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Federal Jury Votes to Spare Moussaoui's Life

A federal jury in Alexandria, Va., sentences Zacarias Moussaoui to spend the rest of his life in prison on charges that he was a conspirator in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The verdict was rendered on the seventh day of deliberations.

Moussaoui, who confessed to being part of a scheme devised by al-Qaida, is the only person charged in the United States in connection to the attacks. He was in jail on Sept. 11, 2001, but the jury found that if he had cooperated with law enforcement, the terrorist attacks could have been prevented.

The jury had earlier concluded that his collusion made Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty. They then heard emotional testimony from victims of the terrorist attacks, and the families of victims.

All through the six-week trial, Moussaoui has behaved erratically. In March, he claimed he was working with failed shoe bomber Richard Reid, and that he was supposed to fly a fifth plane into the White House.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Michele Norris