Who caught Zacarias Moussaoui?
May 24, 2005 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Who caught Zacarias Moussaoui? Clancy Prevost smiles at the absurdity of his story. We are just a few miles down the road from the Eagan flight school where, one month before the September 11th attacks, he tried to teach Zacarias Moussaoui how to fly a Boeing 747.
posted by Kwantsar (9 comments total)
That's a pretty crazy story... thanks for posting that.
posted by ph00dz at 6:53 AM on May 24, 2005

I read an article about this guy a couple months ago. I'm not sure if it's the same one (I'm assuming he's been interviewed by more then one person). It's intresting how he struggled to teach the guy to fly.

I guess most of the learning involves what to do in an emergency situation, and Z.M was hopeless in learning that stuff. Ah well.
posted by delmoi at 7:26 AM on May 24, 2005

ZM must not be all there mentally -- he can't seem to understand that if he can't manage to solo in a private plane after twice the usual amount of instruction, it's a waste of time and cause for suspicion even to attempt simulator training for the 747. And once he's on trial, he fires his legal counsel and attempts to represent himself in a legal system he's totally unfamiliar with. He's crazy, stupid, or both.
posted by alumshubby at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2005


I like this, though: When Moussaoui was arrested, he had in his possession two knives, binoculars, flight manuals for the 747-400, a flight simulator computer program, fighting gloves, and shin guards. After September 11th, authorities would learn Moussaoui had followed many of the same preparations as the nineteen hijackers.

If caught, he was prepared to endure the shin-kicking of a lifetime.
posted by jenleigh at 7:35 AM on May 24, 2005

Fighting gloves?
posted by Balisong at 8:14 AM on May 24, 2005

I felt the most revealing statement in the piece was Z's statement "I am nothing" chilled me,exactly what a MKultra victim would think of himself, nothing.
posted by hortense at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2005

crazy. stupid. or really, just suicidal, with an incidental attachment to an ideology that gives meaning to his suicide.

he was in up to his eyeballs, and probably doing everything he could not to fail at this one final thing. and now? he did fail. he got caught. he was the hapless one who failed to catch his ride. so now what can he do? he can attempt in every way to refuse to participate in the Great Satan's legal system. in essence, he's opting out once again, and ... well, guess what? it won't be hard to make our legal system look stupid, i'm afraid. it won't be hard, even if he's crazy or stupid, to take advantage of the vengeful hysteria that wants to string him up from the highest tree and make himself look exploited or (as would be his hope) even a martyr in a sense. (to his real audience, the Muslim fundamentalist rabble.)

if he has any brain at all, any sense of things, he'll show off his craziness and stupidity and make the legal system play with him. that's why you fire your lawyer, in this case: because you want to ensure that your audience sees you either a) making a fool of the enemy, or b) being given a clearly unfair trial. no matter what happens, the homeboys see him staying loyal to the cause. it's all he's got left.
posted by RedEmma at 9:55 AM on May 24, 2005

Fascinating read, thanks. On a side note: Prevost is a recovering alcoholic and an ex-pilot for a major airline? Whoa.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:25 AM on May 24, 2005

It's interesting that Moussaoui was picked and given a fair bit of money in order to be part of either the 9/11 operation or another one. One would assume that only the brightest of the terrorists would be assigned a task as complex as flying large aircraft, but given that Moussaoui clearly wasn't the brightest lamp in the store, what does that say about the vast majority of those who do feed the ranks of al-Qaeda-linked organizations?

I also find it interesting that he declared "at least thirty-five thousand dollars in cash" at Customs without any issues being raised.
posted by clevershark at 11:45 AM on May 24, 2005

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