“The end of this case but not an end to the fight against terror.” That was George W. Bush’s reaction to the verdict. The US president spoke out after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Mr Moussaoui got a fair trial. The jury convicted him to life in prison, where he will spend the rest of his life,” he said. “In so doing, they spared his life, which is something that he evidently was not willing to do for innocent American citizens.
“What the government was arguing is that you could be put to death for an act of omission – simply failing to say what you knew about a possible crime.” Five years on, analysts are divided over what the verdict means. Some say US national security might have been damaged by a death sentence which would have made Moussaoui a martyr in the eyes of extremist sympathizers.