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Gov’t Revises Moussaoui Indictment

June 20, 2002

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ The government has revised its indictment of accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, deleting allegations that he inquired about crop-dusting planes and had information about them on his computer.

The possibility of crop-dusting attacks was considered so serious after the Sept. 11 attacks that the planes were grounded temporarily.

The U.S. attorney’s office, the Justice Department and the FBI refused to comment on the reason for the deletions in an indictment that was filed Wednesday and announced Thursday.

The original indictment handed down in December said that among possessions seized from Moussaoui was ``a computer disk containing information related to the aerial application of pesticides.″

That allegation was eliminated, as was a second reference to the subject: ``In or about June 2001, in Norman, Okla., Zacarias Moussaoui made inquiries about starting a crop-dusting company.″

The Minneapolis FBI office in August had tried to obtain a warrant to search Moussaoui’s computer. Field agents were turned down by headquarters, prompting an angry letter in May from agent Coleen Rowley to FBI Director Robert Mueller about the lack of cooperation.

The discovery of the crop-dusting information was among the reasons that headquarters inaction was severely criticized.

The new indictment also deleted a reference that the lead Sept. 11 hijacker, Mohammed Atta, made inquiries about starting a crop-dusting company at various times in 2000 and 2001.

Other changes appeared minor, mostly changes in dates and slight differences in amounts of money.

The new indictment also adds Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to the list of countries where al-Qaida operates, and adds the training camp al-Farooq in Afghanistan as a place where terrorists were trained.

Moussaoui will be arraigned on the superseding indictment next Tuesday.

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