German authorities shut '9/11 plotters' mosque: city

BERLIN, Aug 9, 2010 (AFP) - German police shut down a mosque in the northern city of Hamburg Monday frequented by suicide hijackers from the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, authorities said.

An affiliated cultural centre was also closed.

"The Hamburg interior department closed the Arab-German cultural club Taiba," the department said in a statement. "The former Al-Quds mosque was also closed."

The authorities did not explain their decision but planned to give a press conference at 0830 GMT with officials including the head of the Hamburg anti-terror coordination unit.

German media reported that suspected Islamic militants had been using the site in the city's Sankt Georg quarter as a meeting place.

Three of the September 11 hijackers including their ringleader Mohammed Atta, who piloted the first plane into New York's World Trade Center, met frequently at the Al-Quds mosque before moving to the United States.

Authorities said the prayer house served as a recruitment centre for fellow jihadists, including accomplices of the hijackers.

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