Accused Sept 11 hijacker repudiates confession | india | Hindustan Times
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Accused Sept 11 hijacker repudiates confession

A suspected "20th hijacker" in the 9/11 attacks has repudiated his statements, which his lawyers said had been extracted through torture.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2006 05:03 IST

A suspected "20th hijacker" in the September 11 attacks has repudiated his statements to US military interrogators, which his US lawyers said had been extracted through torture.

Mohammed Al-Qahtani, a Saudi, is the best known detainee held at the US prison for "war on terror" suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

But lawyers who are fighting his detention in US courts say US military interrogators used "brutal" tactics to get statements from the Saudi.

"The government has recklessly accused Mohammed of many different crimes with no real evidence, just dubious interrogation statements," said Gitanjali Gutierrez, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a New York based group that has provided lawyers for many Guantanamo detainees.

US authorities suspect Qahtani was meant to be one of the hijackers who took part in the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

They believe he was meant to be the fifth hijacker on a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania following a passenger uprising. The plane was suspected to be headed for the White House or another Washington target.

Qahtani was refused entry to the United States four weeks before the attacks by an alert immigration officer and detained later in Afghanistan.