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Indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui

Washington, D.C. December 12, 2001
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI at the DOJ press conference announcing the indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui

Good afternoon.

This morning, people across the country and around the world remembered and honored those who lost their lives, those who saved lives, and those whose lives were changed forever by the tragic events of September 11th. The indictment we are announcing today is an important step in the process of bringing to justice those who we believe to be connected to these violent and vicious attacks on America.

Zacarias Moussaoui first came to our attention on August 15th, when we received information about the suspicious circumstances of his flight training. The FBI worked with the INS and Moussaoui was detained the next day by the INS on a visa infraction.

The FBI continued to investigate Moussaoui after his detention. As we uncovered information on the September 11 attacks, and as is alleged in the indictment, Moussaoui followed many of the same patterns and took many of the same steps as the 19 hijackers.

As the indictment charges:

Moussaoui was present at an al Qaeda-based terrorist training camp in Afghanistan three years ago. He attended flight school and took commercial flight training courses. He purchased flight deck videos from an Ohio Flight Store, just as Mohammed Atta and other hijackers had done before him. He purchased knives and protective equipment. He looked into global positioning system technology. Like Atta, he also researched crop dusting. The indictment also alleges that Moussaoui was linked to Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, an associate of Atta who tried unsuccessfully to get into America on four separate occasions.

As the indictment charges:

At the time of al-Shibh's last failed attempt to enter the U.S., Moussaoui was contacting flight schools and making arrangements to have a legitimate presence in the U.S. In February 2001, he arrived in the U.S., opened a bank account with $32,000 in cash, and immediately enrolled in a flight school. In early August 2001, Moussaoui received $14,000 from Germany from al-Shibh.

On August 10th, he paid for flight lessons with $6,300 in cash.

I want to thank all those who contributed to today's indictment, including our partners here in the U.S. and overseas, whose cooperation and investigative skills were invaluable. With the help of our partners here and overseas we will continue to investigate to ensure that justice is done.

Thank you.