Germany has deported an accomplice of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States to his home country of Morocco.
Mounir al-Motassadeq had spent almost 15 years in prison in Germany before he was deported Monday to Morocco.
German media published photographs of Motassadeq wearing a blindfold and being led by two armed policemen to a helicopter. German officials confirmed he was flown out by plane from Frankfurt airport on Monday evening.
Motassadeq was convicted of helping Mohamed Atta, the alleged pilot of one of the hijacked 9/11 planes, and other suicide pilots to help plot the attacks on New York and Washington. The suicide pilots were part of an al-Qaida cell based in Hamburg, Germany, where Motassadeq also lived.
Motassadeq was found guilty in 2003 of being a member of a terrorist organization and an accessory to the murder of the passengers aboard the four airliners used in the September 11 attacks. His five years of trials in Germany involved multiple appeals, overturned convictions, and reinstated verdicts. In the end, he received the maximum sentence the German court could hand down for the crimes — 15 years in prison.
Motassadeq denied being involved in the 9/11 plot, but admitted to being friends with those who did. He said his actions to send money to the suicide pilots were merely favors for his friends.
He was the first person convicted anywhere in the world in connection with the September 11 attacks, in which nearly 3,000 people died.
Motassadeq was released shortly before completing his 15-year sentence on the condition that he agreed to be deported to Morocco. Germany says it will re-arrest him if he ever returns.