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This article is a subsection of Mohammed Atta:Timeline

1990: Mohamed Atta Joins Muslim Brotherhood Linked Group Edit

In 1990, after finishing his studies in architecture, Atta joins what is called an “engineering syndicate,” a professional or trade group. Like the school that trained many of its engineers, the syndicate serves as an unofficial base for the Muslim Brotherhood, where the organization recruits new operatives and spreads its ideology. Other members of the 9/11 plot will also have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood at various points in their lives. [1][2][3][WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/2001; OBSERVER, 9/23/2001; NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001]

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

After 9/11, some in Western countries will say that one of the root causes of the attacks is poverty and assume that the hijackers must have been poor. However, most of them are middle class and have relatively comfortable upbringings. The editor of Al Watan, a Saudi Arabian daily, will call them “middle class adventurers” rather than Islamist fundamentalist ideologues. [4]BOSTON GLOBE, 3/3/2002] Mohamed Atta grows up in Cairo, Egypt. His father is an attorney, and both Atta and his two sisters attend university. [5][MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 10-11]

Autumn 1992-1999: Atta Attends University in Hamburg, Germany Edit

Mohamed Atta enrolls in the planning program of the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, where he studies for a master’s degree. Atta chose Hamburg after meeting two German schoolteachers from there in the fall of 1991. The teachers were in Cairo because they organize student exchanges between Germany and Egypt.

After being introduced by mutual friends, they offered Atta a rent-free room in their home, where he stays for about six months, before moving into student housing.[6] [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/7/2003]

At the university, Atta is lucky that the department’s chairman, Dittmar Machule, is a specialist on the Middle East. Machule feels that Atta shares his passion and says that Atta is “tender, sensitive… he had deep, dark eyes. His eyes would speak. You could see the intelligence, the knowledge, the alertness.” Those who know Atta at the university will say he sits and listens, without making hasty comments, he is careful about what he says, and he is very respectful of well-prepared teachers. Fellow student Martin Ebert will say, “I don’t think it was possible to have a fight with him.” Another fellow student, Harmut Kaiser, will say that it is hard to draw Atta into political discussions in class, even if politics is relevant to the topic under discussion: “He wasn’t a guy who acted like he wanted to change the world—unlike a lot of other students in the group.” [7][MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 24-25]

(1994-1998): Mohamed Atta Supported by German Foundation with US Ties Edit

Mohamed Atta receives financial support from the Carl Duisberg Society, a German foundation that promotes international cultural exchange, primarily between Germany and the United States. [8][9] During this period, Atta receives some support for research and travel. He also tutors students at seminars on North African affairs. [10][11]

1995: Germans Investigate Atta for Petty Drug Crimes Edit

According to a book (citing federal law enforcement sources) by Jurgen Roth, described by Newsday as “one of Germany’s top investigative reporters,” in this year the [BKA]] (the German Federal Office for criminal investigations) investigates Mohamed Atta for petty drug crimes and falsifying phone cards whilst he is a student at the Technical University at Hamburg-Harburg. While he isn’t charged, a record of the investigation will prevent him from getting a security job with Lufthansa Airlines Wikipedia in early 2001 [see 1][12]

1995: Hijacker Atta Still Connected to Group Linked to Muslim Brotherhood Edit

In a three-month trip to his hometown of Cairo, Egypt, Mohamed Atta demonstrates that he is still a member of an engineering syndicate linked to the Muslim Brotherhood [see 2] He takes the two German students he is traveling with, Volker Hauth Wikipedia and Ralph Bodenstein Wikipedia, to the syndicate’s eating club. According to Hauth, Atta does nothing during the trip he knows about that suggests he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the group’s influence on the club is obvious.[13] A former CIA officer who served undercover in Damascus, Syria, will later say, “At every stage in Atta’s journey is the Muslim Brotherhood.” [14]

1995-1998: Darkazanli Receives Large Sums From Saudi Intelligence Front Company Edit

A Saudi company called the Twaik Group deposits more than $250,000 in bank accounts controlled by Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian-born businessman suspected of belonging to the Hamburg cell that Mohamed Atta is also a part of.

In 2004, the Chicago Tribune will reveal evidence that German intelligence has concluded that Twaik, a $100 million-a-year conglomerate, serves as a front for the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency. It has ties to that agency’s longtime chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. Before 9/11, at least two of Twaik’s managers are suspected by various countries’ intelligence agencies of working for al-Qaeda. One Twaik employee, who is later accused of helping to finance the 2002 Bali bombings [see 3], repeatedly flies on aircraft operated by Saudi intelligence. In roughly the same time period, hundreds of thousands of additional dollars are deposited into Darkazanli’s accounts from a variety of suspicious entities, including a Swiss bank owned by Middle Eastern interests with links to terrorism and a radical Berlin imam. Darkazanli is later accused not just of financially helping the Hamburg 9/11 hijackers, but also of helping to choose them for al-Qaeda.[15] [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/12/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/31/2004]

Mid 1990s: Hijacker Atta Registers in Germany as UAE National Using Name Variant Edit

Although lead hijacker Mohamed Atta is Egyptian and is known to some German acquaintances as such, he registers as a UAE national in Hamburg. This will be confirmed after 9/11 by Hamburg’s interior minister, Olaf Scholz, who will say that his UAE nationality was recorded in the Ausländerzentralregister, a federal data base with personal data of foreign residents and asylum seekers. [BBC, 9/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/17/2001; HAMBURG INTERIOR MINISTRY, 9/23/2001] Commenting on this after 9/11, the Observer will say, “In many respects, though, he led not one life, but two. He repeatedly switched names, nationalities and personalities. If… in the US, he was Mohamed Atta, then at the Technical University of Harburg, he was Mohamed el-Amir. For the university authorities, he was an Egyptian, yet for his landlord, as for the US authorities, he was from the United Arab Emirates. And while it is not hard to see Atta, whose face gazes out from the passport photograph released by the FBI, as that of the mass murderer of Manhattan, el-Amir was a shy, considerate man who endeared himself to Western acquaintances.” [OBSERVER, 9/23/2001] It is unclear how or why Atta registered as a UAE national. In addition, throughout most of his time in Germany Atta is registered under a name variant, Mohamed el-Amir, and only registers using his full name after obtaining a new passport (see Late 1999), three weeks before leaving Germany for the US (see June 3, 2000). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Mid-Late 1990s: Radical Imam Preaches at Hamburg Mosque Attended by 9/11 Pilots

Mohammed Fazazi. [Source: Heise.de] Radical Moroccan imam Mohammed Fazazi gives weekly sermons at the al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, Germany, which is attended by the core members of the 9/11 plot, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see Early 1996 and April 1, 1999). Fazazi, who also makes videotapes that are watched by Islamist radicals throughout Europe, strongly believes that democracy and Western values must be rejected by Muslims living in the West, who should respect only their own Quranic laws. He often preaches that European countries are conducting a war against Islam and that “smiting the head of the infidels” is the duty of all Muslims, mandated by God. He stops preaching at the mosque and leaves Hamburg before 9/11. He is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Moroccan terrorist group Salafia Jihadia, and will later be convicted in Morocco for his part in bombings in Casablanca (see May 16, 2003). [VIDINO, 2006, PP. 225-6] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohammed Fazazi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Between August and December 1995: Atta Seen with Bin Al-Shibh by Roommate

Ramzi bin al-Shibh (front center) at the Al Quds mosque in Hamburg. [Source: History Channel] A roommate of future 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta will later say that he remembers that Atta was already associating with Ramzi bin al-Shibh in 1995 and that he saw bin al-Shibh at Atta’s residence then. At this time Atta is a graduate student at a technical university in Hamburg, whereas bin al-Shibh, who will allegedly play a co-ordinating role in 9/11, arrives in Germany in August 1995 and lives in a refugee camp near Hamburg under a false name. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/15/2002; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 38] Entity Tags: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1996: Atta Appears to Participate in Petty Fraud Mohamed Atta and some of his associates appear to participate in financial fraud. The Chicago Tribune in 2004 claims that in 1995 Atta gives a Muslim baker named Muharrem Acar living in Hamburg roughly $25,000 to help him open his own bakery. The newspaper calls this “noteworthy act of generosity to someone he barely knew.” However, the Wall Street Journal in 2003 presents a completely different story. Acar was sued and ordered to pay $6,500 in 1996. Atta and Acar worked together to backdate documents and manage a bank account to make it appear that Atta had loaned Acar over $20,000. This allowed Acar to claim he had no money and a large debt to Atta, and thus couldn’t pay the money he owed as part of the lawsuit against him. The Wall Street Journal notes Atta’s behavior conflicts with his media representation as “an ideologically pure Islamic extremist” and concludes, “It is increasingly evident that Mr. Atta and the other young men in Hamburg were typical of Islamist extremists in Europe, engaging in petty crime and fraud to make ends meet…” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/9/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/11/2004] Entity Tags: Muharrem Acar, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1996-December 2000: Majority of 9/11 Hijackers Attempt to Fight in Chechnya Edit

A young Ahmed Alnami in Saudi Arabia. [Source: Boston Globe] At least 11 of the 9/11 hijackers travel or attempt to travel to Chechnya between 1996 and 2000 (see 1999-2000):

Nawaf Alhazmi fights in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Afghanistan for several years, starting around 1995. [OBSERVER, 9/23/2001; ABC NEWS, 1/9/2002; US CONGRESS, 6/18/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] 
Khalid Almihdhar fights in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Afghanistan for several years, usually with Nawaf Alhazmi. [US CONGRESS, 6/18/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] 
Salem Alhazmi spends time in Chechnya with his brother Nawaf Alhazmi. [ABC NEWS, 1/9/2002] He also possibly fights with his brother in Afghanistan. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] 
Ahmed Alhaznawi leaves for Chechnya in 1999 [ABC NEWS, 1/9/2002] , and his family loses contact with him in late 2000. [ARAB NEWS, 9/22/2001] 
Hamza Alghamdi leaves for Chechnya in early 2000 [WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001; INDEPENDENT, 9/27/2001] or sometime around January 2001. He calls home several times until about June 2001, saying he is in Chechnya. [ARAB NEWS, 9/18/2001] 
Mohand Alshehri leaves to fight in Chechnya in early 2000. [ARAB NEWS, 9/22/2001] 
Ahmed Alnami leaves home in June 2000, and calls home once in June 2001 from an unnamed location. [ARAB NEWS, 9/19/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001] 
Fayez Ahmed Banihammad leaves home in July 2000 saying he wants to participate in a holy war or do relief work. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/27/2001] He calls his parents one time since. [ARAB NEWS, 9/18/2001] 
Ahmed Alghamdi leaves his studies to fight in Chechnya in 2000, and is last seen by his family in December 2000. He calls his parents for the last time in July 2001, but does not mention being in the US. [ARAB NEWS, 9/18/2001; ARAB NEWS, 9/20/2001] 
Waleed M. Alshehri disappears with Wail Alshehri in December 2000, after speaking of fighting in Chechnya. [ARAB NEWS, 9/18/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001] 
Wail Alshehri, who had psychological problems, went with his brother to Mecca to seek help. Both disappear, after speaking of fighting in Chechnya. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/25/2001] 
Majed Moqed is last seen by a friend in 2000 in Saudi Arabia, after communicating a “plan to visit the United States to learn English.” [ARAB NEWS, 9/22/2001] 

Clearly, there is a pattern: eleven hijackers appear likely to have fought in Chechnya, and two others are known to have gone missing. It is possible that others have similar histories, but this is hard to confirm because “almost nothing [is] known about some.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/21/2001] Indeed, a colleague later claims that hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh wanted to fight in Chechnya but were told in early 2000 that they were needed elsewhere. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/23/2002; REUTERS, 10/29/2002] Reuters later reports, “Western diplomats play down any Chechen involvement by al-Qaeda.” [REUTERS, 10/24/2002] Entity Tags: Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, Marwan Alshehhi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Khalid Almihdhar, Ziad Jarrah, Nawaf Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Salem Alhazmi, Wail Alshehri, Majed Moqed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early 1996: Future 9/11 Hijackers Begin Attending Mosque Monitored by German Authorities

The Al-Quds mosque in Hamburg was monitored by German authorities. [Source: Knut Muller] Mohamed Atta and other members of the Hamburg cell begin regularly attending the Al Quds mosque and fall under surveillance by the German authorities. Atta becomes a well-known figure both there and at other mosques in the city. He grows a beard at this time, which some commentators interpret as a sign of greater religious devotion. The mosque is home to numerous radicals. For example, one of the preachers, Mohammed Fazazi, advocates killing non-believers and encourages his followers to embrace martyrdom (see Mid-Late 1990s). After a time, Atta begins to teach classes at the mosque; he is stern with his students and criticizes them for wearing their hair in ponytails and gold chains around their necks, as well as for listening to music, which he says is a product of the devil. If a woman shows up, her father is informed she is not welcome and this is one of the reasons that, of the 80 students that start the classes, only a handful are left at the end. One of Atta’s associates, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, also teaches classes and fellow hijackers Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah attend and possibly first meet Atta there. Other mosque attendees who interact with the future hijackers at the mosque include Said Bahaji, and al-Qaeda operatives Mamoun Darkazanli and Mohammed Haydar Zammar. According to author Terry McDermott, German investigators notice Bahaji meets frequently with Darkazanli and Zammar at the mosque, so they presumably have a source inside it. [PBS FRONTLINE, 1/2002; BURKE, 2004, PP. 242; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 1-5, 34-37, 72] The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will later report that there was an informer working for the LfV, the Hamburg state intelligence agency, inside the mosque by 1999 and that he appeared to be interested in Atta, Jarrah, Alshehhi, bin al-Shibh, Bahaji and others (see April 1, 1999). [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Marwan Alshehhi, Mamoun Darkazanli Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 11, 1996: Mohamed Atta Makes Will

The al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, where Mohamed Atta made his will. [Source: Der Speigel] Mohamed Atta makes his will in Germany. It is not clear that the text of the will is actually written by Atta. For example, author Lawrence Wright will say that Atta merely signs a “standardized will” he gets from the al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, and journalists Yosri Fouda and Nick Fielding will say that the will is a “printed-out form devised by the mosque.” Atta apparently makes it as he is angered by new reports of an Israeli operation against Lebanon, which begins on this day. [FOUDA AND FIELDING, 2003, PP. 81-2; WRIGHT, 2006, PP. 307] Although the act of making a will is not that unusual for a 27-year old Muslim, the content of the will is unusual, perhaps reflecting the radical environment of the mosque (see Early 1996). For example, it says: “… [6] I don’t want a pregnant woman or a person who is not clean to come and say good bye to me because I don’t approve it… [9] The person who will wash my body near my genitals must wear gloves on his hands so he won’t touch my genitals… [11] I don’t want any women to go to my grave at all during my funeral or on any occasion thereafter.” The will is witnessed by Abdelghani Mouzdi and Mounir El-Motassadeq, who also make wills around the same time. [ATTA, 4/11/1996; BURKE, 2004, PP. 242; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 49, 245-7, 274] Entity Tags: Abdelghani Mzoudi, Mohamed Atta, Mounir El Motassadeq Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1997 or 1998: Atta in Two Places at Once?

Mohamed Atta, from a January, 1996 Egyptian passport photo. [Source: Getty Images] Spanish newspaper El Mundo later reports, “According to several professors at the Valencia School of Medicine, some of whom are forensic experts, [Mohamed Atta] was a student there in 1997 or 1998. Although he used another name then, they remember his face among the students that attended anatomy classes.” It is also suggested that “years before, as a student he went to Tarragona. That would explain his last visit to Salou [from July 8-19, 2001], where he could have made contact with dormant cells…”(see July 8-19, 2001) [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 9/30/2001] If this is true, it would contradict reports concerning Atta’s presence as a student in Hamburg, Germany, during this entire period. There is also a later report that in 1999 Atta will meet an al-Qaeda operative in Alicante, less than 100 miles from Valencia (see 1999). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Germany Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1997: Alshehhi Visits Philippines Edit

9/11 hijacker Marwan Alshehhi visits the Philippines several times this year. He stays at the Woodland Park Resort Hotel near Angeles City, about 60 miles north of Manila and near the former US controlled Clark Air Base. Security guard Antonio Sersoza later claims, “I am sure Alshehhi had been a Woodland guest several times in 1997. I remember him well because I flagged his speeding car at least three times at the gate of Woodland.” He adds that Alshehhi used different cars, knew how to speak some Filipino, and stayed at the hotel on several Saturdays. He is not sure if Mohamed Atta was with him. [PHILIPPINE STAR, 10/1/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001; ASIA TIMES, 10/11/2001] Other eyewitnesses will later recall seeing Alshehhi and Atta at the Woodland hotel in 1999 (see December 1999), and the Philippine military will confirm their presence there. A leader of a militant group connected to al-Qaeda will later confess to helping 9/11 hijacker pilots while they were in this area (see Shortly After October 5, 2005). Entity Tags: Antonio Sersoza, Woodland Park Resort Hotel, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(1997-1999): Hamburg Cell Members Work at Local Computer Company Alleged lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, fellow plotter Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and two of their associates, Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mohammed Belfas, find employment at a small Hamburg-area computer company called Hay Computing Service GmbH. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 1/11/2002, PP. 30; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 4/19/2002] Marwan Alshehhi also reportedly works there. [WATERLOO COURIER, 12/30/2001] Atta and Belfas got their jobs through Agus Budiman, an Indonesian associate of theirs, who was already employed at the company. [9/11 COMMISSION, 1/28/2004 ] Another unnamed individual, who will be investigated after 9/11, also works there with bin al-Shibh. [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/6/2003] The cell members work in the company’s warehouse, packing computers for shipment. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/9/2001; FOUDA AND FIELDING, 2003, PP. 123; DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 9/8/2003] Entity Tags: Agus Budiman, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed bin Nasser Belfas, Hay Computing Service GmbH, Mohammed Haydar Zammar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

March 1997: German Government Investigates Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell An investigation of al-Qaeda contacts in Hamburg by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence service, begins at least by this time (Germany refuses to disclose additional details). The investigation is called Operation Zartheit, and it was started by a tip about Mohammed Haydar Zammar from Turkish intelligence (see 1996). [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] It is later believed that Zammar, a German of Syrian origin, is a part of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/14/2003] He later claims he recruited Mohamed Atta and others into the cell [WASHINGTON POST, 6/19/2002] From 1995-2000, he makes frequent trips to Afghanistan. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003; STERN, 8/13/2003] German intelligence is aware that he was personally invited to Afghanistan by bin Laden. [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] It is not clear if or when the investigation ends, but it continues until at least September 1999. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/22/2002] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Barakat Yarkas, Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Ansaldo Energia Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

November 2, 1997-June 20, 2001: Hijackers Obtain US Visas The 19 hijackers apply and receive a total of 23 visas at five different posts from November 1997 through June 2001. Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, Saudi citizens, apply twice at Jeddah. Only Hanjour applies for a student visa, others for tourist/business visa. [UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 10/21/2002 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 7-45 ]

The fifteen Saudi hijackers apply for their visas in their home country. Four at the embassy in Riyadh: Hamza Alghamdi (10/17/2000), Mohand Alshehri (10/23/2000), Majed Moqed (11/20/2000) and Satam Al Suqami (11/21/2000). Eleven at the US consulate in Jeddah: Hani Hanjour (11/2/1997 and 9/25/2000), Khalid Almihdhar (4/7/1999 and 6/13/2001), Saeed Alghamdi (9/4/2000 and 6/12/2001), and Ahmed Alnami (10/28/2000 and 4/28/2001), Nawaf Alhazmi (4/3/1999), Ahmed Alghamdi (9/3/2000), Wail Alshehri (10/24/2000), Waleed M. Alshehri (10/24/2000), Abdulaziz Alomari (6/18/2001), Salem Alhazmi (6/20/2001), and Ahmed Alhaznawi (11/12/2000). 
Fayez Ahmed Banihammad and Marwan Alshehhi apply in their home country, the United Arab Emirates, respectively at the US embassy in Abu Dhabi on 6/18/2001 and at consulate in Dubai on 1/18/2000. 
Mohamed Atta (Egyptian) and Ziad Jarrah (Lebanese) apply, as third-country national applicants, at the US embassy in Berlin, respectively, on May 18 and 25, 2000.

Entity Tags: US Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Office, US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, US Embassy in Berlin, Ziad Jarrah, Wail Alshehri, US Embassy in Riyadh, Salem Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Saeed Alghamdi, US Consulate, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Office, Mohand Alshehri, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Nawaf Alhazmi, Government Accountability Office, Satam Al Suqami, Hani Hanjour, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Hamza Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late 1997-Early 1998: Hijacker Atta Disappears from Germany for Months

Mohamed Atta. [Source: Der Spiegel] Hijacker pilot Mohamed Atta leaves Hamburg for some time. When he returns in the spring of 1998 he tells his roommate that he has been on another pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, although author Terry McDermott wil later note, “He had been on hajj just 18 months earlier, and it would be unlikely for a student—even one so devout—to go twice so quickly or stay so long.” This is his longest absence since arriving in Hamburg, and there is no record of him spending any substantial portion of it at home in Cairo. According to McDermott, he leaves Hamburg “as he usually did over the winter holiday,” but according to the 9/11 Commission, the gap is in February-March 1998, “a period for which there is no evidence of his presence in Germany.” His friends hold a party for him on his return, which is unusual for a student that has just returned from home. After returning to Germany, he applies for a new passport, something he also does after returning from Afghanistan in early 2000 (see Late 1999). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 167; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 57] There are other unexplained absences from Hamburg by members of the same cell around this time (see Summer-Winter 1998). Although the 9/11 Commission, based on information obtained from detainees during interrogation, will say that Atta and his associates did not travel to Afghanistan and join al-Qaeda until late 1999, some commentators will disagree and say that this happened earlier; for example, McDermott will say of the cell members’ various disappearances in 1997-8, “Practically, there is only one place they likely would have gone—Afghanistan.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 166; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 57] Jane Corbin will say that “[t]he time that Mohamed Atta spent in Afghanistan in 1998 was a period of ambitious reach for Osama bin Laden.” Jason Burke will say that “[i]n early 1998, [Atta] is thought to have traveled to Afghanistan, probably to Khaldan camp.” [CORBIN, 2003, PP. 142; BURKE, 2004, PP. 243] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Jason Burke, Jane Corbin, Terry McDermott Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1998: Atta Possibly Trains at Base Conducting Pilotless Aircraft Exercises A military report released this year describes the “Joint Vision 2010” program, a series of “analyses, war games, studies, experiments, and exercises” which are “investigating new operational concepts, doctrines, and organizational approaches that will enable US forces to maintain full spectrum dominance of the battlespace well into the 21st century.” “The Air Force has begun a series of war games entitled Global Engagement at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.” The same report mentions that the military is working on a “variety of new imaging and signals intelligence sensors, currently in advanced stages of development, deployed aboard the Global Hawk, DarkStar, and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)…” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 1998] Global Hawk is a technology that enables pilotless flight and has been functioning since at least early 1997. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 2/20/1997] While it may be mere coincidence, “Air Force spokesman Colonel Ken McClellan said a man named Mohamed Atta—which the FBI has identified as one of the five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11—had once attended the International Officer’s School at Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.” But he adds that “there [was] discrepancies in the biographical data” (mainly the birth date) and that “it may just be a case of mistaken identity” (see also 1996-August 2000 and September 15-17, 2001) [GANNETT NEWS SERVICE, 9/17/2001; GANNETT NEWS SERVICE, 9/20/2001] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ken McClellan, US Department of the Air Force Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1998: German Police Investigate Hamburg Hijacker Associate Linked to Milan Cell Police raid the apartment of Cabdullah Ciise, an extremist based in Germany who is linked to hijacker Mohamed Atta and some of his associates in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. The police find forged Italian documents in the apartment, proving a link between Ciise in Germany and Italian cells that specialize in document forgery, especially one in Milan that is under investigation (see 1998 and October 2, 1998). Ciise lives in Germany from 1991 until October 1999, during which time he becomes friendly with Mohamed Atta as well as cell member Ramzi bin al-Shibh, with whom he often watches videos about the war in Chechyna and talks about religion. Ciise is also linked to other cell members such as Mohammed Daki and his associates Said Bahaji and Mounir El-Motassadeq, as well as a Yemeni named Mohammed Rajih whom German authorities will investigate for terrorist ties at some point before 2005. It is unclear what impact the link to the important Milan cell has on surveillance of the cell in Hamburg. Ciise will allegedly be involved in a bombing in Mombasa, Kenya (see November 28, 2002), will help send fighters to Iraq, and will be arrested in Milan in 2003. [VIDINO, 2006, PP. 256] Entity Tags: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohammed Rajih, Mohamed Atta, Cabdullah Ciise, Mounir El Motassadeq Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 15, 1998: Oklahoma FBI Memo Warns of Potential Terrorist-Related Flight Training; No Investigation Ensues An FBI pilot sends his supervisor in the Oklahoma City FBI office a memo warning that he has observed “large numbers of Middle Eastern males receiving flight training at Oklahoma airports in recent months.” The memo, titled “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” further states this “may be related to planned terrorist activity” and “light planes would be an ideal means of spreading chemicals or biological agents.” The memo does not call for an investigation, and none occurs. [NEWSOK (OKLAHOMA CITY), 5/29/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] The memo is “sent to the bureau’s Weapons of Mass Destruction unit and forgotten.” [NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 9/25/2002] In 1999, it will be learned that an al-Qaeda agent has studied flight training in Norman, Oklahoma (see May 18, 1999). Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi will briefly visit the same school in 2000; Zacarias Moussaoui will train at the school in 2001 (see February 23-June 2001). Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, Zacarias Moussaoui, Al-Qaeda Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 7, 1998: Stolen Passport Shows Ties Between Hijackers and Spanish Terrorist Cells Thieves snatch a passport from a car driven by a US tourist in Barcelona, Spain, which later finds its way into the hands of would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh. Bin al-Shibh allegedly uses the name on the passport in the summer of 2001 as he wires money to pay flight school tuition for Zacarias Moussaoui in Oklahoma (see July 29, 2001-August 3, 2001). Investigators believe the movement of this passport shows connections between the 9/11 plotters in Germany and a support network in Spain, made up mostly by ethnic Syrians. “Investigators believe that the Syrians served as deep-cover mentors, recruiters, financiers and logistics providers for the hijackers—elite backup for an elite attack team.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/14/2003] Mohamed Atta twice travels to Spain in 2001, perhaps to make contact with members of this Spanish support team. Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Zacarias Moussaoui Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 1998: Germany Investigates Hamburg Al-Qaeda Cell Member

Mounir El Motassadeq. [Source: Associated Press] A German inquiry into Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell with Mohamed Atta, begins by this time. Although Germany will not reveal details, documents show that by August 1998, Motassadeq is under surveillance. “The trail soon [leads] to most of the main [Hamburg] participants” in 9/11. Surveillance records Motassadeq and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who had already been identified by police as a suspected extremist, as they meet at the Hamburg home of Said Bahaji, who is also under surveillance that same year. (Bahaji will soon move into an apartment with Atta and other al-Qaeda members.) German police monitor several other meetings between Motassadeq and Zammar in the following months. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] Motassadeq is later convicted in August 2002 in Germany for participation in the 9/11 attacks, but his conviction is later overturned (see March 3, 2004). Entity Tags: Mounir El Motassadeq, Said Bahaji, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed Haydar Zammar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

November 1, 1998-February 2001: Atta and Other Islamic Militants Are Monitored by US and Germany in Hamburg Apartment

The Marienstrasse building. [Source: Associated Press] Mohamed Atta and al-Qaeda operatives Said Bahaji and Ramzi Bin al-Shibh move into a four bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse, in Hamburg, Germany, and stay there until February 2001 (Atta is already living primarily in the US well before this time). Investigators believe this move marks the formation of their Hamburg al-Qaeda cell [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/27/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/10/2002] Up to six men at a time live at the apartment, including other al-Qaeda agents such as hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and cell member Zakariya Essabar. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001] During the 28 months Atta’s name is on the apartment lease, 29 Middle Eastern or North African men register the apartment as their home address. From the very beginning, the apartment was officially under surveillance by German intelligence, because of investigations into businessman Mamoun Darkazanli that connect to Said Bahaji. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/23/2001] The Germans also suspect connections between Bahaji and al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] German intelligence monitors the apartment off and on for months, and wiretaps Mounir El Motassadeq, an associate of the apartment-mates who is later put on trial in August 2002 for assisting the 9/11 plot, but apparently do not find any indication of suspicious activity. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/5/2002] Bahaji is directly monitored at least for part of 1998, but German officials have not disclosed when the probe began or ended. That investigation is dropped for lack of evidence. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/22/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] It is now clear that investigators would have found evidence if they looked more thoroughly. For instance, Zammar, a talkative man who has trouble keeping secrets, is a frequent visitor to the many late night meetings there. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 259-60; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/5/2002] Another visitor later recalls Atta and others discussing attacking the US. [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/9/2002] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is in Hamburg several times in 1999, and comes to the apartment. However, although there was a $2 million reward for Mohammed since 1998, the US apparently fails to tell Germany what it knows about him (see 1999). [NEWSWEEK, 9/4/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/4/2002] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri also apparently stays at the apartment “at times.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/14/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001] The CIA also starts monitoring Atta while he is living at this apartment, and does not tell Germany of the surveillance. Remarkably, the German government will claim it knew little about the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell before 9/11, and nothing directed them towards the Marienstrasse apartment. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/24/2001] Entity Tags: Germany, Zakariya Essabar, Al-Qaeda, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Mounir El Motassadeq, Mamoun Darkazanli, Central Intelligence Agency, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late 1998-August 10, 1999: Pakistani Air Force Pilot Temporarily Replaces Alshehhi as Atta’s Roommate Edit

A view inside Atta’s Marienstrasse flat. [Source: DPA] Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi moved to Bonn, Germany in 1996, and studied German there. He then lived in Hamburg for several months in 1998, and returned to Bonn after failing a language exam. Just as he leaves town, a Pakistani student named Atif bin Mansour arrives in Hamburg, and begins living and studying together with Mohamed Atta. Early in 1999, Mansour applies with Atta for a room to hold a new Islamic study group. Mansour is a pilot on leave from the Pakistani Air Force. As the Los Angeles Times puts it, “This in itself is intriguing—a Pakistani pilot? Investigators acknowledge they haven’t figured out Mansour’s role in the plot, if any.” On this day, Mansour’s brother, also in the Pakistani armed forces, is killed (along with 15 other officers) when his surveillance plane is shot down by India. Mansour returns home and was detained and stopped from returning to Germany. Soon afterwards, Alshehhi returns to Hamburg. According to Mansoor’s father, “Atif was detained because he had not sought permission from the authorities before returning home to attend his younger brother’s funeral.” Then he is set free with assistance from a relative and works on Pakistani air force base. Contacted on his mobile phone by a reporter, Mansour says, “I won’t be able to speak further on such a sensitive issue.” [REDIFF, 7/17/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2002] In March 2001, Mohamed Atta applies together with a Pakistani Air Force pilot for a security job with Lufthansa Airlines (see February 15, 2001). This pilot is a member of the same Islamic study group as Mansour, but it’s not clear if this is Mansour and he did come back to or stay in Germany, or if Atta was associating with a second Pakistani Air Force pilot. [ROTH, 2001, PP. 9F; NEWSDAY, 1/24/2002] The FBI later notes that Alshehhi arrived “almost as a replacement” for Mansour. After 9/11, the FBI asks Pakistan if the flight lieutenant and squad leader Mansour can be found and questioned about any possible role he may have had in the 9/11 plot, but there’s no indication Pakistan as to whether has ever agreed to this request. [REDIFF, 7/17/2002] In late 2002, the German Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigations will say that Mansour remains “a very interesting figure.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, German Federal Bureau, Marwan Alshehhi, Pakistani Air Force, Atif bin Mansour, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1999: Atta Said to Meet Los Angeles Airport Bomber in Spain A Spanish newspaper later will claim that Ahmed Ressam, the al-Qaeda operative who attempted to bomb the Los Angeles airport at the turn of the millennium (see December 14, 1999), meets Mohamed Atta in the Alicante region of Spain in this year. It is unclear whether the men trained at the same camp while they were in Afghanistan. [REUTERS, 11/26/2001; CTV, 9/14/2002] According to other Spanish reports, in 1997 or 1998 Atta was a student in Valencia under an assumed name (see 1997 or 1998). Valenica is less than 100 miles from Alicante. After his arrest, Ressam began cooperating with US investigators in the summer of 2001 (see May 30, 2001), leading to the possibility that he could have confirmed Atta’s identity as an al-Qaeda operative before 9/11, if he had been asked. Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Ressam Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1999: KSM Repeatedly Visits Atta and Others in Al-Qaeda’s Hamburg Cell Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) “repeatedly” visits Mohamed Atta and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/24/2002] US and German officials say a number of sources place KSM at Atta’s Hamburg apartment, although when he visits, or who he visits while he is there, is unclear. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 6/6/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/4/2002] However, it would be logical to conclude that he visits Atta’s housemate Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, since investigators believe he is the “key contact between the pilots” and KSM. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/27/2003] KSM is living elsewhere in Germany at the time. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/22/2002] German intelligence monitors the apartment in 1999 but apparently does not notice KSM. US investigators have been searching for Mohammed since 1996, but apparently never tell the Germans what they know about him. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/4/2002] Even after 9/11, German investigators complain that US investigators do not tell them what they know about KSM living in Germany until they read it in the newspapers in June 2002. [NEW YORK TIMES, 6/11/2002] Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

1999: Atta Warns Religious Associate to Stay Away from Islamic Extremists

Mohamed Atta with a beard. [Source: FBI] This year, Mohamed Atta is regularly attending Islamic study group meetings led by a fellow Hamburg student named Mohammed bin Nasser Belfas. By this time, Atta and most of the rest of the group have replaced their Western jeans and clean-shaven faces with long beards and tunics. After one of these meetings, Atta asks to privately see Volker Harum Bruhn, an ethnic German who is also a member of the group. Bruhn says that Atta strongly warns him to stay away from Islamic extremists, to follow the Koran strictly, and live a careful life. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002; KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/9/2002] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Volker Harum Bruhn, Mohammed bin Nasser Belfas Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early 1999: KSM Allegedly Works on 9/11 Plot in Hamburg Counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna will later claim that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) visits Hamburg at this time and meets with Mohamed Atta and Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Together, they make plans to carry out the 9/11 attacks in the US. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. XXX] Other accounts claim KSM repeatedly visits Hamburg this year but do not definitively state who he meets (see 1999). The 9/11 Commission will later claim that the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell including Atta and bin al-Shibh will not be asked to join the 9/11 attacks until late 1999 in Afghanistan (see October 1999). Entity Tags: Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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

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

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

Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi were seen Philippines several times, the last time in December 1999 (see December 1999). 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed occasionally stays there as well (see September 1998-January 1999). Nothing more has been heard to confirm or deny the hijackers’ Philippines connections since these reports. Entity Tags: Saeed Alghamdi, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

February 17, 1999: Germans Intercept Al-Qaeda Calls, One Mentions Atta’s Name

Said Bahaji, computer expert for the Hamburg cell. [Source: German Bavarian Police] German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone. On this day, investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with “Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,” and can be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. However, apparently the German police fail to grasp the importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/22/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] Atta’s last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it is not known what they make of the information. [DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 2/3/2003] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Said Bahaji, Mohammed Haydar Zammar Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 1999: Atta and Alshehhi Seen Near Philippine Flight School

The Woodland Park Resort. [Source: Woodland Park Resort] 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta takes flying lessons in the Philippines and Marwan Alshehhi is with him. They stay at the Woodland Park Resort Hotel near Angeles City, which is about 60 miles north of Manila and near the formerly US controlled Clark Air Base. Victoria Brocoy, a chambermaid at the hotel, will later claim that Atta stayed at the hotel for about a week while he learned to fly ultra-light planes at the nearby Angeles City Flying Club. [GULF NEWS, 9/29/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001] She also says, “He was not friendly. If you say hello to him, he doesn’t answer. If he asks for a towel, you do not enter his room. He takes it at the door.… Many times I saw him let a girl go at the gate in the morning. It was always a different girl.” [INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001] Atta stays with some other men who call him Mohamed. She recalls that one of them is Marwan Alshehhi, who is treated like Atta’s sidekick. However, there are no recollections of Alshehhi going to the nearby flight school. [MANILA TIMES, 10/2/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001] She says Atta was hosted by a Jordanian named Samir, who speaks Filipino and runs a travel agency in Manila. She adds that many Arab guests stayed at the hotel between 1997 and 1999, and Samir always accompanied them. Samir denies knowing any of the hijackers. [GULF NEWS, 9/29/2001; MANILA TIMES, 10/2/2001; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001] The Philippine military will later confirm that Atta and Alshehhi were at the hotel after finding four other employees who claim to have seen them in 1999. Other locals, such as the manager of a nearby restaurant, also recall seeing them. [PHILIPPINE STAR, 10/1/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001; ASIA TIMES, 10/11/2001] Atta and/or Alshehhi were seen at the same resort in 1997 (see 1997) and will return to it later in 1999 (see December 1999). A leader of a militant group connected to al-Qaeda later confesses to helping 9/11 hijacker pilots while they were in this area (see Shortly After October 5, 2005). Entity Tags: Victoria Brocoy, Marwan Alshehhi, Samir, Woodland Park Resort Hotel, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 1, 1999: Hijacker Jarrah Photographs Wedding Party; Informer Later Identifies Most Men Shown in Photograph

Friends of Ziad Jarrah taken on April 1, 1999. Third from left in back row is Abdelghani Mzoudi; fifth is Mounir El Motassadeq; seventh is Ramzi bin al-Shibh; Mohamed Atta is on middle row far right; Atta rests his hands on Mohammed Raji. [Source: DDP/ AFP] (click image to enlarge) Ziad Jarrah has an unofficial wedding with his girlfriend, Aysel Senguen. Interestingly, a photo apparently taken by Jarrah at the wedding is found by German intelligence several days after 9/11. An undercover agent will be able immediately to identify 10 of the 18 men in the photo, as well as where it was taken: the prayer room of Hamburg’s Al-Quds mosque. He is also able to identify which of them attended Mohamed Atta’s study group. He knows even “seemingly trivial details” of some of the men, showing that “probably almost all members of the Hamburg terror cell” have been watched by German state intelligence since this time, if not before. The head of the state intelligence had previously maintained that they knew nothing of any of these men. [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Summer 1999: US Intelligence Links Zammar to Senior Bin Laden Operatives, Fails to Share Information Around this time, US intelligence notes that a man in Hamburg, Germany, named Mohammed Haydar Zammar is in direct contact with one of bin Laden’s senior operational coordinators. Zammar is an al-Qaeda recruiter with links to Mohamed Atta and the rest of the Hamburg terror cell. The US had noted Zammar’s terror links on “numerous occasions” before 9/11. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] However, apparently the US does not share their information on Zammar with German intelligence. Instead, the Germans are given evidence from Turkey that Zammar is running a travel agency as a terror front in Hamburg. In 1998, they get information from Italy confirming he is an Islamic militant. However, his behavior is so suspicious that they have already started monitoring him closely. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ; STERN, 8/13/2003] Entity Tags: Turkey, Mohamed Atta, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Germany, Italy Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Mid-June 1999: Hijackers Meet in Amsterdam and Get Saudi Cash Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, plus would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and associate Mounir El Motassadeq, hold a meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands. All are living in Hamburg at the time, so it is not clear why they go to meet there, though some speculate that they are meeting someone else. Motassadeq also goes to the town of Eindhoven, Netherlands, on three occasions, in early 1999, late 1999, and 2001. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2002] On at least one occasion, Motassadeq receives cash provided by unnamed “Saudi financiers” that is meant to fund a new Eindhoven mosque. Investigators believe he uses the money to help pay for some 9/11 hijacker flying lessons. [BALTIMORE SUN, 9/2/2002] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Marwan Alshehhi, Mounir El Motassadeq Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 1999: FBI Investigates Individual Linked to Al-Qaeda and Nuclear Science The FBI begins an investigation of an unnamed person for ties to important al-Qaeda figures and several organizations linked to al-Qaeda. The FBI is concerned that this person is in contact with several experts in nuclear sciences. After 9/11, the FBI determines that hijacker Marwan Alshehhi had contact with this person on the East Coast of the US. This person also may have ties to Mohamed Atta’s sister. Most additional details about this person, including his/her name, when and how often Alshehhi had contact, and if the investigation was ever closed, remain classified. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network, 9/11 Timeline

September 1999: Atta Obtains US Store Membership Before Alleged Arrival in US BJ’s Wholesale Club, a store in Hollywood, Florida, later tells the FBI that Mohamed Atta may have held a BJ’s membership card since at least this time (“more than two years” before 9/11). Several cashiers at the store vaguely remember seeing Atta there. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/18/2001] According to the official story, Atta does not arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/22/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, BJ’s Wholesale Club Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 1999: FBI Investigates Flight School Attendee Connected to Bin Laden Edit

Agents from Oklahoma City FBI office visit the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma to investigate Ihab Ali Nawawi, who has been identified as bin Laden’s former personal pilot in a recent trial. The agents learned that Nawawi received his commercial pilot’s license at the school 1993, then traveled to another school in Oklahoma City to qualify for a rating to fly small business aircraft. He is later named as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Kenya. The trial witness who gave this information, Essam al Ridi, also attended flight school in the US, then bought a plane and flew it to Afghanistan for bin Laden to use (see Early 1993). [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18/2001; CNN, 10/16/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 5/19/2002; US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002] When Nawawi was arrested in May 1999, he was working as a taxi driver in Orlando, Florida (see May 18, 1999). Investigators discover recent ties between him and high-ranking al-Qaeda leaders, and suspect he was a “sleeper” agent. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/28/2001] However, the FBI agent visiting the school is not given most background details about him. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] It is not known if these investigators are aware of a terrorist flight school warning given by the Oklahoma City FBI office in 1998. Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi later visit the Airman school in July 2000 but ultimately will decide to train in Florida instead. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18/2001] Al-Qaeda agent Zacarias Moussaoui will take flight lessons at Airman in February 2001 (see February 23-June 2001). One of the FBI agents sent to visit the school at this time visits it again in August 2001 asking about Moussaoui, but he will fail to make a connection between the two visits (see August 23, 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohamed Atta, Essam al Ridi, Ihab Ali, Marwan Alshehhi, Zacarias Moussaoui Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

September 21, 1999: German Intelligence Records Calls Between Hijacker and Others Linked to Al-Qaeda German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s telephone, and on this day investigators hear Zammar call hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Officials initially claim that the call also mentions hijacker Mohamed Atta, but only his first name. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/24/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 1/18/2003] However, his full name, “Mohamed Atta Al Amir,” is mentioned in this call and in another recorded call. [FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (FRANKFURT), 2/2/2003] Alshehhi makes veiled references to plans to travel to Afghanistan. He also hands the phone over to Said Bahaji (another member of the Hamburg cell under investigation at the time), so he can talk to Zammar. [STERN, 8/13/2003] German investigators still do not know Alshehhi’s full name, but they recognize this “Marwan” also called Zammar in January, and they told the CIA about that call. Alshehhi, living in the United Arab Emirates at the time, calls Zammar frequently. German intelligence asks the United Arab Emirates to identify the number and the caller, but the request is not answered. [DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 2/3/2003] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Central Intelligence Agency, Said Bahaji, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, United Arab Emirates Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 1999: Hamburg Cell Downloads Flight Training Software According to German investigations, by at least this time, the Hamburg cell including Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh has come up with the idea of attacking the United States using airplanes. This theory is based on witness statements and the discovery by the German police of a flight simulator file on a computer used by the Hamburg cell that was downloaded by this time. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2002; BURKE, 2004, PP. 244] Both Atta and Alshhehi start taking lessons on ultralight aircraft this year (see April 1999, October 1999, and December 1999). Some suggest they first joined the 9/11 plot in early 1999 (see Early 1999). However, the 9/11 Commission claims that the 9/11 plot was hatched by al-Qaeda’s leadership and was communicated to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell in Afghanistan in December 1999. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 165-169] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ziad Jarrah, Marwan Alshehhi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 1999: Atta Reportedly Gets Engaged and Asks His Parents If He Can Stay in Egypt

The presentation page of Mohamed Atta’s thesis. [Source: Serra Antoine / Corbis] After Mohamed Atta completes his master’s degree in Hamburg, Germany, he goes home to Cairo, Egypt, one last time. By this time, his parents are estranged from each other. His father tells Atta they should find him a wife, and has a potential bride lined up. According to his father, they visit a family, Mohamed meets the daughter and they like each other. The woman’s parents also likes Atta, but their only condition to the marriage is that their daughter doesn’t have to leave Cairo. Mohamed gets engaged to her, and then goes back to Germany. According to Mohamed’s aunt, Mohamed asks his mother, who is ill, whether he can remain in Egypt permanently, to begin a career and care for her. However, she insists he continue his education and go on to a doctoral program in the US. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/27/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 23, 1999: Atta Enters US Green Card Lottery, Fails to Obtain Residency Mohamed Atta enters a lottery for permanent resident status in the US. The application is submitted over the Internet to the National Visa Service, a company that, for a $50 fee, helps individuals enter green card lotteries for permanent resident status in the US. Atta submits another lottery application in November, but both applications are unsuccessful. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 19-20 ] This may indicate that Atta is already involved in the 9/11 plot in some way prior to December 1999, when the 9/11 Commission suggests he joins the plot (see Late November-Early December 1999). He appears to have traveled to Afghanistan (see Late 1997-Early 1998) and has discussed studying in the US with his parents (see October 1999). In addition, he and fellow Hamburg cell member Marwan Alshehhi may have already started taking flying lessons (see April 1999 and October 1999). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, National Visa Service, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late November-Early December 1999: Hamburg Cell Members Travel Monitored Route to Afghanistan

Mohamed Atta filmed in Afghanistan in January 2000. [Source: London Times] Hamburg cell members Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and possibly Said Bahaji travel to Afghanistan via Turkey and Karachi, Pakistan. They travel along a route often used by one of their associates, al-Qaeda recruiter Mohammed Haydar Zammar, to send potential operatives to Afghanistan for training. Turkish intelligence is aware of the route and informed German intelligence of it in 1996, leading to an investigation of Zammar (see 1996). However, it is unclear whether German or Turkish intelligence register the Hamburg cell members’ travel and how and whether they disseminate and act on this information. Jarrah is reportedly noticed by an intelligence service in the United Arab Emirates on his return journey from Afghanistan (see January 30, 2000). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/10/2002; CBS NEWS, 10/9/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 167; MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 89] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Turkish intelligence, Said Bahaji, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

December 1999: CIA Attempts to Recruit Man with Links to Atta and Hamburg Cell

Mamoun Darkazanli. [Source: Interpol] The CIA begins “persistent” efforts to recruit German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli as an informant. Darkazanli knows Mohamed Atta and the other members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. US and German intelligence had previously opened investigations into Darkazanli in September 1998. Agents occasionally followed him, but Darkazanli obviously noticed the tail on him at least once. More costly and time-consuming electronic surveillance is not done however, and by the end of 1999, the investigation has produced little of value. German law does not allow foreign governments to have informants in Germany. So this month, Thomas Volz, the undercover CIA representative in Hamburg, appears at the headquarters of the Hamburg state domestic intelligence agency, the LfV, responsible for tracking terrorists and domestic extremists. He tells them the CIA believes Darkazanli has knowledge of an unspecified terrorist plot and encourages that he be “turned” against his al-Qaeda comrades. A source later recalls he says, “Darkazanli knows a lot.” Efforts to recruit him will continue in the spring next year. The CIA has not admitted this interest in Darkazanli. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/17/2002; STERN, 8/13/2003] Entity Tags: Mamoun Darkazanli, Mohamed Atta, Ansaldo Energia, Thomas Volz, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

December 1999: Atta and Alshehhi Seen Partying and Taking Flying Lessons in Philippines

One of the ultralights used at the Angeles City Flying Club. [Source: Woodland Park Resort] 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi are seen again in the Philippines, partying and taking flying lessons. They stay at the Woodland Park Resort Hotel about sixty miles north of Manila, as they did in 1997 and earlier in 1999. Gina Marcelo, a waitress at the hotel, will later recall that Marwan Alshehhi threw a party there. “There were about seven people. They rented the open area by the swimming pool… They drank Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey and mineral water. They barbecued shrimp and onions. They came in big vehicles, and they had a lot of money. They all had girlfriends.” [INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is also known to be in the Philippines for much of 1999, plotting again to assassinate the Pope (see 1999-September 10, 2001). There are no eyewitness accounts of him being seen with Atta or Alshehhi at this time, but when he lived in the Philippines in 1994 he was known to party and have local girlfriends (see Early 1994-January 1995). Security guard Ferdinand Abad later recalls Mohamed Atta registered under his own name at the hotel this month. Atta went to the nearby Angeles City Flying Club about two of three times a week to train on ultralight aircraft. Abad recalls seeing the flying club van pick up Atta at least five times. Just as when Atta and Alshehhi were at the resort earlier in the year, no one recalls Alshehhi taking flying lessons, only Atta. [PHILIPPINE STAR, 10/1/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001] The Philippine military will later confirm that Atta and Alshehhi were at the hotel after finding a number of employees who claim to have seen them. [PHILIPPINE STAR, 10/1/2001; GULF NEWS, 10/2/2001] A leader of a militant group connected to al-Qaeda will later confess to helping 9/11 hijacker pilots while they were in this area (see Shortly After October 5, 2005). The 9/11 Commission will not mention the possibility of Atta and Alshehhi staying in the Philippines. They will note that the two of them left Germany in the last week of November 1999 with the intention of going to Afghanistan, but there is no mention of when they arrived in Afghanistan. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 166-167] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Woodland Park Resort Hotel, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ferdinand Abad, Marwan Alshehhi, Gina Marcelo, Angeles City Flying Club Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

December 1999: Hijackers Meet to Discuss Operation, Indication Alhazmi Flew Flight 77 Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Nawaf Alhazmi meet to discuss the 9/11 operation at a building known as the “House of Alghamdi” in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to a statement made by bin al-Shibh in 2002. Bin al-Shibh will say, “We had a meeting attended by all four pilots including Nawaf Alhazmi, Atta’s right-hand man,” which the Guardian will interpret to mean Alhazmi flew Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, instead of Hani Hanjour (see (December 2000-January 2001)). [GUARDIAN, 9/9/2002] The 9/11 Commission, based on information obtained from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) under interrogation, will place Hanjour in Afghanistan in spring 2000, indicating he will arrive some months after this meeting is held, and could not therefore attend it. Please note: information from detainee interrogations is thought to be unreliable due to the methods used to extract it (see June 16, 2004). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 226] In a substitution for testimony introduced as evidence at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, KSM will place Hanjour’s arrival at the training camps in Afghanistan in “September or October” of 2000. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, 7/31/2006, PP. 23 ] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late 1999: Hijackers Clear Their Passport Records Edit

Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi report their passports missing; Ziad Jarrah reports his missing in February 2000. [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 9/28/2001; DER SPIEGEL, 2002, PP. 257-58] Alshehhi receives a replacement passport on December 26, 1999. [LONDON TIMES, 9/20/2001] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

2000Edit

Main article: Mohammed Atta:2000

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