Pardoned Moroccan clerics say they were tortured

Thursday – 2/9/2012, 12:12pm  ET

 Muslim cleric Hassan al-Kettani speaks at a press conference in Rabat, Morocco Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. Three conservative sheikhs, recently pardoned by the king after nine years in prison, complained of torture and called for the release of all prisoners of conscience. (AP Photo/Paul Schemm)

By PAUL SCHEMM
Associated Press

RABAT, Morocco (AP) – Three conservative clerics whose arrests nine years ago heralded the beginning of Morocco’s crackdown on Islamists called on Thursday for a new investigation into their country’s worst terrorist attack.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S., Moroccan authorities began targeting hardline Islamist clerics, especially those believed to be sympathetic to al-Qaida _ a crackdown that broadened after the May 2003 bombings in Casablanca that killed 45.

The three clerics were convicted and sentenced to up to 30 years in prison at the start of 2003 _ before the Casablanca attacks. Their pardoning by the king and release from prison over the weekend on the Prophet Muhammad‘s birthday suggests the government may finally be relaxing a fierce campaign against Islamists characterized by mass arrests.

In a news conference, the clerics said a new probe is needed to find out who was behind the bombings. The results of official investigations were never publicized though several people were convicted for carrying it out. Continue reading

9/11: Al Qaeda mark anniversary with Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden video

Al Qaeda marked 10th anniversary of 9/11 with hour-long video featuring new leader and unreleased footage of Bin Laden

By Wil Longbottom

Last updated at 5:30 PM on 13th September 2011

Al Qaeda has marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks with an hour-long video released on jihadist websites, an intelligence monitoring service has revealed.

U.S.-based Site Monitoring Services said the video featured an audio speech by the new leader, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as previously unreleased footage of former leader Osama bin Laden.

The 62-minute video, called The Dawn of Imminent Victory, was posted on jihadist forums yesterday. Zawahiri is shown in a still photo.

Al-Qa’ida is still a mystery

Ground Zero

Image by wallyg via Flickr