When did Imad Yarkas misunderstand Islam, and how much did he misunderstand it?* “Al-Qaida’s Suspected Leader in Spain Denies Founding Cell That Helped in Sept. 11 Attacks,” from AP, :
MADRID, Spain (AP) – Al-Qaida’s suspected leader in Spain denied Monday that he founded a radical Muslim cell accused of helping plot the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.
Imad Yarkas, a 42-year-old Syrian, said he had never heard of a group called Soldiers of Allah until he was arrested in November 2001 and read about the group in Spanish news reports.
“It is an invention,” Yarkas said as he took the stand in the trial of 24 suspected al-Qaida members. “I have never heard of it, only in this investigation.”
Yarkas is accused of directing a terrorist cell that allegedly provided logistical cover for Sept. 11 plotters, including Mohamed Atta, who is believed to have piloted one of the two hijacked planes that destroyed the World Trade Center towers….
Judge Baltasar Garzon has said the group was formed at a Madrid mosque in 1995, was led by Yarkas and affiliated itself with al-Qaida, eventually helping organize the suicide airliner attacks in the United States.
Yarkas was peppered with questions from prosecutor Pedro Rubira about his contacts with other defendants in the trial and suspected militants abroad. Yarkas insisted he knew them only as acquaintances who attended the same mosques.
*Yes, this is sarcasm.