A German court has convicted a Moroccan man of helping the hijackers who carried out the September 11th (2001) terrorist attacks in the United States.
The court in Hamburg sentenced Mounir El Motassedeq to 15 years in prison.
The court found him guilty of being an accessory to the murder of more than three thousand people, killed when suicide hijackers took over U-S passenger planes and crashed two of them into New York's World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon outside Washington. It also convicted the 28-year-old engineering student on charges of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and membership in a terrorist organization.
Motassadeq is the first suspect tried anywhere in connection with the terror attacks.
Prosecutors say Motassadeq had a close friendship with the hijackers and provided logistical support to the Hamburg-based al-Qaida cell that included the lead hijacker, Mohamed Atta.
Defense lawyers had insisted Motassadeq did little more than befriend fellow Muslims. The defendant has denied any advance knowledge of the attacks. His lawyers have announced plans to appeal.