“Moussaoui Tells Court He’s Guilty of a Terror Plot,” from the New Duranty Times:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person facing a trial in the United States in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, pleaded guilty on Friday to participating in a broad conspiracy by Al Qaeda to fly planes into American buildings.
Mr. Moussaoui, wearing a dark-green prison jumpsuit, stood before Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Federal District Court here and said that he was forgoing a trial on the facts and that he understood that his guilty plea meant he might be executed.
But Mr. Moussaoui, 36, a Frenchman of Moroccan heritage who was arrested in August 2001, offered a surprise. He said that despite his guilty plea he had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks.
Instead, he said, he had been planning to participate in a separate undisclosed plot to fly a plane into the White House at a different time.
In a rambling discourse, he said his role was part of a plan to force the release of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Muslim scholar who is serving a life sentence for conspiracy to blow up New York bridges and tunnels and other landmarks in 1993.
“I am guilty of a broad conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction to destroy the White House,” he said, offering a new account of his role in plots that is at odds with the different versions government prosecutors have put forward….
The statement also said that Osama bin Laden “personally selected Moussaoui to participate in the operation to fly planes into American buildings and approved Moussaoui’s attacking the White House. Bin Laden told Moussaoui, ‘Sahrawi, remember your dream.'”
Sahrawi, Mr. Moussaoui had told the court, was his name for jihad, or holy war….
Mr. Moussaoui offered his guilty plea to all six counts over the objections of his assigned defense lawyers. In a meeting on Wednesday with Judge Brinkema, he also said that he would not contest the death penalty. On Friday, he said that he had changed his mind….
Judge Brinkema, a soft-spoken judge who has been in charge of the case from the start, offered evidence of familiarity with him and his habits as she questioned him closely about whether he fully understood the implications of his plea. She flattered him with compliments on his sophistication about the law, and added that Mr. Moussaoui, who has advanced business degrees from a college in England, “is extremely intelligent with a better understanding of our legal system than some of the lawyers who have appeared in court.”
Mr. Moussaoui told her, “I know I cannot expect any leniency from the Americans.”
As marshals led him out, Mr. Moussaoui shouted: “Allah akhbar! God curse America!”…