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Early September 2001: Accounts Place Three Hijackers on East and West Coasts at the Same Time Edit

ATM video footage of Hani Hanjour. [Source: FBI] The standard accounts place hijackers Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Khalid Almihdhar on the East Coast for the entire time in the weeks before the attacks (see (August 23-September 10, 2001)). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/21/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/21/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; CNN, 9/26/2001; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/27/2001; SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/28/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/6/2001; US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] However, neighbors at Parkwood Apartments in San Diego where the three lived in 2000 are clear in their assertions that all three were there until days before 9/11. For instance, one article states, “Authorities believe Almihdhar, Hanjour and Alhazmi… moved out a couple of days before the East Coast attacks.” [KGTV 10 (SAN DIEGO), 11/1/2001] Ed Murray, a resident at the complex, said that all three “started moving out Saturday night-and Sunday [September 9] they were gone.” [KGTV 10 (SAN DIEGO), 9/14/2001; KGTV 10 (SAN DIEGO), 9/20/2001] This is the same day that Alhazmi is reportedly seen in an East Coast shopping mall. [CNN, 9/26/2001] As with previous reports, neighbors also see them getting into strange cars late at night. A neighbor interviewed shortly after 9/11 said, “A week ago, I was coming home between 12:00 and 1:00 A.M. from a club. I saw a limo pick them up. It was not the first time. In this neighborhood you notice stuff like that. In the past couple of months, I have seen this happen at least two or three times.” [TIME, 9/24/2001] To add to the confusion, there have been reports that investigators think Almihdhar is still alive and the Chicago Tribune says of Alhazmi, Almihdhar, and Hanjour: “The most basic of facts—the very names of the men—are uncertain. The FBI has said each used at least three aliases. ‘It’s not going to be a terrible surprise down the line if these are not their true names,’ said Jeff Thurman, an FBI spokesman in San Diego.” [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/30/2001] Entity Tags: Jeff Thurman, Khalid Almihdhar, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Early September 2001): Alhazmi and Almihdhar Practice Using Flight Simulator Software Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar are seen to practice using flight simulator software while at an apartment in San Diego. A neighbor will later say he often saw a computer switched on inside the men’s apartment running a flight simulator program, “I could look in, if the door was open. You could always see a flight simulator type of thing, with airplanes on it.” According to eyewitnesses, this takes place shortly before 9/11. Alhazmi and Almihdhar lived in San Diego in 2000 (see January 15-February 2000 and February 2000-Early September 2001), but are usually thought to be on the East Coast in the summer of 2001 (see August 27-September 1, 2001 and September 5-10, 2001). However, there are multiple eyewitness reports of them being seen in the San Diego area around this time, back in the same apartment where they had lived in 2000 (see Early September 2001). [KGTV 10 (SAN DIEGO), 9/14/2001; KGTV 10 (SAN DIEGO), 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 1-8, 2001: Tenet Briefs Bush Six More Times, Fails to Mention Moussaoui, Alhazmi, or Almihdhar With President Bush back in Washington after a long vacation, CIA Director George Tenet resumes personally delivering the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) to him. Tenet has one meeting with Bush on August 31, 2001, after Bush’s return (see August 17 and 31, 2001), and then briefs him six more times in the first eight days of September. Bush is out of town the next few days, so he is briefed by other CIA personnel. [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 4/15/2004] By this time, Tenet has been told about the arrest of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui (see August 23, 2001). But there is no evidence he mentions this to Bush before 9/11. Further, on August 23, 2001, the CIA watchlisted 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi and began looking for them in the US (see August 23, 2001), but there’s no evidence Tenet or anyone else briefed Bush about this, either. Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, George W. Bush, Khalid Almihdhar, Zacarias Moussaoui, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 4, 2001: FBI Agent Fails to Search for 9/11 Hijacker Data Present in Private Database Robert Fuller, an inexperienced FBI agent, searches for hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in the US on this day (see September 4-5, 2001). He claims that his search includes querying the ChoicePoint database. ChoicePoint is one of several companies maintaining commerical databases on personal information about US citizens. The FBI has a contract to access the ChoicePoint database, but none of the others. Fuller supposedly does not find any record on either Alhazmi or Almihdhar. He suggests this is because of variations in the spelling of names. However, the chairman of ChoicePoint will later confirm that although the database did have information on the hijackers before 9/11, the FBI did not ask to search the database until shortly after 9/11. The 9/11 Commission will conclude the database was not searched, and notes, “Searches of readily available databases could have unearthed” their California drivers’ licenses, car registrations, and telephone listings. Thomas Pickard, acting FBI Director at the time this search is made, will later falsely claim in public testimony before the 9/11 Commission that the FBI was not allowed to search the ChoicePoint database before 9/11. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 539; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 11/28/2004] An FBI timeline put together shortly after 9/11 will mention that Alhazmi’s 2000 San Diego phone number was in the ChoicePoint database. The exact spelling for the phone number listing was Nawaf M. Al Hazmi. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 59 ] Entity Tags: ChoicePoint, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Robert Fuller, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 4-5, 2001: Almihdhar’s Visa Revoked But Inspectors Told Not to Detain Him On August 31, 2001, Khalid Almihdhar was placed in an INS and Customs lookout database, and described as “armed and dangerous” and someone who must be referred to secondary inspection (see August 31, 2001). On September 4, the State Department revokes Almihdhar’s visa for his “participation in terrorist activities.” On September 5, the INS entered the September 4 notice that Almihdhar’s visa has been revoked into the INS lookout system. However, it is also noted that the State Department has identified Almihdhar as a potential witness in an FBI investigation, and inspectors are told not to detain him. This information will appear in a little-noticed 9/11 Commission staff report released one month after the Commission’s Final Report. It will not be explained why the description of Almihdhar as armed and dangerous and to be referred to secondary inspection has been changed and who made the change. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004 ] Entity Tags: US Department of State, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 4-5, 2001: FBI Search for Hijackers Almihdhar and Alhazmi Finally Begins, But the Search Is Incomplete or Faulty

A portion of Khalid Almihdhar’s New York identification card. The address is a Ramada Inn hotel, which was owned by Marriott at the time. [Source: 9/11 Commission] The FBI’s New York office technically began an investigation to locate Khalid Almihdhar on August 29, but in fact the one inexperienced agent assigned to the search, Robert Fuller, is busy for several days and only begins the search at this time (see August 29, 2001). Within a day, Fuller identifies connections between Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi and widens the search to look for both of them. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 11/28/2004] The FBI will later claim that they search aggressively. An internal review shortly after 9/11 will find that “everything was done that could have been done” to find them. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/28/2001] However, FBI agents familiar with the search will later describe it as unhurried and routine. A report by the Office of the Inspector General completed in late 2004 will conclude, “[T]he FBI assigned few resources to the investigation and little urgency was given to the investigation.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] In conducting his search, Fuller takes the following steps on September 4-5:

He requests that Almihdhar’s name bed added to the INS watch list, called LOOKOUT. He describes Almihdhar as a potential witness in a terrorist investigation. He later claims that he identifies him only as a witness, not a potential terrorist, to prevent overzealous immigration officials from overreacting. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He contacts the Customs Service and verifies that Almihdhar has been placed on their watch list. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He requests a local criminal history check on Almihdhar and Alhazmi through the New York City Police Department. The request turns up nothing. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He claims that he requests a criminal history check in the NCIC, which is a computer database frequently used by every level of law enforcement. However, the Bergen Record reports that he “never performed one of the most basic tasks of a police manhunt. He never ran Almihdhar or Alhazmi through the NCIC computer. That simple act would have alerted local cops to look for the suspected terrorists.” At least four separate incidents involving Alhazmi were recorded in the NCIC database (see September 5, 2001). [BERGEN RECORD, 7/11/2002; BERGEN RECORD, 5/18/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He requests a credit check. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He requests that a national motor vehicle index be searched. However, a July 2001 police query on his car that is in that index is not found (see September 5, 2001). 
On September 5, Fuller and another agent contact the Marriott hotels in New York City, since Almihdhar had indicated when he entered the US in July 2001 that his destination was a Marriott hotel in New York. Later that same day he is told Almihdhar had never registered as a guest at any of the six Marriott hotels there. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] 
He claims that he conducts a search in the ChoicePoint database, a commerical databases on personal information about US citizens. He later claims he searched the database and failed to find any information on them, but the chairman of ChoicePoint will later confirm the database did have information on the hijackers before 9/11, but the FBI did not ask to search the database until shortly after 9/11 (see September 4, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 539; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 11/28/2004] 
There are additional searches he could have made that he apparently fails to do. For instance, he apparently fails to check car registration databases. Alhazmi did own a car (see March 25, 2000), and the 9/11 Commission notes, “A search on [his] car registration would have unearthed a license check by the South Hackensack Police Department that would have led to information placing Alhazmi in the [greater New York City] area and placing Almihdhar at a local hotel for a week in early July 2001. The hijackers actively used the New Jersey bank accounts, through ATM, debit card, and cash transactions, until September 10.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 539] 
Additionally, even though the two were known to have previously entered the US through Los Angeles, drivers’ license records in California are not checked. 
He also fails to check national credit card or bank account databases. 

All of these would have had positive results. Alhazmi’s name was even in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book, listing the address where he and Almihdhar may have been living up to as late as September 9, 2001 (see Early September 2001). [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/28/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/28/2001; NEWSWEEK, 6/2/2002] There appears to be no further mention of any further work on this search after September 5, except for one request to the Los Angeles FBI office made on September 10 (see September 10, 2001). The 9/11 Commission will later note, “We believe that if more resources had been applied and a significantly different approach taken, Alhazmi and Almihdhar might have been found. They had used their true names in the United States. Still, the investigators would have needed luck as well as skill to find them prior to September 11… Many FBI witnesses have suggested that even if [they] had been found, there was nothing the agents could have done except follow [them] onto the planes. We believe this is incorrect. Both Alhazmi and Almihdhar could have been held for immigration violations or as material witnesses in the Cole bombing case. Investigation or interrogation of them, and investigation of their travel and financial activities, could have yielded evidence of connections to other participants in the 9/11 plot. The simple fact of their detention could have derailed the plan. In any case, the opportunity did not arise.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 272] Entity Tags: ChoicePoint, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Fuller, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 4-5, 2001: FBI Agent Fails to Conduct Simple Credit Card Check that Could Have Stopped 9/11 Attacks On September 4 and 5, 2001, FBI agent Robert Fuller attempts to find hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in the US. However, he fails to perform many basic checks, including a check of credit card usage (see September 4-5, 2001). In 2006, journalist Bob Woodward will report that CIA Director George Tenet believed that FBI could have potentially stopped the 9/11 attacks. Woodward will write, paraphrasing Tenet, “If the FBI had done a simple credit card check on the two 9/11 hijackers who had been identified in the United States before 9/11, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, they would have found that the two men had bought 10 tickets for early morning flights for groups of other Middle Eastern men for September 11, 2001. That was knowledge that might conceivably have stopped the attacks.” [WOODWARD, 2006, PP. 79-80] Alhazmi and Almihdhar did buy some tickets for themselves and Nawaf Alhazmi also bought a ticket for his brother Salem Alhazmi, but it has not been reported that they bought as many as ten tickets (see August 25-27, 2001 and August 25-September 5, 2001). Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Bob Woodward, George J. Tenet, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Fuller Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 5, 2001: Hijacker Alhazmi Is in Police and Motor Vehicle Databases, but FBI Agent Fails to Find His Records

NCIC logo. [Source: NCIC] (click image to enlarge) FBI agent Robert Fuller has been tasked to find out if hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar are in the US, now that their names have been added to a terrorist watch list (see September 4-5, 2001). Fuller later claims that he requests a criminal history check in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, a computer database frequently used by every level of law enforcement. However, the Bergen Record will later report: “[H]e never performed one of the most basic tasks of a police manhunt. He never ran Almihdhar or Alhazmi through the NCIC computer. That simple act would have alerted local cops to look for the suspected terrorists.” Fuller also allegedly requests that a national motor vehicle index be searched. [BERGEN RECORD, 7/11/2002; BERGEN RECORD, 5/18/2004; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004] A government webpage about the NCIC database posted before 9/11 boasts that it has an enhanced name search capability, returning results of phonetically similar names and name derivatives. [NATIONAL CRIMINAL INFORMATION CENTER, 5/5/2001] According to an FBI timeline assembled shortly after 9/11, the following incidents are in the NCIC database:

April 1, 2001. Nawaf Alhazmi receives a speeding ticket from Oklahoma State Highway Patrol in Clinton, Oklahoma (see April 1, 2001). He is driving the Toyota Corolla he bought in San Diego the year before. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 131 ; DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 1/20/2002] 
Alhazmi tells police in Alexandria, Virginia, that he was mugged. Even though he declines to press charges, this incident is added to the NCIC database (see May 1, 2001). [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 139 ] 
July 7, 2001. Alhazmi’s Corolla is queried by police in South Hackensack, New Jersey. The incident is added to the motor vehicle index as well as the NCIC database (see July 7, 2001). One newspaper will later comment that a search of the NCIC “would have told the agent a local cop… had already spotted Alhazmi in [the New Jersey town of] South Hackensack.” [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 179 ; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ; BERGEN RECORD, 5/18/2004] 
August 28, 2001. A rental car rented by Alhazmi is queried by police in Totowa, New Jersey (see August 28, 2001). [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 236 ] While this incident will be in the NCIC database when the FBI searches it after 9/11, it is unknown if it is accessible by Fuller when he searches it. 

If Fuller really does check both the NCIC and motor vehicle databases, it is not clear why he fails to find any of these incidents and thus prove that Alhazmi was in the US. Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Robert Fuller, National Crime Information Center, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 5-10, 2001: Last-Minute Money Transfers Between 9/11 Hijackers and United Arab Emirates The hijackers in the US return money to Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, one of their facilitators in the United Arab Emirates:

September 4: Hijacker Mohamed Atta sends al-Hawsawi a FedEx package from Florida. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] The package contains hijacker Fayez Ahmed Banihammad’s ATM card and checkbook. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 10 ] The FedEx bill will be found shortly after 9/11 in the trash at the hotel Atta stays at on the night before 9/11 (see September 11-13, 2001); 
September 5: $8,000 is wired from Banihammad’s SunTrust bank account to his bank account in the United Arab Emirates, to which al-Hawsawi has access (see June 25, 2001); 
September 8: Mohamed Atta sends $2,860 to “Mustafa Ahmed” from a Western Union office in Laurel, Maryland; 
September 8: Later that day Atta sends another $5,000 to “Mustafa Ahmed” from another Western Union office in the same town; 
September 9: Hijacker Waleed Alshehri sends $5,000 to “Ahamad Mustafa” from a Western Union office at Logan Airport in Boston; 
September 10: Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi sends $5,400 to “Mustafa Ahmad” from a Western Union office at the Greyhound Bus Station in Boston; 
September 10: Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour use the name “Rawf Al Dog” to send an express mail package from Laurel, Maryland, to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. When the FBI intercepts the package at Dulles Airport after 9/11, they find it contains the debit card and PIN for Khalid Almihdhar’s First Union Bank account, which has a balance of $9,838.31. [MSNBC, 12/11/2001; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 75 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 76 ] 

Atta, Alshehhi, and Alshehri also call al-Hawsawi at this time to give him the numbers for the money they are sending. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 10 ] Although al-Hawsawi admits receiving this money in a substitution for testimony at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in 2006 and again at a Guantanamo Bay hearing (see March 21, 2007), some detainees are apparently subjected to torture, which has led some to doubt the reliability and validity of their statements (see June 16, 2004). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 10 ; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/21/2007 ] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Almihdhar, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 9, 2001: Hijackers Drop Duffle Bag in Front of Mosque, Leave Evidence of Flight Training from 2000 Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar stay in a motel near a fundamentalist storefront mosque in Laurel, Maryland. The hijackers drop off two bags at the mosque, to which they attach a note stating: “gift for the brothers.” The FBI will recover the bags one day after the 9/11. An FBI document will identify the mosque at the Ayah Islamic Center, also known as the Ayah Dawah mosque. According to the 9/11 Commission, the bags contain “fruit, clothing, flight logs, and various other materials.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 53 ] The FBI will later reveal that the bags contain pilot log books, receipts, and other evidence documenting the brief flight training that Alhazmi and Almihdhar underwent in San Diego in early 2000. It is unclear why they would have kept the receipts, some mentioning their names, for over a year and then left them at a mosque to be found. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 273, 295 ] After 9/11, the FBI will investigate the mosque, asking people if they recognized any of the hijackers. They will determine the imam, Said Rageah, worked part-time raising money for the Global Relief Foundation. Shortly after 9/11, the US will declare this charity a terrorism financier and shut it down. The FBI will investigate him for over a year but ultimately will not find any link to the 9/1 attacks. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/6/2002; NEWSWEEK, 9/30/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 53 ] Newsweek will later ask rhetorically, “Who are these mysterious brothers the hijackers left behind when they immolated themselves on September 11? Was that just the usual endearing term that fellow Muslims use for each other? Or is there a deeper connection?” [NEWSWEEK, 9/30/2002] Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Said Rageah, Global Relief Foundation, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 10, 2001: Los Angeles FBI Office Search Assistance Comes Too Late, San Diego FBI Office Not Contacted at All FBI agent Robert Fuller began looking for Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar on September 4, 2001 (see September 4-5, 2001) . Within one day, he found that Almihdhar had not stayed at the New York City hotel he listed as a destination when he arrived in the US in July 2001. Alhazmi and Almihdhar had traveled to Los Angeles on January 15, 2000. Immigation records indicated that they claimed to be destined for a Sheraton hotel in Los Angeles. On this day, Fuller drafts an investigative lead for the Los Angeles FBI office, asking that office to search Sheraton hotel records concerning any stays by Almihdhar and Alhazmi in early 2000. However, the lead is not transmitted to Los Angeles until the next day, after the 9/11 attacks have begun. The search will also turn up nothing, since neither of them stayed at a Sheraton hotel. [US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002; US CONGRESS, 9/20/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004; NEW YORK OBSERVER, 11/28/2004] Both men had been living in nearby San Diego for much of the previous two years. The San Diego FBI office is not notified about the need for a search until September 12, and even then, they are only provided with “sketchy” information. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/16/2001] The FBI handling agent in San Diego is certain they could have been located quickly had they known where to look. The FBI agent running the San Diego office will claim they could have easily found the two hijackers by looking their names up in the phone book (see September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] There is some evidence from eyewitnesses that a few days before 9/11, Almihdhar and two other hijackers are living in the same San Diego apartment that they had been living in off and on for the past two years, the address that was listed for them in the public phone book (see Early September 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 10, 2001: Three 9/11 Hijackers Stay at Same Hotel as Senior Saudi Official

Sami Omar Hussayen, nephew of Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen. [Source: Family photo] Three hijackers, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf Alhazmi, check into the same hotel as a prominent Saudi government official, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2003] Hussayen originally stayed at a different nearby hotel, but moved to this hotel on the same day the hijackers checked in. [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 45] Investigators have not found any evidence that the hijackers met with Hussayen, and stress it could be a coincidence. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/10/2003] However, one prosecutor working on a related case will assert, “I continue to believe it can’t be a coincidence.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/2/2003] An FBI agent will later say that Hussayen “may have had some connection to the attacks and is likely to have met with those funding the hijackers if not the hijackers themselves.” [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 45] Hussayen is interviewed by the FBI shortly after 9/11, but according to testimony from an FBI agent, the interview is cut short when Hussayen “feign[s] a seizure, prompting the agents to take him to a hospital, where the attending physicians [find] nothing wrong with him.” The agent recommends that Hussayen “should not be allowed to leave until a follow-up interview could occur.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2003] The agent returns to the hotel the next day, but finds Hussayen unhelpful. After she leaves, Hussayen calls the Saudi embassy, which contacts the FBI. Another, less aggressive agent is sent to talk to Hussayen and finds no additional information, so the FBI says he can leave the US. The first agent does not want him to go without answering her questions, but, according to authors Joe and Susan Trento, “Because of pressure from [Saudi ambassador to the US] Prince Bandar on the Bush administration… the agent’s superiors overruled her.” The superiors are not named. [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 45] For most of the 1990s, Hussayen was director of the SAAR Foundation, a Saudi charity that is being investigated for terrorism ties and will be raided in early 2002 (see March 20, 2002). A few months after 9/11 he is named a minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques. Hussayen had arrived in the US in late August 2001 planning to visit some Saudi-sponsored charities. Many of the charities on his itinerary, including the Global Relief Foundation, Muslim World League, IIRO (International Islamic Relief Organization), IANA (Islamic Assembly of North America), and World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), have since been shut down or investigated for alleged ties to Islamic militant groups. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2003] His nephew, Sami Omar Hussayen, will be indicted in early 2004 for using his computer expertise to assist militant groups, and will be charged with administering a website associated with IANA, an organization which expressly advocated suicide attacks and using airliners as weapons in the months before 9/11. Investigators also will claim the nephew was in contact with important al-Qaeda figures. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2003; SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 1/10/2004] The nephew will be acquitted later in 2004 of the terrorism-related charges. The defense will not dispute that he posted messages advocating suicide bombings, but will argue that he had the Constitutional right to do so. The jury will deadlock on most of the counts. [WASHINGTON POST, 6/11/2004] IANA apparently will remain under investigation, as well as the flow of money from the uncle to nephew. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/10/2003] The uncle is not charged with any crime. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/2/2003] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Muslim World League, Nawaf Alhazmi, SAAR Foundation, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Sami Omar Hussayen, Susan Trento, Joseph Trento, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, International Islamic Relief Organization, Al-Qaeda, Bandar bin Sultan, Islamic Assembly of North America, Global Relief Foundation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Around 8:15 p.m. September 10, 2001: 9/11 Hijackers Apparently Attempt to Penetrate Secure Area at Dulles Airport A group of five Arabs attempts to penetrate a secure area leading to parked aircraft at Washington’s Dulles Airport. However, they are seen by two security guards, Eric Gill and Nicolas de Silva. Gill, who will later identify two of the men as 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Marwan Alshehhi, notices they approach a door to the secure area in a suspicious manner and that only three of them are dressed as United Airlines ramp workers and have the correct passes. Gill, a Pakistani, prevents the two without passes from entering the secure area, and realizes that he does not recognize the other three, and that their uniforms are unusually dirty for United employees. The men tell Gill to “f_ck off” and say that they are “important people,” but Gill still refuses to let the two without passes enter, and eventually all five men retreat. Gill goes off duty at 10:00 p.m. and his supervisor will comment after 9/11, “If someone wanted access to the aircraft, say to plant weapons, it would have been easy for the group Eric saw to come back after he got off duty and simply use the ID cards they had to activate the electronic lock and slip through.” Reporters Joe and Susan Trento, who break this story, will be unable to interview another security guard, Khalid Mahmoud, who was guarding the next door, as he will be immediately taken by the INS after 9/11 and presumably deported. De Silva has a poor memory for faces and will recall the incident happening, but will not be able to identify any of the Arabs. The FBI and 9/11 Commission will apparently not place much weight on Gill’s identification of the hijackers, as Alshehhi is believed to be in Boston at this time (see Afternoon September 11, 2001). [TRENTO AND TRENTO, 2006, PP. 2-6, 44-5] However, Alshehhi checks out of his hotel on this date and his last recorded action in Boston is before noon, so he may have flown to Dulles in the afternoon and could return by the following morning (see September 10, 2001). An INS employee will tell journalist Seymour Hersh that guns were placed on the planes on 9/11 (see After 11:00 a.m. September 11, 2001). Security cameras record two of the hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and possibly Salem Alhazmi, at Dulles this same day, but it is unclear whether their presence is related to this incident. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 281 ] Entity Tags: Salem Alhazmi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Nicolas De Silva, Khalid Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, Eric Gill Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Before September 11, 2001: Hijackers Drink Alcohol and Watch Strip Shows, Especially towards Eve of Attacks

Cheetah’s nude bar in San Diego. [Source: Cheetah's] A number of the hijackers apparently drink alcohol heavily in bars, sleep with prostitutes, and watch strip shows in the US in the months and especially the days leading up to 9/11.

In late February 2001, hijacker Ziad Jarrah frequents a strip club in Jacksonville, Florida (see February 25-March 4, 2001). 
In July 2001, hijackers Hamza Alghamdi and Marwan Alshehhi make two purchases of “pornographic video and sex toys” from a Florida store (see July 4-27, 2001). 
Some hijackers, including possibly Satam Al Suqami and Waleed and Wail Alshehri, sleep with prostitutes in the days before 9/11 (see September 7-11, 2001). 
On September 10, three hijacker associates spend $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks in the Pink Pony, a Daytona Beach, Florida strip club. While the hijackers had left Florida by this time, Mohamed Atta is reported to have visited the same strip club, and these men appear to have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks (see September 10, 2001). [BOSTON HERALD, 10/10/2001] 
Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta are seen entering the Hollywood, Florida, sports bar Shuckums already drunk. They proceed to drink even more hard alcohol there (see September 7, 2001). 
Atta and Alshehhi are seen at Sunrise 251, a bar in Palm Beach, Florida. They spend $1,000 in 45 minutes on Krug and Perrier-Jouet champagne. Atta is with a tall busty brunette in her late twenties; Alshehhi is with a shortish blonde. Both women are known locally as regular companions of high-rollers. [DAILY MAIL, 9/16/2001] 
A stripper at the Olympic Garden Topless Cabaret in Las Vegas, Nevada, later recalls Marwan Alshehhi being “cheap,” paying only $20 for a lap dance. [COX NEWS SERVICE, 10/16/2001] 
Several hijackers reportedly patronize the Nardone’s Go-Go Bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They are even seen there on the weekend before 9/11. [BOSTON HERALD, 10/10/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/16/2001] 
Majed Moqed visits a porn shop on three occasions and rents a porn video. The mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, later says of the six hijackers who stayed there, “Nobody ever saw them at mosques, but they liked the go-go clubs.” [NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; NEWSWEEK, 10/15/2001] 
Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar often frequent Cheetah’s, a nude bar in San Diego. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] 
Marwan Alshehhi is possibly seen in the Cheetah nightclub in Pompado Beach, Florida, on July 1, 2001. Six dancers who work there later claim to have seen him. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 173 ] 
Hamza Alghamdi watches a porn video on September 10. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/16/2001] 

Temple University in Philadelphia professor Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub will later comment: “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam.… People who would kill themselves for their faith would come from very strict Islamic ideology. Something here does not add up.” [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Hamza Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, Ziad Jarrah, Satam Al Suqami, Marwan Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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

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

(7:15 a.m.-7:18 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Hijack Suspects Set Off Airport Alarms; Allowed to Board Anyway Edit

in a template

Around 7:15 a.m., Flight 77 hijackers Majed Moqed and Khalid Almihdhar check in at the American Airlines ticket counter at Washington Dulles International Airport.[1][2]

The FAA has a computer system in place, called CAPPS, which identifies those passengers most likely requiring additional scrutiny by airport security [see 1]. CAPPS selects both men, but the only consequence is that Moqed’s luggage is not loaded onto Flight 77 until after his boarding is confirmed. [3][4]

Dulles Airport has surveillance cameras monitoring its security checkpoints, and video later viewed by the 9/11 Commission shows the two passing through the Main Terminal’s west security screening checkpoint at 7:18 a.m.

When they go through, their carry-on bags fail to set off any alarms, but both men set off the alarm when they pass through the first metal detector. They are directed to a second metal detector, where Almihdhar passes, but Moqed fails again. He is subjected to a personal screening with a metal detection hand wand. This time he is cleared and permitted to pass through the checkpoint.[3][5]

The other three Flight 77 hijackers pass through the security checkpoint about 20 minutes later [see 2]. The 9/11 Commission later concludes that Almihdhar’s passport was “suspicious” and could have been linked to al-Qaeda, but it does not explain why or how. [6]

9:53 p.m. September 11, 2001: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s Assistant Notes that Three 9/11 Hijackers Were Followed by CIA since 2000 Edit

A section from Rumsfeld’s notes, dictated to Stephen Cambone. [Source: Defense Department] (click image to enlarge) Stephen Cambone, the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, makes the following note for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld at an emergency policy meeting, “AA 77—3 indiv have been followed since Millennium + Cole. 1 guy is assoc of Cole bomber. 2 entered US in early July (2 of 3 pulled aside and interrogated?).” Although four of the subsequently alleged Flight 77 hijackers were known to the authorities in connection with terrorism before 9/11, it appears that the three referred to here as being followed are Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, and Salem Alhazmi, due to their ties to an al-Qaeda Malaysia summit around the Millennium (see January 5-8, 2000) and ties to the USS Cole bombing (see October 12, 2000). Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar initially arrived in the US shortly before or after the Millennium plot was due to come to fruition (see November 1999 and January 15, 2000), even entering at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), a target of the plot. If the note is literally correct that some US authorities were following these three since the Millennium, this would contradict the 9/11 Commission’s position that the trail of the three was lost shortly after the Millennium. The comment that one of the hijackers is an associate of a Cole bomber could refer to photos the CIA had before 9/11 identifying Almihdhar standing next to Cole bomber Fahad al-Quso (see Early December 2000) or photos of him standing next to Cole bomber Khallad bin Attash (see January 4, 2001). The note’s mention that two of them entered the US in July is also accurate, as Salem Alhazmi entered the US on June 29 (see April 23-June 29, 2001) and Khalid re-entered on July 4 (see July 4, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/11/2001 ; US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 2/6/2006 ] Earlier in the day, Cambone took notes for Rumsfeld that indicate Rumsfeld is keen to move against Iraq following the 9/11 attacks, even though he was aware there may be no connection between Iraq and 9/11 (see (2:40 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 9/11/2001 ; GUARDIAN, 2/24/2006] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Stephen A. Cambone, Salem Alhazmi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Donald Rumsfeld Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 12, 2001: CIA Briefing to President Bush Lays Out Evidence of Bin Laden Responsibility for Attacks Edit

CIA Director George Tenet arrives at the White House to give the president his daily intelligence briefing. With him is Mike Morell, the president’s regular CIA briefer. They meet with Bush at 8 a.m. in the Oval Office, joined by Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. The Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) on this day is about ten to twelve pages long, and a further twelve pages includes full reports from case officers, the Directorate of Intelligence, and the National Security Agency. The PDB includes a review of the available intelligence tracing the previous day’s attacks back to Osama bin Laden and his top al-Qaeda associates. Among the evidence presented:

Several reports identify Capitol Hill and the White House as intended targets of the attacks. 
One report says a bin Laden associate incorrectly “gave thanks for the explosion in the Congress building.” 
A key figure in the al-Qaeda charity front the Wafa Humanitarian Organization had initially claimed that “The White House has been destroyed,” but then had to correct himself. 
A report shows that al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan had said at 9:53 a.m. the previous day that the attackers were following through with “the doctor’s program” (see 9:53 a.m. September 11, 2001). This is thought to be a reference to the second-ranking member of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian physician often referred to as “the Doctor.” 
The CIA and the FBI have evidence connecting at least three of the alleged hijackers to Osama bin Laden and his training camps in Afghanistan. Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, and Salem Alhazmi were quickly linked to al-Qaeda on the day of 9/11, as two of them were on a US watch list even before 9/11 (see 9:53 p.m. September 11, 2001). The attacks were also consistent with intelligence reports throughout the summer that indicated bin Laden was planning “spectacular attacks” against US targets. 
A report out of Kandahar, Afghanistan shows the attacks were “the results of two years’ planning.” 
Another report says the attacks were “the beginning of the wrath.” 
A key piece of evidence involves Abu Zubaida, who has been identified as the chief field commander for the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. A supposedly reliable report received after the 9/11 attacks stated that Zubaida had referred to September 11 as “zero hour.” It is not known is an intercepted message from before 9/11 saying “tomorrow is zero hour,” or some other message (see September 10, 2001). 

According to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, “For Tenet, the evidence on bin Laden was conclusive—game, set, match.” Though Tenet, along with Rice and other officials, has already spent several months working on a plan to vastly expand covert action in Afghanistan and worldwide, he tells Bush that an even more extensive plan will soon be presented for approval, and this will be very expensive. The president tells him, “Whatever it takes.” [WOODWARD, 2002, PP. 39-41; WASHINGTON POST, 1/28/2002; KESSLER, 2003, PP. 231-233; TENET, 2007, PP. 165] Bush will approve Tenet’s plan by the following Monday (see September 17, 2001). Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Osama bin Laden, Wafa Humanitarian Organization, Khalid Almihdhar, Michael J. Morell, George J. Tenet, Salem Alhazmi, Abu Zubaida, George W. Bush, Al-Qaeda, Condoleezza Rice, Central Intelligence Agency, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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

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

September 17-18, 2001: CIA Connects Moussaoui to 9/11 Hijackers through Malaysia Summit Host Edit

The CIA is informed that the possessions of Zacarias Moussaoui, which were searched after 9/11, contain a letter from a company called In Focus Tech (see August 16, 2001). The CIA finds that the company’s manager is Yazid Sufaat, who hosted an al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was attended by hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar. Various al-Qaeda leaders were also present at the meeting, which was monitored by the CIA (see January 5-8, 2000). CIA director George Tenet will later comment: “and with that the circle closed and things started to come together in a hurry… [T]his was the same Yazid Sufaat whose condo in Kuala Lumpur had been the venue for what turned out to be the first operational meeting in the planning for 9/11—the meeting… that was attended by Almihdhar and Alhazmi.” [TENET, 2007, PP. 204] Entity Tags: Yazid Sufaat, Zacarias Moussaoui, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline


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