Moussaoui's mom lashes out at US, al-Qaeda

7th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 6, 2006 (AFP) - The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, facing a possible death sentence for the September 11 attacks in the United States, lashed out at both the US government and the al-Qaeda terror network for putting her son's life at stake.

PARIS, April 6, 2006 (AFP) - The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, facing a possible death sentence for the September 11 attacks in the United States, lashed out at both the US government and the al-Qaeda terror network for putting her son's life at stake.

"It is the American government which is responsible for the good and the bad in the world, and they (the Americans) have found the ideal person to blame," said Aicha el-Wafi in a telephone interview with the Paris bureau of AFP.

"My son is going to be condemned to death for things he did not do and he is going to die because he is an Arab," she said.

Moussaoui, a French national of Moroccan origin, has confessed to being an al-Qaeda conspirator, but he has maintained he was due to fly a jetliner into the White House in follow-up attacks and not in the September 11 strikes.

For his mother, Osama bin Laden's terror network is also at fault for abandoning Moussaoui in the wake of the 2001 attacks.

"I would like to know what has happened to all those al-Qaeda chiefs, they must out there somewhere, laughing, while my son is going to die."

She says he is "fed up with this circus, and he is paying for the Islamists and the Americans. He is not responsible for the September 11 attacks."

On Monday, the jury at a court in Alexandria, Virginia, ruled that Moussaoui was eligible for the death penalty. They are now being asked to weigh mitigating or aggravating factors before deciding whether to impose capital punishment.

Until last month in the suburban Washington courtroom, el-Wafi had not seen her youngest son since July 2002.

When asked about her son's sometimes aggressive behavior — even suicidal — and outbursts during court appearances, she said he "wanted to end his life."

"My son told me (on the telephone)'I know that they want my head so I give it to them'," she said.

Her 37-year-old son has his reasons for being aggressive.

"Each time that he asked to see parts of his dossier, the Americans told him that it was a 'state secret'. It is easy to say that but it is a state lie."

She still does not know if she will return to the United States to attend the death penalty phase of his trial.

"I know that the worst is going to happen," she said, convinced that her son will face execution.

Moussaoui who suffers from arthritis wears "an electric belt around his waist" and has swelled up. "They say he is drugged," el-Wafi said.

Moussaoui, a self-proclaimed "slave of Allah," had a rough childhood in southwestern France before hearing the call to jihad for the first time at mosques in London, where he studied international business.

He was arrested in August 2001, weeks before the world's deadliest terror attack, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

But prosecutors contend he knew in advance of the strike and did not mention it to FBI investigators, so he is as guilty as the September 11 hijackers who steered airliners into landmark buildings in New York and Washington.

His court-appointed lawyers, trying to save him from death by lethal injection, have described him as a bit of a buffoon, quoting one terror suspect who branded Moussaoui "cuckoo in the head", claiming he was kicked off the team by "real terrorists" who found him a "headache".

According to his mother, Moussasaoui has been locked up in a "two meters by three" cell where "he doesn't know if it is day or night," his mother said.

He does not have a television or radio, and the only way he gets news is "from his guards who pass him messages" about what "is happening outside" the prison, she said.

"I would like to see him and speak to him calmly, like a mother to a son, away from journalists, from everyone," she said.

The mother also had harsh words for the French authorities who "have done nothing to help my son" and who, once "he is condemned to death," will only then rise up "to say they are against capital punishment."

"My son is an Islamist, I do not deny that, but is that a reason to kill him?" she asked.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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