(March 6, 2006: pages 21-46 transcript)
P R O C E E D I N G S
2 (Defendant and Jury in.)
3 THE COURT: Mr. Spencer, are you ready for the opening
4 statement on behalf of the government?
5 MR. SPENCER: I am, Your Honor. Thank you very much.
6 Your Honor, may it please the Court --
7 THE COURT: Everybody have their notebooks? Yes?
8 OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. SPENCER:
10 Thank you, Your Honor.
11 September 11th, 2001 dawned clear, crisp and blue in the
12 northeast United States. In lower Manhattan in the Twin Towers of
13 the World Trade Center, workers sat down at their desks tending to
14 e-mail and phone messages from the previous days.
15 In the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, military and
16 civilian personnel sat in briefings, were focused on their
18 In those clear blue skies over New York, over Virginia,
19 and over Pennsylvania, in two American Airlines jets and in two
20 United Airlines jets, weary travelers sipped their coffee and read
21 their morning papers as flight attendants made their first rounds.
22 And in fire and police stations all over New York City,
23 the bravest among us reported for work. It started as an utterly
24 normal day, but a day that started so normally and with such
25 promise, soon became a day of abject horror. By morning's end,
1 2,972 people were slaughtered in cold blood.
2 And that clear, blue sky became clouded with dark smoke
3 that rose from the Trade Towers of New York, from the Pentagon in
4 Virginia, and from a field in rural Pennsylvania. And within a
5 few hours out of that clear, blue sky came terror, pain, misery,
6 and death, and those 2,972 never again saw their loved ones, never
7 again gave their kids a goodnight kiss. That day, September 11th,
8 2001, became a defining moment, not just for 2,972 families, but
9 for a generation.
10 Killers were among us that day and for more than just
11 that day. Those killers had lived among us for months, planned
12 for years to cut our throats, hijack our planes, and crash them
13 into buildings to burn us alive.
14 On that day, September 11, 2001, a group of cold-blooded
15 killers from distant lands capped their plan, their conspiracy, to
16 kill as many innocent Americans as possible. Those killers, part
17 of the terrorist group al Qaeda, came up with their plan, trained
18 for it, practiced it, worked on it, kept it secret, and then
19 carried it out, hijacking four commercial planes on September 11
20 and crashing them on purpose to kill as many Americans as they
22 One of the people in that plan, one of the conspirators
23 is among us still, right here in this courtroom today. That man
24 is the defendant, Zacarias Moussaoui. He is a loyal al Qaeda
25 soldier, as were the other al Qaeda murderers. He trained to
1 kill, as did the other murderers. He did his part, as did the
2 other murderers, and he succeeded, as did the other murderers,
3 including their leader, Usama Bin Laden.
4 Moussaoui's part in the end was to lie to allow his
5 al Qaeda brothers to go forward with a plot to kill Americans. He
6 lied so that the plot could proceed unimpeded, and that's exactly
7 what he did. He lied and nearly 3,000 people perished. Moussaoui
8 stands before you today, an admitted terrorist, a convicted
9 terrorist, a proud and unrepentant terrorist. He pled guilty, as
10 the Court has already told you, on April 22nd, 2005 to all charges
11 against him in this case.
12 He is guilty. This trial is to decide what his
13 punishment shall be.
14 On that day, September 11th, 2001, Moussaoui was a
15 member of al Qaeda. On that day Moussaoui was part of the plot to
16 hijack planes and crash them into U.S. buildings to kill as many
17 U.S. Americans as possible. Moussaoui trained with al Qaeda as
18 part of the plot. Moussaoui traveled to the U.S. as part of the
19 plot. Moussaoui took flight training as part of the plot.
20 Moussaoui purchased short-bladed knives, all part of the plot, all
21 financed by al Qaeda as part of the plot. He was in the thick of
23 And then he got arrested. He was arrested on August
24 16th, 2001 in Minnesota where he was training on a Boeing 747
25 simulator as part of the plot. But even though he was in jail on
1 September 11th, 2001, Moussaoui did his part. He did his part as
2 a good, loyal al Qaeda soldier, he lied so that his brothers could
3 go forward with their plan.
4 When he was arrested and questioned by federal agents,
5 Moussaoui lied to them. And with that lie, his part, he caused
6 the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, the destruction of the Trade
7 Towers in New York, part of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia,
8 and four commercial aircraft.
9 And he rejoiced in the death and destruction, because he
10 knew he had done his part to kill Americans, and that the plot had
11 succeeded. Now, he caused the deaths by lying to federal agents
12 about what he was doing in the U.S., and his lies permitted his
13 al Qaeda brothers to go forward, and that's what they did. That's
14 exactly what happened.
15 Had Moussaoui just told the truth on August 16th and
16 17th, 2001, it would all have been different, and those 2,972
17 people, or at least some of them, would be alive today.
18 Now, this trial has been divided into two parts. In the
19 first part of this trial you will be asked to decide whether
20 Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty, whether he intended
21 to cause and caused deaths on September 11th.
22 If you decide that he is eligible for the death penalty,
23 then we will have a second part of this trial, and in that second
24 part, you will hear about what happened on September 11th and what
25 the effect has been on the victims. And then you will decide
1 whether the defendant, Moussaoui, should be executed.
2 In the first part of the trial we will prove to you why
3 Moussaoui lied and what effect those lies had. We will prove that
4 he lied intentionally so his co-conspirators, his al Qaeda
5 brothers, could go forward with their murderous plot. And, ladies
6 and gentlemen, you will see there is really no dispute about that.
7 He has admitted that. He has told us that's why he did it, and
8 the other evidence will bear it out.
9 Second, I will show you that Moussaoui lied, his lies
10 had their intended effect, that he succeeded and that his lies
11 caused nearly 3,000 deaths, because had he not lied to the agents
12 in August of 2001, had he told us then what he told us in April of
13 2005, the U.S. government would have stopped those deaths, or at
14 least some of them, and those people would be alive today.
15 When he was arrested on August 16th and 17th, 2001, this
16 man knew that there was a ticking bomb in the United States. He
17 knew there was a plot about to unfold where jets would be hijacked
18 and flown into buildings. He knew it because he was part of the
20 And he lied to allow the plot to go forward. His lies
21 provided the operational security to allow his brothers to go
22 forward and kill on that horrific September morning.
23 The arrest and the lies. In August 2001 Moussaoui was
24 arrested in Minnesota by federal agents. He attracted the
25 attention of agents because he was at the Pan Am International
1 Flight Academy, training on a Boeing 747 simulator, and he stood
2 out because he barely knew how to fly a single engine airplane,
3 and the other students learning how to fly a 747 were all
4 experienced, with long aviation backgrounds.
5 He didn't have that. The agents suspected that he was a
6 foreign terrorist here up to no good, and they confronted him with
7 that. And he lied. He said no, it is a dream of mine to fly a
8 Boeing 747 simulator. I'm just a tourist here in the United
9 States. I'm not a terrorist. Those are lies.
10 They asked him about the source of his money that he
11 used to pay for the expensive simulator training. He said: Oh,
12 that money came from a business in England called NOP. Again,
13 false. That money came from al Qaeda.
14 He told these lies instead of telling the truth, saying
15 that he was from al Qaeda, that he was here to kill by hijacking
16 planes, and that there were others in the United States in a plot
17 about to unfold.
18 Now, what Moussaoui really knew. What he said in August
19 2001 was a lie. We know it is a lie and even he has now admitted
20 it is a lie. Years after he lied, he admitted in this very
21 courtroom that he is a terrorist. On April 22nd, 2005, he pled
22 guilty to every one of the six charges against him in this case.
23 Three of those charges, as the Court has told you, carry a
24 potential sentence of death.
25 When he stood before this Court and admitted his guilt,
1 he signed a written Statement of Facts. That is an extremely
2 important document in this case. In that Statement of Facts he
3 told us some of what he knew about the plot, the plot to hijack
4 planes and kill Americans.
5 If you look at the screen I am going to read you some of
6 the most important parts of those admissions and they will also
7 come up on the screen for you to follow along. Paragraph 4:
8 Moussaoui became a member of al Qaeda and pledged loyalty, a term
9 known as bayat, to Bin Laden, whom he called his father in Jihad.
10 Paragraph 7: Al Qaeda members conceived of an operation
11 in which civilian commercial airliners would be hijacked and flown
12 into prominent buildings, including government buildings, in the
13 United States. To effect this attack, al Qaeda associates entered
14 the U.S., received funding from abroad, engaged in physical
15 fitness training, and obtained knives and other weapons with which
16 to take over airliners. Some al Qaeda associates obtained pilot
17 training, including training on commercial jet simulators, so they
18 would be able to fly hijacked aircraft into their targets.
19 Paragraph 9: Moussaoui knew of al Qaeda's plan to fly
20 airplanes into prominent buildings in the U.S., and he agreed to
21 travel to the U.S. to participate in the plan. Bin Laden
22 personally selected Moussaoui to participate in the operation to
23 fly planes into American buildings and approved Moussaoui
24 attacking the White House. Bin Laden told Moussaoui, "Sahrawi,
25 remember your dream." "Sahrawi," Ladies and Gentlemen, is a war
1 name that Moussaoui used in al Qaeda.
2 An al Qaeda associate provided Moussaoui with
3 information about flight schools in the United States.
4 Paragraph 12: On February 23rd, 2001 Moussaoui traveled
5 to Norman, Oklahoma where he attended the Airman Flight School and
6 received training as a pilot of smaller planes. In summer 2001 an
7 al Qaeda associate directed Moussaoui to attend training for
8 larger jet planes.
9 Paragraph 13: While in Oklahoma, Moussaoui joined a gym
10 and bought knives. Moussaoui selected certain knives because they
11 had blades short enough to get past airport security.
12 Paragraph 14: In early August 2001, an al Qaeda
13 conspirator using the alias Ahad Sabet, wire transferred money
14 from Germany to Moussaoui in Oklahoma so Moussaoui could receive
15 additional flight training.
16 In August 2001 -- this is paragraph 15 now -- Moussaoui
17 trained on a Boeing 747-400 simulator at the Pan Am International
18 Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota. Moussaoui told an al Qaeda
19 associate that he would complete training before September 2001.
20 And paragraph 16: After his arrest, Moussaoui lied to
21 federal agents to allow his al Qaeda brothers to go forward with
22 the operation to fly planes into American buildings.
23 The Statement of Facts is a startling document. It
24 tells us what Moussaoui knew. It tells us what Moussaoui did.
25 And it is all the government needed to know to stop 9/11. And we
1 will show you how.
2 But Moussaoui didn't give this information in August
3 2001. Instead, he lied, even after he was arrested, to allow his
4 al Qaeda brothers to go forward. He lied, he told the agents none
5 of this vital information, he told the agents none of what he
6 later told the Court, and he and his terrorist conspirators killed
8 Thus, the Statement of Facts is the focus of the first
9 part of this trial. The information shows that Moussaoui's lies
10 killed the 9/11 victims as surely as if he had been at the
11 controls of one of the four planes on that day.
12 The part of the 19 hijackers who died on September 11th,
13 who killed innocent Americans, their part was to hijack the planes
14 and fly them and kill Americans. Moussaoui's part, as it turned
15 out, was to lie so they could go forward. With the information in
16 Moussaoui's Statement of Facts from April 2005, the United States
17 Government would have stopped the September 11th attacks, or at
18 least saved some lives, in two ways.
19 One, offensively. The FBI and other government agencies
20 would have unraveled and discovered the plot. Two, the FAA, the
21 Federal Aviation Administration, if they had that information,
22 would have tightened airport security and stopped the hijackers
23 from getting on the planes that day.
24 Now, because Moussaoui's lies are the focus of the first
25 part of this case, we will not be concentrating our proof and our
1 efforts on what role Moussaoui would have had had he not been
2 arrested on August 16th. In other words, you are not going to
3 learn what plane he would have been on if he hadn't been arrested,
4 but make no mistake, the evidence will show you that Moussaoui was
5 training to hijack a commercial jet and fly it into the White
6 House as part of the plot, and he has admitted that much. And the
7 rush to get him to jet simulator school and finished with his
8 training before September 2001 tells you all you need to know,
9 that he was supposed to be in that plot.
10 And that was a plot, after all, that was still in flux
11 as of that time he was arrested. After all, none of the 19
12 hijackers on September 11th had yet reserved or purchased their
13 tickets for September 11th on August 16th, the date Moussaoui was
15 What is important for this part of this trial is the
16 role Moussaoui played after he was arrested, whether he disclosed
17 the unfolding plot, the ticking bomb, or whether he lied to cover
18 it up. And he chose the latter, and the murders flowed from that.
19 Here is some of what you will hear in the evidence in
20 this case.
21 You will hear some brief background about al Qaeda, what
22 the organization is, how it operates, and that it is dedicated to
23 killing Americans. You will hear from an FBI special agent named
24 Michael Anticev from New York. He has devoted his professsional
25 career to battling al Qaeda.
1 He will tell you that al Qaeda is headed by Usama Bin
2 Laden and that Bin Laden, by the mid-1990s, had devoted his
3 followers to killing Americans in the greatest number they could
4 find, anywhere in the world they could be found.
5 Next, you will hear about the 9/11 plot. You will hear
6 about this plot from FBI Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald. He will
7 summarize for you what the FBI has learned from the largest
8 criminal investigation in its history.
9 You will hear how the hijackers came to the U.S. and
10 lived among us while they plotted the hijackings and the killings.
11 You will hear how they lived under their real names, entered the
12 U.S., took flight lessons, worked out in gyms and fitness training
13 facilities, trained in the martial arts, bought small knives and
14 box cutters.
15 You will hear how they were funded from al Qaeda from
16 abroad, how they trained in jet simulators. You will learn that
17 the 9/11 plot was complex, requiring years of training and
18 practice, and requiring strict operational security. And,
19 remember, it was Moussaoui's lies that provided that operational
21 Y ou will also hear, of course, about Moussaoui during
22 this trial. Moussaoui was born in France. He is of Moroccan
23 descent. He is 37 years old. He joined al Qaeda, pledged loyalty
24 to Bin Laden, used several war names in al Qaeda, and trained at
25 the al Qaeda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
1 On al Qaeda business he traveled to Pakistan and
2 Malaysia, and in the fall of 2000 he sent e-mails asking about
3 pilot training to the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma.
4 In February 2001 Moussaoui entered the U.S., flying from London to
5 Chicago to Oklahoma City. When he came into the United States he
6 brought with him over $30,000 in cash.
7 He enrolled at the Airman Flight School in Oklahoma in
8 late February, 2001. He was an interested and good student in
9 ground school, but once he got in the air, he didn't have much of
10 a knack for flying an airplane. He also told people there various
11 stories about what he was doing in flight school and what he was
12 going to do afterwards.
13 None of them, not surprisingly, was true. He told
14 nobody that he was an al Qaeda operative, he was part of a plot to
15 hijack planes and fly big jets into buildings to kill Americans.
16 By May 2001 Moussaoui had dropped out of Airman Flight School, out
17 of single engine plane training, and was looking around to get
18 himself into jet simulator school as soon as possible. He was
19 also interested in global positioning systems and small knives.
20 By July 2001 Moussaoui had secured for himself a spot at
21 the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota. He
22 obtained, on July 31st, his training schedule from that simulator
23 school, and the training schedule had him finished with his
24 training on August 20th.
25 On August 2nd and 4th, Moussaoui received from Germany
1 via Western Union wire transfer a total of about $14,000. It was
2 sent to him by an al Qaeda conspirator using the fake name, the
3 alias, Ahad Sabet. The sender of the money was really Ramzi Bin
4 al-Shibh, an al Qaeda operative who had tried to get into the
5 United States to become a hijacker, but whose visas to enter the
6 United States were repeatedly rejected.
7 Once Moussaoui received the money from al Qaeda from
8 Germany by wire transfer, he bought several small-bladed knives
9 and he told his Oklahoma roommate, Hussein al-Attas, that the
10 knives would be easy to hide. Moussaoui then drove from Oklahoma
11 to Eagan, Minnesota, home of the Pan Am Flight School, where he
12 paid $6,800 in cash for the 747 simulator training.
13 Once there, Moussaoui attracted the attention of the
14 flight instructors. The other students learning on a Boeing 747
15 simulator were either commercial aircraft pilots looking to move
16 to larger aircraft or military jet pilots looking to get an
17 airline job. Moussaoui had no such background. He could barely
18 fly a single engine propeller plane, having just over 50 hours in
19 the air in that kind of plane.
20 The school called the local FBI, and Special Agent Harry
21 Samit of the Minneapolis FBI, himself a pilot, knew something was
22 wrong. Agent Samit, and an INS agent named John Weess, arrested
23 Moussaoui when they noticed that he had overstayed his visa. They
24 arrested him as an illegal alien, and he has been in jail ever
1 On August 16th and 17th those agents interviewed
2 Moussaoui. And we will talk about that a little bit later.
3 The information that Moussaoui knew, that he admitted to
4 knowing when he pled guilty here, is shocking and it is also
5 credible and specific. Had he not lied and revealed the basic
6 facts of why he was actually taking 747 simulator training, the
7 FBI and other government agencies would have put out an all out
8 press, every agent available on the case to find out about the
9 existing and pending al Qaeda plot to hijack planes inside the
10 United States, to find the ticking bomb somewhere hidden in the
12 The response from the U.S. government, as I said, would
13 be both offense, the FBI looking for the hijackers, and defense,
14 the FAA changing airline security to not let people on planes with
15 small knives or box cutters.
16 Now, in this case you will hear a lot about the
17 terrorist threat situation in the summer of 2001. What you need
18 to know about that summer as it unfolded was that there was a high
19 terrorist threat or a high threat environment. The U.S.
20 intelligence agencies knew that al Qaeda would like to strike
21 America, but the intelligence suggested that the threat would come
22 outside the United States, not inside, and it didn't indicate a
23 specific strike against American aviation.
24 You will also learn more generally that for intelligence
25 to be useful or valuable, it should be credible, specific, and
1 timely, and Moussaoui's information, what he finally told us in
2 April 2005, was all that and would have been more in August 2001.
3 It was specific, a suicide hijacking plan by al Qaeda using
4 short-bladed knives. It was credible, he was a Muslim
5 fundamentalist who admitted he had been to Pakistan, who was right
6 then in jet simulator school, inexplicably. And it was timely, as
7 the judge has already told you, it was about three weeks before
8 that morning of September 11th.
9 Put simply, Moussaoui's information would have put the
10 threat environment through the roof. And every available resource
11 would have been put to finding that ticking bomb, and perhaps,
12 more important, it would have focused the search. You will see
13 that intense efforts have been undertaken before to discover and
14 stop the plot.
15 This has happened before. For instance, in late 1999
16 the FBI and other intelligence agencies stumbled on to a plot and
17 were warned of a plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport
18 and elsewhere.
19 Intense, specific efforts prevented these things.
20 Without Moussaoui's specific information in August 2001, the FBI
21 and the U.S. government was left with generally high threats but
22 nothing specific enough to direct the investigation. No one knew
23 there was going to be an attack inside the U.S. No one knew it
24 was going to be taking over airplanes, commercial airplanes with
25 primitive weapons like box cutters and short-bladed knives.
1 And no one knew why Moussaoui was training on a 747
2 simulator, and perhaps most important, no one knew that there were
3 others doing exactly the same thing, preparing to kill people on
4 September 11th.
5 You will hear Minnesota FBI Agent Harry Samit. He tried
6 hard and in vain to get more information from Moussaoui and about
7 Moussaoui in August 2001. He could not get a search warrant to
8 search Moussaoui's belongings, neither a criminal search warrant
9 nor a search warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
10 Act or FISA. But Agent Samit had a hunch about Moussaoui, and
11 unfortunately that hunch turned out to be correct.
12 Agent Samit interviewed Moussaoui for about three and a
13 half hours over two days, August 16th and 17th, 2001. He did not,
14 however, get the information that we got in April 2005 during
15 Moussaoui's guilty plea. He got instead a series of lies.
16 What Agent Samit did get was sent dutifully to FBI
17 headquarters in Washington, and on to the CIA and the FAA. And
18 had Moussaoui told the truth, the FBI would have put every
19 available agent on the case and found the plot.
20 You will hear in the case from former FBI official Mike
21 Rolince, who in August 2001 was the head of the FBI's
22 International Terrorism Section. Mike Rolince was also there
23 during the Millennium threat in 1999, and there in the summer of
24 2001 when the threat environment was generally high but not
1 Like the discovery of the Millennium plot, Moussaoui's
2 information would have led to an all-out effort by the FBI. One
3 of the primary agents involved in terrorism investigations for the
4 FBI and in the investigation of 9/11 is former FBI Special Agent
5 Aaron Zebley. Mr. Zebley will describe the investigation into the
6 9/11 attacks. He will also take you through in some detail how
7 the 9/11 plot could have been discovered had the FBI received
8 Moussaoui's true information.
9 Using leads from the Statement of Facts, from that
10 information, Agent Zebley will take you to 11 of the 19 hijackers.
11 And Zebley will show you how those 11 hijackers could have been
12 found using three paths, using standard law enforcement
13 techniques, like financial information records and phone records.
14 First, when the agents arrested Moussaoui in August
15 2001, they knew he had paid in cash for the expensive jet
16 simulator training, so they asked him about the source of his
17 funding. He lied. He said he got his funding from associates in
18 England and from a business called NOP.
19 This, of course, was false. It really came from an
20 al Qaeda conspirator using an alias who sent it via Western Union.
21 The English information sent the agents off on a false trail
22 toward England. When Moussaoui did admit the truth in April 2005,
23 it was obvious he had gotten it by Western Union.
24 If you look at the screen you will see Western Union
25 records that show a transfer from Germany to Moussaoui in
1 Oklahoma. If we look at the next slide, please, Gerard, we will
2 look at the corresponding transfer -- can you switch the document
3 order on that, Gerard -- corresponding transfer from the United
4 Arab Emirates, UAE, to the man using the false name Ahad Sabet in
5 Germany. Contained within the records from that transfer from the
6 United Arab Emirates to Germany, which later went from Germany to
7 Moussaoui, is the contact cell phone number of the caller. That
8 number, 050-520-9905, comes back to a UAE cell phone. The sender
9 of that money from the UAE, again, gave that as a contact number.
10 Using standard law enforcement techniques, specifically,
11 finding phone records, the FBI can tell what numbers in the United
12 States called that UAE cell phone number that funded Moussaoui for
13 the jet simulator training.
14 Mr. Zebley will explain how the FBI got this information
15 after 9/11 and how the FBI could have gotten this information in
16 August 2001 had Moussaoui not lied. There are nine U.S. numbers
17 that called that UAE cell phone, it turns out. They all come back
18 to prepaid calling cards.
19 The next logical step is to see whether those calling
20 cards were used to call any numbers within the United States.
21 When you trace that back, you come to nine U.S. numbers total that
22 were called. Eight of those numbers come back to hijackers. And
23 if you look at that chart on the bottom you will see even just on
24 the initial round, that three of those come back to some of the
25 9/11 hijackers.
1 From those eight numbers the FBI can continue on and get
2 the name and location and address of five hijackers, including
3 addresses where some of the hijackers were staying until August
4 30th, 2001, and from tracing this even further up the path of
5 investigation, you can readily get to six more hijackers.
6 Second, the second avenue that Mr. Zebley will describe
7 relates to flight schools. In August 2001 Moussaoui lied to the
8 agents. They asked him about his associates. He named a
9 gentleman named Atif Ahmed in England. When Moussaoui told the
10 truth during his guilty plea in April 2005, he admitted that his
11 al Qaeda associates gave him something besides money, they gave
12 him information about flight schools in the United States.
13 In Moussaoui's belongings that he left in Oklahoma is a
14 two-page list from a German aviation magazine listing United
15 States flight schools. Agents finally were able to get this after
16 September 11th with a search warrant. They would have gotten it
17 early, mid-August, had Moussaoui not lied.
18 The two-page list has 19 U.S. flight schools. It is a
19 simple manner for the FBI to send an agent to each of these flight
20 schools and ask whether any of the students stand out. Four of
21 these flight schools are in Florida, where the phone records show
22 there were hijackers. Two of these flight schools have Arabic
23 notation written by hand in the margin.
24 If you go to those flight schools and you ask if any
25 students, any foreign students stand out, and you will hear this
1 from employees of those flight schools and you will see it in the
2 flight schools' records, two of these flight schools, Huffman
3 Aviation and Florida Flight Training Center, there are students
4 who would stand out, Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad
5 Jarrah; three of the four pilot hijackers from September 11th.
6 Florida Flight Training Center even has the records for
7 a hijacker who couldn't get into the United States, Ramzi Bin
8 al-Shibh, who applied several times for a U.S. visa and was
9 rejected, went so far as to apply to Florida Flight Training
11 He would have come and been a pilot hijacker, except he
12 couldn't get into the United States. Bin al-Shibh even lists his
13 contact number on that application, in Germany, 49-40-718-99042.
14 That information is written somewhere else. That is written in
15 the notebook that Moussaoui had with him in Minnesota.
16 An employee from FFTC, Florida Flight Training Center,
17 will even tell you that she knew that Bin al-Shibh was related,
18 was connected with Ziad Jarrah, one of the hijackers, because
19 Jarrah went so far as to come and try to get Bin al-Shibh's
20 deposit back to FFTC after Bin al-Shibh's visa was denied.
21 Next, there is another list of flight schools in
22 Moussaoui's belongings. It is a list of Pan Am facilities.
23 Remember that Moussaoui was training at the Pan Am International
24 Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota. This is a list found in his
25 duffel bag that he left behind in Oklahoma that agents were
1 finally able to get to after September 11th, and they would have
2 gotten there before had Moussaoui told the truth, not lied.
3 The 13 schools on this, eight of them feature jet
4 simulators. The FBI canvassed these schools after 9/11, could
5 have done it before 9/11, if Moussaoui hadn't lied. One of these
6 schools, Arizona Aviation, an employee from that school will come
7 in, Peggy Chevrette, she will tell you in her experience, one
8 student stood out, one student stood out because he didn't have
9 the requisite aviation background to be taking simulator training
10 on a Boeing 747. That student, Hani Hanjour, the fourth pilot
12 Thus, had Moussaoui told the truth and not lied, the FBI
13 quickly would have been on to all four pilot hijackers who
14 hijacked planes and crashed them to kill Americans on September
16 The final avenue that Mr. Zebley will describe involves
17 another item recovered from Moussaoui's belongings after September
18 11th, again would have been discovered before September 11th had
19 he not lied. This is a letter, a false cover letter stating that
20 Moussaoui is the marketing representative for a Malaysian company
21 called Infocus Tech, owned by someone named Yazid Sufaat. This
22 letter is signed by someone named Yazid Sufaat.
23 Had Moussaoui not lied, FBI agents would have had this
24 letter and investigated Yazid Sufaat. A rudimentary investigation
25 of Yazid Sufaat connects him not only to Moussaoui, but also to
1 another one of the 9/11 hijackers named Khalid al-Midhar. Now,
2 Midhar was a name that had already been given to the CIA and the
3 FBI in that summer, and a little bit before, in 2001. The FBI got
4 the name al-Midhar and another 9/11 hijacker named Nawaf al-Hazmi
5 in August of 2001.
6 But nothing connected those two gentlemen to an aviation
7 plot. Had the FBI had this letter and the corresponding
8 information, it would have connected al-Midhar and al-Hazmi to the
9 9/11 hijackers, to Moussaoui, and Sufaat, and thus to an aviation
10 plot by al Qaeda.
11 Those are the avenues of investigation that Mr. Zebley
12 will describe to you. Had the FBI pursued them using standard law
13 enforcement techniques, in mid-August, they would have gotten to
14 the hijackers. What you are left with if you follow these paths
15 is 11 of the 19 hijackers and two of their addresses.
16 That's a summary sheet of where that investigation leads
17 you. It includes all four pilot hijackers: Atta, al-Shehhi,
18 Hanjour, and Ziad Jarrah. But finding and arresting some of the
19 hijackers is only half the battle. The other half is not letting
20 named hijackers on to airplanes and not letting anyone on a plane
21 with a short knife or a box cutter.
22 The FAA is responsible for commercial airline security
23 in the United States. Where the FBI would be the offense looking
24 for the plot, had Moussaoui not lied, the FAA would be the
25 defense. The FAA routinely sends out security information to U.S.
1 airlines and airports. They do it all the time and they did it in
2 the summer of 2001.
3 In the summer of 2001 there was an elevated threat
4 environment, as they say, but you will see that the threats were
5 directed toward threats outside the United States, aviation
6 outside the United States, and the FAA security at that point was
7 focusing on its traditional fears, one, people smuggling bombs
8 onboard airplanes and, two, a traditional hijacking where
9 hijackers take over an aircraft and negotiate the return of the
10 airplane and the passengers and crew in exchange for some demands.
11 Had Moussaoui told the truth instead of lying, the FAA
12 would have known about the plot to hijack airplanes using
13 primitive weapons, short-bladed knives and box cutters. The FAA
14 would have done three definite things in response. One, the FAA
15 would have received from the FBI that list of 11 hijackers, put
16 them on a no-fly list, they are not on a plane, and that includes
17 all four of the hijackers trained to fly commercial jets with some
18 aviation training on 9/11.
19 But even if the FBI didn't get the name and didn't get
20 to the FAA, there is a simple solution, and that is had the FAA
21 known of the plot, they would not have let anyone on a plane with
22 a short-bladed knife or a box cutter. If Moussaoui had not lied
23 and said what he was doing and what we knew he knew, because he
24 told us in April 2005, the FAA would have changed the gate
1 That would have kept the hijackers from getting on the
2 planes with the weapons you will learn that they used to hijack
3 the planes and kill Americans.
4 Also, had Moussaoui not lied, the FAA would have changed
5 the focus of its gate security in another important respect. The
6 FAA had in September 2001 and still has today a program called
7 CAPPS, and that acronym stands for Computer Assisted Passenger
8 Preselection System. It is a computer program to select
9 potentially dangerous passengers and select them for additional
10 security before boarding a commercial flight.
11 Before 9/11, anyone selected by the CAAPS system
12 couldn't check their bag on to a plane until they themselves
13 boarded the plane. Why? Because the FAA before 9/11 was
14 concerned about people smuggling explosives in checked luggage
15 onto planes.
16 They weren't concerned at that point about people taking
17 over a plane with a primitive weapon. Traditionally the thinking,
18 in addition, was that someone smuggling a bomb on a plane wouldn't
19 get on the same flight. Even so, on the morning of 9/11, ten of
20 the 19 9/11 hijackers were selected by the CAAPS system, but
21 because many of them didn't have checked luggage and because that
22 wasn't the method they used to destroy aircraft, made little
24 If you look at this next slide here, that shows some of
25 the hijackers going through gate security, the hijackers of
1 American Airlines 77 at Dulles Airport. The next slide shows you
2 Nawaf and Salem al-Hamzi, brothers, hijackers, they had been
3 selected for CAAPS screening and they were getting their carry-on
4 bag swabbed for explosive residue as part of the secondary
5 screening there.
6 Had Moussaoui not lied and admitted the basics of the
7 plot, the CAAPS security screening would have been changed to look
8 not for explosives but for small knives and box cutters, and that
9 would have prevented the terrorists from getting on the plane and
10 getting on the plane with the weapons they used to turn those
11 aircraft into weapons to kill Americans.
12 There are specific and definite examples of when the FAA
13 has responded to terrorist threats to prevent harm from those
14 threats. An example is from 1995, the FAA took specific defensive
15 measures known as the Bojinka plot, which was intended to blow up
16 U.S. airliners flying over the Pacific. In the end, had Moussaoui
17 admitted in August 2001, instead of lying, what he told us in
18 April 2005, it would have been a very straightforward effort for
19 the FAA to keep those hijackers and to keep anyone with a knife or
20 a box cutter off a plane.
21 Now, what Moussaoui admitted in April 2005 is shocking.
22 It is shocking for all of us to have somebody come into a
23 courtroom like this one, stand up, proudly admit that he is a
24 terrorist, and say that he has devoted his life to killing
25 Americans. It is shocking to hear someone embrace evil.
1 But it is also shocking because it lays out the
2 information that necessarily would have saved lives on September
3 11th. But it did not. And the reason it did not is because a
4 loyal al Qaeda soldier did his part. He did his part because when
5 he could not pilot a plane to kill Americans, he made sure by
6 lying that his al Qaeda brothers did.
7 This man, the terrorist Moussaoui, did his part. He did
8 his part and he came in here later and told us all why, so that
9 his al Qaeda brothers could go forward and kill Americans.
10 Moussaoui lied so that murders could follow. He intended to kill
11 Americans and he did.
12 Moussaoui acted by lying, and 2,972 people died. They
13 were brutally murdered. He lied so his al Qaeda brothers could
14 commit those murders and those people were killed. They were
15 because of Moussaoui's actions.
16 Hold him accountable for causing those horrible deaths.
17 Thank you.