9/11 Suspect Reportedly Ready To Confess
The suspect says he'll do it. The judge says she'll accept it.
The only question now seems to be, will Zacarious Moussaoui go
through with his plan to plead guilty. If he does, it will mean the
only man in America to be indicted for the 9/11 terrorist attacks
cops a plea as early as Friday.
Moussaoui, a flight school student, was arrested about a month
before terrorists flew commercial aircraft into the World Trade
Center, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, PA.
"We do expect him to admit to some connection with the September
11 attacks," one government official told Reuters.
The French citizen of Moroccan
descent faces six allegations:
- Conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism
- Conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy
- Conspiracy to destroy aircraft
- Conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction
- Conspiracy to to murder US employees
- Conspiracy to destroy property
Four of those charges carry the death penalty.
But Moussaoui, 36, might not escape the death penalty by
pleading guilty. Prosecutors appear unwilling to negotiate on that
Will he really do it? Moussaoui,
who's acted as his own lawyer since he was imprisoned, has been of
questionable competence -- even according to his own lawyers. In
July, 2002, he said he'd plead guilty to the four most serious
charges against him, only to change his mind during the hearing. At
that court proceeding, he did admit to being part of Osama bin
Laden's al Qaeda terror network.
A spokesman for Moussaoui's mother, Aicha el-Wafi, said she
thinks her son is incompetent to enter a plea.
"She doesn't feel he is competent to enter a guilty plea," said
el-Wafi's lawyer, Randall Hamud. "The arduous conditions of his
confinement have taken a toll. She feels no one should do
anything... until they can get a proper psychological test."
Moussaoui's lawyers -- legal advisors, actually, since he
represents himself -- oppose a guilty plea.
But federal Judge Leonie Brinkema Wednesday ruled Moussaoui is
indeed of sound enough mind to enter a plea. She scheduled a court
hearing to accept his admission of guilt for Friday at 1530 in
Alexandria, VA. Federal prosecutors warn, however, given
Moussaoui's court antics three years ago, anything could