terrorism. Darkazanli was one of the first people to appear on U.S. suspect lists after the Sept. 11 attacks; he has denied any links to Osama bin Laden or the U.S. attacks.
Spanish officials accuse him of having given logistical and financial support to the network in Spain, Germany and Britain since 1997, Hamburg authorities said in a statement.
The U.S. Treasury Department had frozen Darkazanli’s personal assets and those held by his company. German officials followed suit and placed him under formal inquiry.
Darkazanli did not respond to the charges after his arrest but said he would contest extradition, the statement said.
He faces up to 12 years in prison in Spain if convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization.