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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Spain judge charges 9/11 suspect
Twin Towers burning
Azizi is accused of acting as a courier for the 9/11 attackers
A Spanish judge has charged a fugitive Moroccan for involvement in planning the September 2001 attacks in the US.

Judge Baltasar Garzon said that Amer Azizi helped to organise a meeting in Spain in July 2001 where key 9/11 plotters finalised their plans.

Mr Azizi fled Spain in November 2001 after several al-Qaeda suspects were arrested by the Spanish authorities.

Some reports have linked him to the Madrid bombings in March but this cannot be confirmed.

New information

Judge Garzon has accused Mr Azizi of multiple counts of murder - "as many deaths and injuries as were committed" on 11 September, according to court documents.

The Moroccan provided lodging for people who attended a meeting in the north-eastern Tarragona region of Spain in July 2001 and acted as a courier to pass messages between the plotters, the judge said in his indictment.

Mr Azizi is described as the right-hand man of Imad Eddim Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah.

Mr Yarkas was arrested by the Spanish authorities in November 2001 on suspicion of heading an al-Qaeda cell in the country that allegedly provided funding and logistics for the people who planned the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Judge Garzon, who had already charged Mr Azizi with belonging to al-Qaeda, said the new indictment was based on information from the UK, Turkish and US authorities, the Associated Press reports.

The indictment says Mr Azizi in October 2000 met a fellow Moroccan, Said Berraj, in Istanbul. Mr Berraj is a key suspect in the Madrid attacks.

Media reports have described Mr Azizi as one of the brains behind the March bombings.

But Spanish Interior Ministry and court officials say they cannot link Mr Azizi directly to the attacks.

Spanish authorities have brought provisional charges against more than a dozen people over the bombings in the Spanish capital.

International arrest warrants have been issued for several more suspects.



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