Moussaoui Calls 9/11 Families' Grief 'Disgusting'

April 13, 2006 — -- Zacharis Moussaoui, a convicted al Qaeda conspirator in the 9/11 attacks, told the jury he had no remorse about the attacks and was glad that the victims' family members who testified about their loss suffered pain.

This jury will decide if Moussaoui will face the death penalty. Moussaoui was given the chance to plead for his life today, but instead he unleashed a stream of invective.

"Do you have regret about the families that testified?" lead proscecutor Robert Spencer asked Moussaoui.

"None whatsoever," Moussaoui replied in a monotone. "I find it disgusting that someone will come here to share their grief. ... I'm glad they received pain."

His message from the witness stand was simple: hatred of America.

"We want to inflict pain in your country. ... wish there will be more pain," he said.

Asked if he wanted to see 9/11 happen again, Moussaoui said he wished it would happen "everyday." Chuckling to himself, Moussaoui testified to prosecutors that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is "the greatest American."

Slams Defense Attorneys

In November 2003, Judge Leone Brinkema ruled that Moussaoui could no longer represent himself. His court-appointed defense lawyers hope to convince jurors that life in prison would be more of a punishment to the al Qaeda member than death, which his defense team argues would reward him with martrydom.

Asked by defense attorney Gerald Zerkin why he hated Americans, Moussaoui said, "It's going to be long." Then in lengthy testimony, he proceeded to read a passage from the Koran bolstering his claim that Muslims should "be the superpower."

Moussaoui also lashed out at his defense lawyers, accusing them of wanting to kill him as well.

While he spouted hateful comments for most of the day, Moussaoui showed his familiarity with American movies while expressing his displeasure with the death penalty: "I don't want to die like 'Silence of the Lambs.'"

Moussaoui's defense team portrayed him as a paranoid schizophrenic who believes there is a conspiracy to kill him. But Moussaoui insisted that he is perfectly sane.

From the same witness stand, Moussaoui said he believed President Bush would pardon him before the end of his term in office.

Family members of 9/11 victims expressed horror at Moussaoui's testimony.

"You can call him a fanatic, you can call him wrong, you can call him a predator, a murderer," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother, Charles, was the pilot on the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon. "You can call him a terrorist, all those things, but you cannot really listen to him and call him crazy. He is a terrorist and there is nothing cuckoo about this man."

The Associated Press contributed to his report.