Authorities on Friday arrested a Syrian German businessman who is wanted by Spain on charges he helped fund the al Qaeda network for years and who appeared in a wedding video at a mosque with some of the Sept. 11 hijackers, German officials said.
Mamoun Darkazanli, 46, was taken into custody in Hamburg on a Spanish warrant and is being held for possible extradition, said the spokeswoman for the city's judicial system, Sabine Westphalen.
Darkazanli was questioned by German police shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States after it emerged that three of the suicide hijackers lived and studied in Hamburg. He was freed for lack of evidence and continued to live in the German port city.
His Hamburg-based trading company has been labeled a front for terrorism by the Bush administration.
Spanish authorities allege that Darkazanli was "one of the key figures of the al Qaeda terror network" and "the permanent contact person and assistant of Osama bin Laden in Germany," Hamburg authorities said in a statement.
He is accused of giving logistical and financial support to the network in Spain, Germany and Britain since 1997, the statement said.
Darkazanli, a Syrian native, faces up to 12 years in prison in Spain if convicted of charges of membership in a terrorist organization.