Moussaoui may become first person indicted in terror attacks : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Boston Globe 11/7

A French citizen of Moroccan descent who was arrested in August in Minnesota and has been held as a material witness since the September 11 highjackings will probably become the first person indicted on charges that he took part in the conspiracy that led to the attacks, according to law enforcement officials involved in the investigation.

Zacarias Moussaoui, 33, avoided the fate of the 19 hijackers only because he had been arrested August 17 on immigration charges in Minnesota, the officials alleged. The officials describe Moussaoui as the least able and discreet of the hijackers who trained as pilots.

He performed badly in training before he aroused suspicion in Eagan by telling a flight insructor that he wanted to learn how to fly a commercial airliner but was not interested in landing or taking off, according to officials close to the FBI task force leading the investigation into the attacks.

Those officials said it was unclear when the grand jury sitting in New york would be asked to indict Moussauoi, whom some U.S. officials, including Vice President Dick Cheny, have described as "the 20th hijacker." Moussaoui has refused to cooperate with authorities,the officials added.

The officials said German authorities have told the FBI that Moussaoui received $15,000 in two Western Union transfers from Germany in August when he had signed up for an $8,000 course at the International Flight Academy in Eagan.

German authorities told the FBI that they know Moussaoui had at least one conversation with the man who rented an apartmentin Hamburg to Mohamed Atta, alleged ringleader of the hijackers.

The FBI believes Moussaoui was supposed to be part of the hijacking team that commandeered United Airlines Flight 93 out of Newark Airport. That plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers apparently attacked the jijackers.

-- John Littmann (, November 08, 2001

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