Kurdish forces in Syria have detained a man who is believed to be a Syrian-born German jihadist suspected of recruiting some of the 9/11 hijackers to Al Qaeda, a senior Kurdish commander said.
The detainee, identified as Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who is his mid-fifties, was apprehended in northern Syria and was being interrogated, the commander told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday. His fate remained unclear.
The jihadist is best known for allegedly helping plan the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S., the report said, including recruiting some of the hijackers to the terror group.
Zammar fled Germany after the attacks and relocated to Morocco, where he was soon arrested in an operation involving CIA agents.
He was later handed to Syrian authorities who, in 2007, sentenced him to 12 years in prison for being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
He was released from prison after the Syrian civil war broke out in the region and most hardline jihadists and Islamists were released. Zammar, among many others, is believed to have joined the Islamic State group.
The Kurdish official didn’t say if Zammar has been actively engaged in fighting for the terror group in Syria.
The Pentagon hasn’t yet confirmed the suspect’s capture, but reportedly said it was looking into it.