Moussaoui Says He Was Part Of 911 Plot To Attack White House
You’ve heard of “death by police” where someone makes a move and goads police into shooting him?
Here’s death by mouth — where Al Qaeda’s captured Zacarias Moussaoui virtually signs his own death warrent in testifying without his lawyers’ approval:
Laying out a stunning new version of his terrorist mission, al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified Monday that he was supposed to hijack a fifth jetliner on Sept. 11, 2001, with would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid and fly it into the White House.
But the jury also heard the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, now in U.S. custody, repeatedly state that Moussaoui was to be a part of a second wave of attacks unrelated to Sept. 11. In a 58-page statement read to jurors, Shaikh Mohammed said that he only wanted Middle Easterners for Sept. 11 so that Europeans like Moussaoui stood a better chance of mounting a subsequent attack after security was increased.
Testifying against the advice of his court-appointed lawyers, Moussaoui shocked the courtroom. Jurors who will decide whether he is executed or imprisoned for life were almost motionless during his nearly three hours on the stand. They didn’t look down to take notes; all eyes locked on the bearded 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent — the only person charged in this country in connection with Sept. 11.
The jurors now have to weigh whether supremely incriminating words coming from Moussaoui’s mouth are true, or part of a burning desire to become a marytr. As CBS News puts it:
Al Qaeda terror conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui proved Monday that he is a far better suicide witness than suicide pilot. Having failed miserably at training to fly a plane into the White House in 2001, the capital defendant was far defter with his words in 2006, offering jurors startling testimony that makes it more likely â€” but by no means certain â€” that he will soon be sentenced to death.
Great Minds Think Alike Department: ABC News has a great interview with law professor Jonathan Turley about the tesimony and here’s part of what he says (read the link for the whole thing):
Question: Is his goose cooked?
Turley: This is becoming a legal version of suicide by cop. Once again, Moussaoui has saved the government from the brink of defeat. Earlier, the government’s case was falling apart on some counts because even American intelligence was admitting that he was never the 20th hijacker. Just when the government was looking increasing ridiculous, Moussaoui pleaded guilty to all counts, including the 20th hijacker count. Notably, he testified clearly and convincingly that he never was the 20th hijacker and just pleaded guilty to that count for kicks.
Now, with the government clearly losing its bid for the death penalty, he has saved the prosecution again. It is hard to imagine that the jury will not vote for death after such a performance.
The problem is that this testimony only highlights questions about his mental incompetence. Moussaoui is clearly a hateful, deranged individual who honestly believes that he is being clever. Every attorney who has spent any time with him has sought an insanity defense, but he has blocked those efforts. For years, we have all had to watch this lunatic engage in a series of self-inflicted wounds. Now, he has not only cooked his goose but served it up to the prosecutors with a signature garnish.