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Accused September 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui withdraws guilty pleas.
CNN ^ | July 25, 2002

Posted on 07/25/2002 11:44:15 AM PDT by jern

Accused September 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui withdraws guilty pleas.


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: guilty; leoniebrinkema; plea; zacariasmoussaoui
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1 posted on 07/25/2002 11:44:16 AM PDT by jern
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To: jern
Accused September 11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui withdraws guilty pleas. Details soon.
For the latest news, watch CNN or log on to
AOL Keyword: CNN
2 posted on 07/25/2002 11:45:14 AM PDT by jern
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To: jern
Moussaoui Guilty Pleas Are in Doubt

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jul 25, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Zacarias Moussaoui declared Thursday he was guilty of four of six charges in a federal indictment accusing him of conspiracy in connection with the Sept. 11. But the judge said she didn't believe he was ready to admit his full guilt.

"At this point I do not believe you are prepared to make a guilty plea because you are not prepared to admit the essence of the conspiracy," U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said after Moussaoui tried to plead guilty to the first charge in his indictment.

The exchange placed in doubt Moussaoui's efforts to plead to some of the charges against him.

Moussaoui, a Frenchman and the lone person charged with conspiring with the September hijackers, balked when the judge asked him directly if he had joined with members of al-Qaida in a plan to seize aircraft.

"I want a recess," he asked. The judge agreed.

The court must decide whether to accept any of the four guilty pleas Moussaoui said he wants to make, and was spending Thursday reviewing how much he was willing to admit to.

"Today, I truthfully will enter on some of the charges, not all, a plea of guilty," Moussaoui told the judge.

"It should not be misunderstood that I endorse the entire indictment. There is enough factual basis for me to plead guilty in a truthful manner," the French citizen said.

Moussaoui told the court he intended to plead guilty to the first four charges in the indictment against him, accusing him of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, aircraft piracy, aircraft destruction and using weapons of mass destruction.

But the only man charged in the September attacks said he was not pleading to the last two charges. Those two charges accuse him of attempting to murder government employees and attempting to destroy property.

When the judge began to ask him about his role in the Sept. 11 conspiracy, Moussaoui gave his own explanation as his mother from France watched on in the audience.

"They allege I provided a guest house, I accept," he said. "If they allege provide training, it is possible for me to accept," he said. "I plead guilty to what is in the indictment, but it still doesn't put me on the plane."

Brinkema ruled she did not believe Moussaoui was prepared to admit guilt on the first charge - the one which accused him of conspiring to commit terrorism.

"I want to plead only for what I did, not for what they say I did," Moussaoui declared at one point in the proceedings.

Some of the charges against Moussaoui carry the death penalty, and even if the judge accepted some of his guilty pleas, the court likely would have to hold a trial to determine the penalty.

During the middle of the hearing, the court was informed that a federal appeals court had rejected a request from a private lawyer who tried to represent Moussaoui. The lawyer wanted to stop the hearing.

Before Moussaoui made his statements, Brinkema also rejected a request by Moussaoui's court-appointed attorneys to delay Thursday's arraignment and to order a full-scale mental evaluation. The lawyers, whom Moussaoui fired, have been arguing that they believe he is mentally ill and unable to represent himself.

They cited as evidence more than a hundred handwritten court briefs that Moussaoui has made - some making wild allegations.

"His pleadings are somewhat confrontational and somewhat unusual ... but they do not give the court any basis to assume that the defendant is not competent," the judge ruled.

Brinkema noted that Moussaoui "obviously understood the court's admonition" to stop filing repetitive motions. The court "did not receive a filing from him in a week. That's a record," she quipped.

At one point, Brinkema asked Moussaoui to take an oath. He had repeatedly objected to swearing on a Christian bible, so she permitted him to make an amended oath.

"In the name of Allah ... I will tell the truth to the best of my ability," Moussaoui swore.

He appeared with a beard and in traditional green prison jumpsuit, flanked by two U.S. marshals. Moussaoui's mother, Aicha el-Wafi, traveled from France and sat in the audience.

Brinkema noted that the mother had written the court urging that her son's guilty pleas not be permitted.

Brinkema had sent a letter to Moussaoui noting that she had asked the government to outline the facts of the case against him. She asked him if he had seen the letter and agreed with the government's facts.

"If I were to agree to all their facts, I would not only plead guilty but guilty for the death penalty," he responded.

Moussaoui said the government has not allowed him to tell what he knows to a grand jury but said he wanted to use Thursday's court session to divulge what he knew about Sept. 11.

Moussaoui said the crux of the case against him is "whether I came to the U.S. to commit acts of terrorism. ... That's what I want to talk to U.S. people, Americans, who are my enemies."

U.S. Attorney Paul McNulty had argued that Moussaoui was competent to make his own plea and that his defense lawyers request was "an attempt to add an artificial barrier to the defendant's clear intent to plead guilty."

Already heavy security at the U.S. Courthouse not far from the Pentagon, site of one of the Sept. 11 attacks, was tightened further for Moussaoui's appearance.

The defendant was driven to the courthouse roughly two hours hours before his scheduled appearance.

The security perimeter of hydraulic barriers was widened for Moussaoui's return to the courtroom where he attempted a week earlier to plead guilty.

That plea was rejected by Brinkema, who told Moussaoui last week to return to court and decide whether he still wanted to plead guilty to a terrorism conspiracy.

"Bet on me I will," said the unpredictable Moussaoui, who is representing himself and won't communicate with the lawyers who filed the postponement request.

Moussaoui last week admitted he was a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network but in the past has denied aiding the hijackers. Brinkema told him he could not plead guilty by denying his personal role.

The only individual charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, Moussaoui said he had information about the conspiracy that he believed would save his life in a penalty phase of the case. The Bush administration has said it would seek his execution if Moussaoui is found guilty.

Frank Dunham Jr., the lead defense lawyer, said Wednesday that a report from defense mental health experts reinforced their earlier view of Moussaoui's illness.

That report concluded there was "reasonable cause to believe that this defendant suffers from a psychotic mental disease or defect and has been exibiting marked deterioration in his mental state since he was permitted to proceed" as his own lawyer.

Dunham said the experts need more time to determine whether Moussaoui is legally competent to proceed. Brinkema disagreed.

By LARRY MARGASAK Associated Press Writer

Copyright 2002 Associated Press, All rights reserved


3 posted on 07/25/2002 11:46:12 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: jern
I'm astonished! He changed his mind?????
4 posted on 07/25/2002 11:46:37 AM PDT by johnb838
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To: jern
exhibit A in the argument for military tribunals. This a$$h--- would have been dead months ago.
5 posted on 07/25/2002 11:48:40 AM PDT by ilgipper
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To: jern
Moussaoui Withdraws Sept.11 Conspiracy Guilty Plea

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - Zacarias Moussaoui on Thursday withdrew his guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

One week after District Judge Leonie Brinkema refused to accept his guilty plea, Moussaoui appeared in court to first say was going to plead guilty, but then after a brief recess changed his mind.

"Because of my obligation to my creator, Allah, and to save and defend my life I withdraw my guilty plea," he told a packed courtroom in still another stunning change of events.

The judge accepted his decision and said the government cannot use his earlier plea against him.

Last week Moussaoui, 34, pleaded guilty and stunned a court by saying he was a member of al Qaeda, had knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks and had pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

The United States blames bin Laden and al Qaeda for the hijacked plane attacks that killed 3,000 people. U.S. officials believe Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent who was detained on immigration charges on Sept. 11, was meant to be the 20th hijacker.

6 posted on 07/25/2002 11:49:09 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
Isn't conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction one of the counts that carries the death penalty?

I wonder why he refuses to plead guilty to conspiracy to murder federal officials. Was he not aware that the Pentagon and other buildings in Washington were targets?

7 posted on 07/25/2002 11:49:44 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: kattracks
Why in hell is this judge so adamant about getting this guy off? Lemme guess. A terrorist-hugging Clinton appointee.
8 posted on 07/25/2002 11:52:04 AM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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To: kattracks
Moussaoui, a Frenchman and the lone person charged with conspiring with the September hijackers, balked when the judge asked him directly if he had joined with members of al-Qaida in a plan to seize aircraft.

Yup, I knew this was going to happen. He was going to enter the guilty plea, but as soon as the judge got into Zac admitting to the specifics of the counts in the complaint, he was going to say, "no way, Jose."

Just more games in Moussoui's case.

9 posted on 07/25/2002 11:55:44 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Thane_Banquo
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Leonie Brinkema Biography

U.S. District Court Judge, Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Albert V. Bryan Courthouse, 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314-5798.   703-299-2116.

Judge Brinkema recently presided in two Internet related cases which received wide publicity, Urofsky v. Allen and Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library.

See, Summary of Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Library.

In the Loudoun case website operators and authors whose web pages may have been blocked asked the federal court to prevent the county public library from using Internet blocking software on public access computers in the library. All plaintiffs alleged that use of the software violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Judge Brinkema agreed, and found the library's policy unconstitutional. The library decided not to appeal.

The Congress is very likely to pass a bill requiring schools and libraries receiving e-rate subsidies to use filtering software. In the inevitable legal challenge, the ACLU will rely heavily on Judge Brinkema's November 23, 1998 Opinion in the Loudoun case.

In the Urofsky case several Virginia state employees challenged the constitutionality of a state statute barring state employees from using their computers at work to view porn. Judge Brinkema agreed, and held the statute unconstitutional. Virginia appealed, and Judge Brinkema was reversed by a unanimous Opinion of a three judge Court of Appeals panel.

Education:

  • Douglass College, B.A., 1966.
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, graduate studies in philosophy, 1966.
  • NYU, graduate studies in philosophy, 1967-1969.
  • Rutgers, M.L.S., 1970.
  • Cornell, J.D., 1976.

Work Experience.

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, 1976-1977.
  • U.S. Attorney's office, E.D. Virginia, Criminal Division, 1977-1983.
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, 1983-4.
  • Solo Practitioner, 1984-5.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, E.D. Virginia, 1985-1993.

U.S. District Court Judge.

  • Nominated by President Bill Clinton.

  • Entered duty 10/23/93.

10 posted on 07/25/2002 11:56:45 AM PDT by jern
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To: Thane_Banquo
With Brinkema as the judge, Moussaoui doesn't need any defense lawyers.
11 posted on 07/25/2002 11:57:35 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: Thane_Banquo
Because this is one smart judge. She wants Moussaoui locked into a plea and sentence that cannot be reversed by the Court of Appeals.
12 posted on 07/25/2002 11:57:57 AM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Thane_Banquo
He's jerking around the USA criminal justice system. Just like everything else they do, this one will boomarang back at em. Military Tribunals will gain popularity. Ashcroft and company are loving this mockery.
13 posted on 07/25/2002 11:58:11 AM PDT by kinghorse
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To: aristeides
Isn't conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction one of the counts that carries the death penalty?

What weapon of mass destruction did he conspire to use?

Are you sure you not meaning to say "use a vehicle of mass transportation as a weapon" or how ever it was worded?

Oh, and including airplanes in the definition of a means of mass transit was thrown out by a court. Seems congress has a dictionary all its own to define words, and an airplane doesnt count as a method of transportation as the definition in congresses dictionary for the purpose of writting and iterrupting laws limits methods of transportation to things that operate on THE GROUND!

They did a poor job of writing the law, which is always the case when they rush.

14 posted on 07/25/2002 11:58:41 AM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: aristeides

This does not pass the smell test. I felt that last week when he pled guilty, and the judge wouldn't accept his plea. Some trick is afoot, and he's gonna walk. I feel it in my bones.
15 posted on 07/25/2002 11:59:10 AM PDT by EggsAckley
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To: Thane_Banquo
"Why in hell is this judge so adamant about getting this guy off? Lemme guess. A terrorist-hugging Clinton appointee."

It might be that she is following Plato's injunction to "Know thyself."

If so, she knows that as a magistrate judge, and now as a District Court Judge, she has a horrible reversal record.
Therefore, she might want to go very slowly, or she will end up doing it twice, ( or if jeopardy attaches) might inadvertently set him free.
16 posted on 07/25/2002 11:59:23 AM PDT by APBaer
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To: Catspaw
"Because this is one smart judge. She wants Moussaoui locked into a plea and sentence that cannot be reversed by the Court of Appeals."

You are right, and it is fukking obvious to anyone with half a brain.
17 posted on 07/25/2002 12:00:42 PM PDT by APBaer
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To: jern
A little Moussaoui trial music from "old blue eyes".
18 posted on 07/25/2002 12:00:54 PM PDT by mdittmar
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To: jern
This guy is a freakin' yo yo, in more ways than one..... Sheesh.
19 posted on 07/25/2002 12:02:18 PM PDT by b4its2late
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To: Thane_Banquo
The judge is being adamant about making sure that the defendant is properly informed of his rights before he acts so as to minimize the basis for post-trial appeals.
20 posted on 07/25/2002 12:05:17 PM PDT by RonF
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To: EggsAckley
he's gonna walk. I feel it in my bones.

Good! Then he can feel it in his bones, his head, and any other place that can be beaten, and he will no longer be able to walk! ;-)

21 posted on 07/25/2002 12:08:57 PM PDT by StriperSniper
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To: kattracks
"In the name of Allah ... I will tell the truth to the best of my ability," Moussaoui swore.

Oh, oh. I see why the judge wouldn't accept his evidence and plea.

22 posted on 07/25/2002 12:10:00 PM PDT by Lent
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To: Phantom Lord; okie01; Mitchell
"What weapon of mass destruction did he conspire to use?"

He may have had different roles and history besides the Minnesota incident. He may have not been planned to go on the 9/11 planes - or something else that day.

I have yet to see any journalist ask why the cropduster allegations were dropped from the complaint against him...too troubling to reveal to the people their use as chemical weapons - he did have wind pattern maps.? Might warnings to the American people, which we deserve, impinge on the profits of some industry?

23 posted on 07/25/2002 12:10:33 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: jern
Friends don't let friends watch CNN
24 posted on 07/25/2002 12:11:35 PM PDT by fuente
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To: kattracks
"was detained on immigration charges on Sept. 11"

Is this accurate? I thought he was detained before?

25 posted on 07/25/2002 12:12:37 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: jern
Can I watch Fox News is I so choose?

Sure hope so. =^)

26 posted on 07/25/2002 12:16:43 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: Shermy
I think you're right.
27 posted on 07/25/2002 12:17:20 PM PDT by kattracks
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To: Shermy
"...he did have wind pattern maps.? Might warnings to the American people, which we deserve, impinge on the profits of some industry?"

C'mon, Shermy, you know better than that.

The feds don't want to make an issue of the anthrax angle or promote any fear of a "sleeper-mounted" broadspread biological attack.

Until, that is, we are prepared to a.) smash Saddam with one lightning blow and b.) insure that the domestic consequences of doing so are mimimized. Meanwhile, the administration's reluctance to broach this subject is perfectly understandable.

28 posted on 07/25/2002 12:17:45 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Shermy
Moussaoui was detained by the FBI in Minneapolis in August, 2001 on an immigration violation. The Minneapolis FBI weren't allowed to poke around in his laptop until 9/12. He was charged shortly after that.

I'll do a google check & post. I thought I saw a timeline of Moussaoui somewhere.

29 posted on 07/25/2002 12:18:16 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: Shermy
I couldn't find the timeline of Moussaoui, but here's one on pre 9/11.  There seems to be some confusion as to when Moussaoui was arrested on immigration violations.  I've come across 8/13, 8/16 and 8/17.  I believe the 8/16 date is correct.
 
Warning Timeline
ABCNEWS.com

May 16 — What did the Bush administration and other parts of the federal government know about possible threats to U.S. interests before Sept. 11? And when did officials know of warnings? Below is a timeline of key dates.

April 18, 2001: Federal Aviation Administration issues an advisory. "The FAA does not have any credible information regarding specific plans by terrorist groups to attack U.S. civil aviation interests ... Nonetheless some of the current active groups are known to plan and train for hijackings ... The FAA encourages U.S. carriers to demonstrate a high degree of alertness."

June 22, 2001: FAA issues an information circular to private air carriers. "Although we have no specific information that this threat is directed at civil aviation, the potential for terrorist operations, such as an airline hijacking to free terrorists incarcerated in the U.S., remains a concern."

June 26, 2001: State Department issues a worldwide caution to Americans traveling or living abroad.

End of June, 2001: Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) meets to discuss possible threats.

July 2, 2001: As a result of the CSG meeting, the FBI releases a memo about threats overseas. In a message to law enforcement agencies, FBI says there were threats to American interests overseas and that a domestic strike could not be ruled out.

July 2, 2001: FAA issues an internal communication that says a terrorist convicted in a plot to disrupt the millennium had intended to use explosives in an airport terminal.

July 5, 2001: Bush asks National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to see what was being done about various concerns.

July 6, 2001: Counterterrorism Security Group meets again and suspends nonessential travel of U.S. counterterrorism staff because of concern about potential attacks in Paris, Turkey and Rome.

Mid July, 2001: Concern addressed about specific threat against President Bush at G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy, which brought together eight countries with the most powerful economies.

July 10th , 2001: FBI's office in Phoenix sends memo to FBI headquarters alerting of an increase in flight school interest by Arab nationals, and suggesting inquiry of similar activity in other states.

July 18, 2001: FAA issues an internal communication suggesting a "high level of caution" on the part of the airlines. It refers entirely to concern about attacks in the Arabian Peninsula.

July 18, 2001: FBI sends advisory reiterating its July 2 message. "We're concerned about threats as a result of the millennium plot conviction," the advisory says, referring to a July 13 conviction of an Algerian accused of being part of a plot to detonate a suitcase bomb at Los Angeles International Airport.

July 31, 2001: FAA issues an internal communication encouraging airlines to be on high level of alert, says terror groups are known to be planning and training for hijackings.

Aug. 1, 2001: FBI issues advisory noting the third anniversary of the deadly bombings of two U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Aug. 6, 2001: Bush receives a report that does not have warning information but does discuss Osama bin Laden's methods of operation. It also mentions a concern of a traditional hijacking.

Aug. 16, 2001: Zacarias Moussaoui is detained in Minnesota. Moussaoui was arrested after he sought flight training at a Minnesota flight school.

Aug. 16, 2001: FAA issues warning about disguised weapons. Officials were concerned about some reports that the terrorists had made breakthroughs in cell phones, key chains and pens as weapons.

Aug. 28, 2001: Information is received from French intelligence that Moussaoui has links to bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

Aug. 28, 2001: FAA issues advisory about possible violence against U.S. carriers flying in and out of Israel.

Sept. 11, 2001: Four planes are hijacked in the United States and are crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field.

 

30 posted on 07/25/2002 12:29:48 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: jern
I just saw his mother on TV but she was speaking in French, not Arabic. Is Moussaoui from Algeria? I heard that a lot, if not most, Arabs in Algeria speak French, not Arabic.
31 posted on 07/25/2002 12:46:40 PM PDT by PJ-Comix
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To: APBaer
i beleive if he pleads quilty, there is no trial - we NEED a trial in order to bring out the information he knows about the alquaeda network.
32 posted on 07/25/2002 12:57:20 PM PDT by nycbiggie1
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To: jern
What a three-ring circus. What is this world coming to?
33 posted on 07/25/2002 1:05:43 PM PDT by kerberos3
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To: okie01; Mitchell; Fred Mertz; muawiyah; Betty Jo
Oh, O.K. Okie01. :)

Still, I think the "anthrax" angle with the cropdusters is might be off base.. misleading because "cropdusters" and "Anthrax" came to the public mind at the same time, so they connect the two. Then the experts come and show that Anthrax couldn't be spread well that way (though that doesn't mean the terrs wouldn't try).

But cropdusters could be for a different form of attack - chemical. Remember, Atta asked "how much poisons does it hold" to one Florida man. Al Qaeda goes for simplicity, often. 9/11 has been described as "high concept, low tech" - they find seams in security and the like. How about a simple chemical attack with simple components, purchased right here in the USA?

Computer in Kabul holds chilling memos: PC used by al-Qaida leaders reveals 4 years of terrorism (12/31)

"....Files outlining al-Qaida efforts to launch a program of chemical and biological weapons, code-named al Zabadi, Arabic for curdled milk. As part of the plan to develop a “home-brew nerve gas,” members were given a long reading list that included a study titled “Current Concepts: Napalm.”

.........

HOME BREW

Soon after the African (1998) bombings, the computer files show al-Qaida embarking on potentially its most deadly project: the “curdled milk” biological- and chemical-warfare program. A memo written in April 1999, apparently by Zawahri, notes that “the destructive power of these weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons.”

The memo laments al-Qaida’s sluggishness in realizing the menace of these weapons, noting that “despite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concern that they can be produced simply.”

As a first step, the memo suggests, militants must brush up on their reading. The memo gives a detailed precis of an American history of chemical and germ warfare. It lists a catalog of exotic killers, from anthrax to Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

A May 7, 1999, file indicates that by that time, al-Qaida leaders had earmarked $2,000 to $4,000 for “start-up” costs of the program. In a letter dated May 23 and written under one of Zawahri’s aliases, the author reports discussing some “very useful ideas” during a visit to Abu Khabab, the alias of an elderly Egyptian scientist. “It just needs some experiments to develop its practical use.”

Particularly encouraging, the letter in the computer files said, was a home-brew nerve gas made from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed up penetration into the skin. The writer said Khabab had supplied a computer disk that gave details of “his product” in a WinZip file, and “my neighbor opened it by God’s will.”

U.S. officials, citing satellite photos and intelligence gathered from local residents, say Abu Khabab experimented with nerve gas on dogs and rabbits at a camp near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. The camp, one of several in the area hit by U.S. bombs after Sept. 11, was known as Abu Khabab in honor of the scientist.

In a letter dated May 26 and stored in the computer under the same alias as earlier correspondence, the author says he was “very enthusiastic” about the Zabadi project and was especially pleased with Abu Khabab’s “significant progress.”

So perhaps the terrs had some chemical they could add to insecticide to make it more effective, and would deploy it with cropdusters - a tool made for spreading insecticide. This could have been an alternative plan, or just one of many more thought up.

I see your point about not alarming people. But that doesn't preclude other motives too.

34 posted on 07/25/2002 1:24:29 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: EggsAckley
Some trick is afoot, and he's gonna walk.

Not too far I suspect.

35 posted on 07/25/2002 1:30:41 PM PDT by steveo
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To: Thane_Banquo
You ask "Why in hell is this judge so adamant about getting this guy off? Lemme guess. A terrorist-hugging Clinton appointee." Maybe, but more likely she doesn't want the whole thing to be overturned based on mental incompetence. Also, there would have to be a full trial anyway if the government wants to go for death, so it doesn't save much time or money to refuse to accept the pleas. Also, a judge has to ensure that the defendant is clear on what he's pleaing to; given this guy's language skills and changing stories, that's pretty hard.

The only upside to accepting his partial plea is that then we don't have to worry about him getting off scot-free -- and that, I hope, is pretty much out of the picture, especially now after his open-court admissions/attempted pleas.

36 posted on 07/25/2002 1:42:00 PM PDT by DWPittelli
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To: Shermy
"But that doesn't preclude other motives too."

It's true that crop-dusters are less than ideal for biological attacks, but could be readily adapted for chemical attacks. Indeed, there are several off-the-shelf agricultural pesticides that could be quite dangerous if sprayed on humans (or, perhaps, water supplies) at high concentrations.

And bringing all this up in a public trial would be, I'm sure, opening up a can of worms the administration would much prefer to open at their own convenience.

My response was directed at your assertion that the administration might be more concerned with the profits of a particular industry than with public safety. That's something I'm not buying, at all.

I can well imagine a circumstance, though, where the media would get on the cropduster connection so that people would start freaking out every time a cropduster came into view. Which could have an irrational, though disastrous, effect on that particular industry...and all the farming operations they serve. And, thus, our food supply...

37 posted on 07/25/2002 1:53:02 PM PDT by okie01
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To: jern
If anyone had any faith left in the justice system it is now all gone.
38 posted on 07/25/2002 2:41:55 PM PDT by Mixer
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To: jern
"I didn't take my fingers off of it!"

"I want a do over!"

He's already played his hand. Now all we are doing is postponing the inevitable by playing a game of words and legal manuvers (sort of like Snakes and Ladders).

39 posted on 07/25/2002 2:58:07 PM PDT by weegee
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To: Phantom Lord
I don't know how the charge was worded or what definitions the government uses, but it is clearly more than just "malicious vehicular assault" (e.g. deliberately using a car as a weapon to hit someone).

The plan was to hit buildings and cause a fuel explosion. The plane was a bomb. Dead is dead.

Does the definition of "weapons of mass distruction" carry with it an intended body count range, a potential explosive damage yield, or a financial damage value?

40 posted on 07/25/2002 3:04:40 PM PDT by weegee
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To: DWPittelli
Unfortunately, the judge had to reject all of his guilty pleas because Moussaoui would not admit to the facts of the case. Because he refused to do that, she could not accept his guilty plea.

If you remember Kathleen Soliah (or Sara Jane Olson) from the Symbionese Liberation Army, she plead guilty in court, even admitted to the facts of the case, then walked out of the courthouse & told the media she wasn't guilty. The judge hauled her back into court and refused to accept her guilty pleas & re-entered not guilty pleas. Then her lawyers & the prosecutors worked out another guilty plea and the judge accepted that plea. She then tried to withdraw her guilty plea again & I thought the judge's head would explode. He would not let her withdraw her second guilty plea.

But because the judge would not accept the guilty pleas from Moussaoui, he's going to trial.

You can read a transcript of today's hearing.  It's posted on washingtonpost.com.

41 posted on 07/25/2002 3:46:30 PM PDT by Catspaw
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To: kattracks
Reading the news write-up you posted, I must pause to ask God's help here.

Dear Lord, in Your Name I bind up all the confusion and strangleholds that are being tossed into the legal process in this case. I loose the power of the truth to enfold, grip, possess, and lead each person, in Your Name. I ask that You send Your Spirit to aid each person and that You prevent deception and lies from taking hold anywhere in this process. Bless and give the judge wisdom beyond human ability to determine the facts faultlessly, in Jesus' Name. Let this come to a speedy, righteous conclusion despite all the efforts of darkness to keep that from happening. Bare Your holy arm on behalf of justice for us, Lord God. Let not our enemies triumph over us in the courtroom or in the streets.
42 posted on 07/25/2002 4:01:26 PM PDT by GretchenEE
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To: weegee
Now that I have thought about my previous post, the charge that was thrown out was actually against shoe bomber Richard Reid. The charge related to attempting to destroy a vehicle of mass transit or how ever they worded it. The charge was thrown out because as congress wrote the law, airplanes didnt fall under the definition of a vehicle of mass transit.
43 posted on 07/25/2002 4:13:17 PM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: Catspaw
"Moussaoui, a Frenchman"

I guess this proves my grandmother's old saying - If she caught you in a lie, she would say that you were "False as a Frenchman."
44 posted on 07/25/2002 6:45:09 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: PJ-Comix
Hmmm... French and Arabic... what a wonderful combination. Makes it so easy to hate 'em. :)
45 posted on 07/25/2002 9:15:36 PM PDT by EricT.
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To: EggsAckley
You got that right! Why didn't didn't this judge(A Clinton apointee) accept Moussaoui's guilty plea at face value? Now we are gonna see this bast**d walk I'll bet ya. I say full speed ahead with military tribunals. You could just smell this rat coming.
46 posted on 07/25/2002 11:01:58 PM PDT by Minutemen
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To: Phantom Lord
You might consider a Boeing 757 a weapon of mass destruction if it was the top of your head it was coming down upon.
47 posted on 07/25/2002 11:11:47 PM PDT by Minutemen
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To: Shermy
I have yet to see any journalist ask why the cropduster allegations were dropped from the complaint against him...too troubling to reveal to the people their use as chemical weapons - he did have wind pattern maps.?

Possibly those charges were dropped simply because there was no evidence of a connection to criminal activity. The U.S. government is treating the Moussaoui case as a criminal case, not as a military incident. After all, owning wind pattern maps isn't illegal per se.

48 posted on 07/25/2002 11:46:33 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: okie01; Shermy
I don't think it's so much protecting the profits of some particular company in a nefarious way. But a warning of impending biological attack could cause further stock market declines and a general recession or depression in the economy. This wouldn't do us any good, and would, in fact, impede the war effort.

With that said, I also agree that not saying anything until we're ready to strike with one debilitating blow makes good tactical sense.

49 posted on 07/26/2002 9:16:49 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Shermy; okie01
The use of chemical agents is consistent with the Palestinian homicide bombers, who are said to add rat poison to their nail bombs to make them even deadlier. And the first WTC bomb contained cyanide (which was apparently destroyed or dissipated to no effect by the explosion).
50 posted on 07/26/2002 9:21:43 AM PDT by Mitchell
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