Zacarias Moussaoui Biography


Convicted terrorist. Born May 30, 1968 in Morlaix, France. Raised by a single mother, Moussaoui received his master's degree in international business from London??s South Bank University in 1995. By 1996, he was meeting with Islamic extremists in London and training in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan.

In 2001, Moussaoui attended flight school in Norman, Oklahoma, but failed to receive his pilot license. In August, he received training at Pan-Am International Flight Academy in Eagan, Minnesota, but after his instructor became suspicious, the FBI arrested him for an immigration violation. Local FBI agents requested permission from FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. to search Moussaoui??s laptop and rooms, but their request was denied.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it was believed that Moussaoui was a replacement for the 20th hijacker. Prosecutors, however, were unable to directly link him to the 19 participants. During his trial, Moussaoui admitted to being a member of al Qaeda but said he was planning a different plot to free Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman in Afghanistan. He then switched his testimony, saying he was guilty of all charges. In 2006, a jury sentenced Moussaoui to life imprisonment without parole.

Zacarias Moussaoui is serving his sentence at the supermax United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!