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The activities of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorist network should remain part of Zacarias Moussaoui’s indictment even if he was not a participant in the Sept. 11 attacks, prosecutors said Friday. Moussaoui had asked a judge to remove some al-Qaida activities from the indictment, saying they had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks and predated his oath of allegiance to bin Laden and his organization. Information on Moussaoui’s motion came from the government’s written pleading. U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, of the Eastern District of Virginia, last week ordered that Moussaoui’s motions will no longer be released to the public, citing his insulting language and the possibility he was sending coded messages to al-Qaida. In charging that Moussaoui conspired with the men who attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, the indictment cites al-Qaida and bin Laden efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and expel U.S. forces from Somalia and elsewhere. The indictment also includes bin Laden’s endorsement of the use of force against Islam’s enemies. Prosecutors said the information supports the core allegation in the indictment: that members and associates of al-Qaida “declared war on the United States and sought to use virtually any means available to murder Americans en masse.” Moussaoui could not be charged as a participant in the attacks since he was in custody on immigration charges on Sept. 11. He is accused of conspiring with the hijackers to commit terrorist acts, use weapons of mass destruction, murder U.S. government employees, destroy property, commit aircraft piracy and destroy aircraft. “Therefore, for example, the allegations regarding nuclear and chemical weapons are relevant to what types of trans-national terrorist acts the defendant and his co-conspirators plotted to commit,” the prosecutors said. The information also shows the types of weapons al-Qaida planned to use, the government said. “It is not required that each overt act alleged in the indictment be directly relevant to the other overt acts involving the Sept. 11 attack,” the motion said. Descriptions of bin Laden’s religious rulings, called “fatwahs,” are relevant because they show methods used by him and his organization to motivate adherents. The fatwahs also are evidence of the motives behind al-Qaida’s war against the United States, prosecutors contended. “The government expects that there will be testimony at trial that the ‘fatwah’ regarding Somalia specifically described the acceptability of collateral casualties in the course of attacks against American targets,” the government said. “This is clearly relevant to the allegations regarding al-Qaida’s plans to attack civilian targets, including the World Trade Center, where it might be anticipated that non-Americans and/or Muslims would be killed in the attacks.” Copyright 2002 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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