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Hijackers came from U.S.-friendly nations
Last Modified:
2:34 a.m. 9/15/2001


By Matt Kelley
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Most came from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, two of the Arab countries most friendly to the United States.

They said they were pilots, or airplane mechanics, or students, or tourists. Many claimed to work for Saudi Arabian Airlines, a government air carrier.

They betrayed not a word to their neighbors about what drove their suicide missions -- commandeering airliners and flying them into two of America's most treasured landmarks.





"They didn't talk to anyone about anything at all," said Azzan Ali, a fellow student at a Florida flight school attended by two men named by the FBI as hijackers.

The FBI on Friday released names of the 19 men it identified as the hijackers of the four planes used in the attacks.

Some of the men left little trace of their time in America. Others stayed for years, taking flight classes, buying cars, moving from apartments to boarding houses to rented homes.

Several clustered around Mohamed Atta, a square-jawed 33-year-old pilot who ended up on the first plane to smash into New York's World Trade Center.

Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, 23, trained as pilots together in Florida and stayed together in the home of a former flight school worker in the summer of last year. Those who came across them said they called each other "cousin" -- the two are believed to be from the United Arab Emirates -- and kept to themselves.

Al-Shehhi was in the United States on a tourist visa. Like Atta, he had a federal pilot's license.

Atta and Al-Shehhi also were together in Hamburg, Germany. Authorities there say they were part of an extremist group that planned attacks against high-profile American targets. The two also took classes at a technical school there.

Ziad Jarrahi had a pilot's license listing a Hamburg address. Jarrahi was on United Airlines Flight 93, a plane that was hijacked from a Newark, N.J., to San Francisco route and crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

When it came time for their fateful flights, Atta and Al-Shehhi split up. Al-Shehhi was on United Flight 175, the plane which hit the second World Trade Center tower. The plane carrying Atta hit the first.

Authorities believe Atta flew from Portland, Maine, to Boston on Tuesday morning with another hijacker, Abdulaziz Alomari.

Alomari also apparently took flight training in Florida. A man named Abdulrahman Alomary, whose rental house was searched by the FBI this week, told his landlord that he was a Saudi Arabian Airlines pilot getting more training at FlightSafety International, the flight school in Vero Beach where John F. Kennedy Jr. trained. A federal pilot's license for an Abdulrahman Saeed Alomari lists the pilot's address as the airline's post office box in Saudi Arabia.

"I can't confirm there was any link between any of these individuals and Saudi Arabian Airlines," airline spokesman Thomas Quinn said. "There's been no indication to this office that these individuals were our employees."

Neighbors say the Florida Alomari was a family man. Living with him in the $1,400-a-month home were his wife and four school-age children. Neighbor Jim Smith said he noticed that when school started last month, Alomari's wife and children were gone. Alomari moved out on Sept. 3.

He told his landlord he was going home.

With Atta on the first plane was Waleed M. Alshehri, 25. Records show he had been in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida driver's license. In 1997, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida with a commercial pilot's training degree. He also has a commercial pilot's license.

Alshehri gave birth dates from 1974 to 1979 on various documents. Records show he lived in several different apartments in a complex in Daytona Beach, Fla., where Embry-Riddle is based. He also may have lived for a time at a boarding house in Vienna, Va., a Washington suburb.

FBI agents interviewed current tenants at the house, which is about three blocks from the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters.

Abdul Latif Darab, a native of Afghanistan who has lived in the United States since 1982, said he told the FBI that Alshehri hadn't lived at the address for at least the past 14 months.

Darab said learned from the landlord that Alshehri was from Saudi Arabia.

"He told the landlord he was going back home and that his father was a Saudi diplomat," Darab said.

Two other hijackers on American Flight 11, Wail Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami, had Florida driver's licenses listing the same apartment in Boynton Beach as their address. Records say Suqami had a Saudi driver's license.

Another hijacker who may have had a commercial pilot's license was Hani Hanjour, who was aboard the American Airlines flight that slammed into the Pentagon. Federal records show a Hani Hanjoor received a commercial pilot's license in 1999, listing a Saudi address.

T. Gerald Chilton Jr., a corporate officer for CRM Airline Training Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., said a Hani Hanjoor received pilot instruction there for three months in 1996 and in December 1997. Hanjoor put down a $100 deposit toward additional training in 1997, but attended no other classes, Chilton said.

"We have notified the FBI of this and turned over all our records," Chilton said.

Hanjour and two other hijackers -- Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhamzi -- lived in the San Diego area during 2000, FBI spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

Thumbnail look at suspected hijackers

Details emerging on the 19 men identified by the FBI as suspected hijackers aboard the four planes that crashed Tuesday, culled from government sources, public records and news reports. The original spellings of the names came from the FBI and may vary.

Pilots:

Mohamed Atta, on American Airlines Flight 11, which left Boston at 7:45 a.m. and crashed into the World Trade Center at 8:45 a.m.

Atta, 33, was born in the United Arab Emirates and is believed to be the cousin of suspected United Airlines Flight 175 hijacker Marwan Al-Shehhi.

Investigators say the two followed parallel paths.

Atta received pilot training at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., and took two three-hour courses at SimCenter Inc., in Opa-locka, Fla., where he trained on a Boeing 727 full-motion flight simulator.

Atta lived in Venice, Coral Springs and Hollywood, Fla., and Hamburg, Germany, investigators say. He held an Egyptian driver's license.

Atta studied electrical engineering for eight years at the Technical University in Hamburg and had ties to an Islamic fundamentalist group that planned attacks on American targets, German investigators say. He and Al-Shehhi left for the United States in May.

Both went to a sports bar in Hollywood last Friday night. Atta played video games while Al-Shehhi drank with another man.

Marwan Al-Shehhi, on United Airlines Flight 175, which left Boston at 7:58 a.m. and crashed into the World Trade Center at 9:05 a.m.

Al-Shehhi, 23, was born in the United Arab Emirates.

Like his cousin Atta, Al-Shehhi received pilot training at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., and took two courses at SimCenter Inc., in Opa-locka, Fla., where he also trained on a Boeing 727 flight simulator.

Al-Shehhi lived in Venice and Nokomis, Fla. He studied electrical engineering for one year at the Technical University in Hamburg and had connections to Islamic extremists. He and Atta lived together in Venice, Fla., and in Hamburg.

Hani Hanjour, on American Airlines Flight 77, which left Washington, D.C., at 8:10 a.m. and crashed into the Pentagon at 9:39 a.m.

Hanjour may have lived in Phoenix and San Diego, the FBI said.

Federal Aviation Administration records show a Hani Hanjoor as receiving a commercial pilot's license in 1999 and listing a post office box in Saudi Arabia as his address.

T. Gerald Chilton Jr., a corporate officer for CRM Airline Training Center in Scottsdale, said a Hani Hanjoor received pilot training there for three months in 1996 and in December 1997. He put down a $100 deposit toward additional training in 1997, but didn't attend any other classes.

The FAA Airmen Directory lists a Jani Saleh Hanjoor as having at one time had a student pilot license with an address corresponding with CRM.

Ed Hall, an FBI spokesman in Arizona, said he had no information on Hanjour beyond the Justice Department release.

A Hani Saleh Hanjoor was listed as living at the Valle Cita Garden Apartments in north Phoenix. The complex has no records of a tenant with that name, manager Carol Fogarty said.

The FAA Airmen Directory also lists a Hani Saleh Hanjoor with a P.O. box in Taife, Saudi Arabia. Hanjoor held a commercial pilot's license with an October 1999 expiration date.

Wail Alshehri, on Flight 11.

Alshehri, 28, may have lived in Hollywood, Fla., and Newton, Mass.

Waleed M. Alshehri, on Flight 11.

Alshehri, 25, lived in Daytona Beach, Fla., and may also have lived in Hollywood, Fla., and Vienna, Va.

Alshehri graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science, the university's commercial pilot training degree, and had a commercial pilot's license.

Alshehri was in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida driver's license, records show.

Alshehri gave birth dates from 1974 to 1979 on various documents. Records show he lived in several different apartments in a complex in Daytona Beach, Fla. He also may have lived for a time at a boarding house in Vienna, Va., a Washington, D.C., suburb.

FBI agents interviewed current tenants at the house, which is about three blocks from the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters.

Abdul Latif Darab, a native of Afghanistan who has lived in the United States since 1982, said he told the FBI that Alshehri hadn't lived at the address for at least the past 14 months.

Darab said the landlord told him Alshehri was from Saudi Arabia. Alshehri told the landlord he was going back home, Darab said.

Abdul Alomari, on Flight 11.

Alomari, believed to be 38, lived in Vero Beach, Fla., with his wife and four school-aged children. He paid $1,400 per month in rent.

Alomari gave his landlord 30 days notice and said he would be out of the house by the end of August. Then he pushed the date back until Sept. 3 and moved out that day, telling his landlord he was going back home.

Alomari was rated as a private pilot and flight engineer, listing his address as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to FAA records. He listed his previous employer as Saudi Flight Ops, which handles maintenance for Saudi Arabian Airlines at Kennedy Airport in New York.

Ziad Jarrahi, on United Airlines Flight 93, which left Newark, N.J., at 8:01 a.m. and crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pa., at 10:10 a.m.

FAA records show a Hamburg, Germany, pilot's listing for a Ziad Jarrah.

Others:

Khalid Al-Midhar, on Flight 77.

Al-Midhar lived in San Diego last year and may have lived in New York. He had a B-1 Visa that covered business-related travel and was good for up to a year, and an expired B-2 Visa, a travel visa, good for up to a year.

Majed Moqed, on Flight 77.

No further information released by FBI.

Nawaq Alhamzi, on Flight 77.

Alhamzi lived in San Diego last year and may have lived in Fort Lee and Wayne, N.J.

While in San Diego, he may have lived in Parkwood, a 175-unit apartment complex in the middle-class Clairemont area, property records show. Jim Gross, a representative of Parkwood's management company, declined to comment.

The complex is near Montgomery Field, a small airfield where several companies offer flight training. The Associated Press contacted more than a dozen of the flight schools. None knew the man. The schools' operators said FBI agents have been searching student records.

Salem Alhamzi, on Flight 77.

Alhamzi may have lived in Fort Lee and Wayne, N.J.

Satam Al Suqami, on Flight 11.

Al Suqami said he was 25. He is from the United Arab Emirates.

Al Suqami obtained a Florida driver's license listing a Boynton Beach address and reporting his previous license was from Saudi Arabia.

Fayez Ahmed, on Flight 175.

Ahmed may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Ahmed Alghamdi, on Flight 175.

Ahmed Alghamdi lived in Vienna, Va., and may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Hamza Alghamdi, on Flight 175.

Hamza Alghamdi may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Mohald Alshehri, on Flight 175.

Alshehri may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Saeed Alghamdi, on Flight 93.

Saeed Alghamdi may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Ahmed Alhaznawi, on Flight 93.

Alhaznawi listed his age as 20. He may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

Ahmed Alnami, on Flight 93.

Alnami may have lived in Delray Beach, Fla.

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