- 9/11 conspirator
- “[T]he Jews will burn and we will dance on their graves.”
A Moroccan citizen who moved to Germany in 1993, Mounir el Motassadeq was sentenced to fifteen years in prison by a German court in July 2003, after German prosecutors collected compelling evidence linking him to the 9/11 hijackers. Motassadeq sent money to the hijackers while they trained for their mission, and on numerous occasions he allowed them to use his apartment as a meeting place. Fully aware of the murderous intentions of his cohorts, Motassadeq allegedly told a friend that once they had done “something big” which they were planning, the result would be that “the Jews will burn and we will dance on their graves.”
But Motassadeq was freed when a federal appeals court overturned the conviction, ruling that he had been unfairly denied testimony from al Qaeda suspects who were in U.S. custody. In August 2004 Motassadeq was retried. After a year-long retrial, the Hamburg state court sentenced him to seven years in prison for membership in the al Qaeda cell that included the 9/11 suicide pilots Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah. However, the court ruled that the evidence did not show that Motassadeq was specifically involved in the 9/11 plot.