Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man convicted in a United States court for participating in the 9/11 attacks, said he renounced terrorism, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Second advanced the Guardian on Wednesday, Zacarias Moussaoui is serving a life sentence in a Colorado federal jail after narrowly escaping the death penalty in the 2006 trial.
At the time, prosecutors argued that the man could have prevented the attacks had he not lied to the FBI about his knowledge of al-Qaeda, pointing to his efforts to attack the United States when he was arrested in August 2001.
In a motion filed at the federal court in Alexandria in April, Moussaoui wrote: “I denounce repudiation of Osama bin Laden as a useful idiot for the CIA / Saudi Arabia. I also unequivocally proclaim my opposition to any terrorist act, attack, propaganda against the USA ”.
The man added that he wanted to "warn young Muslims against the deception and manipulation of false jihadists".
These statements are different from those he made at the 2006 trial, when he provoked the victims in court and celebrated for having received a life sentence instead of the death penalty. At the final hearing, he said: "God save Osama bin Laden", killed in 2011 in an attack by US forces in Pakistan.
Moussaoui's resignation from the Islamic State is aimed at easing the conditions under which he is serving his sentence. In particular, he wants Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz to represent him in a civil trial brought by victims of the attacks.
The man has already written several letters to be able to testify in this civil trial and in the military trials of members of Al-Qaeda, which include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. However, in 2018, he continued to refer to himself as a “born terrorist”.
Katherine Donahue, who wrote a book about Moussaoui after attending the 2006 trial, said she was not aware of any other case in which Moussaoui renounced terrorism or bin Laden. “He's been in prison for 14 years. It is a long time to think about what you did ”, he said. “I don't see him lying. There were so many ways in which he could have helped himself before, by lying ”.
Terry Strada, whose husband died in the attack on the World Trade Center and is one of the plaintiffs who sue Saudi Arabia for alleged complicity in the attacks, is more skeptical. "I don't trust him, (I don't trust) he retired from prison," he said.
US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who presided over Moussaoui's trial and was regularly insulted by him, denied the request and said that any complaints the man has about the treatment he is receiving in prison should be registered in Colorado, where he serves worth it.