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A Militant Linked to the 9/11 Attacks Has Been Captured by U.S.-Backed Forces in Syria

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U.S.-backed forces in Syria have a militant linked to the September 11 terrorist attacks in their custody, according to the Pentagon.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of militias in Syria, captured Mohammed Haydar Zammar a month ago, the Pentagon said Thursday, according to Reuters.

“We can confirm that Mohammad Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German national, was captured more than a month ago by SDF partners as part of their ongoing operations to defeat ISIS inside Syria,” said Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

“We are working with our SDF partners to obtain additional details,” he added.

Zammar is suspected to have inspired and recruited some of the hijackers responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., including ringleader Mohammed Atta.

The 9/11 Commission report, a Congressional account on the attacks, called Zammar an “outspoken, flamboyant Islamist” who extolled “the virtues of violent jihad,” Reuters reported.

Zammar was reportedly detained in Morocco in December 2001. He was then transferred to Syria, where he was convicted of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was released from prison in 2014 as part of prisoner exchange between rebel forces and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the Washington Post reported at the time.

According to U.S. officials, hundreds of foreign fighters and thousands of Syrian ISIS militants remain in SDF custody.

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Write to Laignee Barron at Laignee.Barron@time.com