How the Moussaoui Case Crumbled

A TRIAL ONCE DESCRIBED AS A SLAM DUNK IS CAUGHT IN A POST-9/11 LEGAL WRANGLE

BEVERLY KIRK/AFP

Zacarias Moussaoui pleads guilty before U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema

When Zacarias Moussaoui was enrolled in flight school in Eagan, Minn., he could have easily looked up in the sky to see the kind of airplane he wanted to fly. Along the approach to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, 747s screamed overhead day and night. His flight instructor at Pan Am International Flight Academy found Moussaoui genial but clueless and totally unable to explain why he wanted to pilot a 747. The school's administration called the FBI, and he was arrested nearby on Aug. 16, 2001. When investigators interviewed the 33-year-old French Moroccan and asked him whether he planned to use a...

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