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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 20:04 GMT
Suicide hijacker's phone call to girlfriend
Ziad Jarrah
Jarrah called his girlfriend on 11 September

The girlfriend of one of the alleged 11 September attackers has told a German court how she received a phone call from him on the day of the attack.

Aysel Sengun, a German-born doctor of Turkish origin, spoke at length about her close relationship with Ziad Jarrah, who investigators believe piloted the hijacked plane which crashed in Pennsylvania.

Mounir el-Motassadeq
Aysel Sengun admitted speaking on the phone with Mounir el-Motassadeq
The testimony came in the trial of a Moroccan man accused of offering logistical support to the attackers, many of whom studied in Hamburg prior to the suicide hijacking.

Aysel Sengun told the court how she helped her boyfriend, Mr Jarrah, to find a flying school in America and how he called her on the day of the attack.

Relationship

She said he spoke very briefly but told her he loved her three times.

She asked what was wrong, but he hung up shortly afterwards.

Ziad Jarrah with his mother
Jarrah was thought to be the most westernised of the hijackers
She told the court of a 10-day visit to him in America and described sitting like a passenger next to the future suicide pilot as he trained on a Boeing flight simulator.

They had wanted to marry and have children, and he was to become a commercial pilot.

She admitted speaking to the defendant, Mounir el-Motassadeq on the phone.

He is charged with being an accessory to 3,000 murders on 11 September, and conducting a series of financial transactions for the group known as the Hamburg cell.

Denial

She denied knowing any of the others in the ring such as the leader, Mohammed Atta.

She repeatedly described her relationship with Ziad Jarrah as difficult.

She said he had a very different view of Islam from her and became increasingly devout after moving to Hamburg in 1997.

He had wanted her to cover up, but she said she wouldn't wear the veil for him, only for God.

The version sheds a new light on the man thought to have been the most westernised of the plotters who even drank alcohol.

See also:

20 Nov 02 | Europe
12 Dec 01 | Americas
09 Jan 02 | Americas
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