September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui took the stand at his death-penalty trial and spouted off in a way that could eliminate any chance for mercy.
Moussaoui mocked the tearful testimony of 9/11 victims and their families and wished for similar attacks every day until America falls. He gave a detailed explanation of his hatred for America, flipping through a Quran on the witness stand trying to find justification for his views.
Moussaoui's testimony on Thursday at his death-penalty trial came as defence lawyers sought to show that Moussaoui was crazy and prosecutors sought to show that he was evil.
The most visceral testimony came as Moussaoui again revelled in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, one day after the jury ended a week of gut-wrenching testimony from 9/11 families and victims.
Moussaoui called an Army officer who crawled on his belly to safety beneath searing smoke, "pathetic", and ridiculed a Navy officer who wept as she described the loss of two colleagues.
"I think it was disgusting for a military person" to cry, Moussaoui said of the testimony of Navy Lieutenant Nancy McKeown. "She is military, she should expect people at war with her to want to kill her."
Asked if he was happy to hear her sobbing, he said, "Make my day."
Prosecutor Rob Spencer asked Moussaoui: "So you would be happy to see 9/11 again?"
"Every day until we get you," the 37-year-old Frenchman responded.
Moussaoui insisted that George Bush, the president, would free him from prison before Bush's term ends in 2009, perhaps as part of a prisoner exchange. He said it was revealed to him in a dream, just like his plan to fly a plane into the White House.
The trial at the US Federal
Courthouse resumes Monday (file)
Moussaoui said he did not think his previous testimony on March 27, in which he said publicly for the first time that he was to have piloted a fifth plane on 9/11, would hurt him with the jury.
Moussaoui said Allah would protect him as long as he told the truth, no matter what the jury thought of him.
Against lawyers' advice
Moussaoui has taken the stand twice now in his own defence, both times against the advice of his court-appointed lawyers.
Defence lawyers say their client is lying about his role in 9/11. They point to four years of denials by Moussaoui of involvement in the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and a lack of supporting evidence for his new claim. They suggest he seeks martyrdom or an inflated role in history.
During his 2 1/2 hours on the stand, Moussaoui offered a lengthy explanation of why he hates Americans. Islam requires Muslims to be the world's superpower, he said as he paged through the Quran.
"We have an obligation to be the superpower. You have to be subdued," Moussaoui said. "America is a superpower and you want to eradicate Islam."
This photo of damage to the Penta-
gon was used as evidence (file)
The trial resumes on Monday.
Moussaoui has already pleaded guilty, and a jury has already found him eligible for the death penalty. The jury must decide whether he should be put to death or be sentenced to life in prison.