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Zacarias Moussaoui Fast Facts

Posted March 8, 2013 1:36 p.m. EST

— Here's a look into the life of convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

Personal: Birth name: Zacarias Moussaoui

Birth date: May 30, 1968

Birth place: St. Jean-de-Luz, France

Father: Omar Moussaoui

Mother: Aicha el-Wafi

Education: MS International Business, South Bank University, London, 1995

Other Facts: Investigators say Moussaoui attended mosques in Great Britain with suspected al Qaeda connections. One of those mosques is where convicted terrorist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was the prayer leader.

He once bought training time on a commercial flight simulator, but school officials grew suspicious of him and contacted the local FBI.

Moussaoui has stated in court that he belongs to al Qaeda and is loyal to Osama bin Laden.

Prosecutors allege that Moussaoui attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan in 1998.

A search of Moussaoui's belongings shortly after 9/11 turns up Boeing 747 flight manuals, two knives, an aviation radio, information on aerial application of pesticides, and a notebook containing German telephone numbers.

Timeline: 1996 - French authorities begin monitoring Moussaoui when they notice him with Islamic extremists.

1999 - French authorities place Moussaoui on a watch list.

September 2000 - Moussaoui visits Malaysia and stays in the same condo where two of the September 11 hijackers stayed in January 2000.

February 26-May 29, 2001 - Moussaoui trains at the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma. He takes over 50 hours of flying lessons, but leaves without a pilot's license.

August 1 and 3, 2001 - Moussaoui is allegedly wired $14,000 from Ramzi bin al-Shibh, an alleged al Qaeda operative. The money was wired from Dusseldorf and Hamburg, Germany.

August 16, 2001 - Moussaoui is arrested in Minnesota on immigration issues. The local FBI was alerted to Moussaoui after he aroused suspicions at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Minneapolis. Pan Am considered Moussaoui suspicious because he had no prior aviation experience, paid in cash, and only wanted to learn how to take off and land the plane.

August 2001 - Minnesota FBI agents are refused permission by their Washington office to obtain a search warrant for Moussaoui's computer.

September 2001 - Moussaoui is identified as a possible 9/11 conspirator and potential fifth hijacker on Flight 93, the only plane with four instead of five hijackers. Also, the US government states that he was to have piloted a fifth jetliner that would have targeted the White House.

December 11, 2001 - A federal grand jury indicts Moussaoui on six counts of conspiracy, the indictments directly related to the September 11 attacks and include conspiracy to destroy aircraft and murder United States employees.

January 2, 2002 - Moussaoui is arraigned. He declines to enter a plea for himself, " In the name of Allah, I do not have anything to plead." So US District Judge Leonie Brinkema enters a not guilty plea on his behalf.

June 25, 2002 - At the arraignment for the revised indictment with amended charges, Moussaoui again refuses to enter a plea, and then tries to plead "no contest." Judge Brinkema refuses to accept the plea, believing Moussaoui does not understand the law, and enters a not guilty plea on his behalf.

July 16, 2002 - A third indictment of Moussaoui takes place, this one allowing prosecutors to spell out conduct that would warrant the death penalty.

July 18, 2002 - At his third arraignment, Moussaoui tries to plead guilty. The judge once more enters a not guilty plea and gives him one week to change his mind.

September 24, 2002 - Prosecutors file court papers that say a business card found in the wreckage of UA Flight 93 had a phone number on it that Moussaoui had telephoned. Prosecutors say it belonged to hijacker Ziad Jarrah, though they do not specify how they determined ownership of the card.

September 26, 2002 - The government acknowledges in court papers that it mistakenly turned over 48 classified documents to Moussaoui. All documents are eventually retrieved.

November 20, 2002 - An alleged al Qaeda leader in US custody, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, tells interrogators that Moussaoui met with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Afghanistan in 2000. Mohammed eventually lost confidence in Moussaoui and decided to use him in the 9/11 plot only as a last resort, bin al-Shibh says.

May 14, 2003 - Moussaoui claims at the time of the 9/11 attacks he was preparing for a different al Qaeda operation to have occurred at a later date and in another country. Moussaoui's revelation -- his most detailed to date -- comes in a brief filed by defense attorneys assisting him with a pre-trial appeal.

June 3, 2003 - The case is heard by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is reviewing an order by the trial judge to allow Moussaoui to conduct a live video deposition with alleged September 11 attack coordinator Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni national being detained as an enemy combatant at a military installation overseas. The government declares bin al-Shibh an "unavailable witness."

October 2, 2003 - US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema orders that the government will not be able to present evidence that Moussaoui had advance knowledge of or participated in the September 11 attacks. The sanctions are levied because federal prosecutors told Brinkema the government would not allow three high-ranking al Qaeda captives to testify in Moussaoui's trial or in pretrial depositions, as she previously ordered. Brinkema also strikes the death penalty from the indictment.

October 21, 2003 - The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, rejects a request by Moussaoui to represent himself in the government's pending appeal of a judge's decision that weakened the government's case.

April 22, 2004 - The Court of Appeals decides that the government may introduce evidence of the attacks in which Moussaoui is charged as a conspirator, and pursue the death penalty against him.

June 2004 - Moussaoui's exact role in the attacks is determined to be "unclear" by the 9/11 Commission.

September 13, 2004 - The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals orders the Moussaoui case sent back to trial court so prosecutors and defense attorneys can work out a compromise on how to grant Moussaoui access to information supplied by al Qaeda captives that he says would help absolve him of the most serious charges against him.

March 21, 2005 - Without stating its reasons, the Supreme Court rejects his appeal, sending the case back toward trial. The trial, originally scheduled for September 2002, has been "indefinitely" delayed as the dispute over witness access moves through the courts.

April 22, 2005 - Moussaoui pleads guilty to all six counts against him. He could get the death penalty for his crimes. He says he was training to strike the White House with a 747.

January 24, 2006 - Moussaoui's lawyers announce they will present witnesses who will testify their client suffers from schizophrenia. The expert testimony will be presented during the penalty phase of Moussaoui's trial.

February 6, 2006 - Jury selection begins in the penalty phase of Moussaoui's trial. Moussaoui is removed twice from the courtroom for disruptive outbursts. Some of his statements were - "I want to be heard. I do not want to be represented by these people" ... "They are not my lawyers. I am al Qaeda. They do not represent me. They are American" ... "This trial is a circus."

February 14, 2006 - Moussaoui is barred from the jury selection portion of his trial due to his frequent outbursts. "You have tried to organize my death for four years," Moussaoui says. He also says his attorneys are trying to arrange a "trip to the gas chamber." "These people are not my lawyer (sic)," he declares, "I am al Qaeda. I am a sworn enemy."

March 6, 2006 - The jury is selected and sworn in. Seven women and 10 men are chosen as the 12 jurors with five alternates.

March 27, 2006 - Moussaoui testifies at his sentencing trial over objections from his attorneys. He admits he knew about a plot to crash airplanes into the World Trade Center and says he was supposed to pilot a plane into the White House with a crew, including convicted shoe bomber Richard Reid.

April 3, 2006 - The jury decides that Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty.

May 3, 2006 - The jury recommends that Zacarias Moussaoui receive life in prison without parole for his part in plotting the 9/11 attacks. He is formally sentenced by US District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema on Thursday, May 4th.

May 23, 2006 - Osama bin Laden releases an audiotape in which he refutes Moussaoui's confession, "I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers and I never assigned brother Zacarias to be with them in that mission..."

May 13, 2006 - Moussaoui is transferred to the nation's highest security penitentiary near Florence, Colorado, where he will serve his life sentence.

February 26, 2008 - Moussaoui's lawyers ask a federal appeals court in Virginia to revoke Moussaoui's guilty plea, stating that his original lawyers were not permitted to discuss crucial, classified evidence about the case with him, and that this violated his US constitutional rights. His attorneys Justin Antonipillai and Barbara Hartung state, "Moussaoui appeals because his plea was unknowing, uncounselled and invalid."

January 26, 2009 - Lawyers for Moussaoui present oral arguments before the 4th Circuit US Court of Appeals in their bid to win their client a new trial.

January 4, 2010 - The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirms Moussaoui's conviction and life sentence.

November 2014 - In two handwritten letters filed in federal court in New York and Oklahoma, Moussaoui claims that Saudi Embassy officials were involved in a plan to shoot down Air Force One to assassinate President Bill Clinton and/or Hillary Clinton during a trip to the United Kingdom.

February 3, 2015 - In a sworn statement submitted as part of an ongoing civil case by the families of 9/11 victims, Moussaoui alleges members of the Saudi royal family supported al Qaeda.

February 16, 2017 - The Military Commissions Trial Judiciary receives a letter from Moussaoui offering to testify in the 9/11 trial, even if it would result in the death penalty for himself. He signs it "Slave of ALLAH" and "Enemy Combatant."