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Moussaoui Seeks 9/11 Suspects as Witnesses

He also boasts he would be "delighted" to blow up any rebuilt trade center.

March 22, 2003|Richard A. Serrano | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Zacarias Moussaoui has asked a federal judge to order four of the most senior Al Qaeda captives in U.S. custody to appear as defense witnesses at his trial, and he has also bragged that he would be "delighted" to blow up any rebuilt World Trade Center.

The so-called 20th hijacker, awaiting trial in Virginia, ranted in court papers made public Friday about his frustrations with this country, calling it the "United Sodom and Gomorah States of America."

Federal prosecutors, who are still interrogating some top Al Qaeda captives in secret locations, appear unlikely to want any of them to testify in Moussaoui's trial. But U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema has already ruled that Moussaoui should have access to one of the four captives, Ramzi Binalshibh. The government is appealing that order. The dispute could ultimately end with the Moussaoui case being transferred to a military tribunal.

Moussaoui, facing the death penalty if convicted, is representing himself and has often caused a stir in the courthouse in Alexandria, Va., with his tirades against the federal government. He also has repeatedly sent angry missives, often cloaked in misspelled legal-speak, to the judge. From time to time she has released these handwritten messages, and on Friday made four of them public.

In the first, received on Sept. 10, he asked the judge, "What are you doing to my Commander Abu Zubaydah?"

Moussaoui subtitled his message a "motion to free Abu Zubayda from CIA torture chambers and bring him in my open court." He claimed that Zubaydah's mission was to "seek and destroy Hollywood" with guided missiles.

"Lieutenant Moussaoui must be allow to see and speak to his commander, Abu Zubaydah, to destroy United States Propaganda Ship," Moussaoui wrote. " ... Abu Zubaydah must talk to the world about September 11."

The government has characterized Zubaydah as a key planner of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a second message received Sept. 19, Moussaoui wrote: "May Allah protect Ramzi Binalshibh against U.S. tortures."

"The U.S. government is hidding Ramzi Binalshibh to torture him and to prevent him to speak the truth," Moussaoui wrote. "From the beginning, the US government know that I was not the 20th hijacker (nor 21, 22, 23 etc). Now my brother Ramzi Binalshibh may Allah protect him will prove it to the world."

In a third message received March 4, Moussaoui asked that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed be allowed to testify on his behalf as well. Mohammed is considered the highest-ranking Al Qaeda leader captured to date, and allegedly worked with Zubaydah in conceiving and financing the Sept. 11 plot.

Calling himself a "slave to Allah," Moussaoui asked the judge to "personally" book him a ticket on a "non-smoking, no women" flight "to go out of your filthy United Sodom and Gomorah States of America."

He added: "I will be delighted to come back one day to blow myself [up] with your new WTC if ever you rebuild it (I doubt it)."

The final message, received March 14, calls for Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, another terrorism financier, to "speak freely at 9/11 show trial."

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