April 13, 2006

Moussaoui says no regrets, wants more 9/11s

By Deborah Charles

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - September 11 conspirator
Zacarias Moussaoui said on Thursday he had no regrets for those
who died in the hijacked plane attacks and told jurors in his
death penalty trial he wished "there would be more pain."

He expressed disgust with family members of victims who
shared their grief in the courtroom "in order to get the death
of someone else."

"We wanted you to have pain in your country," Moussaoui
said during 2-1/2 hours of testimony at his sentencing trial.
"I just wish it would have happened September 12, September 13,
September 14 ... there's no remorse for justice."

Asked by prosecutor Robert Spencer if he had any regrets
about the attacks in which nearly 3,000 people died, Moussaoui
replied: "No regret, no remorse."

Moussaoui said he had enjoyed recent images in court
showing the Pentagon after it was attacked on September 11 and
said reports of all the deaths "make my day."

His comments prompted tears from a distraught family member
of one victim who eventually got up and left the courtroom.

Moussaoui, 37, who pleaded guilty to six counts of
conspiracy in connection with the September 11 attacks, also
pulled back from statements made after he was indicted in late
2001 that indicated he would welcome a death sentence.

His lawyer Gerald Zerkin showed him a filing he made to the
court in August 2002 in which he said the "greatest jihad in
Islam is to speak the truth in front of the tyrant and be
executed for it."

Moussaoui said he no longer wanted to include the "and be
executed" part of that statement, because he had consulted
Islamic books and decided that violated Muslim religious

When Moussaoui pleaded guilty last year he vowed to fight
the death penalty.


Taking the stand for the second time at his sentencing
trial against the advice of his lawyers, Moussaoui criticized
his court-appointed defense team. He said their strategy should
have included the argument that life in prison was a better
punishment since execution would reward him with martyrdom.

Defense lawyers are trying to persuade the jury that
Moussaoui is mentally unstable with delusions of importance in
al Qaeda and should not be sentenced to death.

Moussaoui said in court last month that he was supposed to
fly a fifth plane into the White House as part of the al Qaeda
hijacking plot. This testimony contradicted his previous claims
that he was not meant to be part of the September 11 hijacking,
but was supposed to be in a second wave of attacks.

Many observers thought his testimony solidified the
prosecution's case that he was involved in the deaths of 3,000
people on September 11.

Moussaoui, dressed in a green prisoner jumpsuit and white
cap, said on Thursday his testimony last month likely made
little difference to the jury.

"I thought about ... the consequences for me saying I was a
part of 9/11. I decided to just put my trust in God and tell
the truth and time will tell," he said.

"Even without my testimony, taking into account the emotion
of the case, there was definitely a chance I would be found
eligible for death," he said.