One of the more intriguing and commanding figures in the September 11th 2001 attacks upon the United States is not mentioned, if at all, even in the more “learned” circles. Yet he continues to make an impressionable presence upon the Muslims underworld and within the criminal syndicate in the Middle East, in parts such as Syria, Lebanon, and even in Germany. He has met such infamous people such as Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Marmoud Zarkanzali, Ramzi bin al-Shibh. a who’s who of the militant Islamic and criminal underworlds. His name is Mohammed Haydar Zammar.
In 1992 Zammar flew to Afghanistan by way of Pakistan and underwent a training program for mujahideen fighters. His training included weapons knowledge, use of explosives, and advanced tactics. He performed well and was moved to an elite training camp near Jalalabad. In 1995 he would embark on his dream of “jihad” in Bosnia and fight alongside many there. in 1996, Zammar visited Afghanistan for a second time, this time to become a formal member of the group called al-Qaeda. He was reported to have been personally invited by Osama bin Laden. After this, Zammar would then relocate back to his native Germany.
Mohammed Haydar Zammar,was the primary recruiter which later formed the infamous Hamburg Cell. People he helped form friendships and contacts with high level Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. Mohammed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah were just some Zammar helped recruit for the September 11th attacks. Although this is not confirmed that he helped recruit the Hamburg Cell, he was a constant presence, even living with Atta, bin al-Shibh and al-Shehhi for months in his apartment in Germany. After the 9/11 attacks, Moroccan and CIA authorities detained Zammar, and it was under their inquiries he relented about what he knew. He told authorities that it was his idea to use passenger jets as the primary weapons and that he proposed this idea to Al Qaeda.
However Moroccan authorities didn't believe him, neither did the Central Intelligence Agency. They stated in their reports that Zammar was someone who wanted to sound like he knew more than what he actually knew and wished to be seen as “important” in the Islamic militant spectrum. Thus the German investigation into Zammar was closed and he then left for Morocco where he was “kidnapped” there by authorities and then promptly tortured and then extradited to Syria’s infamous prison basement called the “Palestine Branch” or “Tomb of the Living” where he stood for the next ten months under the worst conditions physically as well as mentally. It was the German intelligence branch that was responsible for his extradition to Syria as they had an agreement, Syria would release two German officials of spying there in exchange for Zammar. He was then transferred to another Syrian prison in Saydnaya,a large prison encampment north of Damascus. It was here he got to know members of the Islamic State and Levant (ISIS).
The prison was besieged in 2013 by the rebel group Ahrar al-Sham and it was here Zammar met with some good fortune, Abu Khalid al-Suri was an Afghan Mujahideen who knew Zammar well from his time there had spoken with high level members of the group within Ahrar al-Sham and Islamic State. Zammar and five others were exchanged for two generals from Assad’s army. Zammar then left to join the Islamic State and lived in Syria since his release. However the Turkish sect, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPK), had captured Zammar and he currently now languishes in a prison in Qamishli, Northern Syria as of November 2018.