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Bin Laden 'my father in jihad,' Moussaoui writes

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 2, 2002

Zacarias Moussaoui calls Osama bin Laden "my brother in Islam and my father in jihad" and declares himself a holy warrior and a terrorist, "but it does not mean that I took part in Sept. 11," according to handwritten motions unsealed Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Va.

Moussaoui, representing himself, filed the motions last week mostly in an attempt to elicit an admission from the United States that it had him under surveillance long before Sept. 11.

Moussaoui believes that showing he was being monitored by the government will prove that he was not connected with the 19 hijackers.

In a response filed Monday, federal prosecutors said emphatically that agents were not tracking Moussaoui and that even if they were, it doesn't show that he wasn't planning to be part of the deadly hijackings that killed about 3,000 people.

The motion unsealed Monday is the first time Moussaoui mentions bin Laden and the first acknowledgment since he was allowed to represent himself that he sympathizes with terrorists.

Irradiated mail a health concern

WASHINGTON -- A substantial number of congressional employees might have experienced long-term health problems linked to the handling of irradiated mail, including headaches, burning eyes and nausea, says a report being made public today.

"We believe these symptoms are not insignificant, both in terms of the number of complaints and in the effect on employee health and work performance," the general counsel of the Office of Compliance said in the report.

The congressional office cautioned that the study had not established a definitive cause of the broad range of symptoms reported, and it did not have enough information to judge whether there is a serious health risk. It recommended further studies and precautionary steps such as limiting the time employees spend handling mail.

The report stressed it surveyed only those who elected to respond and thus the results were not a scientifically valid sampling.

Prosecutors attack Lindh's torture claims

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- During the time American-born Taliban John Walker Lindh says he was being held in "torturous conditions" and denied access to a lawyer, he was telling his story "to anyone and everyone who would listen," prosecutors said Monday.

In opposing Lindh's bid to keep statements he made to U.S. officials and reporters out of his upcoming trial, the government said Lindh did not ask for a lawyer until two days after he was questioned by the FBI on Dec. 9 and 10.

Prosecutors also said there is no evidence Lindh was unwilling or reluctant to speak to anyone during the first 10 days of December, after he was turned over to U.S. custody.

"Lindh chose to communicate his story to anyone and everyone who would listen, including initially the American media," the government said. "And communicate he did -- calmly, articulately, consistently, comprehensively."

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