A German-Afghan man whose information prompted terrorism warnings across Europe in 2010 told a court Tuesday he received orders from a senior al-Qaeda militant in Pakistan,and met a key member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell that included three of the September 11 suicide hijackers.
Ahmad Wali Siddiqui,37,concluded four days of testimony before the Koblenz state court by admitting that he received orders from al-Qaedas Younis al-Mauritani,who was apprehended in 2011 by Pakistani agents working with the CIA. No pleas are entered in the German legal system,and Siddiqui faces a possible 10-year sentence if convicted of membership in a terrorist organisation. Courts often reduce sentences,however,if suspects are seen as cooperative.
His testimony in the opening days of the trial has given a rare glimpse into the operations of al-Qaeda along the Afghan border. Siddiqui told the court Tuesday that he and others met twice in mid-2010 with al-Mauritani in an al-Qaeda apartment in Mir Ali,one of the main towns in North Waziristan. He and a friend from Germany were told to return to Europe with the aim of weakening the economy.
Siddiqui said he once met Said Bahaji in Mir Ali. Bahaji is believed to have helped suicide hijackers Mohamad Atta,Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah with logistics when they were in Hamburg,and to have himself fled shortly before the attacks.