Motassadeq was a frequent visitor to the Hamburg apartment of hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan al Shehhi, and his name appeared last fall on a U.S. list of 370 people or associations suspected of assisting terrorists.
He was arrested Nov. 28 after investigators discovered he had a power of attorney over a bank account held by Shehhi and had been a witness to Atta’s last will and testament.
In a statement at the time of Motassadeq’s arrest, Nehm’s office said the suspect managed the bank account for Shehhi from May to November 2000 and that “large sums of money were regularly transferred into this account.”
Motassadeq, an electrical engineering student, attended the same Hamburg Technical University department where Atta and Shehhi were students. His apartment was just a few blocks from the Marienstrasse hangout
Authorities are still investigating whether Motassadeq’s two years of work as a janitor at Hamburg’s airport might have given him access to secure areas or means of creating false identifications.
German media reported fall 2001 that police sweeps of suspected terrorist hide-outs in other areas of the country turned up airline uniforms and security badges that might have helped terrorists gain access to planes.
During his trial he told the court that it was his job to help Mohamed Atta pretend to be a student.
El Motassadeq is remembered by a roommate for referring to Hitler as a "good man."