While noting that many of the 9/11 operatives transited Iran on their way to Afghanistan in the years prior to the attacks, the U.S. government-appointed 9/11 Commission concluded that, "we have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attack."
Zakeri also claims to have alerted the U.S. embassy in Baku of the impending 9/11 attacks the summer before they occurred.
Despite Zakeri presenting written documentation of the Iran-AQ meetings, the U.S. government remained unconvinced of his credibility, according to Zimmerman. In his book, Zimmerman reports that when he asked a CIA intelligence officer about Zakeri she had told him, “This man is a serial fabricator.” Another senior U.S. official Zimmerman asked about Zakeri’s supposed warning in Baku told him, “We have no record that he made any such claim. And he is a fabricator of monumental proportions.”Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Zakeri didn’t have much luck convincing Germany’s legal or intelligence authorities of his authenticity either. In 2004, Zakeri insisted on testifying against Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Moroccan who was a former roommate of the lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta and was being charged in Germany with providing material aid to the 9/11 hijackers. Zakeri claimed that Mzoudi was an integral part of the 9/11 plot and had spent three months in Iran “learning to master codes,” without explaining what relevance this had to the 9/11 plot. During his testimony at the trial Zakeri readily admitted that he had never seen or spoken with Mzoudi before but said he knew of his involvement in 9/11 through a high-level contact in Iran that he remained in touch with.
In reporting on Zakeri’s testimony, Reuters noted “It was not clear that his sometimes rambling testimony had helped the prosecution case. ‘It's difficult to follow you, Mr. Zakeri,’” the Judge presiding over the case said during the testimony according to Reuters. Similarly, Deutsche Welle reported that Zakeria’s “answers to most questions were evasive and rambling,” the Judge had to repeatedly ask him to repeat himself, and “at one point after several contradictions and incomprehensible answers, [Judge] Rühle said: ‘I don't know if you are consciously being unclear.’”
The Judge further asked Germany’s foreign intelligence agency to assess the credibility of Zakeri. The answer the judge received read, in part, “The worth of his evidence is very small. Much is unverifiable and speculative."
But Zakeri did make clear in his testimony that his sources told him senior AQ and Iranian officials had met a month before the trial and decided to assassinate the defendant, Mr. Mzoudi, should he be acquitted of these charges in order to hide Iranian involvement in 9/11.