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ALEXANDRIA, Va.– An unrepentant Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, warning Americans in his final public words that they would never catch Osama bin Laden. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, in an intense exchange capping a two-month trial in which the jury rejected the government’s case to have Moussaoui executed, passed down the sentence and told him bluntly: “You will die with a whimper.” Moussaoui tried to interrupt her but she spoke over him, finishing her remarks. He then declared: “I will be free and my liberation will be the proof that we are the soldiers of God and you are the army of Satan.” The judge countered Moussaoui’s claim that America had lost and he had won by asserting: “Mr. Moussaoui, when this proceeding is over, everyone else in this room will leave to see the sun … hear the birds … and they can associate with whomever they want.” She went on: “You will spend the rest of your life in a supermax prison. It’s absolutely clear who won.” Brinkema sentenced Moussaoui to six life terms without the chance of parole. Moussaoui walked into the courtroom flashing a victory sign. “God save Osama bin Laden – you will never get him,” he said. “You have branded me as a terrorist or a criminal or whatever,” he said. “Look at yourselves. I fight for my belief.” He spoke for less than five minutes; the judge told him he could not use his sentencing to make a political speech. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Moussaoui then will be sent to a maximum federal prison in Colorado under special conditions that will prevent him from having any contact with the outside world. French authorities said Thursday they may eventually press the United States to have Moussaoui serve his life sentence in France under two conventions on the transfer of convicts. They were waiting to hear the conditions of his sentencing. Moussaoui’s mother Aicha El Wafi, pressed for her country to intervene. “My son will be buried alive because France didn’t dare contradict the Americans,” she said.

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