Zacarias Moussaoui: Has the Justice Department Mishandled the Case Against Him?

September 25, 2002


In this week’s New Yorker, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh examines whether the Justice Department mishandled the case of Zacarias Moussaoui. The article begins: "About six years ago, Zacarias Moussaoui, who is now facing trial on capital charges as the alleged twentieth man in the September 11th aircraft hijackings, traveled to Chechnya with a childhood friend to join separatists in their fight against Russian control. At the time, young men from throughout the Muslim world were arriving in the region, which was regarded, after the Russian defeat in Afghanistan, as the site of a new jihad. Moussaoui was a Frenchman of Moroccan descent, and his friend was also from an immigrant family. Evidently, Moussaoui did not impress his superiors in the operation. When the Chechens decided that the foreign volunteers were more trouble than they were worth, Moussaoui was told to leave. (His friend was invited to stay, and was later killed, reportedly while filming combat scenes for an Islamic Web site.) 'They sent Moussaoui packing,' one of the lawyers appointed to represent him told me. 'Who wants him around? He brought nothing to the table. He's trouble.’"


  • Seymour Hersh, investigative journalist with the New Yorker, author of the piece, "Has the Justice Department mishandled the case against Zacarias Moussaoui?"

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