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Two Top al-Qaida Captives Cast Doubt on Moussaoui Testimony


Two high-ranking al-Qaida captives have cast doubt on whether Zacarias Moussaoui was involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In testimony presented to the jury Tuesday, two senior al-Qaida members said Moussaoui was not trust-worthy and was not part of the 2001 attacks. In both cases, the testimony was read to the jury because the detainees were forbidden from testifying due to national security concerns.

The statements, which were presented by Moussaoui's lawyers, seemed an attempt to rebut the confessed terrorist's own testimony Monday, in which he said he was to fly an aircraft into the White House.

The jury is to decide whether Moussaoui, the only person charged in the United States in connection with the attacks, should be executed or sentenced to life in prison.

Government prosecutors are not alleging Moussaoui had a direct role in the September 11 plot, but rather that he allowed the plan to go forward by lying when he was arrested three weeks before the terrorist attacks.

The presiding judge, Leonie Brinkema, says the jury could begin deliberating the case as early as Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.