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World at One Thursday, 29 August, 2002, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Hamburg al-Qaeda cell 'aided WTC attacks'
El-Motassedek is accused of helping plan the attacks
German prosecutors have this morning accused a 28-year-old Moroccan man of being an accessory to the murder of the 3,000 people who died in the 11 September attacks.

Mounir al-Motassadek has also been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation. He said to have maintained intensive contacts over many years with members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, including Mohammed Atta and other hijackers.

At a press conference in Karlsruhe this morning, the authorities also claimed to have evidence that the cell had been planning the World trade Centre attacks for more than a year.

Mr Motassadek was originally arrested in November, but until today little detailed information has been released about the nature of the charges.

Embarrassed

Germany has been seriously embarrassed by the revelation that three of the hijackers lived and studied in the country unnoticed by the authorities.

The charges against Mr Motassadek are the first concrete results of a huge investigation into the planning of the 11 September atrocities, and other alleged terrorist activities in Hamburg.

FBI officers were deeply involved in the inquiries, but the police and intelligence agencies in Europe and America have not always found the co-operation easy.

Our reporter Jon Manel has been back to Hamburg to look back over the events of the past twelve months.

Click on the link above right to hear Jon's report

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