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Bin Laden tape claims Moussaoui, Guantanamo prisoners had no role in Sept.11

[JURIST] In a newly released five minute audio tape [transcript] found on an Islamist website Tuesday, a man claiming to be Osama bin Laden [JURIST news archive] said that convicted September 11 [JURIST news archive] conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] was not intended to be one of September 11 hijackers as he had not finished his flying training, and that "his confession that he was assigned to participate in those raids is a false confession which no intelligent person doubts is a result of the pressure put upon him for the past four and a half years." The man on the tape, yet to be verified as the al Qaeda leader, also indicated those held in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] did not play any role in the September 11 attacks either: "all the prisoners of Guantanamo, who were captured in 2001 and the first half of 2002 and who number in the hundreds, have no connection whatsoever to the events of September 11th, and even stranger is that many of them have no connection with al-Qaida in the first place, and even more amazing is that some of them oppose al-Qaida's methodology of calling for war with America."

Last year, Moussaoui pled guilty [JURIST report] to conspiracy charges [indictment text] and was sentenced to life in prison [JURIST report; text, jury verdict] on May 4 with no possibility of release. His motion to withdraw his guilty plea and have a new trial was denied [JURIST report]. He is currently appealing [JURIST report] the denial of the motion and his sentence. Moussaoui is the only person to have been convicted in the United States for the September 11 attacks. BBC News has more.

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