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Spain Convicts Suspected al-Qaida Leader Over 9/11


Spain's High Court has convicted a suspected al-Qaida cell leader of conspiracy in the plotting of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States in Europe's biggest terror trial.

The court sentenced Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas to 27 years in prison. Prosecutors say he arranged a meeting in Spain of key planners of the attacks in July, 2001. Two other suspects were acquitted of charges related to the attacks.

The court also sentenced al-Jazeera correspondent Tayssir Alouni to seven years in prison for carrying money to al-Qaida members in Afghanistan. Al-Jazeera denounced the verdict.

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders says the conviction was linked to Alouni's job, because prosecutors repeatedly referred to his 2001 interview with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Sixteen other suspects were convicted of charges of collaborating with or belonging to a terrorist group.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.