- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 13, 2006

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Confessed al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui yesterday said it made his day to hear accounts of Americans’ suffering from the September 11 attacks and that he would like to see similar attacks “every day.”

Taking the witness stand for the second time in the sentencing phase of his death-penalty trial, Moussaoui mocked a Navy officer who wept on the stand as she described the death of two of her subordinates in the attack on the Pentagon.

“I think it was disgusting for a military person” to cry, Moussaoui said of the testimony of Navy Lt. Nancy McKeown. “She is military. She should expect people at war with her to want to kill her.”

When asked if he was happy to hear her sobbing, he said: “Make my day.”

Moussaoui said he had “no regret, no remorse” about the September 11 attacks. When asked by prosecutor Rob Spencer if he would like to see the events of September 11 happen again, Moussaoui said: “Every day until we get you.”

Moussaoui also said he could not get a fair trial in the Alexandria courtroom just miles from the Pentagon, and he criticized U.S. support for Israel.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, however, said Moussaoui would be able to get an impartial jury. Moussaoui pleaded guilty last year to conspiring with al Qaeda to fly planes into U.S. buildings. Jurors, who last week ruled him eligible for the death penalty, now must decide between his execution or life imprisonment.

Moussaoui testified that he thinks that his court-appointed lawyers are working against him and that if he’d had control over his defense, he would have argued that he should escape the death penalty and be available for a prisoner swap if American troops are captured overseas.

Offering a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans, Moussaoui criticized the United States’ support for Israel. He said Muslims have been at war with Christians and Jews for centuries. Israel, he said, is “just a missing star in the American flag.”

Moussaoui told jurors that Islam requires Muslims to be the world’s superpower as he flipped through a copy of the Koran searching for verses to support his assertions. One verse that he cited requires non-Muslim nations to pay a tribute to Muslim countries.

“We have to be the superpower. You have to be subdued. We have to be above you,” Moussaoui said. “Because Americans, you are the superpower, you want to eradicate us.”

At one point, defense lawyer Gerald Zerkin asked Moussaoui if he thought he was helping his case when he testified earlier that he planned to pilot a plane into the White House on September 11.

“I was putting my trust in God, so from an Islamic point of view, yes,” Moussaoui said, acknowledging that non-Muslims might view his testimony as harmful to his case.

At several points during his afternoon testimony, Moussaoui said he has lied when it has suited his interests throughout the course of his four-year case.

Moussaoui’s defense team is expected to argue in the next few days that his life should be spared because of his limited role in the September 11 attacks.

Even though he was in jail in Minnesota at the time of the attacks, the jury ruled that lies that Moussaoui told to federal agents a month before the attacks kept them from identifying and stopping some of the hijackers.

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