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Defense Seeks to Rebut Moussaoui Ties to Shoe Bomber


Defense lawyers in the death penalty trial of confessed terror conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui sought to dispute the level of his involvement in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Thursday in a bid to save his life.

Defense lawyers introduced a statement from FBI agents that concluded that there is no evidence that Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, was to have conspired with Moussaoui in hijacking a fifth plane on September 11.

Moussaoui claimed in testimony last month that he and Reid were to have flown a fifth hijacked plane into the White House on September 11.

In December of 2001, Richard Reid was stopped by passengers and crewmembers as he tried to ignite explosives in his shoe on a transatlantic flight to the United States. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Defense lawyers had wanted Reid to testify at Moussaoui's trial but had to settle for the FBI statement instead.

They hope the FBI's conclusion will bolster their contention that Moussaoui has exaggerated his role in the 9/11 plot in hopes of achieving martyrdom.

Earlier, there was more testimony on behalf of the defense from family members who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks, who said they are not out for revenge.

Their testimony is meant to counter the comments of other 9/11 family members who testified for the prosecution earlier on the devastating impact of the attacks on their lives.

The jury has already found that Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty in the case and now must decide whether he should be executed or sent to prison for life.

Moussaoui pleaded guilty last year to terror conspiracy charges and is the only person who has ever faced charges in connection with the September 11 attacks.

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