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Britain Welcomes Moussaoui Verdict


Relatives of the British victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York are welcoming the life sentence handed down to confessed al-Qaida terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

Sixty-seven Britons were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in New York City and many of their relatives say they are pleased Moussaoui will be jailed for life, but they are upset al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden remains at large.

Patricia Bingley, whose son Kevin was killed, was asked by British television if the verdict helps heal her loss.

"No, there isn't any closure," she said, "because for nearly five years I've waited for Bin Laden to be captured and I'm still waiting. That would be closure for me. But today, it has given me some satisfaction to know that one of his conspirators has now been brought to trial and has been sentenced to a life imprisonment."

The Moussaoui verdict also has revived recollections of his time in London in the 1990's.

The chairman of the Brixton mosque in south London, Abdul Haqq Baker, recalls confrontations he had with an agitated young Moussaoui.

"He would come and confront me and persisting in asking me: 'Where is the next jihad? Where is the next jihad?' And, when I told him I didn't actually know, he would become very frustrated and angry with me," Baker said.

The security correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation, Gordon Carrera, says Moussaoui fell under the influence of radical Muslim preachers and joined a cadre of extremists who became al-Qaida terrorists.

"Here is another figure who came through London. Came from abroad. Spent time in London," explained Carrera. "Appears to have come here as a bit of drifter, but not a particularly radical figure. But through contact with people in London in the '90s became radicalized, went to al-Qaida training camps and becomes part of terrorist plots."

British police have been more aggressive against suspected terrorists since the 2001 attacks, but Carrera says they cannot be certain there are no other figures like Moussaoui, awaiting their turn to commit an atrocity in the name of al-Qaida.

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