Law and Famous Trials

9/11 Conspirators

Were any 9/11 conspirators convicted?

Yes, but by 2005 there had been only one: French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui (1968-) was convicted in a U.S. court in Alexandria, Virginia, in connection with the September 11, 2001, attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives. Moussaoui was taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in August 2001; a flight instructor in Minnesota, where he was training, had reported him as suspicious. After the September terrorist attacks, Moussaoui continued to be held as the possible 20th hijacker (one of the flights on 9/11 had four hijackers; the other three flights each had five). For the next three years, the suspected terrorist was the subject of a sometimes dramatic legal battle: Moussaoui insulted the U.S. District judge hearing his case, attempted to fire his lawyers, and pleaded guilty only to later change his mind. On April 22, 2005, the case came to close when Moussaoui admitted his guilt in front of a packed courtroom. His sentencing trial was set for 2006.


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