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Moussaoui: 'No remorse' for 9/11

Al Qaeda plotter tells jury of his hatred for Americans

From Phil Hirschkorn
CNN

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Zacarias Moussaoui told the jury he does not want to die. "I want to fight," he said.

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Zacarias Moussaoui
September 11 attacks

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- Al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui told a jury deciding whether he should live or die that he is willing to kill Americans "any time, anywhere."

Moussaoui testified at his sentencing trial Thursday that he had "no regret, no remorse" over the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and is disappointed that additional attacks were not carried out.

"I just wish it could have gone on the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, the 15th, the 16th, the 17th. We can go on and on," Moussaoui said.

"There's no remorse for justice." (Watch Moussaoui's disdain for survivors -- 2:00)

A 37-year-old French citizen, Moussaoui is the first person tried in this country for the September 11 attacks. Jurors already have held him responsible for at least some of the nearly 3,000 deaths on 9/11.

Moussaoui made a series of stunning statements under cross-examination by federal prosecutor Robert Spencer.

The prosecutor asked, "You would do it again tomorrow, Mr. Moussaoui?"

"Today," Moussaoui replied.

Asked if he was "happy" when the widow of a military officer testified about her husband's death in the Pentagon attack, Moussaoui said, "Make my day." (Watch a look into Moussaoui's mental state -- 2:08)

Asked about another officer who testified about his escape from the flaming military headquarters, Moussaoui said, "I was regretful he didn't die."

Chose to join al Qaeda

Moussaoui agreed with the prosecutor that it was his choice to join al Qaeda and swear allegiance to it is leader, Osama bin Laden.

"My pleasure," Moussaoui said when asked about being tapped for a suicide mission to fly a plane into a landmark U.S. building.

Asked if he would be willing to kill Americans in prison, Moussaoui responded, "Any time, anywhere."

Moussaoui testified that he rejects his court-appointed defense team's theory that he is mentally ill.

Asked if he is "crazy," Moussaoui said, "Thank God, I am not."

Yet Moussaoui said he believes President George W. Bush will free him from prison and that the FBI had him under surveillance after he arrived in the United States in February 2001. There is no such evidence.

Moussaoui told the jury that he did not want to die.

"I want to fight," he declared.

Moussaoui's responses to questions by his own attorney, Gerald Zerkin, were just as damaging.

Asked whether he had any remorse for the September 11 attacks, Moussaoui said, "None whatsover."

He explained, "We wanted to inflict pain on this country. I wish there would be more pain."

'You have to be subdued'

He said his hatred for the United States was rooted in American support for Israel, its treatment of Muslim nations and his interpretation of the Quran that Muslims must fight against those who don't share their beliefs.

"We have to be the superpower, we have to be above you, and you have to be subdued," Moussaoui said. "You organize the misery of the world."

Moussaoui told jurors his preferred defense strategy would have been to argue that his life has value because he could be used as a "bargaining chip" to save American lives.

Moussaoui offered a scenario in which Americans fighting abroad might be taken hostage and he could be negotiated away in exchange.

"This could work on even the most revengeful juror," Moussaoui said. "Let's put him in jail, and one day he can save American life."

Moussaoui said he also would tell the jury that martyrdom is a reward, and that life in prison is harsher punishment.

Moussaoui sparred with Zerkin about how his court-appointed defense team has represented him over the past four years. He said he regarded his lawyers' performance as "criminal non-assistance of defense counsel."

Zerkin has told jurors that mental health experts will testify that Moussaoui is a paranoid schizophrenic who suffers from delusions. Moussaoui's defense team plans to call those experts next week.

"I thought your idea to portray me as crazy was not going to work," Moussaoui said.

Second time on stand

Thursday's testimony marked the second time the jury has heard from Moussaoui.

Moussaoui claimed on March 27 that he had advance knowledge that the World Trade Center was targeted in the September 11 plot. He also testified that had he not been incarcerated, he would have attempted to pilot a fifth hijacked jet into the White House.

The testimony damaged his defense, which was vigorously contesting the government's theory that Moussaoui's lies to federal investigators in August 2001 kept U.S. authorities from uncovering and thwarting the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Zerkin asked Moussaoui if he thought his earlier testimony had helped his case.

"I thought about the consequences of saying I was part of 9/11. I decided to put my trust in my God," Moussaoui said.

"I understand from a non-Islamic view, it is contradictory," Moussaoui explained to Zerkin. "But we will never understand each other."

Moussaoui claims one of his purported hijacking crew members was Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber" who attempted to detonate homemade explosives in his sneakers on board an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001. Reid, 33, pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in 2002 and is serving a life sentence.

Terrorist subpoenaed

Brinkema has issued a subpoena for Reid to testify in the Moussaoui trial next week. Moussaoui and Reid attended the same mosque in the Brixton section of London and trained together in Afghanistan.

"He was my buddy," Moussaoui said Thursday. The men have attempted to correspond while incarcerated in the United States.

On the stand, Moussaoui said he never actually discussed the September 11 plot with Reid. He said al Qaeda's late military leader, Mohammed Atef, told him Reid would be part of his crew, but they never met again.

Before Moussaoui took the stand, the jury heard from a retired prison warden, James Aiken, who is now a corrections industry consultant.

Aiken said Moussaoui would be isolated in his cell at the nation's supermaximum security prison in Florence, Colorado. He would take his meals alone, be under constant surveillance, and sleep on a mattress fitted to a concrete slab.

Rehabilitation is not part of the program, Aiken testified. The U.S. prison system is designed to "manage people like this for the rest of the natural life," he said.

"They rot."

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