FANDOM


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Historycommons.org - link

This article is a subsection of Mohammed Atta:Timeline This is a new article. As such is has been set to unassessed. This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified?NoN red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN


January 2001-Summer 2001: Hijackers Witnessed Preparing False IDs in Toronto Photocopy Shop with Al-Marabh Edit

The Toronto photocopy shop owned by Nabil al-Marabh’s uncle. [Source: CTV] Many eyewitnesses see Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta at a Toronto photocopy shop owned by Nabil al-Marabh’s uncle Ahmed Shehab, a prominent local imam. Some of the dozens of eyewitness accounts say Atta sporadically works in the shop. There is a large picture of bin Laden hanging in the store. Alshehhi and Atta are also seen by other eyewitnesses in a Toronto apartment building during this same time period (see January 2001-Summer 2001). [TORONTO SUN, 10/21/2001] In a series of raids after 9/11, many partially completed fake IDs will be found in the store and at al-Marabh’s apartment. A stack of tightly-controlled immigration forms enabling one to immigrate to Canada will also be found. [TORONTO SUN, 9/28/2001; TORONTO SUN, 10/5/2001; TORONTO SUN, 10/16/2001] According to the Toronto Sun, “Forensic officers said there are similarities in the paper stock, laminates, and ink seized from the downtown store and that which was used in identification left behind by the [9/11 hijackers].” [TORONTO SUN, 10/16/2001] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Shehab, Marwan Alshehhi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January 2001-Summer 2001: Hijackers Live in Toronto Apartment Building with Al-Marabh

Ahmed Shehab. [Source: Ahmedshehab.com] The landlord and at least twelve tenants of a Toronto high rise building see Marwan Alshehhi living there in the spring of 2001. Other witnesses recall seeing Alshehhi and/or Mohamed Atta in or near the building. Nabil al-Marabh is sporadically staying in the same building in an apartment unit owned by his uncle, Ahmed Shehab, a prominent local imam. None of the witnesses appear to have sighted any of the other hijackers. Alshehhi and Atta are also seen by eyewitnesses around this time at a Toronto photocopy shop owned by Shehab, and there are even some who see Atta occasionally working there (see January 2001-Summer 2001). [TORONTO SUN, 9/28/2001; TORONTO SUN, 9/28/2001; ABC NEWS 7 (CHICAGO), 1/31/2002] The apartment where al-Marabh stayed will not be raided by police until about two weeks after 9/11, and one week after reports of al-Marabh’s connections to the hijackers has been in the newspapers. The Toronto Sun will report, “Many [building] residents questioned why police waited so long to raid [the] apartment after al-Marabh was arrested. Several tenants alleged they had seen a man late at night during the past week, taking away boxes from the apartment.” [TORONTO SUN, 9/28/2001] Al-Marabh also shares a Toronto apartment with Hassan Almrei, a Syrian who the Canadian authorities are already suspecting for possible militant ties (see September 13, 2000 and After). One article says that are roommates in 2001, and it would likely mean early 2001 since al-Marabh leaves Toronto during the summer. Canadian authorities will later arrest Almrei and discover that he has extensive connections with al-Qaeda (see October 19, 2001). [ABC NEWS 7 (CHICAGO), 1/31/2002] Some of the 9/11 hijackers may have been in Toronto as late as the end of August 2001. A motel manager in Hollywood, Florida, will later say that Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah stay at his motel on August 30, 2001. He will say they gave a non-existent Toronto address and drove a car with Ontario, Canada, license plates. They claimed to be computer engineers from Iran, and said they had just come down from Canada to find jobs. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/4/2001; TORONTO SUN, 10/5/2001] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ahmed Shehab, Hassan Almrei, Nabil al-Marabh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Between January and February 2001: Atta and Alshehhi Allegedly Practice Nighttime Landings at Clearwater Airpark

Clearwater Airpark. [Source: Douglas R. Clifford / St. Petersburg Times] Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi reportedly spend at least 30 minutes practicing landing a single-engine plane at Clearwater Airpark, Florida, after it has closed for the night. This is according to Daniel Pursell, the chief instructor at Huffman Aviation, the Venice flight school attended by the two during the latter half of 2000 (see July 6-December 19, 2000). What they are doing at Clearwater is unknown. Their activities draw the attention of a police aide acting as a night watchman, who leaves a voice message at Huffman complaining about the incident. The plane is subsequently identified as having been rented by Atta and Alshehhi. Pursell, along with fellow instructor Thierry Leklou, reprimands them when they return to Venice the following morning. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the two leave Huffman shortly afterwards. This incident first surfaces publicly in 2006, when Pursell testifies at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. However, others will dispute his allegations. Local police say no incident reports were filed describing the event, and neither the FAA nor city have any record of unauthorized landings during this period. According to Bill Morris, Clearwater’s marine and aviation director, a police aide would have called for backup and recorded the plane’s details in a log, rather than calling Huffman. He says even if the aide had wanted to contact the plane’s owner, it would have been impossible to ascertain who this was at night, as allegedly occurred, because the FAA’s offices would have been closed. [CNN, 3/23/2006; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/30/2006; CLEARWATER CITIZEN, 4/6/2006] Furthermore, Atta and Alshehhi supposedly finished training at Huffman Aviation in December 2000, and the school’s owner Rudi Dekkers will claim Huffman last heard from them around the end of that month. [US CONGRESS, 3/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 17 ] However, a similar incident to this is known to have occurred previously, where Atta and Alshehhi abandoned one of Huffman’s planes at Miami International Airport (see December 26, 2000). [CNN, 3/23/2006] And according to the 9/11 Commission, after passing their instrument rating airplane tests on November 6, 2000, the pair was “able to sign out planes. They did so on a number of occasions, often returning at 2:00 and 3:00 A.M. after logging four or five hours of flying time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 15 ] The St. Petersburg Times reports that Atta and Alshehhi “would rent a plane from Huffman and be gone for days at a time, Pursell said. They could fly to 20 airports across the state and never be noticed.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/30/2006] Entity Tags: Thierry Leklou, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Daniel Pursell, Clearwater Airpark Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January-June 2001: 9/11 Hijackers Pass Through Britain for Training or Fundraising

Ahmed Alnami in prayer. [Source: Spiegel TV] Eleven of the 9/11 hijackers stay in or pass through Britain, according to the British Home Secretary and top investigators. Most are in Britain between April and June, just passing through from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (see April 22-June 27, 2001). However, investigators suspect some stay in Britain for training and fundraising (see June 2001). The eleven are Satam Al Suqami, Waleed Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Wail Alshehri, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, and Saeed Alghamdi. Ahmed Alghamdi was one of several that should have been “instantly ‘red-flagged’ by British intelligence,” because of his links to Raed Hijazi, a suspected ally of bin Laden being held in Jordan on charges of conspiring to destroy holy sites. Apparently, the investigation concludes that other “muscle” hijackers and leaders like Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi did not pass through Britain at this time. [LONDON TIMES, 9/26/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/27/2001; BBC, 9/28/2001; SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 9/30/2001] However, police will investigate whether Atta visited Britain in 1999 and 2000, together with some Algerians. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/30/2001] The London Times will also write, “Officials hope that the inquiries in Britain will disclose the true identities of the suicide team. Some are known to have arrived in Britain using false passports and fake identities that they kept for the hijack.” [LONDON TIMES, 9/26/2001] Entity Tags: Raed Hijazi, Saeed Alghamdi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Wail Alshehri, Marwan Alshehhi, Satam Al Suqami, Hamza Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Mohand Alshehri, Ahmed Alnami, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January 4, 2001: Mohamed Atta Travels to Spain 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta flies from Miami, Florida, to Madrid, Spain. He has allegedly been in the US since June 3, 2000, learning to fly in Florida with Marwan Alshehhi. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/22/2001] Spanish authorities will later say he meets Barakat Yarkas, head of a Spanish al-Qaeda cell, on the trip. After Yarkas is arrested in late 2001, an interview with him by a high court judge will indicate that “numerous lines to Sept. 11 principals passed through [him].” [BOSTON GLOBE, 8/4/2002] Atta returns to the US on January 10 (see January 10, 2001), and will make a second trip to Spain in July of the same year (see July 8-19, 2001). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January 10, 2001: Two Attas Enter the US on the Same Day?

Atta’s immigration record for his arrival on January 10, 2001, after alteration in early May. [Source: 9/11 Commission] The Miami Herald will report: “INS documents, matched against an FBI alert given to German police, show two men named Mohamed Atta [arrive] in Miami on January 10, each offering different destination addresses to INS agents, one in Nokomis, near Venice, the other at a Coral Springs condo. He (they?) is admitted, despite having overstayed his previous visa by a month. The double entry could be a paperwork error, or confusion over a visa extension. It could be Atta arrived in Miami, flew to another country like the Bahamas, and returned the same day. Or it could be that two men somehow cleared immigration with the same name using the same passport number.” [MIAMI HERALD, 9/22/2001] Officials will later call this a bureaucratic snafu, and insist that only one Atta entered the US on this date. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/28/2001] In addition, while Atta arrives on a tourist visa, he tells immigration inspectors that he is taking flying lessons in the US, which requires an M-1 student visa. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/28/2001] The fact that he had overstayed his visa by over a month on a previous visit also does not cause a problem. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/27/2001] The INS will later defend its decision, but “immigration experts outside the agency dispute the INS position vigorously.” For instance, Stephen Yale-Loehr, co-author of a 20-volume treatise on immigration law, will assert: “They just don’t want to tell you they blew it. They should just admit they made a mistake.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/28/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, Stephen Yale-Loehr Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January 11-18, 2001: Overstaying Visa No Obstacle for Alshehhi

Marwan Alshehhi. [Source: FBI] Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi flies from the US to Casablanca, Morocco, and back, for reasons unknown. He is able to reenter the US without trouble, despite having overstayed his previous visa by about five weeks. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/27/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 5/20/2002] Curiously, Mohamed Atta’s cell phone is used on January 2 to call the Moroccan embassy in Washington, DC. Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Hamburg associate, is also in Morocco at the same time as Alshehhi, but there’s no documentation of them meeting there. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 17] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Abdelghani Mzoudi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

January 17, 2001: Hijacker Atta Wires Money from US to Bin Al-Shibh in Germany Lead hijacker Mohamed Atta uses the name variant Mahmoud Elsayed to wire $1,500 to Ramzi bin al-Shibh in Germany. The money is wired from a Western Union office in Temple Terrace, near Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The 9/11 Commission will comment, “There is no known explanation for this transaction, which seems especially odd because bin al-Shibh had access to Alshehhi’s German account at the time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 143 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/3/2006 ] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(January 25-Early March, 2001): Atta and Alshehhi Move to Georgia and Attend Flight School According to the FBI and 9/11 Commission, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi move temporarily to Georgia on January 25, 2001, staying briefly in Norcross and Decatur, near Atlanta. The FBI says it believes they remain in the Atlanta area during February and March. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 229] According to several news reports, between late February and early March, Atta and Alshehhi twice visit the Advanced Aviation Flight Training School in nearby Lawrenceville. They pay $171 in total and on both occasions rent a small Piper Warrior plane for an hour. They are accompanied by an instructor on the first occasion, but fly alone the second time. According to the school’s owner Bruce Buell, the two are “well-dressed, polite and friendly.” Two days after 9/11 Chrissy Ross, a flight dispatcher at the school, will recognize Atta’s name when the identities of the suspected hijackers are made public. She calls the FBI, whose agents then come and take all the school’s records. [CNN, 9/26/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/19/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/19/2001] However, the FBI claims Atta and Alshehhi visit Advanced Aviation about a month earlier than news reports suggest, on January 31 and February 6. [US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] Entity Tags: Advanced Aviation Flight Training School, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(February-April 2001): Hijacker Atta Possibly Has American Girlfriend; Several Witnesses Confirm Story, Though Supposed Girlfriend Later Denies the Connection

Amanda Keller. [Source: Unknown] A man, possibly Mohamed Atta, stays for a time at the apartment of a 21-year-old blonde-haired pizza restaurant manager named Amanda Keller. Keller lives in the Sandpiper Apartments in Venice, Florida, the same complex in which Atta reportedly shared a (presumably) separate apartment with Marwan Alshehhi and four others months earlier (see (Mid-July 2000 - Early January 2001)). Stephanie Frederickson, a resident at the Sandpiper Apartments, later remembers Keller and Atta. She claims Keller moved in next door to her. She goes on to say, “Then one day in the middle of March she brought home Atta.” Her recollection of Atta mirrors that of others. She will call him “a really nasty guy,” and say that he “had no patience, and seemed mad at the world.” Charles Grapentine, the manager of the Sandpiper Apartments, later recalls seeing Atta at the complex for about three weeks in April, and confirms that he was living with Keller. Keller’s mother, Susan Payne, also meets Atta and later says, “I didn’t like him; he just seemed strange.” As well as his stay at the Sandpiper Apartments, the man, possibly Atta, briefly rents a home in North Port. Its owners, Tony and Vonnie LaConca, know him only as “Mohamed.” They will be questioned in the days after 9/11 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and describe him as 25 years old, “very polite,” “very handsome,” and with “beautiful, unblemished skin.” From talking with “Mohamed” and Keller, the couple learns he is training for a commercial pilot’s license at Huffman Aviation, the Venice flight school attended by Atta in 2000 (see July 6-December 19, 2000). The Sarasota Herald-Tribune will claim that Keller’s companion is not Mohamed Atta, but another man of Middle Eastern descent who also took flying lessons in Venice. But authorities will refuse to reveal the full name of this “unidentified fifth man,” and investigators are reportedly unable to find him. [CHARLOTTE SUN, 9/14/2001; SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/23/2001; HOPSICKER, 2004, PP. 57, 60-65 AND 76] According to official accounts, plus the testimony of Huffman Aviation’s owner Rudi Dekkers, Atta left the Venice flight school around the end of 2000, months before “Mohamed” stays in the apartment of Keller. [US CONGRESS, 3/19/2002; US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 17 ] Investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker later locates and interviews Amanda Keller, and she claims that the Middle Eastern man who was briefly her boyfriend was indeed Mohamed Atta (see March 2004). However, in 2006 she will retract this claim and say she lied to Hopsicker. She will say, “It was my bad for lying. I really didn’t think about it until after I did it.” [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/10/2006] Keller, Charles Grapentine, and Stephanie Frederickson will all later allege that the FBI intimidated them after 9/11, and told them to keep quiet about what they knew (see (September 12, 2001-2002)). Entity Tags: Stephanie Frederickson, Tony LaConca, Vonnie LaConca, Susan Payne, Daniel Hopsicker, Mohamed Atta, Amanda Keller, Charles Grapentine Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 15, 2001: Atta and Alshehhi Offered Jobs as Co-Pilots with New Florida Airline Rudi Dekkers, who owns the Venice, Florida flight school attended by Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, sets up his own commuter airline called Florida Air (FLAIR), which flies out of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. FLAIR, which also goes by the name Sunrise Airlines, will only be in service for a couple of months in 2001, and eventually has its operating authority revoked by the Department of Transportation. [VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 3/3/2001; TRANSPORTATION, 2/14/2002, PP. 6963 ; VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 1/25/2003; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/25/2004] Yet, at the same time as he is establishing FLAIR, Dekkers fails to pay his rent for Huffman Aviation flight school on time six months in a row, from February to July 2001, blaming this partly on tight cash flow. [CHARLOTTE SUN, 9/13/2001] According to the 9/11 Commission, at some point in their flight training Rudi Dekkers offers Atta and Alshehhi jobs as co-pilots for FLAIR. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 38 ] Yet they are supposed to have completed training at Huffman Aviation two months earlier, in December 2000, after which Dekkers claims he never saw them again. [US CONGRESS, 3/19/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 227; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 17 ] Considering he reportedly offers him a job with his airline, it seems odd that Dekkers later claims having much disliked Atta when he was at Huffman. He will say he thought Atta was “very arrogant,” and that “My personal feeling was Atta was an asshole first class… I just didn’t like the guy… Sometimes you have that impression from when you meet people in the field and that was my first impression.” [AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 10/21/2001; BBC, 12/12/2001] Entity Tags: Florida Air, Mohamed Atta, Rudi Dekkers, Marwan Alshehhi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 15, 2001: Atta and Pakistani Fighter Pilot Associate Denied Airplane Security Job Because of Criminal Record According to a book by Jurgen Roth, described by Newsday as “one of Germany’s top investigative reporters,” on this day Mohamed Atta applies for a job with Lufthansa Airlines at the Frankfurt, Germany, airport. The security post he applies for would give him access to secure areas of the busy international airport. However, when Lufthansa checks his criminal record they find that in 1995 he had been under investigation for petty drug crimes (see 1995), so his application is turned down. Three days later, an Iranian citizen dropping Atta’s name also applies for the same job, and is also turned down. On March 5, a third man applies, with Atta at his side. He tells Lufthansa that he has been a pilot in the Pakistani Air Force. Apparently both the Iranian and Pakistani are members of an Islamic study group with Atta at the Hamburg university they are all attending. While the name of the Pakistani pilot is not revealed in this account, a Pakistani Air Force pilot named Atif bin Mansour is known to have applied together with Atta for a room for a new Islamic study group in early 1999 (see Late 1998-August 10, 1999). After 9/11, Lufthansa Airlines will say they can neither confirm nor deny this account, because all such records for rejected applicants have been routinely deleted. [ROTH, 2001, PP. 9F; NEWSDAY, 1/24/2002] In 2007, it will be reported that French intelligence learned before 9/11 of a meeting in early 2000 in which al-Qaeda planned the hijacking of an airliner departing from Frankfurt, and one of the target airliners considered was Lufthansa (see Early 2000). Entity Tags: Pakistani Air Force, Lufthansa Airlines, Atif bin Mansour, Jurgen Roth, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 19-February 20, 2001: Hijackers Make Unexplained Trip to Virginia Edit

Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi make a brief trip to Virginia Beach, where they cash a check for $4,000 and rent a mailbox. Newsweek later reports that federal investigators believe Mohamed Atta visits Norfolk, Virginia, site of a huge US Navy base, at this time: “The Feds believe that Atta was scoping out an aircraft carrier as a target.” However, the 9/11 Commission will comment, “We have found no explanation for these travels.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/24/2001; NEWSWEEK, 10/29/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004, PP. 7; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 229, 523; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] Atta and Alshehhi will return to Virginia Beach a few weeks later (see April 3-4, 2001 and around). Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 21, 2001: Mohamed Atta’s Car Is Queried by Police in Georgia A car registered to Mohamed Atta is queried by police in DeKalb County, Georgia. This incident is added to the NCIC, a widely used nationwide police database. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 126 ] Atta and Marwan Alshehhi are currently living in Georgia (see (January 25-Early March, 2001)). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, National Crime Information Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 22-25, 2001: Atta Spends Weekend in Key West on a ‘Continuous Party,’ then Bails Girlfriend out of Jail? Some reports later suggest that around this time Mohamed Atta has an American girlfriend called Amanda Keller (see (February-April 2001)). According to Tony and Vonnie LaConca, a couple that meet Keller and her boyfriend (who they know only as “Mohamed”), the pair and another woman go on a short trip to Key West, Florida. Tony LaConca later recalls, “They were gone for three days. They didn’t sleep—it was a continuous party.” The three indulge in drugs and alcohol, all paid for by “Mohamed,” even though he does not have a job. After returning from the trip, on February 25 “Mohamed” has to bail Keller out of South County Jail, after police take her in because of an outstanding warrant over a “worthless check charge.” [CHARLOTTE SUN, 9/14/2001; CHARLOTTE SUN, 9/11/2003] The Sarasota Herald-Tribune claims that Keller’s companion is not Mohamed Atta, but another man of Middle Eastern descent named Mohammed. [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/23/2001] In 2002, Keller will say that her boyfriend was indeed Mohamed Atta, but in 2006 she retracts this claim. [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/10/2006] Interestingly, other witnesses later describe Atta as frequently drinking alcohol, smoking, and possibly doing drugs (see (Mid-July - December 2000)). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Spring-Summer 2001: Hijackers Allegedly Receive Extra Training on Large Aircraft According to an associate of the 9/11 hijackers, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and flight school owner Rudi Dekkers, the hijackers have more training on large jets than the FBI will disclose. The FBI will say that the four hijacker pilots never fly real large jets before 9/11 and have a total of approximately 17 sessions on large aircraft simulators, mostly on older models:

Both Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi each take two sessions lasting 90 minutes on a Boeing 727 simulator and one session on a simulator for a Boeing 767, the type of aircraft they fly on 9/11 (see December 29-31, 2000); 
Ziad Jarrah, who flies a Boeing 757 on 9/11, has five sessions on 727s and 737s (see December 15, 2000-January 8, 2001); 
Hani Hanjour, who flies a Boeing 757 on 9/11, practices for a total of 21 hours on a Boeing 737-200 simulator (see February 8-March 12, 2001). 

When he learns what the FBI believes is the extent of the hijackers’ training, bin al-Shibh will complain in a fax sent to a reporter after 9/11: “How do aviation experts evaluate the skill with which the aircraft were flown, especially the Pentagon attack—accurate and professional as it was? Is it credible that the executers had never before flown a Boeing? Is it credible they only had some lessons on small twin-engine aircrafts and some lessons on simulators?” Referring to the period in early 2001 after the pilots spend a few hours practicing on simulators, bin al-Shibh will say, “What they needed was more flying hours, more training on simulators of large commercial planes such as Boeing 747s and Boeing 767s, as well as studying security precautions in all airports.” However, apparently bin al-Shibh does not mention exactly when or where such additional training took place, if in fact it did. [FOUDA AND FIELDING, 2003, PP. 24-6, 38, 134] Interviewed two days after 9/11, Dekkers, at whose flight school Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi initially trained (see July 6-December 19, 2000), will comment, “After the training they had here they went to another flight school in Pompano Beach and they had jet training there, simulator or big planes, but there is where they conducted the training to do what they had to do.” Dekkers will say that he has heard this “from several directions.” However, the Pompano Beach school is not named. [DEKKERS, 9/13/2001] Entity Tags: Rudi Dekkers, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Hani Hanjour, Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March-April 2001: Mohamed Atta Visits Tennessee Airport; Asks About Nearby Chemical Plant and About Buying Plane Two Middle Eastern men believed to be Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi land a small plane at Martin Campbell Air Field, near the small town of Copperhill, Tennessee. Danny Whitener, a salvage-car dealer, is tending his plane at the time. The pilot, who calls himself “Mo,” speaks to Whitener for about 15 minutes, aggressively questioning him about a nearby chemical plant and what chemicals are kept there, about a nearby dam, and about two nearby nuclear power plants. According to Whitener, the pilot, who after 9/11 he is convinced was Mohamed Atta, tells him their plane is rented, and that they have flown from Lawrenceville, Georgia, which is about 60 miles south of Copperhill. This would concur with reports of Atta and Alshehhi twice renting a Piper Warrior plane from a Lawrenceville flight school around this time (see (January 25-Early March, 2001)). However, Whitener says their plane on this occasion is a Cessna, which has a very different design to a Warrior. About a month later, according to the airport’s manager John Rutkosky, a man resembling Atta again arrives, this time in an expensive-looking sports car, and inquires about buying a plane. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/19/2001; WBIR (KNOXVILLE), 10/19/2001; DAWN (KARACHI), 11/25/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 12/16/2001] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Danny Whitener, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March-August 2001: Hijacker Atta Familiarizes Himself with Flying Crop-Duster Planes

A crop duster at South Florida Crop Care. [Source: Colin Braley / Reuters] In March and August, Mohamed Atta visits a small airport in South Florida and asks detailed questions about how to start and fly a crop-duster plane. People there easily recall him because he was so persistent. After explaining his abilities, Atta is told he is not skilled enough to fly a crop-duster. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/24/2001] Employees at South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, Florida, later tell the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks. Employee James Lester says, “I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/15/2001] Yet, according to US investigators, Atta and the other hijackers gave up on the crop-duster idea back around May 2000. Entity Tags: James Lester, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, South Florida Crop Care 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

q2Edit

Main article: Mohammed Atta:Q2 2001

September 2001Edit

Main article: Mohammed Atta:Sept 2001

October to December 2001Edit

September 30-October 7, 2001: US Media Report Hijackers Received $100,000 from Pakistan Edit

Several media outlets report that, in addition to other transactions, the hijackers received $100,000 wired from Pakistan to two accounts of Mohamed Atta in Florida (see also Summer 2001 and before and Early August 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/30/2001; CNN, 10/1/2001; FOX NEWS, 10/2/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/2/2001] For example, CNN says, “Suspected hijacker Mohamed Atta received wire transfers via Pakistan and then distributed the cash via money orders bought here in Florida. A senior law enforcement source tells CNN, the man sending the money to Atta is believed to be Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.” [CNN, 10/6/2001; CNN, 10/7/2001; CNN, 10/8/2001] The story will also be mentioned by Congressman John LaFalce at a hearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services. [US CONGRESS, 10/3/2001] However, Pakistan, a nuclear power, has already become a key US ally in the war on terror (see September 13-15, 2001). ISI Director Mahmood Ahmed, who is found to have had several telephone conversations with Saeed (see Summer 2000), is replaced (see October 7, 2001), and the story soon disappears from view (see September 24, 2001-December 26, 2002). Entity Tags: Saeed Sheikh, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 2001: FBI Recovers Hijacker E-Mails Reports this month indicate that many hijacker e-mails have been recovered. USA Today reports many unencrypted e-mails coordinating the 9/11 plans written by the hijackers in Internet cafes have been recovered by investigators. [USA TODAY, 10/1/2001] FBI sources say, “[H]undreds of e-mails linked to the hijackers in English, Arabic and Urdu” have been recovered, with some messages including “operational details” of the attack. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/4/2001] “A senior FBI official says investigators have obtained hundreds of e-mails in English and Arabic, reflecting discussions of the planned September 11 hijackings.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/16/2001] However, in April 2002, FBI Director Mueller says no documentation of the 9/11 plot has been found. By September 2002, the Chicago Tribune reports, “Of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of e-mails sent and received by the hijackers from public Internet terminals, none is known to have been recovered.” [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/5/2002] The texts of some e-mails sent by Mohamed Atta from Germany are published a few months later. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Robert S. Mueller III, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 7, 2001: ISI Director Replaced at US Urging; Role in Funding 9/11 Plot Is One Explanation

The on-line Wall Street Journal article discussing the connections between Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, Saeed Sheikh, and Mohamed Atta. [Source: Public domain] ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is replaced in the face of US pressure after links are discovered between him, Saeed Sheikh, and the funding of the 9/11 attacks. Mahmood instructed Saeed to transfer $100,000 into hijacker Mohamed Atta’s bank account prior to 9/11. This is according to Indian intelligence, which claims the FBI has privately confirmed the story. [PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 10/8/2001; TIMES OF INDIA, 10/9/2001; INDIA TODAY, 10/15/2001; DAILY EXCELSIOR (JAMMU), 10/18/2001] The story is not widely reported in Western countries, though it makes the Wall Street Journal. [AUSTRALIAN, 10/10/2001; AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 10/10/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/10/2001] It is reported in Pakistan as well. [DAWN (KARACHI), 10/8/2001] The Northern Alliance also repeats the claim in late October. [FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 10/31/2001] In Western countries, the usual explanation is that Mahmood is fired for being too close to the Taliban. [LONDON TIMES, 10/9/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/9/2001] The Times of India reports that Indian intelligence helped the FBI discover the link, and says, “A direct link between the ISI and the WTC attack could have enormous repercussions. The US cannot but suspect whether or not there were other senior Pakistani Army commanders who were in the know of things. Evidence of a larger conspiracy could shake US confidence in Pakistan’s ability to participate in the anti-terrorism coalition.” [TIMES OF INDIA, 10/9/2001] There is evidence some ISI officers may have known of a plan to destroy the WTC as early as July 1999. Two other ISI leaders, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan and Lt. Gen. Muzaffar Usmani, are sidelined on the same day as Mahmood (see October 8, 2001). [FOX NEWS, 10/8/2001] Saeed had been working under Khan. The firings are said to have purged the ISI of its fundamentalists. However, according to one diplomat, “To remove the top two or three doesn’t matter at all. The philosophy remains.… [The ISI is] a parallel government of its own. If you go through the officer list, almost all of the ISI regulars would say, of the Taliban, ‘They are my boys.’” [NEW YORKER, 10/29/2001] It is believed Mahmood has been living under virtual house arrest in Pakistan (which would seem to imply more than just a difference of opinion over the Taliban), but no charges have been brought against him, and there is no evidence the US has asked to question him. [ASIA TIMES, 1/5/2002] He also has refused to speak to reporters since being fired [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/2002] , and outside India and Pakistan, the story has only been mentioned infrequently in the media since. [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 2/24/2002; LONDON TIMES, 4/21/2002] He will reemerge as a businessman in 2003, but still will not speak to the media (see July 2003). Entity Tags: Muzaffar Usmani, Mohamed Atta, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Northern Alliance, Mohammed Aziz Khan, Taliban, Saeed Sheikh, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Mahmood Ahmed, India, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

October 13, 2001: Czech Foreign Minister Tells Secretary of State Powell Mohamed Atta May Have Met with Iraqi Spy Czech foreign minister Jan Kavan briefs Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington about the alleged trip 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta took to the Czech Republic in April 2001 (see April 8, 2001). Kavan tells Powell that the BIS, the Czech intelligence service, has reason to believe that Mohamed Atta may have met near Prague with Iraqi spy Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2001 SOURCES: JAN KAVAN] Entity Tags: Jan Kavan, Colin Powell, Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

October 14, 2001: ’Strange Coincidence’ Briefly Increases Suspicions Al-Qaeda Is behind Anthrax Attacks

Gloria Irish. [Source: AP / St. Petersburg Times] The FBI confirms that Gloria Irish rented an apartment to two of the 9/11 hijackers. Her husband is Michael Irish, who is an editor of the Sun, a Florida tabloid newspaper, and the first victim of the anthrax attacks earlier this month. Bob Stevens, who also worked at the Sun, and several others at the tabloid offices were injured. The FBI says that Irish rented different apartments in Delray Beach, Florida, to hijackers Marwan Alshehhi and Saeed Alghamdi during the summer of 2001. But one FBI spokesperson says, “Right now it looks like a coincidence,” and another calls it a “strange coincidence.” Two of the hijackers, including Mohamed Atta, also had subscriptions to the Sun. [KNIGHT RIDDER, 10/14/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/16/2001] But Irish says “there is no way” the hijackers could have known about any Sun connection through her. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/15/2001] Michael Irish is a licensed pilot who was a member of the Civil Air Patrol based at Lantana Airport. Atta reportedly rented a plane at that airport in August. Stevens, who died of anthrax on October 5, also lived in Lantana. But there is no evidence that Irish or Stevens crossed paths with Atta. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/15/2001] The story will quickly die after nothing more is found to the connection. Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Saeed Alghamdi, Marwan Alshehhi, Bob Stevens, Gloria Irish Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 2001 Anthrax Attacks

October 15, 2001-February 22, 2004: Waiter Who Served Atta Lunch Is Imprisoned for Five Months, Government Attempts to Keep Court Case Secret Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel is arrested and held for five months after investigators discover he worked at a restaurant where Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi sometimes ate lunch in South Florida. In a sworn statement, Michael Rolince, head of the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section, says, “It is likely that Bellahouel would have waited on both Atta and Alshehhi since Bellahouel had worked at the restaurant for 10 months, and both Atta and Alshehhi were frequent patrons during shifts that Bellahouel worked.” Rolince also alleges Bellahouel may have waited on a third hijacker, Saeed Alghamdi, and says that a cinema employee claims Bellahouel saw a film with a fourth hijacker, Ahmed Alnami. However, Bellahouel, who denies going to the cinema with Alnami, has trouble gaining access to the evidence used against him. His attorney comments, “They won’t call it secret evidence and they won’t call it classified, but they won’t give it to you, either.” He is held in prison without bond and without charge from October 15, 2001 to March 1, 2002. After he is released, US authorities attempt to deport him, as he entered the US as a student, but then dropped out of college and started work, marrying a US citizen in June 2001. His attorney says the problem is that he is a Muslim. “If he were a Catholic coming from Venezuela or Colombia, they would have let him adjust his immigration status.” Bellahouel sues the government over his incarceration, but the case is shrouded in secrecy and the press only learns the case is ongoing due to a court error. [MIAMI DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW, 3/14/2003] For example, a journalist, who does not event know Bellahouel’s name, attempts to attend a hearing in March 2003. But the court is closed. After some effort, the reporter finally finds the name in the electronic docket. When he tells a court official Bellahouel’s name is on the docket, the official replies, “Is it? We’ll have to fix that, too,” and the name disappears. [REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, 12/2004] In February 2004 the Supreme Court declines an appeal from Bellahouel to have an open hearing, and media organizations are prevented from accessing sealed court proceedings. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/5/2004; CNN, 2/23/2004] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Michael Rolince, Ahmed Alnami, Mohamed Kamel Bellahouel, Saeed Alghamdi, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline, Civil Liberties

October 16, 2001: Czech Minister Refuses to Confirm Atta Meeting with Iraqi Agent in Prague Referring to the claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Iraqi Counsel al-Ani on April 8, 2001 (see April 8, 2001), Stanislav Gross, the Czech interior minister, states, “I can only confirm one visit in the summer” and Petr Necas, chairman of the parliamentary defense committee, says, “I haven’t seen any direct evidence that Mr. Atta met any Iraqi agent.” Citing a senior Czech Republic official, the New York Times will report on October 20 that “firm documentary evidence existed only that Mr. Atta had passed through the Prague airport from Germany to take a flight to Newark.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2001] The rumors, which had first surfaced shortly after the attacks, were based on information from a Czech intelligence source inside Prague’s Middle Eastern community. The source had told the BIS, the Czech Republic’s intelligence service, that he had seen Atta meeting al-Ani in a restaurant outside of Prague on April 8 earlier that year (see April 8, 2001). [CNN, 9/19/2001; NEWSWEEK, 4/28/2002] Entity Tags: Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Stanislav Gross, Mohamed Atta, Petr Necas Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

Late October 2001: UAE Confused over Hijacker Bank Accounts Governor of the United Emirates Central Bank Sultan Nasser al-Suwaidi first says that hijacker pilots Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi had accounts in the United Arab Emirates, but then later contradicts this saying that Atta did not have one. Initially, he admits that Atta had an account at a Citibank branch in Dubai, but says it was closed a year before the attacks. “Mohamed Atta was like any adult expatriate in the UAE,” he says. The account was apparently busier than normal, with frequent transfers of $10,000 to $15,000. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/20/2001; CNN, 10/22/2001] Although the existence of Alshehhi’s account is confirmed (see July 1999-November 2000), al-Suwaidi denies Atta had an account a few days later. He says that his bank had confused Atta with an Afghan who had a similar name, but different photo, age, and occupation. “They are different people, different nationalities,” he insists. The Afghan had an account with Citibank from 1997 to December 2000, but there were apparently no suspicious transfers to Afghanistan. [UAE INTERACT, 10/25/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/25/2001] Entity Tags: Sultan Nasser al-Suwaidi, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 26, 2001: Czech Interior Minister Says It Is Certain that Atta Met with Iraqi Diplomat in Prague Czech interior minister Stanislav Gross says during a press conference that 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta had in fact met with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, the consul and second secretary of the Iraqi embassy, in the Czech Republic after arriving in Prague on April 8, 2001 (see April 8, 2001). “We can confirm now that during his… trip to the Czech Republic, he did have a contact with an officer of the Iraqi intelligence,” he says. He also says that Atta had been in Prague at least twice—in May 2000 after coming to Prague from Germany on his way to the United States and then again in April when he allegedly met with Ahni. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/27/2001; CNN, 10/27/2001] Also, by this time, the FBI claims it has physical evidence of Atta’s trip to Prague. The New York Times reports, “On April 4 he was in Virginia Beach. He flew to the Czech Republic on April 8 and met with the Iraqi intelligence officer… By April 11, Atta was back in Florida renting a car.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/27/2001 SOURCES: UNNAMED US OFFICIALS, JAN KAVAN] But this will later be disputed. In late April 2002, Newsweek will report, “The FBI could find no visa or airline records showing he had left or re-entered the United States that month,” quoting an unnamed US official who says, “Neither we nor the Czechs nor anybody else has any information he was coming or going [to Prague] at that time.” [NEWSWEEK, 4/28/2002 SOURCES: UNNAMED US OFFICIAL, JAN KAVAN] And in late 2003, Edward Jay Epstein will similarly report in Slate that there “were no car rental records in Virginia, Florida, or anywhere else in April 2001 for Mohamed Atta, since he had not yet obtained his Florida license… [n]or were there other records in the hands of the FBI that put Atta in the United States at the time.” But Epstein will note that Atta would likely have traveled to Prague using false documents anyway. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/19/2003] Entity Tags: Stanislav Gross, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

October 27, 2001: London Times Makes Wild and False Allegations of Al-Qaeda-Iraqi Government Links A London Times article by Daniel McGrory claims that not only did Mohamed Atta meet with an Iraqi agent in Prague, but that “a special FBI team” is studying “a report from Prague that anthrax spores were given to Atta” during the meeting. Furthermore, “Saddam’s agents were spotted at various times this year with Atta in Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic,” and that Atta met with the agent in Prague at least four times. Additionally, an Iraqi intelligence agent in Rome was seen with Atta in Prague and Hamburg and then disappeared shortly before the 9/11 attacks. The article also alleges numerous meetings between Iraqi agents and Osama bin Laden, as well as a meeting between al-Qaeda second-in command Ayman Zawahiri and Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yasin Ramadan. Furthermore, al-Qaeda operatives were supposedly given advanced weapons training in Iraq supervised by Saddam Hussein’s son Uday Hussein. The article mentions no sources at all for these stunning allegations, except to refer to some other recent articles in a couple of cases. However, the article does mention former CIA Director James Woolsey, and it seems probable that Woolsey is a force behind the article, since he is in London at the time attempting to find evidence supporting the Prague meeting and Iraqi involvement in the anthrax attacks (see Mid-September-October 2001). [LONDON TIMES, 10/27/2001] This article represents the height of the propaganda effort attempting to link al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government together. Many of the allegations in the article are never mentioned in any other newspaper article, and all of them will eventually be debunked. Entity Tags: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mohamed Atta, Osama bin Laden, Taha Yasin Ramadan, Uday Hussein Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, 2001 Anthrax Attacks

October 27-November 2001: Zammar Arrested in Morocco Suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar travels from Germany to Morocco. Not long after, perhaps in November, he is arrested by Moroccan police with US assistance. Although he is a German citizen and under investigation by Germany, German intelligence remain unaware of his arrest, and only learn about it from the newspapers in June 2002. He is sent to Syria, where there are formal charges against him (see December 2001). Zammar reportedly now claims he recruited Mohamed Atta and others into the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell. [WASHINGTON POST, 6/19/2002] It is widely suspected that the US arranged for Zammar to be sent to Syria so that he could be more thoroughly interrogated using torture. The Germans are angry that the US has been submitting questions for Zammar and learning answers from Syria, but have not informed Germany of what they have learned [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/20/2002; CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 7/26/2002] Entity Tags: Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Germany, Mohamed Atta, Syria Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives, Complete 911 Timeline

October 29, 2001: Sen. McCain Supports 9/11 Hijacker-Iraq Spy Story and Other Dubious Claims of Iraqi Links to Al-Qaeda In a television interview, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) supports the allegation that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague. McCain says, “The evidence is very clear.” This comment comes several days after a Czech government official claimed that the meeting took place (see October 26, 2001). McCain makes other comments around the same time also trying to link Iraq to the 9/11 attacks. For instance, in mid-September 2001, he told television host Jay Leno that he believes “some other countries” had assisted al-Qaeda, suggesting Iraq, Iran, and Syria as potential suspects. McCain also relies on dubious claims made by Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress (INC). For instance, in a television interview, McCain echoes the INC’s claim that two Iraqi defectors know about terrorist training camps in Iraq (see November 6-8, 2001). McCain claims there are “credible reports of involvement between Iraqi administration officials, Iraqi officials and the terrorists.” In 2006, McCain will admit that he had been “too enamored with the INC.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/16/2008] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Ahmed Chalabi, John McCain, Iraqi National Congress, Mohamed Atta

November 3, 2001: Mohamed Atta Alleged to Be Iraqi Agent The Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that Saddam Hussein’s interpreter, known only by the alias A.S., claims Mohamed Atta was an agent of el-Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret services. A.S. is sponsored by the Iraqi exile group the Iraqi National Congress (INC). He claims that it was Atta who planned the 9/11 attacks, not with bin Laden or the other 18 hijackers but with two officials of the Iraqi secret services: Farouk Hijazi, a former Iraqi ambassador to Turkey, and Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, a member of the Iraqi diplomatic corps in Prague, Czech Republic. [LA REPUBBLICA (ROME), 11/3/2001] Entity Tags: Farouk Hijazi, Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, 9/11 Timeline

November 9, 2001: Czech Prime Minister Says Atta and Iraqi Agent Discussed Plans to Blow Up Radio Free Europe in Prague Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman tells Colin Powell and CNN that during the alleged April 2001 meeting in Prague between 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta and Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, the two men discussed plans to bomb the Radio Free Europe building in Prague, which also housed Radio Free Iraq. The claim is reportedly based on footage from surveillance cameras at the Radio Free Europe building which had shown al-Ani surveying the building in April 2001 (see 1999). The Prime Minister will later back away from the claim, explaining it was just a hypothesis raised by Czech intelligence. [CNN, 11/9/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/16/2001; NEWSWEEK, 4/28/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 5/1/2002] Entity Tags: Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Mohamed Atta, Colin Powell, Milos Zeman Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

November 12, 2001: New York Times Editorialist Calls Alleged Atta Meeting in Prague an ‘Undisputed Fact’ In a New York Times editorial, conservative columnist William Safire calls the alleged meeting between Mohamed Atta and an Iraqi diplomat in Prague an “undisputed fact.” He does not offer any significant new evidence to support this assertion, however. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/12/2001] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, William Safire Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

December 2001: CIA Realizes Prague Visit Was Not Made by Hijacker Atta The CIA realizes that a reported visit by Mohamed Atta to Prague, Czech Republic, was actually made by a Pakistani businessman with a similar name (see May 31, 2000), not by the 9/11 hijacker. Hijacker Atta’s alleged Prague visit was used to bolster the theory that he met an Iraqi intelligence agent there in April 2001 (see September 14, 2001), and that Iraq was connected to 9/11. The Pakistani arrived on May 31, 2000 and was deported, as he did not have a Czech visa. Hijacker Atta arrived two days later on his way to the US on a Czech visa that came into effect on June 1. Shortly after 9/11, it was thought that Atta’s business in Prague in May 2000 was so urgent that he had to fly into the airport and be deported one day before his visa came into effect (note: the theory was that he must have met someone at the airport while waiting for his deportation flight). However, investigation by the CIA, Czech and German authorities finds that the May 30 entry was made by a namesake, not the hijacker. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/29/2004] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, 9/11 Timeline

Early December 2001: Al-Qaeda ‘Puppet Master’ Abu Qatada Disappears in Britain

Abu Qatada. [Source: Public domain] Al-Qaeda religious leader Abu Qatada disappears, despite being under surveillance in Britain. He has been “described by some justice officials as the spiritual leader and possible puppet master of al-Qaeda’s European networks.” [TIME, 7/7/2002] He supposedly escapes from his house, which the police are monitoring, in a minivan with his heavily pregnant wife and four children. [LONDON TIMES, 10/25/2002; O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 108] Qatada had already been sentenced to death in abstentia in Jordan, and is wanted at the time by the US, Spain, France, and Algeria as well. [GUARDIAN, 2/14/2002] In October 2001, the media had strongly suggested that Qatada would soon be arrested for his known roles in al-Qaeda plots, but no such arrest occurred. [LONDON TIMES, 10/21/2001] In November, while Qatada was still living openly in Britain, a Spanish judge expressed disbelief that Qatada hadn’t been arrested already, as he has previously been connected to a Spanish al-Qaeda cell that may have met with Mohamed Atta in July 2001. [OBSERVER, 11/25/2001] Time magazine will later claim that just before new anti-terrorism laws go into effect in Britain, Abu Qatada and his family are secretly moved to a safe house by the British government, where he is lodged, fed, and clothed by the government. “The deal is that Abu Qatada is deprived of contact with extremists in London and Europe but can’t be arrested or expelled because no one officially knows where he is,” says a source, whose claims were corroborated by French authorities. The British reportedly do this to avoid a “hot potato” trial. [TIME, 7/7/2002] A British official rejects these assertions: “We wouldn’t give an awful lot of credence [to the story].” [GUARDIAN, 7/8/2002] Some French officials tell the press that Qatada was allowed to disappear because he is actually a British intelligence agent. [OBSERVER, 2/24/2002] It appears that Qatada held secret meetings with British intelligence in 1996 and 1997, and the British were under the impression that he was informing on al-Qaeda (though there is disagreement if he was misleading them or not) (see June 1996-February 1997). Qatada will be arrested in London on October 23, 2002 (see October 23, 2002). Entity Tags: Algeria, Al-Qaeda, Abu Qatada, United Kingdom, Mohamed Atta, Central Intelligence Agency, Jordan, France, Spain Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

December 7, 2001: Indian Police Shoot Gangster Dead Indian gangster Asif Raza Khan, an associate of Saeed Sheikh and Aftab Ansari, is shot dead by Indian police. Police claim he was trying to escape. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/23/2002] A month or two before his death, Indian investigators recorded a confession of his involvement in a plot with Ansari and Saeed to send kidnapping profits to hijacker Mohamed Atta. This information becomes public just before Saeed is suspected in the kidnapping and murder of reporter Daniel Pearl. [INDEPENDENT, 1/24/2002; INDIA TODAY, 2/25/2002] Many in Ansari’s Indian criminal network are arrested in October and November 2001, and they confirm Khan’s money connection to Atta. [INDIA TODAY, 2/14/2002] Entity Tags: Asif Raza Khan, Daniel Pearl, Saeed Sheikh, Aftab Ansari, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

December 9, 2001: Cheney Claims Atta-Iraqi Agent Meeting in Prague Is ‘Pretty Well Confirmed’ Vice President Cheney says in an interview on Meet the Press, “Well, what we now have that’s developed [recently]… was that report that’s been pretty well confirmed, that [Mohamed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack. Now, what the purpose of that was, what transpired between them, we simply don’t know at this point. But that’s clearly an avenue that we want to pursue.” [WASHINGTON POST, 12/9/2001] The CIA already believes the reports of Atta visiting Prague are incorrect (see December 2001). Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

December 12, 2001: Al-Marri Detained as Material Witness to 9/11 Attacks Qatari citizen Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a computer science graduate student at Illinois’s Bradley University, is arrested as a material witness to the 9/11 attacks. [PEORIA JOURNAL STAR, 12/19/2001; CNN, 12/13/2005] Al-Marri was interviewed twice by the FBI, once on October 2 and again on December 11. Both times, according to the FBI, he lied in response to their questions. Al-Marri claimed to have entered the US on September 10, 2001, his first visit to the country since 1991, when he earned his undergraduate degree at Bradley. [CBS NEWS, 6/23/2003; CNN, 12/13/2005] Connections to 9/11 Terrorists Alleged - The FBI says al-Marri has been in the US since 2000. Al-Marri denied calling the United Arab Emirates phone number of Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of suspected “20th hijacker” Zacarias Moussaoui. Prosecutors say al-Hawsawi provided financial backing to Moussaoui and the 9/11 hijackers, and allegedly helped some of the hijackers travel from Pakistan to the United Arab Emirates and then to the US in preparation for the attacks. [CBS NEWS, 6/23/2003; PROGRESSIVE, 3/2007] (Al-Hawsawi will be captured in Pakistan in March 2003, and detained in an undisclosed location somewhere outside the US. See Early-Late June, 2001) [CNN, 12/13/2005] The government also alleges that the phone number was a contact number for Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, another unindicted co-conspirator in the Moussaoui indictment. The government says that two calling cards were used to call the number, which was also listed as a contact number on a package it believes was sent by 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta to the UAE on September 8, 2001. The cards were allegedly used to place phone calls from al-Marri’s residence, from his cellphone, and from the Marriott hotel room he was staying in on September 11. However, none of the three calls to the UAE number were made from phones registered to Al-Marri, though, nor is there proof he placed them. Some of the calls made from the card to the UAE were placed to relatives of al-Marri. [BRADLEY SCOUT, 3/29/2002] In March 2002, Justice Department official Alice Fisher will say that an unnamed al-Qaeda detainee “in a position to know… positively identified al-Marri as an al-Qaeda sleeper operative who was tasked to help new al-Qaeda operatives get settled in the United States for follow-on attacks after 9/11.” That unidentified tipster brought al-Marri to the attention of federal law enforcement shortly after the attacks. FBI officials have said that al-Marri is not considered to have played any part in the attacks, but is still considered a danger to the US. [KNIGHT RIDDER, 6/23/2003] In 2003, the FBI adds that it found “an almanac with bookmarks in pages that provided information about major US dams, reservoirs, waterways and railroads.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 6/24/2003] He is believed to be a relative of Saudi national and future Guantanamo detainee Mohamed al-Khatani, who is said to be an intended 9/11 hijacker (see July 2002). [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/21/2004] Bank and Credit Card Fraud - According to the FBI, al-Marri obtained a bank account under a false name, rented a motel room under a false name to create a mailing address, and formed a fake company, AAA Carpet, using the motel’s address. The FBI also says al-Marri used a fake Social Security number to open three other bank accounts. Al-Marri was carrying well over 15 fake credit card numbers on him when he was interviewed yesterday, says the US Attorney’s office in Illinois. [CBS NEWS, 6/23/2003; PROGRESSIVE, 3/2007] There are also allegedly over 1,000 more in his personal computer files. He has missed so many classes, the FBI says, that he is on the verge of flunking out. The FBI says al-Marri’s computer also contains Arabic lectures by Osama bin Laden, photographs of the 9/11 attacks, and a cartoon of planes crashing into the World Trade Center. The computer has a folder labeled “jihad arena,” and another labeled “chem,” which, government officials say, contains industrial chemical distributor websites used by al-Marri to obtain information about hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas used in chemical weapons. [CNN, 12/13/2005] Al-Marri consents to the search and the seizure of his computer and other possessions. [BRADLEY SCOUT, 3/29/2002] Al-Marri will be charged with financial crimes in 2002 (see February 8, 2002), charges that later will be dropped (see June 23, 2003). [CBS NEWS, 6/23/2003] Entity Tags: US Department of Justice, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Zacarias Moussaoui, Mohamed al-Khatani, Alice Fisher, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda, Bradley University, Osama bin Laden, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives, Complete 911 Timeline

December 16, 2001: Czech Police Chief Says No Evidence Atta Met Iraqi Agent in Prague Czech Police Chief Jiri Kolar says that there is no evidence that 9/11 ringleader Mohamed Atta met an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague in April (see April 8, 2001). He also says—contradicting earlier reports—that there is no documentary evidence that Atta traveled to Prague at all in 2001. Additionally, an unnamed Czech intelligence official tells the newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes, that that the person who had met with al-Ani on April 2001 near Prague was not Atta. Another person with the same name had arrived in Prague in 2001 but he “didn’t have the same identity card number.” Furthermore, “There was a great difference in their ages, their nationalities didn’t match, basically nothing—it was someone else,” the source says. It is also reported that a man named Hassan, described as a businessman and a long-time member of Prague’s Arab community, claims to have been a close friend of al-Ani. Hassan says that he believes the Czechs had mistaken another man for Atta, a used car dealer from Nuremberg by the name of Saleh, who often visited Prague to meet al-Ani and and who sold him at least one car. “I have sat with the two of them at least twice. The double is an Iraqi who has met with the consul. If someone saw a photo of Atta he might easily mistake the two,” Hassan says. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/16/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/18/2001 SOURCES: HASSAN, JIRI KOLAR, UNNAMED CZECH INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS, UNNAMED INTERIOR MINISTRY OFFICIAL] Responding to the report, Gabriela Bartikova, spokeswoman for the Czech Minister of Interior, says that the Czech intelligence agency still believes that Mohamed Atta and al-Ani, the consul and second secretary of the Iraqi embassy met in April 2001. She says, “Minister Gross had the information from BIS (the Czech Republic’s Intelligence Agency), and BIS guarantees the information. So we stick by that information.” At about the same time, US officials tell the Associated Press they also still believe the meeting had transpired. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/16/2001] Entity Tags: Stanislav Gross, Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

December 19, 2001: Sufaat Arrested, May Hold Key to 9/11-Crop Duster Mystery

Yazid Sufaat. [Source: FBI] Yazid Sufaat is arrested in Malaysia. Sufaat is a Malaysian who owns a condominium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where a January 2000 al-Qaeda summit was held (see January 5-8, 2000). He also graduated in 1987 from a California university with a degree in biological sciences. According to interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Hambali, and other captured prisoners, Sufaat was given the lead in developing chemical and biological weapons for al-Qaeda. But he apparently had been unable to buy the kind of anthrax he wanted for an attack. Zacarias Moussaoui, Mohamed Atta, and other al-Qaeda operatives appeared to have had an interest in crop dusters before 9/11. It has been suggested that this interest served to further Sufaat’s biological weapons plot. This would especially make sense in the case of Moussaoui, since he stayed with Sufaat in Sufaat’s Malaysia apartment for two months in late 2000. Sufaat remains in Malaysian custody. The US has only been able to directly interview him on one brief occasion, in November 2002. [WASHINGTON POST, 3/28/2003; CNN, 10/10/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/7/2003] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Yazid Sufaat, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Zacarias Moussaoui, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.