Kurdish forces in Syria announced this week that they have captured a Syrian-born German jihadist linked to 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta and other terrorists, Mohammed Haydar Zammar.
Atta, who was born in Egypt, served as the pilot for American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked by five al-Qaeda members and crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. All 92 people on board perished in the terrorist attack.
“Mohammed Haydar Zammar has been arrested by Kurdish security forces in northern Syria and is now being interrogated,” AFP reportedly quoted a Kurdish military commander as saying, according to NBC News, however, it “was not immediately able to independently confirm.”
Zammar, 57, was reportedly captured by the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Defense Forces, which has been instrumental in fighting the Islamic State in northern Syria.
The 9/11 Congressional Commission Report described the Syrian-born German national Zammar as an “outspoken, flamboyant Islamist” and a “possible recruiter” of some 9/11 terrorists.
The report also noted that Zammar was “a well-known figure in the Muslim community (and to German and U.S. intelligence agencies by the late 1990s)” and noted that he “fought in Afghanistan and relished any opportunity to extol the virtues of violent jihad.”
The BBC reported that a commander of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance did not say whether Zammar was suspected of fighting for the Islamic State.
The BBC noted that, in early 2014, Zammar was pictured attending a meeting between Islamic State militants and Syrian tribal leaders.
14. In the audience below the ISIS flag sat Mohammed Haydar Zammar, listening to the calls for fight against the Syrian opposition. pic.twitter.com/uEN35KdTQl
— Björn Stritzel (@bjoernstritzel) April 17, 2018
The area Zammar was arrested in Northern Syria is close to Raqqa, which has served as the capital of the so-called “Islamic Caliphate” until it fell in October.
According to the AFP, a Syrian court sentenced Zammar to 12 years in prison in 2007 for being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he was released in 2013 after the Syrian civil war broke out as part of a prisoner exchange between Islamist rebels and the President Bashar al-Assad’s government.