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Moussaoui Jury Hears Tapes of Flight 93 Crash

The jury deciding the fate of Zacarias Moussaoui hears cockpit and air traffic control tapes from United Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001. On the final day of their presentation, federal prosecutors urged the jury to recommend the death penalty for Moussaoui, who has confessed to being a conspirator in the al-Qaida attacks of 2001.

For this second phase of the trial, prosecutors chose to focus completely on the victims and their families--they made no mention of Zacarias Moussaoui. As defense attorneys gets started on Thursday, they must refocus attention on Moussaoui, who more or less admitted his own guilt during the first phase.

Defense attorneys have indicated they will focus on Moussaoui's rough upbringing and the mental illness his attorneys say he suffers from. They may also take up the question of whether Moussaoui's testimony was more than a boast. There is a chance Moussaoui will again testify on his own behalf.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.