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Abdulaziz al-Omari
150px
Born Abdulaziz al-Omari
May 28, 1979(1979-05-28)
'Asir, Saudi Arabia Wikipedia
Died September 11, 2001 (aged 22)
Manhattan, New York

An airport security guard and Imam, Abdulaziz al-Omari (ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-ʿUmarī, also transliterated as Abdul Aziz Alomari) (May 28, 1979 [1] - September 11, 2001) was named by the FBI as one of the hijackers of the first plane which was crashed into the World Trade Center in the September 11 attacks.

HistoryEdit

Little is known about al-Omari's life, and it is unclear whether some information refers to al-Omari or another person by that name. He has used birth dates of December 24, 1972 and May 28, 1979.

al-Omari came from Asir Province, a poor region in southwestern Saudi Arabia Wikipedia that borders Yemen Wikipedia, and graduated with honours from high school, attained a degree from the Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University, was married, and had a daughter.[2]

He is alleged to have often served as an imam at his mosque in Saudi Arabia and is believed by American Authorities to have been a student of a Saudi cleric named Sulayman al Alwan, whose mosque is located in Al Qasim.

According to Tawfiq bin Attash, al-Omari was one of a group of future hijackers who provided security at Kandahar airport after their basic training at an al-Qaeda camp. During the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit in Kuala Lumpur, American authorities claim that immigration records show that a person named Abdulaziz al-Omari was visiting the country, although they say they are not sure that this was the same person.

In the autumn of 2001, after September 11, al Jazeera television broadcast a tape they claim was made by al-Omari. The speaker made a farewell suicide video. In it, he reads "I am writing this with my full conscience and I am writing this in expectation of the end, which is near. . . God praise everybody who trained and helped me, namely the leader Sheikh Osama bin Laden."

According to FBI director Robert Mueller and the 9/11 Commission, al-Omari entered the United States through a Dubai flight on June 29 with Salem al-Hazmi [3]

On June 29, 2001, al-Omari travelled to the U.S. for the first time, landing in New York. He had used the controversial Visa Express program to gain entry. He apparently stayed with several other hijackers in Paterson, New Jersey, before moving to his own place at 4032 57th Terrace, Vero Beach, Florida. On his rental agreement form for that house, Omari gave two license-plates authorized to park in his space, one of which was registered to Atta.[4] Al-Omari occasionally trained on simulators at the FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, Florida together with Mohand al-Shehri and Saeed Al-Ghamdi.[5]

al-Omari obtained a fake USA ID card from All Services Plus in Passaic County, New Jersey, which was in the business of selling fake documents, including another to Khalid al-Mihdhar.[6]

AttackEdit

On September 10, Mohamed Atta picked up Omari from the Milner Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, and the two drove their rented Nissan to a Comfort Inn in South Portland,Maine, where they spent the night in room 232 for unknown reasons, although it was within sight of Portland International Jetport. It was initially reported that Adnan and Ameer Bukhari were the two hijackers who had rented and driven the car.[7]
Atta in airport

Atta (blue shirt) and al-Omari in the Portland airport on the morning of 9/11

The two spent their last night pursuing ordinary activities: making an ATM withdrawal, a shared meal at Pizza Hut, and a 15- to 20-minute stop at Wal-Mart.

In the early morning hours of September 11, they boarded a commuter flight to Boston to connect to American Airlines Flight 11. Al-Omari's luggage never made the connection onto Flight 11, which resulted in his passport and belongings being found after the attacks. On Flight 11, al-Omari helped hijack the plane, and assisted Mohamed Atta in crashing it into the World Trade Center as part of an attack that killed thousands of people.

Mistaken identityEdit

File:Abdulaziz al-omari alive.jpg

Controversy over al-Omari's identity erupted shortly after the attacks. At first, the FBI had named Abdul Rahman al-Omari, a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines, as the pilot of Flight 11. It was quickly shown that this person was still alive, and the FBI issued an apology. It was also quickly determined that Mohamed Atta was the pilot among the hijackers. The FBI then named Abdulaziz al-Omari as a hijacker.

A man with the same name as those given by the FBI turned up alive in Saudi Arabia, saying that he had studied at the University of Denver and his passport was stolen there in 1995. The name, origin, birth date, and occupation were released by the FBI, but the picture was not of him. "I couldn't believe it when the FBI put me on their list", he said. "They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this."[8] This individual was not the same person as the hijacker whose identity was later confirmed by Saudi government interviews with his family, according to the 9/11 Commission Report.

timelineEdit

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1980s and 1990s: Most 9/11 Hijackers Have Middle-Class Backgrounds Edit

After 9/11, some in Western countries will say that one of the root causes of the attacks is poverty and assume that the hijackers must have been poor. However, most of them are middle class and have relatively comfortable upbringings. The editor of Al Watan, a Saudi Arabian daily, will call them “middle class adventurers” rather than Islamist fundamentalist ideologues. [9][BOSTON GLOBE, 3/3/2002] Abdulaziz Alomari is from southwestern Saudi Arabia. He is a university graduate [10]. He apparently marries and has a child, a daughter, before 9/11.[11] [SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON), 1/27/2002; [12]SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY, 9/11/2002;[13]

1995: Passport of 9/11 Hijacker’s Namesake Stolen in Denver Edit

Abdulaziz Alomari studied in Denver. [Source: BBC] A passport belonging to a man with the same first and last name as one of the 9/11 hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari, is stolen and this will cause some confusion in the weeks following 9/11. Alomari, who studies at the University of Colorado from 1993 to 2000, informs the police of the theft, which occurs when a thief breaks into his apartment. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] Although the validity of the stolen passport is not specified, a visa application submitted by another of the Saudi hijackers in 1997 will indicate that his passport was good for five lunar years, so the stolen passport may have been valid for the same period. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 11/2/1997] When the FBI releases lists of the 9/11 hijackers on September 14 and 27, 2001, it will give two birthdates for the hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/14/2001; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/27/2001] One of them, May 28, 1879, will be used by the hijacker, for example on his US visa application. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 6/18/2001] The other, December 24, 1972, belongs to the former Denver student, who will be a telecommunications engineer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 9/11 and will comment: “I couldn’t believe it when the FBI put me on their list. They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] It will be unclear how and why the birth date of Alomari the telecommunications engineer appears on the list of hijackers. However, after finding Alomari’s name on a passenger manifest, the FBI will check various databases to find more information about him. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR PORTLAND, MAINE, 9/12/2001] Alomari the telecommunications engineer is stopped three times by police in Denver for minor offences before 9/11 and gives them the 1972 birth date, so the FBI may obtain it by searching Denver police records. [NEW YORKER, 5/27/2002] Radical Sunni Muslims connected to Osama bin Laden had a presence in Denver from the mid-1990s (see 1994 and March 2000). Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

November 2, 1997-June 20, 2001: Hijackers Obtain US VisasEdit

The 19 hijackers apply and receive a total of 23 visas at five different posts from November 1997 through June 2001. The fifteen Saudi hijackers apply for their visas in their home country. Eleven at the US consulate in Jeddah: Hani Hanjour (11/2/1997 and 9/25/2000), Khalid Almihdhar (4/7/1999 and 6/13/2001), Saeed Alghamdi (9/4/2000 and 6/12/2001), and Ahmed Alnami (10/28/2000 and 4/28/2001), Nawaf Alhazmi (4/3/1999), Ahmed Alghamdi (9/3/2000), Wail Alshehri (10/24/2000), Waleed M. Alshehri (10/24/2000), Abdulaziz Alomari (6/18/2001), Salem Alhazmi (6/20/2001), and Ahmed Alhaznawi (11/12/2000).

Late 1990s: Many Hijackers Attend University in Saudi Arabia and Elsewhere Edit

Wail Alshehri graduated from teacher training college. [Source: FBI] At least ten of the alleged hijackers attend various universities in Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Egypt. However, most of them drop out, and apparently only three, Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, and Wail Alshehri, graduate. The 9/11 Commission will comment, “Several of the muscle hijackers seem to have been recruited through contacts at local universities and mosques.”

Abdulaziz Alomari graduates from the Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University in Buraidah, Qassim Province. [SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON), 1/27/2002; SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY, 9/11/2002; BURKE, 2004, PP. 247; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 232-3] 
Ahmed Alhaznawi reportedly studies at the Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca for two months before dropping out. [SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY, 9/11/2002] 

1999-2000: Two 9/11 Hijackers Radicalized by Saudi Education System Edit

Abdulaziz Alomari, from a video apparently made in spring 2001. [Source: As Sahab] Two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alnami, are apparently radicalized by the education system in Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz Alomari is an Islamic law graduate (see Late 1990s) and serves as a prayer leader at his mosque. At university in Qassim Province, he studies under radical cleric Sulayman al-Alwan. The 9/11 Commission will say that al-Alwan’s mosque is “known among moderate clerics as a ‘terrorist factory.’ The Province is at the very heart of the strict Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia.” Al-Alwan is reportedly spiritual advisor to al-Qaeda logistics manager Abu Zubaida and is in telephone contact with Hamed al-Sulami, an associate of Hani Hanjour (see July 10, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 232-3, 521] Ahmed Alnami leads a carefree life until 1999, but then becomes more pious after returning from a Saudi-government sponsored training camp, growing a beard and shunning his old friends. He reportedly sings the call to prayer at the al-Basra mosque in the city of Abha and, occasionally, another mosque in Khamis Mushayt, a nearby town where some of the other hijackers live. [ARAB NEWS, 9/19/2001; ARAB NEWS, 9/20/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 3/3/2002] He is also reported to be a prayer leader in Abha. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001; INDEPENDENT, 9/27/2001; SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY, 9/11/2002] However, after 9/11 his father will say that he “practiced religion like most of us do.” [ABC NEWS, 3/15/2002]

1999-2000: Some 9/11 Hijackers Reportedly Fail in Attempt to Enter Chechnya from Turkey Edit

Ahmed Alghamdi. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] Under interrogation after 9/11, al-Qaeda manager Khallad bin Attash will indicate that some of the 9/11 hijackers try to get to the conflict in Chechnya from Turkey, but are not able to do so because the Turkey-Georgia border is closed. In Turkey, they stay in guesthouses in places such as Istanbul and Ankara. Turkish intelligence has been aware that militants often transit Turkey for some time, but there are no reports saying that the hijackers are monitored at this time (see 1996). The militants then decide to travel to Afghanistan and perhaps try to enter Chechnya again later. In this context bin Attash mentions the names of Saeed Alghamdi, Satam al Suqami, Waleed and Wail Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, and Majed Moqed. Ahmed Alghamdi and Saeed Alghamdi also have documentation suggesting travel to a Russian republic. However, the reliability of evidence obtained during the interrogations of figures like bin Attash is questionable due to the unreliable methods used to extract it (see June 16, 2004). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 233] Some of the lead hijackers transit Turkey (see Late November-Early December 1999). There are also reports that some of the hijackers tell family and friends in Saudi Arabia that they intend to fight in Chechnya, and it appears that some, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi, may actually see combat there (see 1996-December 2000).

1999-September 10, 2001: Some 9/11 Hijackers Possibly Spend Time in Philippines =Edit

Saeed Alghamdi. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] The names of four hijackers are later discovered in Philippines immigration records. However, whether these are the hijackers or just other Saudis with the same names has not been confirmed.

Abdulaziz Alomari visits the Philippines once in 2000, then again in February 2001, leaving on February 12. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/19/2001; PHILIPPINES INQUIRER, 9/19/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001] 
Ahmed Alghamdi visits Manila, Philippines, more than 13 times, starting in 1999. He leaves the Philippines the day before the attacks. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001; ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/28/2001; FILIPINO REPORTER, 10/11/2001] 
Fayez Ahmed Banihammad visits the Philippines on October 17-19, 2000. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001; ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/28/2001] 
Saeed Alghamdi visits the Philippines on at least 15 occasions in 2001, entering as a tourist. The last visit ends on August 6, 2001. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001] 

Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi were seen Philippines several times, the last time in December 1999 (see December 1999). 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed occasionally stays there as well (see September 1998-January 1999). Nothing more has been heard to confirm or deny the hijackers’ Philippines connections since these reports.

2000 and Before: Some Saudi 9/11 Hijackers Moderately Religious in Saudi Arabia Edit

Ahmed Alnami. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] Although at least two of the 9/11 hijackers are distinctly unreligious when young (see (1998)), some of them appear to be moderately religious before they travel to Afghanistan:

According to the 9/11 Commission, Hamza and Ahmed Alghamdi attend prayer services regularly; 
Abdulaziz Alomari and Ahmed Alnami are reported to become more religious after contact with the education system in Saudi Arabia (see 1999-2000). 

But in general, the Saudi 9/11 hijackers are seen as devout, but not fanatical. For example, the 9/11 Commission will comment, “Their families often did not consider these young men religious zealots,” and Alnami’s father will say his son “practiced religion like most of us do.” [ABC NEWS, 3/15/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 232-3]

Spring 2000: Al-Qaeda Recruits Future 9/11 Hijackers in Saudi Arabia Edit

Abdulaziz Alomari attended a “terrorist factory” in Saudi Arabia. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] After 9/11, US investigators will find evidence that there is an active branch of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, and will believe it recruits most of the Saudi hijackers there. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/17/2001] The 9/11 Commission will comment: “Like many other al-Qaeda operatives, the Saudis who eventually became the muscle hijackers were targeted for recruitment outside Afghanistan—probably in Saudi Arabia itself. Al-Qaeda recruiters, certain clerics, and—in a few cases—family members probably all played a role in spotting potential candidates. Several of the muscle hijackers seem to have been recruited through contacts at local universities and mosques. According to the head of one of the training camps in Afghanistan, some were chosen by unnamed Saudi Sheikhs who had contacts with al-Qaeda. Abdulaziz Alomari, for example, is believed to have been a student of radical Saudi cleric Sulayman al-Alwan. His mosque, which is located in al Qassim Province, is known among the more moderate clerics as a ‘terrorist factory.’ The province is at the very heart of the strict Wahhabi movement in Saudi Arabia.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 232-3] Dr. Ali al-Mosa, a Saudi academic from Asir Province, will later say that a cleric known as Sheikh al-Hawashi, who runs a mosque in Khamis Mushayt, is also instrumental in recruiting the hijackers: “Sheikh al-Hawashi was the evil father of the whole thing here. He was the one behind it all and he is still there—he knew five of the kids and he was praying with them.” When Asir is visited by Australian journalist Paul McGeough in 2002, Sheikh al-Hawashi will still be preaching and Dr. al-Mosa will comment: “He has been here for 25 years and he’s very popular.” [SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/5/2002]

Summer 2000: Some 9/11 Hijackers Allegedly Work as Airport Security Staff in Afghanistan Edit

Under interrogation after 9/11, al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash will claim he met some of the 9/11 hijackers at Kandahar airport in Afghanistan in the summer of 2000. Although he will not be able to recall all of them, he will say the group includes Satam Al Suqami, Waleed and Wail Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alomari, Hamza Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, and Majed Moqed. He will say he was closest to Saeed Alghamdi, whom he convinced to become a martyr and whom he asked to recruit a friend, Ahmed Alghamdi, to the same cause. However, doubts will later be expressed about the reliability of such statements from prisoners like bin Attash, due to the methods used to obtain them (see June 16, 2004) [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 233-4] Al-Qaeda’s division of passports and host country issues is based at the airport and it alters passports, visas and identification cards. Some people involved in the plot will later be reported to have altered travel documents (see July 23, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 56 ] 9/11 hijacker Ahmed Alnami and would-be hijacker Mushabib al-Hamlan are also said to be at the same Kandahar camp, Al Farooq, and are assigned to guard the airport. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 526] By the late 1990s, the Kandahar airport will become the main logistics lifeline for al-Qaeda and the Taliban to the outside world. One Ariana pilot will later recall, “I would see Arabs with [satellite] phones walking around the terminal, in touch with the Taliban at the highest levels.” On one occasion, he sees Taliban ruler Mullah Omar meeting in the middle of the airport with a rebel leader from Tajikistan, surrounded by aides. “There they were, cross-legged on their mats, chattering into cell phones.” [FARAH AND BRAUN, 2007, PP. 140] At this time, the Kandahar airport is being mainly used by Ariana Airlines, which has been completely co-opted by al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and aircraft companies controlled by international arms dealer Victor Bout (see 1998).

Between October 2000 and September 10, 2001: British Banking Company Profiles Fifteen 9/11 Hijackers as High-Risk Likely Terrorists Edit

Global Objectives, a British banking compliance company, identifies fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers as high-risk people and establishes profiles for them. The hijackers are regarded as high-risk for loans because they are linked to Osama bin Laden, suspected terrorists, or associates of terrorists. The list of high-risk people maintained by Global Objectives is available to dozens of banks and the hijackers’ files contain their dates and places of birth, aliases, and associates. It is unclear which fifteen hijackers are considered high-risk. It is also unknown if any Western intelligence agencies access this database before 9/11. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/2002] According to the 9/11 Commission, US intelligence is only aware of three of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, and Khalid Almihdhar, before the attacks. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 181-2] However, media reports will suggest US intelligence agencies may have been aware of another six: Ziad Jarrah (see January 30, 2000); Marwan Alshhehi (see March 1999 and January-February 2000); Mohamed Atta (see January-May 2000 and January-February 2000); and Ahmed Alghamdi, Satam al Suqami, and Hamza Alghamdi (see September 2000 and Spring 2001). Entity Tags: Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Wail Alshehri, Waleed M. Alshehri, Ziad Jarrah, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Satam Al Suqami, Mohand Alshehri, Nawaf Alhazmi, Hamza Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

December 2000: 9/11 Hijacker Apparently Seen in Saudi Arabia, Reason for Return Unclear 9/11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari is reported to leave home in Saudi Arabia for Afghanistan at this time. [SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY, 9/11/2002] However, he appears to have already been to Afghanistan, as he obtained a new passport on June 5, made an ATM withdrawal in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 8, and is said to have been seen near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the summer (see Summer 2000). [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 6/18/2001; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 50 ] Several of the other hijackers were in Afghanistan in the summer of 2000 and return to Saudi Arabia briefly at this time to obtain US visas (see, for example, September 4, 2000 and October 24, 2000). However, there is no record of Alomari receiving a visa at this time, so it is unclear why he would return to Saudi Arabia. Salem Alhazmi, with whom Alomari will later travel to the US (see April 23-June 29, 2001), also apparently returns to Saudi Arabia at this time, but does not obtain a visa (see November 2000). Alomari finally obtains a US visa in the summer of 2001 (see June 18, 2001). Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

December 5, 2000: Hijacker Hanjour Opens Dubai Account Hijacker pilot Hani Hanjour opens an account with Citibank in Deira, Dubai, with a deposit of $3,000. Hanjour’s movements between September 25, 2000, when he obtained a US visa in Jeddah, and this date are unclear, but he flies to the US three days later (see December 8, 2000). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 13-14 ] According to the 9/11 Commission, plot facilitator Ali Abdul Aziz Ali gave him the initial $3,000 and later deposits another $5,000 in the account. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 138 ] However, these deposits will not be mentioned at a military hearing to determine Ali’s combat status, although other transactions between Ali and the hijackers will be (see March 30, 2007). [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 4/12/2007 ] Hanjour uses the money on this account, together with $9,600 that is deposited in his account with the Saudi British Bank, to pay some of his expenses in the US. Hijackers Fayez Ahmed Banihammed (see June 25, 2001), Marwan Alshehhi (see July 1999-November 2000), and possibly Mohamed Atta (see Late October 2001) also have accounts in the UAE through which money is passed to fund the plot. Khalid Almihdhar and Abdulaziz Alomari (see September 7, 2001) also draw on money from Saudi bank accounts. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 138 ] Entity Tags: Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Hani Hanjour, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March 2001: Some 9/11 Hijackers Record Videos in Afghanistan Pledging Martyrdom

Stills from martyr videos recorded in March 2001. From top to bottom: Ahmed Alhaznawi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Saeed Alghamdi, Wail Alshehri, and Hamza Alghamdi. The backgrounds were digitally inserted later. [Source: Al-Jazeera] Supposedly, all 13 of the “muscle” hijackers record a farewell video before leaving training in Kandahar, Afghanistan, around this time. [CBS NEWS, 10/9/2002] Several will be released after 9/11. A video of Ahmed Alhaznawi will be shown by the Al Jazeera television network in April 2002. In it, he pledges to give his life to “martyrdom” and swears to send a “bloodied message” to Americans by attacking them in their “heartland.” [GUARDIAN, 4/16/2002] In September 2002, Al Jazeera will show a similar farewell video of Abdulaziz Alomari made around the same time. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/9/2002] Alomari states, “I am writing this with my full conscience and I am writing this in expectation of the end, which is near… God praise everybody who trained and helped me, namely the leader Sheik Osama bin Laden.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2002] Saeed Alghamdi’s video will be released in September 2003, and Wail Alshehri and Hamza Alghamdi’s videos will be released in September 2006 (see September 7, 2006). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/7/2006] Entity Tags: Satam Al Suqami, Osama bin Laden, Salem Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Mohand Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Saeed Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March 2001-September 1, 2001: Hani Hanjour and Other Hijackers Live in Paterson, New Jersey

The apartment building in Paterson, New Jersey, where some of the hijackers lived. [Source: Associated Press] Hani Hanjour and Salem Alhazmi rent a one-room apartment in Paterson, New Jersey. Hanjour signs the lease. Nawaf Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Mohamed Atta are also seen coming and going by neighbors. One unnamed hijacker has to be told by a neighbor how to screw in a light bulb. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/27/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/7/2001] The 9/11 Commission’s account of this differs from previous press accounts, and has Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi (instead of his brother Salem) first moving to Paterson in mid-May. Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar, and probably Ahmed Alghamdi are all seen living there as well during the summer. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 230] Other reports have Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi living periodically in Falls Church, Virginia, over nearly the exact same time period, from March through August 2001 (see March 2001 and After). During this time, Mohamed Atta and other hijackers live in Wayne, New Jersey, a town only one mile from Paterson (see (Before September 2000-12 Months Later)), and Atta purchases a plane ticket to Spain from Apollo Travel in Paterson in early July (see July 8-19, 2001).” [BERGEN RECORD, 9/27/2001; BERGEN RECORD, 9/27/2001; CNN, 10/29/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/19/2002] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Majed Moqed, Saeed Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi, Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Alhazmi, Apollo Travel, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 1-May 27, 2001: Additional 9/11 Hijackers Spend Time in Malaysia

Satam al Suqami. [Source: FBI] Two of the 9/11 hijackers travel to Malaysia and spend some time there. Satam al Suqami arrives on April 1 and stays there for just under two weeks, before traveling to the United Arab Emirates. Abdulaziz Alomari arrives on May 7 and spends three weeks there, before departing for the same destination. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 42, 50 ] There are no reports about what Alomari and al Suqami do in Malaysia or who they meet. Lead hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar visit Malaysia before 9/11 and meet other extremists there (see January 5-8, 2000), as does Zacarias Moussaoui (see September-October 2000). Almihdhar again visits Malaysia in the summer of 2001 (see June 2001), and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, an associate of the plot leaders, travels there in June 2001. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 243-4] Entity Tags: Satam Al Suqami, Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 11-June 28, 2001: 9/11 ‘Muscle’ Hijackers Arrive in Dubai on Way to US The muscle hijackers arrive in Dubai on their way to the US (see April 23-June 29, 2001):

April 11: It is not known when Ahmed Alghamdi first arrives in Dubai, but he leaves on April 8, traveling to an unknown destination, and returns on April 11; 
April 12: Satam al Suqami arrives in the United Arab Emirates from Malaysia (see April 1-May 27, 2001); 
May 7, 2001: Ahmed Alhaznawi arrives in Abu Dhabi from Karachi by plane; 
May 13: Ahmed Alnami arrives in the United Arab Emirates by plane from Saudi Arabia; 
May 26: Hamza Alghamdi enters the United Arab Emirates; 
May 27: Abdulaziz Alomari arrives in Dubai from Malaysia (see April 1-May 27, 2001); 
June 1: It is not known when Wail Alshehri first arrives in Dubai, but he leaves on May 29, traveling to an unknown destination, and returns on June 1 with Ahmed Alhaznawi, who previously arrived on May 7, but must have left in the meantime; 
June 12: Saeed Alghamdi arrives in the United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia; 
June 28: Salem Alhazmi arrives in the United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 42-50 ] 

The hijackers typically remain in Dubai for a few weeks before moving on to the US (see April 23-June 29, 2001). While in Dubai the hijackers purchase traveler’s checks:

April 28: Majed Moqed purchases $2,980 in MasterCard travelers’ checks from the Thomas Cook Exchange in the nearby emirate of Sharjah; 
May 27, 2001: Ahmed Alnami purchases $10,000 of American Express travelers’ checks and Hamza Alghamdi purchases the same amount of Visa travelers’ checks in Dubai; 
June 6, 2001: Ahmed Alhaznawi purchases $3,000 of American Express travelers’ checks in Dubai; 
June 7, 2001: Wail Alshehri purchases $14,000 of American Express travelers’ checks in Sharjah; 
June 24: Fayez Ahmed Banihammad purchases $4,000 of Thomas Cook travelers’ checks in Sharjah. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 44-48 ] 

In addition, Wail Alshehri obtains an international driving permit in Sharjah on June 5. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 47 ] Some of these hijackers are assisted by plot facilitator Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi (see Early-Late June, 2001). It is not clear who helps the others, although Dubai-based Ali Abdul Aziz Ali previously assisted some of the hijackers (see June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000), and Saeed Sheikh, who has Dubai connections, may also assist some of them (see Early August 2001). In addition, Victor Bout, an arms dealer who flies shipments for al-Qaeda and the Taliban through the UAE, is based in Sharjah (see Mid-1996-October 2001). Entity Tags: Satam Al Suqami, Wail Alshehri, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Sheikh, Victor Bout, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Saeed Alghamdi, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alnami, Majed Moqed, Hamza Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 23-June 29, 2001: 9/11 ‘Muscle’ Hijackers Arrive in US at This Time or Earlier

This Ahmed Al-Haznawi picture is a photocopy of his 2001 US visa application. [Source: 9/11 Commission] The 13 hijackers commonly known as the “muscle” allegedly first arrive in the US. The muscle provides the brute force meant to control the hijacked passengers and protect the pilots. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001] Yet, according to the 9/11 Commission, these men “were not physically imposing,” with the majority of them between 5 feet 5 and 5 feet 7 tall, “and slender in build.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004, PP. 8] According to FBI Director Mueller, they all pass through Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and their travel was probably coordinated from abroad by Khalid Almihdhar. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] However, some information contradicts their official arrival dates:

April 23: Waleed Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami arrive in Orlando, Florida. Suqami in fact arrived before February 2001. A man named Waleed Alshehri lived with a man named Ahmed Alghamdi in Virginia and Florida between 1997 and 2000. However, it is not clear whether they were the hijackers or just people with the same name (see 1999). [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001] Alshehri appears quite Americanized in the summer of 2001, frequently talking with an apartment mate about football and baseball, even identifying himself a fan of the Florida Marlins baseball team. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/21/2001] 
May 2: Majed Moqed and Ahmed Alghamdi arrive in Washington. Both actually arrived by mid-March 2001. A man named Ahmed Alghamdi lived with a man named Waleed Alshehri in Florida and Virginia between 1997 and 2000. However, it is not clear whether they were the hijackers or just people with the same name (see 1999). [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/20/2001] Alghamdi apparently praises Osama bin Laden to Customs officials while entering the country and Moqed uses an alias (see May 2, 2001). 
May 28: Mohand Alshehri, Hamza Alghamdi, and Ahmed Alnami allegedly arrive in Miami, Florida. Alnami may have a suspicious indicator of terrorist affiliation in his passport (see April 21, 2001), but this is apparently not noticed by US authorities. The precise state of US knowledge about the indicator at this time is not known (see Around February 1993). The CIA will learn of it no later than 2003, but will still not inform immigration officials then (see February 14, 2003). According to other reports, however, both Mohand Alshehri and Hamza Alghamdi may have arrived by January 2001 (see January or July 28, 2001). 
June 8: Ahmed Alhaznawi and Wail Alshehri arrive in Miami, Florida. Alhaznawi may have a suspicious indicator of terrorist affiliation in his passport (see Before November 12, 2000), but this is apparently not noticed by US authorities. 
June 27: Fayez Banihammad and Saeed Alghamdi arrive in Orlando, Florida. 
June 29: Salem Alhazmi and Abdulaziz Alomari allegedly arrive in New York. According to other reports, however, Alhazmi arrived before February 2001. Alhazmi has a suspicious indicator of terrorist affiliation in his passport (see June 16, 2001), but this is apparently not noticed by US authorities. 

After entering the US (or, perhaps, reentering), the hijackers arriving at Miami and Orlando airports settle in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area along with Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah. The hijackers, arriving in New York and Virginia, settle in the Paterson, New Jersey, area along with Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] Note the FBI’s early conclusion that 11 of these muscle men “did not know they were on a suicide mission.” [OBSERVER, 10/14/2001] CIA Director Tenet’s later claim that they “probably were told little more than that they were headed for a suicide mission inside the United States” [US CONGRESS, 6/18/2002] and reports that they did not know the exact details of the 9/11 plot until shortly before the attack [CBS NEWS, 10/9/2002] are contradicted by video confessions made by all of them in March 2001 (see March 2001). Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohand Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Saeed Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Waleed M. Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Satam Al Suqami, Nawaf Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi, George J. Tenet, Hamza Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ahmed Alnami Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

May 2001: Hijackers Take Advantage of New, Anonymous Visa Express Procedure

A portion of Salem Alhazmi’s New Jersey identification card. [Source: 9/11 Commission] (click image to enlarge) The US introduces the “Visa Express” program in Saudi Arabia, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain a visa through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, “The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 12/12/2001; US CONGRESS, 9/20/2002] At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden are higher than they had ever been before— “off the charts” as one senator later puts it. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5/18/2002; US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002] A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda. [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 5/19/2002] Suspect Travel Agency - Ten Saudi travel agency companies are allowed to issue US visas as part of the program. One company, Fursan Travel and Tourism, is a subsidiary of Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp., a multibillion Saudi banking conglomerate. Fursan is also the only one out of the ten deputized to handle the collection and initial processing of US visas. After 9/11, the CIA will suggest taking action against Al Rajhi for its suspected support of Islamist militancy, but the Bush Administration will decide not to do anything (see Mid-2003 and Mid-2003). It is believed that al-Qaeda and other militant groups advised their operatives to use Al Rajhi for their banking needs (see Before September 11, 2001). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/13/2003] Used by 9/11 Plotters - Five hijackers—Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad—use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US. [US CONGRESS, 9/20/2002] Alomari has a bank account with Al Rajhi, but it is unknown if he or any of the other hijackers use Fursan, the Al Rajhi subsidiary, since the names of travel agencies do not appear on copies of the hijackers’ visa applications that are later made public. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/13/2003] Even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will successfully get a US Visa through the “Visa Express” program in July (using a false name but real photograph), despite a posted $2 million reward for his capture. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/27/2004] Saudi Visas Almost Never Rejected - Only three percent of Saudi visa applicants are turned down by US consular officers in fiscal 2000 and 2001. In contrast, about 25 percent of US visa seekers worldwide are rejected. Acceptance is even more difficult for applicants from countries alleged to have ties to terrorism such as Iraq or Iran. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/31/2001] The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002, after a public outcry. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/13/2003] Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Khalid Almihdhar, Fursan Travel and Tourism, Salem Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden, Saeed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Summer 2001: Hijackers Use a Variety of Means to Get into Cockpit During Test Flights According to the Boston Globe, during various cross-country test run flights in the summer of 2001, “Some of the hijackers were seen videotaping crews on their flights. Other times, they asked for cockpit tours. Two also rode in the cockpit of the planes of one national airline, said a pilot who requested anonymity. The practice, known as ‘jumpseating,’ allows certified airline pilots to use a spare seat in the cockpit when none is available in the passenger cabin. Airlines reciprocate to help pilots get home or to the city of their originating flight.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001] Abdulaziz Alomari fails in an effort to sit in a jumpseat in August 2001 (see August 1, 2001). Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early-Late June, 2001: Plot Facilitator Assists Four 9/11 Hijackers in United Arab Emirates

Documentation used by Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi in the United Arab Emirates. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi assists four hijackers transiting Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on their way to the US: Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Salem Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, and Saeed Alghamdi. Banihammad stays at al-Hawsawi’s flat in nearby Sharjah for two or three weeks and they open bank accounts together (see June 25, 2001 and Early August-August 22, 2001), and al-Hawsawi recognizes Alghamdi and Alhazmi from Afghanistan. He coordinates their arrival dates in telephone conversations with Mohamed Atta (see Late June-August, 2001) and then purchases tickets for them, paying for Alomari and Alhazmi. Al-Hawsawi provides this information to the US under interrogation, which is considered by some to make it unreliable (see June 16, 2004), and then again before a military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay to determine his combat status (see March 9-April 28, 2007). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/21/2007 ] It is unclear who assisted the nine muscle hijackers who transited Dubai before this: Waleed Alshehri, Satam Al Suqami, Ahmed Alghamdi, Maqed Moqed, Hamza Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alhaznawi, and Wail Alshehri (see April 11-June 28, 2001 and April 23-June 29, 2001). Entity Tags: Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 18, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Obtains US Visa Using Passport with Fraudulent Travel Stamps Future 9/11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari obtains a US visa from the American consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 525] The visa is issued by Shayna Steinger, a consular official who apparently issues the 9/11 hijackers with 12 visas (see July 1, 2000). [9/11 COMMISSION, 12/30/2002, PP. 2; OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (US DEPARTMENT OF STATE), 1/30/2003] Alomari’s application is incomplete, as he lists his home address as the Alqudos Hotel in Jeddah. He is not interviewed and the application is submitted by Attar Travel as a part of the Visa Express program (see May 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 25 ] Further, Alomari leaves blank the fields for his sex, his wife’s name, and his school’s address, although he says he is a student. He claims to be a tourist, that he wants to stay two months from June 25, and that he will first stay at the JKK Whyndam Hotel. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 6/18/2001] The 9/11 Commission will say Alomari’s passport contains fraudulent travel stamps whose use will subsequently be associated with al-Qaeda. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 563-4; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 25 ] Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari, Shayna Steinger, US Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Office Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 27-August 23, 2001: Hijackers Open Bank Accounts in New Jersey, Information Sufficient to Roll Up Plot All the hijackers based in New Jersey open at least one bank account there:

Hani Hanjour opens an account with the Hudson United Bank on June 27, 2001; 
He opens another account with the same bank three days later, when Nawaf Alhazmi also opens one; 
Ahmed Alghamdi, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Majed Moqed open accounts with the Dime Savings Bank on July 9, 2001; 
Khalid Almihdhar opens an account with the Hudson United Bank on July 18, 2001. He closes it on August 31; 
Salem Alhazmi opens an account with the Hudson United Bank on July 21, 2001; 
Abdulaziz Alomari opens an account with the Hudson United Bank on July 26, 2001; 
Khalid Almihdhar opens an account with the First Union National Bank on August 22, 2001 with a $50 deposit. He changes his contact address on September 5; 
Hani Hanjour opens an account with First Union National Bank on August 23, 2001 with a $50 deposit. He then attempts to withdraw $5,000 on September 5 and $4,900 from it on September 7, despite it containing nothing but the original $50. Unable to make the withdrawal, he cashes a $20 check instead. Hanjour closes the account the next day. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] These hijackers will subsequently fly on three of the planes on 9/11. In its Terrorist Financing monograph the 9/11 Commission will note: “Among other things they used the debit cards to pay for hotel rooms—activity that would have enabled the FBI to locate them, had the FBI been able to get the transaction records fast enough. Moreover, Alhazmi used his debit card on August 27 to buy tickets for himself… and fellow Flight 77 hijacker Salem Alhazmi. If the FBI had found either Almihdhar or Nawaf Alhazmi, it could have found the other. They not only shared a common bank but frequently were together when conducting transactions. After locating Almihdhar and Alhazmi, the FBI could have potentially linked them through financial records to the other Flight 77 hijackers… Nawaf Alhazmi and Flight 77 pilot Hani Hanjour had opened separate savings accounts at the same small New Jersey bank at the same time and both gave the same address. On July 9, 2001, the other Flight 77 muscle hijacker, Majed Moqed, opened an account at another small New Jersey bank at the same time as Nawaf Alhazmi, and used the same address. Given timely access to the relevant records and sufficient time to conduct a follow-up investigation, the FBI could have shown that Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, and Salem al Hazmi were connected to potential terrorist operatives Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 58-59, 141 ] The hijackers also open several other bank accounts (see June 28-July 7, 2000).

Entity Tags: Hani Hanjour, Ahmed Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Salem Alhazmi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, 9/11 Commission, Majed Moqed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 2001: Seven 9/11 Hijackers Allegedly Obtain IDs in New Jersey FBI Director Robert Mueller will later tell the joint inquiry of Congress that, “In July 2001, Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed Alghamdi, and Majed Moqed purchased personal identification cards at Apollo Travel in Paterson, New Jersey. Atta purchased a Florida identification card, while the others purchased New Jersey identification cards.” [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] Although the travel agency’s owner will be interviewed several times after 9/11 and will mention selling plane tickets to Atta and Nawaf Alhazmi, he will never mention selling them ID cards (see June 19-25, 2001 and March 2001-September 1, 2001). [BERGEN RECORD, 9/27/2001; BERGEN RECORD, 9/27/2001; CNN, 10/29/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/19/2002] Neither the 9/11 Commission or any other body will say any hijacker received an ID card from Apollo. However, the Commission will say that a similar group of hijackers obtained similar ID cards around this time (see (July-August 2001)). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 27 ] Some of these cards may have been obtained from Mohamed el-Atriss, who will be sentenced to jail for selling the hijackers false ID (see (July-August 2001) and November 2002-June 2003). El-Atriss will be co-operating with the FBI at the time Mueller makes this statement and will have promised to “keep his eyes and ears open” for other terrorists (see September 13, 2001-Mid 2002). Entity Tags: Ahmed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Robert S. Mueller III, Nawaf Alhazmi, Mohamed el-Atriss, Mohamed Atta, Apollo Travel, Khalid Almihdhar, 9/11 Commission, Majed Moqed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(July-August 2001): Some 9/11 Hijackers Obtain Fake IDs Edit

Nawaf Alhazmi’s USA ID card, recovered from the Pentagon crash site. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] (click image to enlarge) Khalid Almihdhar obtains a fake USA ID card from forger Mohamed el-Atriss. Abdulaziz Alomari also obtains fake ID, an international driver’s license, from el-Atriss, and some of the other hijackers may do as well. [NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, 8/20/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 6/25/2003; LANCE, 2006, PP. 372-3; BERGEN RECORD, 9/11/2006] USA ID cards are not issued by governmental organizations, as are passports and driver’s licenses, for example. They are marketed by the manufacturer as being suitable for frequent customers to small businesses, such as VIP diners at a restaurant, gym members, and visitors to a check cashing store. [USAIDSYSTEMS (.COM), 7/1/2007] El-Atriss, who is called seven times by Hani Hanjour and also by another unknown hijacker, is an associate of Waleed al-Noor, a co-conspirator in the 1993 ‘Landmarks’ bomb plot (see June 24, 1993), and will be sentenced to six months in jail after 9/11 despite being of assistance to the FBI (see Before September 11, 2001, September 13, 2001-Mid 2002, and November 2002-June 2003). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 7/3/2003; LANCE, 2006, PP. 372-3; BERGEN RECORD, 9/11/2006] An image of Almihdhar’s card, which gives his address as a hotel where he stayed for two nights after returning to the US a few days before, will be reproduced in the 9/11 Commission’s Terrorism Travel Monograph, but the Commission will fail to point out it was a fake. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 192 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 52 ] Five other hijackers obtain USA ID cards around this time: Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Majed Moqed, and Ahmed Alghamdi. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 27-29, 31-32, 34-44 ] Almihdhar’s card is similar to some of these hijackers’ USA ID cards, indicating they may also be fake, although this is not certain. Nawaf Alhazmi’s USA ID card contains the same hotel address and the same expiry date as Almihdhar’s card. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Salem Alhazmi’s card contains the same expiry date, indicating it was issued at a time Salem Alhazmi was out of the country (see April 23-June 29, 2001). In addition, the serial numbers are similar: the number of Salem Alhazmi’s card, which was supposedly issued on July 1 or 2, is 3408826-A, whereas the number of Almihdhar’s card, which the 9/11 Commission says was issued eight or nine days later, is 3408825-A. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 192 ; TIME, 8/29/2005] The fake document for Alomari is purchased from el-Atriss’ All Service Plus business in Paterson, New Jersey, by fellow hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi. [CBS NEWS, 7/31/2002; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 61 ; BERGEN RECORD, 9/11/2006] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Majed Moqed, Mohamed el-Atriss, Salem Alhazmi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 7, 2001: Random Police Check Almost Uncovers Hijacker Meeting Near New York City Police officer Dave Agar in South Hackensack, New Jersey, is searching the parking lots of cheap motels, looking for suspicious cars. He submits the license plate number of a 1988 Toyota parked outside the Jade East motel to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computer database frequently used by every level of law enforcement. He discovers that Nawaf Alhazmi owns the car. The computer record shows no outstanding warrants for Alhazmi (though it does give other information, including his address in San Diego). Agar makes a record of his search and continues his patrol. It is later discovered that Abdulaziz Alomari registered a room in the Jade East motel from July 6-13, and Khalid Almihdhar stayed most of that week with Alhazmi at the nearby Congress Inn. It is also discovered that Almihdhar, Alhazmi, and two or three other men had dinner together at a local diner. Police speculate the hijackers were holding a meeting to discuss their plot. One officer later says, “You wonder what would have happened if the check had turned up something on Alhazmi. We certainly would have brought him in for questioning.” [BERGEN RECORD, 7/11/2002; BERGEN RECORD, 5/18/2004] In late August, an FBI agent will look for Alhazmi and Almihdhar in the New York City area, but he will fail to check NCIC or car registration records that would have revealed the record of Agar’s search mentioning Alhazmi’s name (see September 5, 2001 and September 4-5, 2001). Entity Tags: National Crime Information Center, Dave Agar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 1, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Fails in Test to Get in Airplane Cockpit During Flight

Abdulaziz Alomari. [Source: FBI] 9/11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari tests airline security while flying across the US. He boards USAir flight 608 from Las Vegas to New York City. Before the flight takes off, he tells a flight attendant that he is a pilot and wants to sit in the jumpseat (a spare seat in the cockpit) to observe the pilots for the whole flight. When asked for his pilot credentials, he says he is just a student pilot. Alomari is allowed in the cockpit, but only for a short while before take-off. The pilots get the impression he doesn’t know much about flying. Half way through the flight, he tries to get back into the cockpit by claiming that he’d lost a valuable pen while in there earlier, but he is not allowed back in. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 296-297] Although this story is not confirmed by other sources, several of the hijackers do fly to and from Las Vegas at this time (see May 24-August 14, 2001 and August 1, 2001). Apparently the hijackers repeatedly attempt to ride on jumpseats in the summer of 2001 and are sometimes successful, sometimes not (see Summer 2001). Some news stories after 9/11 will allege that the hijackers did use jumpseats on 9/11 (see November 23, 2001). Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 1-2, 2001: Hijackers Illegally Purchase Virginia Identity Cards

This Amhed Al-Ghamdi photo comes from his Virginia ID card, the only one publicly released by the 9/11 Commission. [Source: 9/11 Commission] Hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar meet Luis Martinez-Flores, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia. Martinez-Flores is paid $100 cash to accompany the two to a local Department of Motor Vehicles office and sign forms attesting to their permanent residence in Virginia. Given new state identity cards, the cards are used the next day to get Virginia identity cards for several (five to seven) additional hijackers, including Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, and Salem Alhazmi. [ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 9/28/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/16/2001] Entity Tags: Ahmed Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Luis Martinez-Flores, Majed Moqed, Salem Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 16, 2001: Moussaoui’s Belongings Possess Information Sufficient to Roll Up 9/11 Plot

A letter that Zacarias Moussaoui had in his possession when he was arrested. It is signed by Yazid Sufaat, whose apartment was used for a 9/11 planning meeting in January 2000 that was monitored by the authorities. [Source: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division] (click image to enlarge) After Zacarias Moussaoui is arrested, the FBI wishes to search his possessions (see August 16, 2001 and August 23-27, 2001). According to a presentation made by FBI agent Aaron Zebley at Moussaoui’s trial, the belongings are sufficient to potentially connect Moussaoui to eleven of the 9/11 hijackers: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Fayez Banihammad, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Hamza Alghamdi, Satam Al Suqami, and Waleed Alshehri. The connections would be made, for example, through Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who spoke with Moussaoui on the telephone and wired him money (see July 29, 2001-August 3, 2001), and who was linked to three of the hijacker pilots from their time in Germany together (see November 1, 1998-February 2001). Bin al-Shibh also received money from Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, who was connected to hijacker Fayez Ahmed Banihammad (see June 25, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Moussaoui’s notebook contained two recognizable control numbers for the Western Union wire transfers from bin al-Shibh and, according to McClatchy newspapers, a check on these numbers “would probably have uncovered other wires in the preceding days” to bin al-Shibh from al-Hawsawi. [MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS, 9/11/2007] The discovery of the eleven hijackers could potentially have led to the discovery of some or all of the remaining eight plot members, as they were brothers (Wail and Waleed Alshehri, Nawaf and Salem Alhazmi), opened bank accounts together (see May 1-July 18, 2001 and June 27-August 23, 2001), lived together (see March 2001-September 1, 2001), obtained identity documents together (see April 12-September 7, 2001 and August 1-2, 2001), arrived in the US together (see April 23-June 29, 2001), and booked tickets on the same four flights on 9/11 (see August 25-September 5, 2001). Entity Tags: Saeed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Satam Al Suqami, Waleed M. Alshehri, Zacarias Moussaoui, Ziad Jarrah, Wail Alshehri, Mohand Alshehri, Nawaf Alhazmi, Marwan Alshehhi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohamed Atta, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Abdulaziz Alomari, Hani Hanjour, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 25-September 5, 2001: Hijackers Spend Over $30,000 on 9/11 Tickets All the hijackers book their flights for 9/11, using their apparent real names. The total cost of the tickets is in excess of $30,000:

August 25: Khalid Almihdhar, who was watchlisted two days previously (see August 23, 2001), and Majed Moqed book tickets for American Airlines flight 77 using the AA.com website. They are collected from the American Airlines ticket counter at Baltimore Washington International Airport on September 5. The tickets were not mailed, because the shipping address did not match the credit card address. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72, 74 ] 
August 26: Wail Alshehri buys a ticket for American Airlines flight 11 over the phone with his debit card. His brother Waleed buys a ticket for the same flight at the AA.com website using his debit card. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Nawaf Alhazmi, who was watchlisted four days before (see August 23, 2001), buys tickets for himself and his brother Salem for American Airlines flight 77 through Travelocity from a Kinkos computer in Laurel, Maryland, using his debit card (see August 25-27, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Saeed Alghamdi uses his debit card to purchase tickets for United Airlines flight 93 for himself and Ahmed Alnami from the UA.com website. The tickets are not paid for until September 5, 2001, due to a problem with the debit card. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Fayez Ahmed Banihammad uses his visa card to purchase tickets for himself and Mohamed Alshehri for United Airlines flight 175 over the telephone. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72-73 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 28: Mohamed Atta uses his debit card to buy tickets for American Airlines flight 11 for himself and Abdulaziz Alomari from the AA.com website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 28: Waleed Alshehri purchases a ticket for Satam Al Suqami for American Airlines flight 11 in person from the company’s counter at Fort Lauderdale Airport. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 73 ] 
August 28: Marwan Alshehhi purchases a ticket for United Airlines flight 175 from the company’s counter at Miami International Airport. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 73 ] 
August 29: Hamza Alghamdi books tickets for himself and Ahmed Alghamdi for United Airlines flight 175 from the UA.com website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 29: Ahmed Alhaznawi creates a new e-mail account and Travelocity.com account and uses them to book a ticket for himself on United Airlines flight 93. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 74 ]
August 30: Ziad Jarrah purchases a ticket for himself for United Airlines flight 93 from the UA website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 31: Hani Hanjour purchases a ticket for American Airlines flight 77 from ATS Advanced Travel Services in Totowa, New Jersey, paying in cash. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 

At least five tickets are one way only. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/18/2001] There are numerous connections between the hijackers booked on the four flights by this point:

Hijackers on different 9/11 flights arrived in the US on the same plane. For example, Salem Alhazmi (Flight 77) arrived with Abdulaziz Alomari (Flight 11), and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad (Flight 175) arrived with Saeed Alghamdi (Flight 93) (see April 23-June 29, 2001); 
Two of the pilots, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, train and live together, and have a joint bank account (see (Mid-July 2000 - Early January 2001), July 6-December 19, 2000, and June 28-July 7, 2000); 
Hijackers from different planes open bank accounts together (see May 1-July 18, 2001 and June 27-August 23, 2001); and 
The hijackers obtain identity documents together (see April 12-September 7, 2001 and August 1-2, 2001). 

Six hijackers also provide the same phone number and three use the same address. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/22/2001] Entity Tags: Ahmed Alnami, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Hamza Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Hani Hanjour, Marwan Alshehhi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Wail Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Waleed M. Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alomari, Satam Al Suqami, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Mohand Alshehri, Saeed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 7, 2001: Alshehhi Transfers Money to Other Hijacker’s Account in Saudi Arabia Edit

Marwan Alshehhi transfers $200 from his and Atta’s joint account at SunTrust Bank to fellow hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari’s account in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia. Alomari’s account is with Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp, which will later be unsuccessfully sued for allegedly supporting terrorism (see August 15, 2002). The transfer costs $50 plus charges. The reason for the transfer is not clear, as Alomari, who also has an account with the Hudson United Bank in the US (see June 27-August 23, 2001), had only left Florida the previous day and will be in Boston at the same time as Alshehhi on September 9. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA; ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] Records show that Alshehhi completes the transaction just before 4.00 p.m. However, according to some accounts, Alshehhi is drinking at Shuckums bar at this time (see September 7, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/13/2001; OBSERVER, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari, Marwan Alshehhi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 8, 2001: Hijacker Reports Flight 11 Ticket Lost Flight 11 hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari completes a lost ticket form and asks for a replacement ticket for his 9/11 flight. The circumstances in which he lost his ticket are unclear, but he will be issued with a new one the following day at the American Airlines terminal at Logan Airport in Boston. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 265, 271 ] Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 10, 2001: Atta and Alomari Make Mysterious Trip to Portland, Maine

Hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari using an ATM in Portland, Maine, on September 10, at 8:41 p.m. Mohamed Atta can be seen further back in the first and last image. [Source: FBI] Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari arrive in Portland, Maine, where they spend the night. In October 2001, the FBI will release detailed information and photographs of the two hijackers in the town in an apparent attempt to find out from the public more about what they were doing there. According to the FBI, the pair leave Boston in the afternoon in a blue Nissan Altima and drive to South Portland, where they check into a Comfort Inn around 5:45 p.m. They are caught on security cameras visiting a gas station, two ATMs, and shopping at a Wal-Mart. The next morning they fly back to Boston, where they board the airplane they will hijack. [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/28/2001; BOSTON HERALD, 10/5/2001; PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 10/5/2001; AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 11/12/2001] In September 2002, the New York Times speculates, “There have been many theories [for going to Portland]: that they made contact with a confederate in Portland who gave them the final go-ahead, or more likely, that by arriving on a connecting flight, they would avoid the security check in Boston. None of those explanations seems entirely satisfactory, given the risk….” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/11/2002] The 9/11 Commission will later speculate that the most “plausible theory” is that the hijackers make the trip so as to help avoid suspicion that might be created from all ten hijackers departing on Boston flights arriving in the Boston airport at roughly the same time. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/13/2005] Entity Tags: Comfort Inn, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, 9/11 Commission, Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Before September 11, 2001: Militant Operatives Told to Use Prominent Saudi Bank

Al-Rajhi Bank logo. [Source: Al-Rajhi Bank.] A 2003 CIA report will claim that extremists “ordered operatives in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Yemen” to use accounts at the Al-Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. The Al-Rajhi Bank is one of the biggest Saudi banks, with billions in assets. Who gave this order and when has not been made public. However, some examples of militants using the bank are later alleged:

When al-Qaeda leaer Mamdouh Mahmud Salim is arrested in late 1998 (see September 20, 1998), he is carrying records of an Al-Rajhi account. 
When Wadih El-Hage’s house in Kenya is raided in 1997, investigators find contact information in his address book for Salah Al-Rajhi, one of the billionaire co-owners of the bank (see Shortly After August 21, 1997). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/26/2007] 
Some of the 9/11 hijackers use the bank. For instance, Hani Hanjour is sent wire transfers from Al-Rajhi bank in Saudi Arabia at least six times in 1998 and 1999. In September 2000, Nawaf Alhazmi uses $2,000 in Al-Rajhi traveler’s checks paid for by an unnamed person in Saudi Arabia. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 19, 31, 33, 34, 41, 87 ] And Abdulaziz Alomari has an account at the bank (see September 7, 2001). 
The bank is used by a number of charities suspected of militant links, including the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), the Muslim World League, the Saudi branch of Red Crescent, Global Relief Foundation, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/13/2003] 
An al-Qaeda affiliate in Spain holds accounts at the bank. According to a fax later recovered by Spanish police, the group’s chief financier tells a business partner to use the bank for their transactions. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/13/2003] 
In 2000, Al-Rajhi Bank couriers deliver money to insurgents in Indonesia to buy weapons and bomb-making materials. 
According to a 2003 German report, bank co-founder Sulaiman Abdul Aziz al-Rajhi contributes to a charity front buying weapons for Islamic militants in Bosnia in the early 1990s. He also was on the “Golden Chain,” a list of early al-Qaeda funders (see 1988-1989). 
A US intelligence memo from shortly after 9/11 says that a money courier for al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri travels on a visa obtained by the bank. 

The 2003 CIA report will state: “Islamic extremists have used Al-Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation since at least the mid-1990s as a conduit for terrorist transactions.… Senior al-Rajhi family members have long supported Islamic extremists and probably know that terrorists use their bank.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/26/2007] Entity Tags: International Islamic Relief Organization, Red Crescent (Saudi branch), World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Global Relief Foundation, Sulaiman Abdul Aziz al-Rajhi, Salah al-Rajhi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hani Hanjour, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, Nawaf Alhazmi, Wadih El-Hage, Muslim World League Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Before September 11, 2001: Some 9/11 Hijackers Have Same Mailing Address as ‘Blind Sheikh’ and His Associate Did

The Sphinx Trading sign. [Source: National Geographic] Some of the 9/11 hijackers rent mailboxes from a company called Sphinx Trading, which was also used by ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdul-Rahman and at least one of his associates. The mailboxes are located in Jersey City, New Jersey, four doors down from the mosque where Abdul-Rahman was imam in the early 1990s. El Sayyid Nosair, who assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane and was linked to the Islamic militant cell Abdul-Rahman headed (see November 5, 1990 and December 7, 1991), also had a mailbox there before he was arrested in 1990. Sphinx Trading is owned by Waleed al-Noor, who was named an unindicted co-conspirator at the ‘Landmarks’ bomb plot trial (see June 24, 1993). The hijackers will later obtain fake IDs from al-Noor’s partner, Mohamed el-Atriss. The names of the hijackers who had mailboxes there are never given, but in the summer of 2001 el-Atriss interacts with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar, and Hani Hanjour (see (July-August 2001)), at least. [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/25/2003; NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, 10/20/2003; LANCE, 2006, PP. 372-4; BERGEN RECORD, 9/11/2006] An FBI agent will later comment: “The fact that this location was where Almihdhar, in particular, got his bogus credentials, is not only shocking, it makes me angry. The [Joint Terrorist Task Force] in the [New York Office] had this location back in 1991. In the mid-90s they listed al-Noor, the coowner, as a coconspirator, unindicted in the plot to blow up bridges and tunnels. And now we find out that this is the precise location where the most visible of all the hijackers in the US got his ID? Incredible. All the Bureau’s New York Office had to do was sit on that place over the years and they would have broken right into the 9/11 plot.” [LANCE, 2006, PP. 373] Entity Tags: Hani Hanjour, El Sayyid Nosair, Waleed al-Noor, Sphinx Trading, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Nawaf Alhazmi, Mohamed el-Atriss, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

5:33 a.m.-5:40 a.m. September 11, 2001: Hijackers Drive to Airport Edit

Having spent the previous night at the Comfort Inn in Portland, Maine [see 1], hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari check out at 5:33 a.m. and drive their rented Nissan to the nearby Portland International Jetport, entering its parking lot at 5:40 a.m. The FBI Wikipedia will later seize their car there.[14]Their flight is due to take off for Boston at 6:00 a.m. [see 2]. The Boston Globe points out, “Any significant delay would foil [Atta’s] big plans for the day.” [15] The 9/11 Commission later concludes: “The Portland detour almost prevented Atta and Omari from making Flight 11 out of Boston.” [16]

5:43 a.m. September 11, 2001: Hijackers Check in at Portland Airport; Atta Becomes Angry with Ticket Agent Edit

Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari check in at the US Airways counter at Portland International Jetport.[17] [18] They are wearing ties and jackets. Atta checks in two bags, Alomari none. Atta is randomly selected for additional security scrutiny by CAPPS [see 3]. However, the only consequence is that his checked bags will be held off the plane until it is confirmed that he has boarded. [19][20][21]

Noting that their flight is soon due to leave, the ticket agent who checks them in, Michael Tuohey, says, “You’re cutting it close.” [22] Tuohey thinks the pair seems unusual. He notices they both have $2,500 first-class, one-way tickets. He later comments, “You don’t see many of those.” Atta looks “like a walking corpse. He looked so angry.” In contrast, Tuohey says, Alomari can barely speak English and has “a goofy smile, I can’t believe he knew he was going to die that day.” Tuohey will later recount, “I thought they looked like two Arab terrorists but then I berated myself for the stereotype and did nothing.”[23][21]

Atta becomes angry when Tuohey informs him he will have to check in again in Boston. He complains that he was assured he would have a “one-step check-in.” [24][25]

Tuohey will be recalled to work later in the day to speak to an unnamed FBI agent about his encounter with Atta and Alomari. He is shown video footage of them passing through the airport’s security checkpoint upstairs [see 4]. Although recognizing the two men, he notices that in the video they are no longer wearing the jackets and ties they’d had on when checking in just minutes before. He assumes they must have taken these off and tucked them into their carry-on baggage. He is also informed that the security camera behind his own desk, which should have captured the two hijackers, has in fact been out of order for some time.[22] [21]

(Between 5:45 a.m. and 5:53 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Two Hijackers Caught on Video as They Board a Flight to Boston; Footage Shows Two Times Edit

Minutes after arriving at the Portland International Jetport, hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari pass through the airport’s single security checkpoint, on the way to boarding their 6 a.m. flight to Boston,Colgan Air Flight 5930. The checkpoint has a surveillance camera pointing at it, which captures them as they go through. [26]

Some reports say the pair passes through at 5:53 a.m.[27] Other reports put it earlier, at 5:45 a.m. [28] Strangely, when stills from the surveillance camera are later publicly released, they show two time stamps, one of 5:45 and another of 5:53. [29] When they’d checked in just minutes earlier, Atta and Alomari were observed wearing ties and jackets [see 5]. But in the security video footage, they have just open-necked shirts, with no jackets or ties. [30]

(6:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Two Hijackers Fly to Boston AirportEdit

Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari’s flight from Portland to Boston Wikipedia takes off. [31] Their plane, Colgan Air Flight 5930, is a 19-seat Beechcraft 1900 Wikipedia. [32][33] Fellow passengers Vincent Meisner and Roger Quirion will later say Atta and Alomari board separately, keep quiet, and do not draw attention to themselves. [34][35] Quirion, says: “They struck me as business travelers. They were sitting down, talking, seems like they were going over some paperwork.” [36]

6:45 a.m. September 11, 2001: Hijacker’s Connecting Flight Arrives in Boston Edit

Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari’s Portland-Boston flight arrives on time at Boston’s Logan Airport. [DER SPIEGEL, 2002] They cross a parking lot on their way to the departure terminal for Flight 11, and are observed asking for directions. The other three Flight 11 hijackers arrive at Logan in a rented car around this same time (see (6:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 5 ] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, Logan Airport Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(7:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Hijack Suspects’ Bags Contain Airline Uniforms Edit

Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari board Flight 11. Atta’s bags are not loaded onto the plane in time and are later found by investigators. Investigators later find airline uniforms and many other remarkable items.[37][38] It is later reported that at least two other hijackers on Flight 11 use stolen uniforms and IDs to board the plane.[39][40]

(Before 8:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Hijackers Identified by Seat Locations Edit

in a template

Having been told by flight attendant Amy Sweeney the seat locations of three hijackers [see 6], American Airlines Flight service manager Michael Woodward orders a colleague at Logan Airport to look up those seat locations on the reservations computer.

The names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards of these hijackers are quickly identified: Abdulaziz Alomari is in 9G, Mohamed Atta is in 9D, and Satam Al Suqami is in 10B. 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey notes that from this information, American Airlines officials monitoring the call would probably have known or assumed right away that the hijacking was connected to al-Qaeda. [41][42]

Shortly After September 11, 2001: Three More 9/11 Hijacker Passports Recovered Edit

The Saudi passport of Saeed Alghamdi, said to be discovered in the wreckage of Flight 93. [Source: FBI] According to the 9/11 Commission, the passports of two hijackers are discovered in the wreckage of Flight 93. One passport, belonging to Saeed Alghamdi, is damaged but still readable. The other passport, belonging to Ziad Jarrah, is burned most of the way through, but part of his photograph is still visible. In addition, the passport of hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari is recovered because apparently it was put in Mohamed Atta’s luggage and the luggage did not get put on the flight Alomari and Atta were hijacking before it took off (see September 11-13, 2001). The recovery of these passports will not be made public at the time and will only be mentioned in passing in 2004 by the 9/11 Commission. A fourth passport, that of Satam Al Suqami, was also recovered on a street near the WTC. That did become immediate news and caused skepticism by many who wondered how a paper document could survive such a crash (see After 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/26/2004] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Abdulaziz Alomari, Saeed Alghamdi, Satam Al Suqami Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 15-17, 2001: Media Reports Suggest Some Hijackers Received US Military Training Edit

A series of articles suggests that at least six of the 9/11 hijackers trained at US military bases. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001; NEWSWEEK, 9/15/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001]

Three of the alleged hijackers—Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alghamdi, and Saeed Alghamdi—are revealed as having listed the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, as their permanent address on their driver’s licenses and car registrations, between 1996 and 1998. According to military records, the three used 10 Radford Boulevard as their address. This is a base roadway where residences for foreign-military flight trainees are located. Hamza Alghamdi was also connected to the Pensacola base (see 1996-August 2000). [NEWSWEEK, 9/15/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001; PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, 9/17/2001] 
Air Force spokesman Colonel Ken McClellan states that Saeed Alghamdi also attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. The Washington Post and Time magazine say he graduated from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. (It is unclear whether Alghamdi therefore attended both Defense Language Institutes, or if this is simply a reporting error.) [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001; GANNETT NEWS SERVICE, 9/17/2001; TIME, 9/24/2001] 
According to a high-ranking Pentagon official, another alleged hijacker was a former Saudi Air Force pilot who may have received training in strategy and tactics at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/15/2001; NEWSWEEK, 9/15/2001] 
A further hijacker—also said to be a former Saudi Air Force pilot—may have been given language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/15/2001; NEWSWEEK, 9/15/2001] 
A man called Abdulaziz Alomari (the same name as one of the suspected Flight 11 hijackers) attended Brooks Air Force Base Aerospace Medical School in San Antonio, Texas. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001; GANNETT NEWS SERVICE, 9/17/2001] 
Ken McClellan says a man with the name Mohamed Atta once attended the US International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama (see 1998). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001; GANNETT NEWS SERVICE, 9/17/2001] 

According to Newsweek, it is not unusual for foreign nationals to train at US military facilities. A former Navy pilot tells the magazine that during his years at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, “we always, always, always trained other countries’ pilots. When I was there two decades ago, it was Iranians. The shah was in power. Whoever the country du jour is, that’s whose pilots we train.” Newsweek adds that the “US has a long-standing agreement with Saudi Arabia… to train pilots for its National Guard.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/15/2001] The media stops looking into the hijackers’ possible US military connections after the Air Force makes a less than definitive statement, saying, “Some of the FBI suspects had names similar to those used by foreign alumni of US military courses. However discrepancies in their biographical data, such as birth dates 20 years off, indicate we are probably not talking about the same people.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Hamza Alghamdi, Ken McClellan, Ahmed Alnami, Abdulaziz Alomari, Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alghamdi, US Department of the Air Force Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 16-23, 2001: People with Hijacker Names and Identifying Details Are Still Alive

An oil worker named Salem Alhazmi claimed the media was using a picture of him and saying it was that of the alleged hijacker of the same name. [Source: Saudi Gazette] Reports appear in many newspapers suggesting that some of the people the US initially says were 9/11 hijackers are actually still alive and that the actual hijackers may have used stolen identities:

No media outlet has claimed that Hamza Alghamdi is still alive, but his family says the FBI photo “has no resemblance to him at all.” [ARAB NEWS, 9/22/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001] 
CNN shows a picture of a Saudi pilot called Saeed Alghamdi and claims it is the hijacker of the same name. However, the pilot is alive and working in Tunisia. The FBI listed the hijacker’s possible residence as Delray Beach, Florida, where the pilot trained in 1998, 1999, and 2000, which may be why CNN uses a photograph of the wrong person. The pilot returns to Saudi Arabia to avoid problems and CNN apologises for the error. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/14/2001; ARAB NEWS, 9/18/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001; BBC, 9/23/2001] 
A man named Salem Alhazmi claims he is the alleged hijacker of the same name, but he works in a petrochemical plant and had his passport stolen three years ago in Cairo. He says a picture being used in the media is of him. However, he is a different age to the hijacker, 26 not 21, has a different middle name, Ibrahim not Mohamed, and the photos appear to be of different people. In addition, the FBI does not release official pictures of the hijackers until a week after he makes this claim. The father of the other Salem Alhazmi says his son is missing, as is Salem’s brother and fellow hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/20/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001; GUARDIAN, 9/21/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/27/2001; SAUDI GAZETTE, 9/29/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 191 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] 
A man named Ahmed Alnami is alive and working as an administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001] He has never lost his passport and finds it “very worrying” that his identity appears to have been stolen. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] However, there is another Ahmed Alnami who is 10 years younger, and appears to be dead, according to his father. [ABC NEWS, 3/15/2002] Ahmed Alnami’s family says his FBI picture is correct. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001] 
A man called Abdulrahman Alomari is alive and works as a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; INDEPENDENT, 9/17/2001; BBC, 9/23/2001] He was a neighbour of Adnan Bukhari and Amer Kamfar, who were both wrongly suspected of involvement in the 9/11 attacks at the start of the investigation. He moved out of his home in Vero Beach, Florida, shortly before the attacks. [CNN, 9/14/2001] A man called Abdulaziz Alomari is an engineer with Saudi Telecoms. [BBC, 9/23/2001] He claims that his passport was stolen in 1995 while he was living in Denver, Colorado. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001] He says: “They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive.” [LONDON TIMES, 9/20/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] The FBI initially gave two possible birthdates for Abdulaziz Alomari. One is apparently that of the engineer, the other of the alleged hijacker. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/14/2001; NEW YORKER, 5/27/2002; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] 
The Saudi government has claimed that Mohand Alshehri is alive and that he was not in the US on 9/11, but no more details are known. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/29/2001] 
The brothers Waleed M. Alshehri and Wail Alshehri are alive. Their father is a diplomat who has been stationed in the US and Bombay, India. A Saudi spokesman says: “This is a respectable family. I know his sons, and they’re both alive.” [ARAB NEWS, 9/19/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001] There is a second pair of Saudi brothers named Wail and Waleed M. who may have been the real hijackers. Their father says they have been missing since December 2000. [ARAB NEWS, 9/17/2001; ABC NEWS, 3/15/2002] The still-living Waleed M. Alshehri is a pilot with Saudi Airlines, studying in Morocco. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/22/2001] He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Dayton Beach in the United States. [BBC, 9/23/2001; DAILY TRUST (ABUJA), 9/24/2001] He was interviewed by US officials in Morocco, and cleared of all charges against him (though apparently the FBI is still using his picture). [EMBRY RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY, 9/21/2001] The still living Waleed Alshehri is also apparently a pilot. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001] He claims he saw his picture on CNN and recognized it from when he studied flying in Florida. But he also says he has no brother named Wail. [AS-SHARQ AL-AWSAT (LONDON), 9/22/2001] 
Mohamed Atta’s father says he spoke to his son on the phone on September 12, 2001. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/19/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/20/2001] 
On September 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation distributes a “special alert” to its member banks asking for information about the attackers. The list includes “Al-Midhar, Khalid. Alive.” The Justice Department later calls this a “typo.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/20/2001; COX NEWS SERVICE, 10/21/2001] The BBC says, “There are suggestions that another suspect, Khalid Almihdhar, may also be alive.” [BBC, 9/23/2001] The Guardian says Almihdhar is believed to be alive, but investigators are looking into three possibilities. Either his name was stolen for a hijacker alias, or he allowed his name to be used so that US officials would think he died, or he died in the crash. [GUARDIAN, 9/21/2001] 
Majed Moqed was last seen by a friend in Saudi Arabia in 2000. This friend claims the FBI picture does not look like Moqed. [ARAB NEWS, 9/22/2001] 

The Official Account Evolves - The Saudi government insists that five of the Saudis mentioned as 9/11 hijackers are still alive. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/21/2001] On September 20, FBI Director Robert Mueller says: “We have several others that are still in question. The investigation is ongoing, and I am not certain as to several of the others.” [NEWSDAY, 9/21/2001] On September 27, after all of the revelations mentioned above are reported in the media, Mueller will state, “We are fairly certain of a number of them.” [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/28/2001] On September 20, the London Times reports, “Five of the hijackers were using stolen identities, and investigators are studying the possibility that the entire suicide squad consisted of impostors.” [LONDON TIMES, 9/20/2001] The mainstream media briefly doubts some of the hijackers’ identities. For instance, a story in The Observer on September 23 puts the names of hijackers like Saeed Alghamdi in quotation marks. [OBSERVER, 9/23/2001] However, the story will die down, and it will hardly be noticed when Mueller states on November 2, 2001: “As I have indicated before, one of the initial responsibilities of that investigation was to determine who the hijackers were. We at this point definitely know the 19 hijackers who were responsible for that catastrophe.” [OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, 11/2/2001] A law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, will confirm that the hijackers’ names released in late September, on the 28th, are the true identities of all 19 hijackers. The Associated Press story quoting him will add that “the names were those listed on the planes’ passenger manifests and investigators were certain that those were the names the hijackers used when they entered the United States.” But the Saudi Institute, an independent human rights watchdog group that researches the hijackers’ identities, will maintain that Abdulaziz Alomari used someone else’s passport. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11/3/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11/3/2002] In 2003, FBI spokesman Bill Carter will say: “There has been no change in thought about the identities of those who boarded those planes. It’s like saying my name is John Smith. There are a lot of people with the name of John Smith, but they’re not the same person.” When asked about Mueller’s comments, Carter will add, “He might have told Congress [about the identity theft], but we have done a thorough investigation and we are confident.” Carter will also comment that the bureau identified the hijackers “[t]hrough extensive investigation,” and, “We checked the flight manifests, their whereabouts in this country, and we interviewed witnesses who identified the hijackers.” [INSIGHT, 6/24/2003] The 9/11 Commission will later endorse the hijackers’ names published by the FBI around this time. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004] Entity Tags: Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/11 Commission, Majed Moqed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Almihdhar, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, William Carter, Waleed M. Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Robert S. Mueller III, Saeed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 15, 2002: Son of Saudi Official Associated with 9/ 11 Hijackers Edit

Saud al-Rashid. [Source: FBI] A picture of a young Saudi man named Saud al-Rashid is discovered on a CD-ROM that also contains the pictures of three 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, and Abdulaziz Alomari, in an al-Qaeda safe house in Pakistan. A senior US official says that investigators “were able to take this piece of information and it showed clear signals or lines that he was connected to 9/11.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 526] Al-Rashid was in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001, where he met 9/11 hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi “once or twice” in a guest house. [NEW YORK TIMES, 7/29/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 526] Six days after the raid, the US issues a worldwide dragnet to find him. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002] But they are unable to catch him because a few days later, he flees from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and turns himself in to the Saudi authorities. The Saudis apparently will not try him for any crime or allow the FBI to interview him. [CNN, 8/26/2002; CNN, 8/31/2002] Although detainees identify him as a candidate 9/11 hijacker, he claims not to have met Osama bin Laden or Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), or even have heard of al-Qaeda. Under interrogation, KSM says he was headstrong and immature and dropped out of the plot after returning to Saudi Arabia for a visa, either due to second thoughts or the influence of his family. However, doubts will be raised about the reliability of KSM’s statements under interrogation (see August 6, 2007). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 526] Intriguingly, Al-Rashid’s father is Hamid al-Rashid, a Saudi government official who paid a salary to Omar al-Bayoumi, an associate of both Almihdhar and Alhazmi who is later suspected of being a Saudi agent. [NEW YORK TIMES, 7/29/2003] Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Khalid Almihdhar, Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Saud al-Rashid, Hamid al-Rashid, Omar al-Bayoumi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 8-11, 2002: Interview with Al-Qaeda Leaders Is Broadcast

Abdulaziz Alomari filmed speaking in Afghanistan in early 2001. He stands in front of a large map of the world. [Source: Spiegel TV] Details of an Al Jazeera interview with al-Qaeda leaders Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see April, June, or August 2002) are widely publicized. [LONDON TIMES, 9/8/2002; AUSTRALIAN, 9/9/2002; GUARDIAN, 9/9/2002] But there are numerous doubts about this interview, since there is no video footage and only audio footage from bin al-Shibh. It has further been suggested that the broadcast of bin al-Shibh’s voice in the interview helps in his capture a few days later (see September 11, 2002). [OBSERVER, 9/15/2002; CBS NEWS, 10/9/2002] Al Jazeera also broadcasts footage of hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari speaking against the US filmed in Afghanistan in early 2001 and other footage of some other hijackers (see September 9, 2002). [FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Al Jazeera, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 9, 2002: Handling of 9/11 Hijackers’ Visa Applications Denounced Visa applications for the 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers are made public, and six separate experts agree: “All of them should have been denied entry [into the US].” Joel Mowbray, who first breaks the story for the conservative National Review, says he is shocked by what he saw: “I really was expecting al-Qaeda to have trained their operatives well, to beat the system. They didn’t have to beat the system, the system was rigged in their favor from the get-go.” A former US consular officer says the visas show a pattern of criminal negligence. Some examples: “Abdulaziz Alomari claimed to be a student but didn’t name a school; claimed to be married but didn’t name a spouse; under nationality and gender, he didn’t list anything.” “Khalid Almihdhar… simply listed ‘Hotel’ as his US destination—no name, no city, no state but no problem getting a visa.” Only one actually gave a US destination, and one stated his destination as “no.” Only Hani Hanjour had a slight delay in acquiring his visa. His first application was flagged because he wrote he wanted to visit for three years when the legal limit is two. When he returned two weeks later, he simply changed the form to read “one year” and was accepted. The experts agree that even allowing for chance, incompetence, and human error, the odds were that only a few should have been approved. [NATIONAL REVIEW, 10/9/2002; NEW YORK POST, 10/9/2002; ABC NEWS, 10/23/2002] In response to the revelation, the State Department says, “The fact is that with 20/20 hindsight, I’m sure one can always find a reason that you might have turned down a visa.” [NATION REVIEW ONLINE, 10/10/2002; STATE DEPARTMENT, 10/10/2002] Entity Tags: US Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Office, US Department of State, Al-Qaeda, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 21, 2002: 13 Hijackers Were Never Interviewed by US Consular Officials The General Accounting Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, releases a report asserting that at least 13 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were never interviewed by US consular officials before being granted visas to enter the US. This contradicts previous assurances from the State Department that 12 of the hijackers had been interviewed. It also found that, for 15 hijackers whose applications could be found, none had filled in the documents properly. Records for four other hijackers (the four non-Saudis, i.e., Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, and Marwan Al Shehhi) could not be checked because they were accidentally destroyed. [NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE, 10/21/2002; UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 10/21/2002 ; WASHINGTON POST, 10/22/2002] The State Department maintains that visa procedures were properly followed. In December 2002, Senators Jon Kyl (R) and Pat Roberts (R) state in a chapter of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that “if State Department personnel had merely followed the law and not granted non-immigrant visas to 15 of the 19 hijackers in Saudi Arabia… 9/11 would not have happened.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/19/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. PP. 653-673 ] Entity Tags: Pat Roberts, Salem Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, US Department of State, Satam Al Suqami, Ziad Jarrah, Wail Alshehri, Nawaf Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Marwan Alshehhi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alghamdi, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Abdulaziz Alomari, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Khalid Almihdhar, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Jon Kyl, Hamza Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Government Accountability Office, Majed Moqed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March 2004: CIA Finds 9/11 Hijackers Used 364 Aliases and Name Variants After investigating the 9/11 hijackers, the CIA finds that the 19 operatives used a total of 364 aliases, including different spellings of their own names and noms de guerre. Although some examples are made public, the full list is not disclosed. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 1, 5 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] However, an FBI timeline of hijacker movements made public in 2008 will mention some of the aliases. For example:

Hani Hanjour and Ahmed Alghamdi rent a New Jersey apartment using the names Hany Saleh and Ahmed Saleh. (Saleh is Hanjour’s middle name.) [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 144, 205 ] 
Fayez Ahmed Banihammad uses the aliases Abu Dhabi Banihammad and Fayey Rashid Ahmed. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 167, 174 ] 
Nawaf Alhazmi uses the aliases Nawaf Alharbi and Nawaf Alzmi Alhazmi. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 60 ; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 248 ] 
Mohamed Atta frequently likes to use variants of the name El Sayed, for instance calling himself Awaid Elsayed and even Hamburg Elsayed. Marwan Alshehhi also uses the Elsayed alias. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 125, 126 ] 
When Majed Moqed flies into the US on May 2, 2001, the name Mashaanmoged Mayed is on the flight manifest. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 139 ] 

In contrast to this, many reports emphasize that the hijackers usually used their own names. For example, the 9/11 Commission will say, “The hijackers opened accounts in their own names, using passports and other identification documents.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 22 ] In addition, a Commission staffer will tell UPI: “They did not need fake passports. The plotters all used their own passports to get into the country and once here, used US-issued ID documents whenever possible.” [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 8/17/2005] Entity Tags: Wail Alshehri, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Satam Al Suqami, Marwan Alshehhi, Salem Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Waleed M. Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed Alhaznawi, 9/11 Commission, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Hamza Alghamdi, Central Intelligence Agency, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alnami Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 21, 2004: 9/11 Commission Confused Over Hijackers’ ID Documents The 9/11 Commission attempts to make a list of all identity documents obtained by the hijackers, but its account, contained mostly in its Terrorist Travel Monograph, may be incomplete:

The Commission says several of the hijackers obtained USA ID cards in the summer of 2001 (see (July-August 2001)), although at least one, and possibly more of the cards is fake, and this is not mentioned by the Commission. According to it, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Abdulaziz Alomari obtained their cards on July 10. However, the Commission gives conflicting dates for Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, and Ahmed Alghamdi. For example, in one place it says Alghamdi got his card in July and in another it says he got it in August. At least one card, that of Khalid Almihdhar, is fake and ID forger Mohamed el-Atriss will be arrested after 9/11 and sentenced to jail for forging IDs for the hijackers (see (July-August 2001) and November 2002-June 2003). The Commission further says that the Alhazmi brothers’ cards were “found in the rubble at the Pentagon,” citing a US Secret Service report. Although an image of a damaged USA ID card belonging to Nawaf Alhazmi will be produced as evidence at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, according to the 9/11 Commission Salem Alhazmi was unable to produce any photo ID when checking in for his flight on 9/11 (see (7:25 a.m.-7:36 a.m.) September 11, 2001), so it is unclear how his card came to be at the Pentagon. In addition, in the Commission’s Terrorist Travel Monograph, the mention of Salem Alhazmi’s card in the list of hijackers’ ID will be followed by a reference to an endnote. However, this endnote is missing; [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 27-29, 31-32, 34-44 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] 
FBI Director Robert Mueller will later say that the six hijackers who obtained USA ID cards plus Mohamed Atta obtained unspecified identification cards in Paterson, New Jersey (see July 2001). However, it is unclear whether this statement refers to the USA ID cards, or a different set of ID cards not mentioned by the 9/11 Commission; 
The Commission will say that Satam Al Suqami did not obtain any ID document in the US, which is why he had to take his passport on his final flight. The passport was found shortly after the plane he was traveling on hit the WTC (see After 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 27-29, 31-32, 34-44 ] However, Florida media reported a man named Satam Al Suqami obtained a Florida ID card on July 3, 2001, around the same time as several other hijackers obtained similar cards; [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/16/2001] 
Ahmed Alhaznawi had a Florida’s driver’s license and two duplicates. Although the Commission mentions the original license and second duplicate, it does not mention the first one, issued on July 24, 2004. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/14/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 28, 32, 33 ]

Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Satam Al Suqami, 9/11 Commission, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March 2006: Apparently Dead 9/11 Hijackers Still on No-Fly List When journalists Joe and Susan Trento obtain a copy of the US international no-fly list, which the Transportation Security Administration uses to prevent known terrorists from flying to the US and other countries, they find that 14 of the alleged 9/11 hijackers are still on it. They are: Satam Al Suqami, Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alomari, Hamza Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Hani Hanjour, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, and Ahmed Alhaznawi. Shortly after 9/11, it was reported that some of the hijackers were still alive (see September 16-23, 2001) and this may be the reason for the apparent error, although the set of hijackers reported to be still alive and the set of 14 hijackers still on the no-fly list only partially overlap. [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 189-192] The no-fly list also contains manifold problems and at least one other dead terrorist is on it (see March 2006). Entity Tags: Salem Alhazmi, Satam Al Suqami, Wail Alshehri, Waleed M. Alshehri, Susan Trento, Mohand Alshehri, Saeed Alghamdi, Joseph Trento, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 2008: Considerable Video Footage of 9/11 Hijackers Remains Unreleased

Hani Hanjour (left) and Majed Moqed (right) captured by surveillance video on September 5, 2001. [Source: FBI] An FBI timeline of the 9/11 hijackers’ activities compiled in late 2001 and released this month indicates that considerable video footage of the hijackers has yet to be released. Most of the footage appears to come from surveillance video discovered after the 9/11 attacks. So far, the only known footage made public has been two video stills of Hani Hanjour and Majed Moqed using an ATM machine, one still each of Waleed Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami, several stills of Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari in Portland the night before 9/11 (see September 10, 2001), and a few more stills and footage of several hijackers in airports on the morning of 9/11 (see (Between 5:45 a.m. and 5:53 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (7:15 a.m.-7:18 a.m.) September 11, 2001). But the FBI’s timeline reveals video footage that has never even been publicly hinted at:

Mohamed Atta used an ATM in Palm Beach, Florida, on July 19, 2001. 
Salem Alhazmi and Ahmed Alghamdi used an ATM in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 2. 
Hanjour and Mojed used a Kinko’s for half an hour in College Park, Maryland, on August 10. 
Moqed and Nawaf Alhazmi shopped at an Exxon gas station in Joppa, Maryland, on August 28. 
Waleed and Wail Alshehri wandered around a Target store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on September 4. 
Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari were in a Florida bank lobby on September 4, and the audio of Atta calling Saudi Arabia was even recorded in the process. 
Fayez Ahmed Banihammad used an ATM on September 7 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. 
Salem Alhazmi was at the Falls Church DMV on September 7. Low quality surveillance video at the Milner Hotel in Boston showed Marwan Alshehhi and possibly Mohand Alshehri on multiple occasions in the days just before 9/11. 
Ziad Jarrah and possibly Saeed Alghamdi were videotaped using a Kinko’s for about an hour near Newark on September 10. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001 ]

Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Waleed M. Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Salem Alhazmi, Marwan Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alghamdi, Saeed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/abdul_aziz_al_omari.htm
  2. CIA analytic report,"The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003, p. 25.
  3. http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/092602mueller.html
  4. FBI Affidavit: Page 11 ABC
  5. "Piecing together the shadowy lives of the hijackers". The Daily Telegraph (London). September 20, 2001. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  6. Miller, Jonathan (2003-03-08). "A Plea Deal, Then Freedom, in Terror Case Where Prosecutors Kept Evidence a Secret". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  7. Two Brothers among Hijackers: CNN Report People's Daily
  8. [1][2]? The New York Times
  9. . 
  10. (see Late 1990s)
  11. . 
  12. . 
  13. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 232
  14. OBSERVER. 9/16/2001.  PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 10/5/2001.  FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 10/14/2001.  NEWSDAY. 4/17/2006. 
  15. Boston Globe. 9/16/2001. 
  16. 9/11 Commission (6/16/2004). 
  17. "The night before terror". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 10/5/2001. 
  18. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 10/14/2001. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/100401.htm. 
  19. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 1
  20. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 cnn. 3/3/2006. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0603/03/lol.03.html. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Ticket agent haunted by brush with 9/11 hijackers". PORTLAND PRESS HERALD. 3/6/2005. 
  23. PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. 2/24/2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050227013534/http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/columnists/michael_smerconish/10977209.htm. 
  24. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2
  25. "Airline Ticket Agent Recalls Atta on 9/11". ASSOCIATED PRESS. 3/7/2005. 
  26. Time magazine Wikipedia. 9/24/2001. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 2, Page 3
  27. .  [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/14/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/14/2001]
  28. . [PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 10/5/2001; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/14/2001; 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 3
  29. . [GUARDIAN, 9/21/2001; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/14/2001]
  30. . [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/24/2005; PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, 3/6/2005; CNN, 3/3/2006]
  31. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 10/4/2001. http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/100401.htm. 
  32. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. 2001. http://www.scribd.com/doc/14094277/T7-B17-FBI-302s-of-Interest-Colgan-Air-Fdr-Entire-Contents. 
  33. 9/11 COMMISSION (8/26/2004). p. 3. http://www.archives.gov/legislative/research/9-11/staff-report-sept2005.pdf.  Also 9/11_Commission_August_2004_Staff_report
  34. "Hijackers trained openly" (PPV). CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. 9/16/2001. 
  35. WASHINGTON POST. 9/16/2001. http://web.archive.org/web/20011024161527/http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2001/09/16reconstructingt.html. 
  36. CBS News. 10/12/2001. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/10/12/48hours/main314569.shtml. 
  37. . 
  38. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18/2001]
  39. . 
  40. [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 9/16/2001]
  41. ABC NEWS,. 7/18/2002. 
  42. NEW YORK OBSERVER. 2/15/2004. 

External linksEdit

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