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September 11 Conspirator Convicted in Spain

Posted: September 29, 2005

A Spanish court has convicted a 41-year-old Syrian man of conspiring to commit the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and leading an Al Qaeda terrorist cell in Madrid. 


Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias Abu Dahdah, was sentenced to 27 years in prison on September 26 for coordinating a July 2001 meeting in Tarragona, Spain, between members of his cell and some of the September 11 hijackers, including ringleader Mohammed Atta.  During the meeting, final preparations for the attacks on New York and Washington were reportedly discussed. 


Yarkas’ cell was also accused of raising money to finance terrorism, recruiting Islamic radicals to train for ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan and aiding Al Qaeda operatives moving through Spain.  Spanish authorities had been monitoring the cell for almost a decade.


The prosecution initially sought a 74,000 year sentence for Yarkas, but this was greatly reduced when the National Court in Spain ruled that, while Yarkas was a conspirator in the September 11 attacks, he did not commit material acts.


In addition to Yarkas, 17 other men, mostly of Syrian and Moroccan descent, were found guilty of belonging to or aiding his Al Qaeda cell. 


Yarkas’ lawyer has announced plans to appeal the decision. 

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