Berlin to expel 9/11 accomplice to Morocco: reports

Convicted 9/11 accomplice Mounir el Motassadeq will be deported to Morocco. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Berlin to expel 9/11 accomplice to Morocco: reports

  • Mounir el Motassadeq was sentenced in January 2007 by a German court to 15 years in jail for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks
  • The Moroccan was flown at midday Monday by helicopter from the Hamburg jail

BERLIN: Germany will Monday expel to Morocco a convicted Moroccan accomplice in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, media reported.
Mounir el Motassadeq was sentenced in January 2007 by a German court to 15 years in jail for his role in the death of 246 passengers and crew aboard hijacked aircraft used in the September 11 attacks.
He was the first person ever convicted for complicity in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The Moroccan was flown at midday Monday by helicopter from the Hamburg jail where he has been serving his prison term to Frankfurt, according to Spiegel Online and Bild daily.
Photographs carried by national news agency DPA showed Motassadeq, dressed in a checked shirt and beige trousers, being led blindfolded and handcuffed by two police officers to a waiting chopper.
He has admitted to having links to the hijackers, but he maintained his innocence in a five-year court battle.
The Moroccan was friends with members of a Hamburg-based cell including their leader Mohammed Atta, and helped to cover up their whereabouts while they were taking flying lessons in the United States and handled a bank transfer for them.


Widespread blackout hits Venezuela, government blames ‘electromagnetic attack’

People pour to the streets in Caracas on July 22, 2019 as the capital and other parts of Venezuela are being hit by a massive power cut. (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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Widespread blackout hits Venezuela, government blames ‘electromagnetic attack’

  • Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the outage on Monday was caused by an “electromagnetic attack,” without providing evidence

CARACAS: More than half of Venezuela’s 23 states lost power on Monday, according to Reuters witnesses and reports on social media, a blackout the government blamed on an “electromagnetic attack.”
It was the first blackout to include the capital, Caracas, since March, when the government blamed the opposition and United States for a series of power outages that left millions of people without running water and telecommunications.
The blackouts exacerbated an economic crisis that has halved the size of the economy.
Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the outage on Monday was caused by an “electromagnetic attack,” without providing evidence. He added that authorities were in the process of re-establishing service.
Power returned for about 10 minutes to parts of southeastern Bolivar state, site of the Guri hydroelectric dam — the source of most of Venezuela’s generation — but went out again, according to a Reuters witness. Electricity was still out throughout Caracas.
“It terrifies me to think we are facing a national blackout again,” said Maria Luisa Rivero, a 45-year-old business owner from the city of Valencia, in the central state of Carabobo.
“The first thing I did was run to freeze my food so that it does not go bad like it did like the last time in March. It costs a lot to buy food just to lose it,” she said.
The oil-rich country’s hyperinflationary economic crisis has led to widespread shortages in food and medicine, prompting over 4 million Venezuelans to leave the country.
Venezuela’s national power grid has fallen into disrepair after years of inadequate investment and maintenance, according to the opposition and power experts.
“These blackouts are catastrophic,” said 51-year-old janitor Bernardina Guerra, who lives in Caracas. “I live in the eastern part of the city and there the lights go out every day. Each day things are worse.”