Rope, crane, quick..

Taking the stand over his lawyers' protests, Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified today that he and Richard Reid, later arrested as the so-called shoe bomber, were slated to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.

Moussaoui, speaking publicly for the first time since his arrest a month before the Sept. 11 attacks, said he lied to the FBI so that the plot could go forward. Aware that the attacks were imminent, he arranged for a radio in his jail cell in Minnesota. When he heard that the first plane struck the World Trade Center, he testified, "I immediately understood."

His testimony appeared to conflict with his statement at the time of his guilty plea, which suggested that the attack on the White House would happen at a later date. Moussaoui spoke at length about his duties as an Al Qaeda member in Afghanistan, where he said he met many of the hijackers in his capacity as a security officer at guest houses for Al Qaeda recruits.

Speaking calmly in halting English, the French-born Moussaoui said he didn't know the exact date of the planned attack but that he knew it would be soon after he was scheduled to complete his aviation training on Aug. 20. Instead, suspicious flight instructors alerted the FBI and Moussaoui was arrested.

Of his crew members, "one definitely was Richard Reid. As for the others, it was not definite," he said. On Dec. 22, 2001, Reid tried to detonate a bomb in his shoe aboard a flight from Paris to Miami with 197 people on board. Passengers subdued him and the plane was diverted to Boston, where it landed safely.

Moussaoui said he had only scant details of the overall plan when he was arrested Aug. 16. "I had knowledge that the two towers would be hit but I didn't have the detail," Moussaoui said. Moussaoui is on trial now to determine if he will be executed.

What the hell are we waiting for, find a crane, get some rope, gather the masses in the city square and set an example.

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