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Before 9/11

Warning Signs (228)
Foreign Intelligence Warnings (27)
Insider Trading (36)
Counterterrorism Before 9/11 (181)
Able Danger (39)
Military Exercises (38)
Hunt for bin Laden (73)
Pipeline Politics (54)

Al-Qaeda Members

Al-Qaeda in Germany (42)
Alhazmi and Almihdhar (74)
Other 9/11 Hijackers
Marwan Alshehhi (21)
Mohamed Atta (37)
Ziad Jarrah (9)
Hani Hanjour (15)
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (33)
Zacarias Moussaoui (40)
Nabil al-Marabh (10)

Geopolitics and 9/11

Pakistani ISI (126)
Randy Glass (7)
Sibel Edmonds (6)
Saeed Sheikh (3)
Mahmood Ahmed (3)
Drugs (21)
Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden Family (110)
Bin Laden Family (33)
Israel (33)
Iraq (49)
US Dominance (34)

Day of 9/11

All day of 9/11 events (401)
Flight AA 11 (62)
Flight UA 175 (49)
Flight AA 77 (70)
Flight UA 93 (105)
George Bush (66)
Dick Cheney (24)
Donald Rumsfeld (24)
Richard Clarke (22)

The Post-9/11 World

Afghanistan (49)
Investigations (166)
9/11 Congressional Inquiry (0)
9/11 Commission (0)
Other 9/11 Investigations (0)
Other events (79)
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Complete 911 Timeline: All other 9/11 hijackers

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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1990: First Hijacker Enters US

      
A young Hani Hanjour.
Hani Hanjour, who will pilot Flight 77 on 9/11, enters the US. He takes an English course in Tucson, Arizona. [Time, 9/24/01 (B); New York Times, 6/19/02; Cox News Service, 10/15/01] Despite evidence to the contrary, the FBI claims Hanjour first arrived on October 3, 1991. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] The 9/11 Commission does not take a position on this issue, finding only that “Hanjour came to the United States to attend school in three stints during the 1990s. His final arrival was in December 2000, through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport.” [9/11 Commission Report, 1/26/04]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, William Safire, 9/11 Commission
          

March 1995-February 1996: Hijacker Jarrah Living in New York or Lebanon?

       A man named “Ziad Jarrah” rents an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. [Longman, 2002, pp 90] The landlords later identify his photograph as being that of the 9/11 hijacker. A Brooklyn apartment lease bears Ziad Jarrah's name. [Boston Globe, 9/25/01] “Another man named Ihassan Jarrah lived with Ziad, drove a livery cab and paid the 800-dollar monthly rent. The men were quiet, well-mannered, said hello and good-bye. Ziad Jarrah carried a camera and told his landlords that he was a photographer. He would disappear for a few days on occasion, then reappear. Sometimes a woman who appeared to be a prostitute arrived with one of the men. ‘Me and my brother used to crack jokes that they were terrorists,’ said Jason Matos, a construction worker who lived in a basement there, and whose mother owned the house.” However, another Ziad Jarrah is still in his home country of Lebanon at this time. He is studying in a Catholic school in Beirut, and is in frequent contact with the rest of his family. His parents drive him home to be with the family nearly every weekend, and they are in frequent contact by telephone as well. [Los Angeles Times, 10/23/01] Not until April 1996 does this Ziad Jarrah leave Lebanon for the first time to study in Germany. [Boston Globe, 9/25/01] His family believes that the New York lease proves that there were two “Ziad Jarrahs.” [CNN, 9/18/01 (B)] Evidence seems to indicate Jarrah was also in two places at the same time from November 2000 to January 2001 (see Late November 2000-January 30, 2001).
People and organizations involved: Ziad Jarrah, Ihassan Jarrah
          

1996-December 2000: Majority of Hijackers Disappear into Chechnya

      
Saeed Alghamdi training in an Afghaninstan al-Qaeda camp.
At least 11 of the 9/11 hijackers travel to Chechnya between 1996 and 2000:
Nawaf Alhazmi fights in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Afghanistan for several years, starting around 1995. [Observer, 9/23/01; ABC News, 1/9/02; CIA Director Tenet Testimony, 6/18/02; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]

Khalid Almihdhar fights in Chechnya, Bosnia, and Afghanistan for several years, usually with Nawaf Alhazmi. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03; Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02; CIA Director Tenet Testimony, 6/18/02]

Salem Alhazmi spends time in Chechnya with his brother Nawaf Alhazmi. [ABC News, 1/9/02]
He also possibly fights with his brother in Afghanistan. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]
Ahmed Alhaznawi leaves for Chechnya in 1999 [ABC News, 1/9/02]
, and his family loses contact with him in late 2000. [Arab News, 9/22/01]
Hamza Alghamdi leaves for Chechnya in early 2000 [Independent, 9/27/01; Washington Post, 9/25/01]
or sometime around January 2001. He calls home several times until about June 2001, saying he is in Chechnya. [Arab News, 9/18/01]
Mohand Alshehri leaves to fight in Chechnya in early 2000. [Arab News, 9/22/01]

Ahmed Alnami leaves home in June 2000, and calls home once in June 2001 from an unnamed location. [Washington Post, 9/25/01; Arab News, 9/19/01]

Fayez Ahmed Banihammad leaves home in July 2000 saying he wants to participate in a holy war or do relief work. [Washington Post, 9/25/01; St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01]
He calls his parents one time since. [Arab News, 9/18/01]
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, 9/18/01; Arab News, 9/20/01]

Waleed M. Alshehri disappears with Wail Alshehri in December 2000, after speaking of fighting in Chechnya. [Washington Post, 9/25/01; Arab News, 9/18/01]

Wail Alshehri, who had psychological problems, went with his brother to Mecca to seek help and both disappear, after speaking of fighting in Chechnya. [Washington Post, 9/25/01]

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, 9/22/01]
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, 9/21/01] Indeed, a colleague 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, 10/23/02; Reuters, 10/29/02] Reuters has reported, “Western diplomats play down any Chechen involvement by al-Qaeda.” [Reuters, 10/24/02]
People and organizations involved: Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Ziad Jarrah, Marwan Alshehhi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, Wail Alshehri, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Waleed M. Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Mohand Alshehri, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ahmed Alnami, Salem Alhazmi, Ahmed Alhaznawi
          

1997-July 2001: Hanjour Associate Freely Travels in and out of US

       Hijacker Hani Hanjour begins associating with an unnamed individual who is later mentioned in FBI agent Ken Williams' famous “Phoenix memo” (see July 10, 2001). Hanjour and this individual train at flight schools in Arizona. Several flight instructors later note the two were associates and may have carpooled together. They are known to share the same airplane on one occasion in 1999, and are at the school together on other occasions. The unnamed individual leaves the US in April 2000. In May 2001, the FBI attempts to investigate this person, but after finding out that he has left the US, the FBI declines to open a formal investigation. The name of this person is not placed on a watch list, so the FBI is unaware that the person returns in June and stays in the US for another month. By this time, this person is an experienced flight instructor who is certified to fly Boeing 737s. The FBI speculates the person may return to evaluate Hanjour's flying skills or provide final training before 9/11. There is considerable circumstantial evidence placing this person near Hanjour during this month. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]
People and organizations involved: William Safire, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

1998: Information on Hanjour Apparently Ignored by FBI

      
Aukai Collins.
American Muslim Aukai Collins later says he reports to the FBI on hijacker Hani Hanjour for six months this year. [Associated Press, 5/24/02] The FBI later acknowledges they paid Collins to monitor the Islamic and Arab communities in Phoenix between 1996 and 1999. [ABC News, 5/23/02; Associated Press, 5/24/02] Collins claims that he is a casual acquaintance of Hanjour while Hanjour is taking flying lessons. [Associated Press, 5/24/02] Collins sees nothing suspicious about Hanjour as an individual, but he tells the FBI about him because Hanjour appears to be part of a larger, organized group of Arabs taking flying lessons. [Fox News, 5/24/02] He says the FBI “knew everything about the guy,” including his exact address, phone number, and even what car he drove. The FBI denies Collins told them anything about Hanjour, and denies knowing about Hanjour before 9/11. [ABC News, 5/23/02] Collins later calls Hanjour a “hanky panky” hijacker: “He wasn't even moderately religious, let alone fanatically religious. And I knew for a fact that he wasn't part of al-Qaeda or any other Islamic organization; he couldn't even spell jihad in Arabic.” [Collins, 2003, pp 248]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, William Safire, Aukai Collins
          

1998: By Some Accounts, al-Qaeda Begins Planning for 9/11

       According to closed-session testimony by CIA, FBI and NSA heads, al-Qaeda begins planning the 9/11 attacks this year. [USA Today, 6/18/02] In a June 2002 interview, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed also asserts that planning for the attacks begin at this time. [Associated Press, 9/8/02] However, it appears the targeting of the WTC and pilot training began even earlier. An al-Qaeda operative in Spain will later be found with videos filmed in 1997 of major US structures (including “innumerable takes from all distances and angles” of the WTC). There are numerous connections between Spain and the 9/11 hijackers, including an important meeting there in July 2001. [Associated Press, 7/17/02] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri was living in Florida since 1995, started training for his commercial pilot training degree in 1996, and obtained his license in 1997. [Boston Globe, 9/14/01; Sunday Herald, 9/16/01]
People and organizations involved: World Trade Center, Waleed M. Alshehri, al-Qaeda
          

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. 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, 1/14/03] Mohamed Atta twice travels to Spain in 2001, perhaps to make contact with members of this Spanish support team.
People and organizations involved: Zacarias Moussaoui, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta
          

1999: Neighbors Report Suspicious Activities to CIA; No Apparent Response

      
The Vienna, Virginia, house where Waleed Alshehri and Ahmed Alghamdi lived.
Diane and John Albritton later say they call the CIA and police several times this year to report suspicious activity at a neighbor's home, but authorities fail to respond. [MSNBC, 9/23/01; New York Daily News, 9/15/01] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri is renting the house on Orrin Street in Vienna, Virginia, at the time (three blocks from a CIA facility). [Associated Press, 9/15/01 (B)] He makes his neighbors nervous. “There were always people coming and going,” said Diane Albritton. “Arabic people. Some of them never uttered a word; I don't know if they spoke English. But they looked very focused. We thought they might be dealing drugs, or illegal immigrants.” [New York Times, 9/15/01 (B)] Ahmed Alghamdi lived at the same address until July 2000. [Fox News, 6/6/02; World Net Daily, 9/14/01] Waleed Alshehri lived with Ahmed Alghamdi in Florida for seven months in 1997. [Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01] Albritton says they observed a van parked outside the home at all hours of the day and night. A Middle Eastern man appeared to be monitoring a scanner or radio inside the van. Another neighbor says, “We thought it was a drug house. All the cars parked on the street were new BMWs, new Mercedes. People were always walking around out front with cell phones.” There were frequent wild parties, numerous complaints to authorities, and even a police report about a woman shooting a gun into the air during a party. [World Net Daily, 9/14/01] Other neighbors also called the police about the house. [Associated Press, 9/14/01 (B)] “Critics say [the case] could have made a difference [in stopping 9/11] had it been handled differently.” Standard procedures require the CIA to notify the FBI of such domestic information. However, FBI officials have not been able to find any record that the CIA shared the information. [Fox News, 6/6/02] FBI Director Mueller has said “the hijackers did all they could to stay below our radar.” [Senate Judiciary Statement, 5/8/02]
People and organizations involved: Waleed M. Alshehri, Central Intelligence Agency, Robert S. Mueller III, Diane Albritton, Ahmed Alghamdi, John Albritton, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

Late 1999: Hijackers Clear Their Passport Records

       Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi report their passports missing; Ziad Jarrah reports his missing in February 2000. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01; Der Spiegel, 2002, pp 257-58] Alshehhi receives a replacement passport on December 26, 1999. [Times of London, 9/20/01]
People and organizations involved: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah
          

2000-September 10, 2001: Hijackers Possibly Spend Time in Philippines

       The names of four hijackers are later discovered in Philippines immigration records, according to Philippine Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo. 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, 9/19/01; Philippines Daily Inquirer, 9/19/01; Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01] Ahmed Alghamdi visits Manila, Philippines, more than 13 times in the two years before 9/11. He leaves the Philippines the day before the attacks. [Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01; Arizona Daily Star, 9/28/01] Fayez Ahmed Banihammad visits the Philippines on October 17-19, 2000. [Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01; Arizona Daily Star, 9/28/01] 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, 9/20/01] Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi may also have been living in the Philippines, and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed occasionally stays there. While in the Philippines, it is possible the hijackers meet with associates of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden's brother-in-law (see December 16, 1994-May 1995). Khalifa has been closely linked with the Philippines chapter of the International Islamic Relief Organization, which gets much of its money from the Saudi Arabian government. The organization has recently been accused of being a front for al-Qaeda. Amongst other connections to terrorism, Khalifa helped fund the Islamic Army of Aden, a group that claimed responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole. [Boston Herald, 10/14/01] Khalifa has been connected through phone calls to Hambali, a major terrorist who attended a planning meeting for the 9/11 attacks in Malaysia (see January 5-8, 2000), also attended by two hijackers connected to the Islamic Army of Aden. [Cox News Service, 10/21/01; PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (C)] (The US had Khalifa in custody for about six months in 1995.) Nothing more has been heard to confirm or deny the hijackers' Philippines connections since these reports.
People and organizations involved: Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Saeed Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mohamed Atta, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin, Marwan Alshehhi, Ahmed, International Islamic Relief Organization, Islamic Army of Aden
          

April 2000: Atta in Portland Public Library Before Official Arrival Date

       Spruce Whited, director of security for the Portland, Maine Public Library, later says Mohamed Atta and possibly a second hijacker are regulars at the library and frequently use public Internet terminals at this time. He says four other employees recognize Atta as a library patron. “I remember seeing [Atta] in the spring of 2000,” he says. “I have a vague memory of a second one who turned out to be [Atta's] cousin.” Whited also says federal authorities have not inquired about the library sightings. [Boston Herald, 10/5/01; Portland Press Herald, 10/5/01] According to the official story, Atta does not arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. [Miami Herald, 9/22/01; Australian Broadcasting Corp., 11/12/01]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed Atta
          

Late April-Mid-May 2000: Atta Leaves Numerous Clues While Seeking Crop-Dusting Airplane Loan

      
Department of Agriculture official Johnelle Bryant.
Mohamed Atta reportedly has a very strange meeting with Johnelle Bryant of the US Department of Agriculture (incidentally, one month before the official story claims he arrived in the US for the first time). According to Bryant, in the meeting Atta does all of the following:
He initially refuses to speak with one who is “but a FEMAle.”

He asks her for a loan of $650,000 to buy and modify a crop-dusting plane.

He mentions that he wants to “build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting.”

He uses his real name even as she takes notes, and makes sure she spells it correctly.

He says he has just arrived from Afghanistan.

He tells about his travel plans to Spain and Germany.

He expresses an interest in visiting New York.

He asks her about security at the WTC and other US landmarks.

He discusses al-Qaeda and its need for American membership.

He tells her bin Laden “would someday be known as the world's greatest leader.”

He asks to buy the aerial photograph of Washington hanging on her Florida office wall, throwing increasingly large “wads of cash” at her when she refuses to sell it. [ABC News, 6/6/02]

After Bryant points out one of the buildings in the Washington photograph as her former place of employment, he asks her, “How would you like it if somebody flew an airplane into your friends' building?”

He asks her, “What would prevent [me] from going behind [your] desk and cutting [your] throat and making off with the millions of dollars” in the safe behind her.

He asks, “How would America like it if another country destroyed [Washington] and some of the monuments in it like the cities in [my] country had been destroyed?”

He gets “very agitated” when he isn't given the money in cash on the spot.

Atta later tries to get the loan again from the same woman, this time “slightly disguised” by wearing glasses.
Three other apparent hijackers also attempt to get the same loan from Bryant, but all of them fail. Bryant turns them down because they do not meet the loan requirements, and fails to notify anyone about these strange encounters until after 9/11. Government officials not only confirm the account and say that Bryant passed a lie detector test, but also elaborate that the account is consistent with other information they have received from interrogating prisoners. Supposedly, failing to get the loan, the terrorists switched plans from using crop dusters to hijacking aircraft. As of July 1, 2004; the 9/11 Commission has failed to mention any aspect of Johnelle Bryant's account. [ABC News, 6/6/02; Times of London, 6/8/02] This event contradicts FBI Director Mueller's later testimony about the hijackers: “There were no slip-ups. Discipline never broke down. They gave no hint to those around them what they were about.” [CNN, 9/28/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, World Trade Center, Johnelle Bryant, Mohamed Atta
          

June 2000: Hijackers Open Many Bank Accounts in Florida; Transactions Not Followed

       Mohamed Atta and other hijackers begin to open bank accounts in Florida. At least 35 accounts are opened, 14 of them at SunTrust Bank. All are opened with fake social security numbers (some with randomly made up numbers), yet none of the accounts are checked or questioned by the banks. [New York Times, 7/10/02] One transfer from the United Arab Emirates three months later totaling $69,985 prompts the bank to make a “suspicious transaction report” to the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Apparently, no investigation into this transaction occurs. [Financial Times, 11/29/01]
People and organizations involved: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, SunTrust Bank, Mohamed Atta, Mohamed Atta
          

June 3, 2000: Atta Supposedly Arrives in US for First Time, Despite Evidence of Prior Entries

      
A portion of Mohamed Atta's US visa obtained in May 2000.
Mohamed Atta supposedly arrives in the US for the first time, flying from Prague to Newark on a tourist visa issued May 18 in Berlin. [Australian Broadcasting Corp., 11/12/01; Miami Herald, 9/22/01]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed Atta
          

June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000: Hijackers Receive $100,000 in Funding from United Arab Emirates Location

       Someone using the aliases “Isam Mansour,” “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi,” “Mr. Ali,” and “Hani (Fawaz Trdng)” sends a total of $109,910 to the 9/11 hijackers in a series of transfers between these dates. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; Financial Times, 11/30/01; MSNBC, 12/11/01; New York Times, 12/10/01; Newsweek, 12/2/01] The money is sent from Sharjah, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates that is allegedly a center for al-Qaeda's illegal financial dealings. The identity of this moneyman “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi” is in dispute. It has been claimed that the name “Mustafa Ahmed” is an alias used by Saeed Sheikh, a known ISI and al-Qaeda agent who sends the hijackers money in August 2001. [CNN, 10/6/01] India claims that Pakistani ISI Director Mahmood orders Saeed to send the hijackers the money at this time. [Daily Excelsior, 10/18/01; Frontline, 10/6/01] French author Bernard-Henri Levy claims to have evidence from sources inside both Indian and US governments of phone calls between Sheikh and Mahmood during this same time period, and he sees a connection between the timing of the calls and the money transfers (see Summer 2000). [Who Killed Daniel Pearl? by Bernard-Henri Levy, pp 320-324] FBI Director Mueller's theory is that this money is sent by “Ali Abdul Aziz Ali.” However, of the four aliases used in the different transactions, Mueller connects this man only to three, and not to the alias “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi.” [Associated Press, 9/26/02; New York Times, 12/10/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] It appears that most of the money is sent to an account shared by Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta, who would obtain money orders and distribute the money to the other hijackers. [CNN, 10/1/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; MSNBC, 12/11/01] The New York Times later suggests that the amount passed from “Mustafa Ahmed” to the Florida bank accounts right up until the day before the attack is around $325,000. The rest of the $500,000-$600,000 they receive for US expenses comes from another, still unknown source. [New York Times, 7/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, United Arab Emirates, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Mahmood Ahmed, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Saeed Sheikh, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Robert S. Mueller III, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, al-Qaeda, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi, Fawaz Trdng, Isam Mansour
          

July 2000: Atta and Alshehhi Move to Florida and Enroll in Pilot Classes

       Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi move to Venice, Florida, and enroll in pilot classes at Huffman Aviation. [Chicago Sun-Times, 9/16/01]
People and organizations involved: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Huffman Aviation
          

Late November 2000-January 30, 2001: Conflicting Accounts of Jarrah's Location

      
Two Ziad Jarrahs. The photo on the right is from the wreckage of Flight 93.
When Ziad Jarrah is questioned at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 30, 2001, he reveals that he has been in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the previous two months and five days, and that he is returning to Florida. [Chicago Tribune, 12/13/01] Investigators also later confirm that “Jarrah had spent at least three weeks in January 2001 at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.” [CNN, 8/1/02] However, the Florida Flight Training Center, where Jarrah has been studying for the previous six months, later says he is in school there until January 15, 2001. His family later reports he arrives in Lebanon to visit them on January 26, five days before he supposedly passes through Dubai. His father had just undergone open-heart surgery, and Jarrah visits him every day in the hospital until after January 30. Pointing out this incident, his uncle Jamal Jarrah later asks, “How could he be in two places at one time?” [Longman, 2002, pp 101-02] This is not the only example of Jarrah being in two places at the same time—there is also evidence he was in different places at once from March 1995-February 1996 (see March 1995-February 1996).
People and organizations involved: Jamal Jarrah, Florida Flight Training Center, Ziad Jarrah
          

January-February 2001: Flight School's Repeated Warnings About Hijacker Hanjour Ignored by FAA

      
Hani Hanjour, from a 2000 US visa application.
In January, the Arizona flight school JetTech alerts the FAA about hijacker Hani Hanjour. No one at the school suspects Hanjour of terrorist intent, but they tell the FAA he lacks both the English and flying skills necessary for the commercial pilot's license he has already obtained. The flight school manager “couldn't believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills that he had.” A former employee says, “I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon. He could not fly at all.” They also note he is an exceptionally poor student who does not seem to care about passing his courses. [New York Times, 5/4/02 (B)] An FAA official named John Anthony actually sits next to Hanjour in class and observes his skills. He suggests the use of a translator to help Hanjour pass, but the flight school points out that goes “against the rules that require a pilot to be able to write and speak English fluently before they even get their license.” [Associated Press, 5/10/02] The FAA verifies that Hanjour's pilot's license is legitimate, but takes no other action. However, since 9/11, the FBI appears to have questions about how Hanjour got his license in 1999. They have questioned and polygraphed the Arab-American instructor who signed off on his flying skills. [CBS News, 5/10/02] His license had in fact already expired in late 1999. [Associated Press, 9/15/01 (B)] In February, Hanjour begins advanced simulator training, “a far more complicated task than he had faced in earning a commercial license.” [New York Times, 6/19/02] The flight school again alerts the FAA about this and gives a total of five alerts about Hanjour, but no further action on him is taken. The FBI is not told about Hanjour. [CBS News, 5/10/02] Ironically, the following July, Arizona FBI agent Ken Williams recommends in a memo that the FBI liaison with local flight schools and keep track of suspicious activity by Middle Eastern students (see July 10, 2001).
People and organizations involved: William Safire, Federal Aviation Administration, John Anthony, Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation, JetTech
          

January 2001: Hijackers Rent Post Office Box in Florida Months Before They Officially Arrive

       Hijackers Hamza Alghamdi and Mohand Alshehri rent a post office box in Delray Beach, Florida, according to the Washington Post. Yet FBI Director Mueller later claims they do not enter the country until May 28, 2001. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; Washington Post, 9/30/01]
People and organizations involved: Mohand Alshehri, Hamza Alghamdi
          

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

       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. However, investigators suspect some stay in Britain for training and fundraising. Not all 11 names are given, but one can deduce from the press accounts that Ahmed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, and Saeed Alghamdi were definitely in Britain. 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. Two of the following three also were in Britain: Wail Alshehri, Fayez Banihammad, and Abdulaziz Alomari. Apparently, the investigation concludes that the “muscle,” and leaders like Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi did not pass through Britain at this time. [BBC, 9/28/01; Washington Post, 9/27/01; Times of London, 9/26/01; Sunday Herald, 9/30/01] However, police are investigating whether Atta visited Britain in 1999 and 2000, together with some Algerians. [Daily Telegraph, 9/30/01] The London Times also writes, “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.”
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Saeed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Wail Alshehri, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Abdulaziz Alomari, Marwan Alshehhi, Raed Hijazi, Mohamed Atta
          

January 30, 2001: Hijacker Questioned at Request of CIA, Then Released

      
Ziad Jarrah flying in Florida in 2000.
Hijacker Ziad Jarrah is questioned for several hours at the Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates, at the request of the CIA for “suspected involvement in terrorist activities,” then let go. This is according to United Arab Emirates, US, and European officials, but the CIA denies the story. The CIA notified local officials that he would be arriving from Pakistan on his way back to Europe, and they wanted to know where he had been in Afghanistan and how long he had been there. US officials were informed of the results of the interrogation before Jarrah left the airport. Jarrah had already been in the US for six months learning to fly. “UAE and European intelligence sources told CNN that the questioning of Jarrah fits a pattern of a CIA operation begun in 1999 to track suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were traveling through the United Arab Emirates.” He was then permitted to leave, eventually going to the US. [CNN, 8/1/02; Chicago Tribune, 12/13/01] Some accounts place this in January 2000.
People and organizations involved: United Arab Emirates, Ziad Jarrah, Central Intelligence Agency
          

February 2001: Two Hijackers Seen Living in San Antonio with Swapped Identities

       At least six people with no connections to one another later claim they recognize hijackers Satam Al Suqami and Salem Alhazmi living in San Antonio, Texas, until this month. The management of an apartment building says the two men abandoned their leases at about this time, and some apartment residents recognize them. However, all the witnesses say that Suqami was going by Alhazmi's name, and vice versa! [KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/1/01] One pilot shop employee recognizes Alhazmi as a frequent visitor to the store and interested in a 757 or 767 handbook, though he also says Alhazmi used Suqami's name. [KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/3/01] The apartment-leasing agent also recalls a Ziad Jarrah who once lived there in June 2001 and looked the same as the hijacker. [Associated Press, 9/22/01 (B); San Antonio Express-News, 9/22/01] Local FBI confirm that a Salem Alhazmi attended the nearby Alpha Tango Flight School and lived in that apartment building, but they say he is a different Salem Alhazmi who is still alive and living in Saudi Arabia. [KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/4/01] However, that “Salem Alhazmi” says he has never been to the US and has proven to the authorities that he did not leave Saudi Arabia in the two years prior to 9/11. [Washington Post, 9/20/01] The FBI does not explain Satam Al Suqami's presence. Neither hijacker is supposed to have arrived in the US before April 2001.
People and organizations involved: Satam Al Suqami, Ziad Jarrah, Alpha Tango Flight School, Salem Alhazmi, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

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.
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. [Associated Press, 10/7/01 (B); Washington Post, 9/30/01] 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 Final Report, 7/24/04, p. 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). 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)).
People and organizations involved: William Safire, Salem Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar
          

March 2001: Hijackers Pledge Martyrdom in Videos

      
A still of Ahmed Alhaznawi from the Al Jazeera video. The WTC was digitally inserted in the video background later.
Supposedly, all 13 of the “muscle” hijackers record a farewell video before leaving training in Kandahar, Afghanistan, around this time. [CBS News, 10/9/02] Several have been released. A video of Ahmed Alhaznawi is shown by the Al Jazeera television network in April 2002. In it, he pledges to give his life to “martyrdom” and swears to send a “bloodied message” to Americans by attacking them in their “heartland.” [Guardian, 4/16/02] In September 2002, Al Jazeera shows a similar farewell video of Abdulaziz Alomari made around the same time. [Associated Press, 9/9/02] Alomari states, “I am writing this with my full conscience and I am writing this in expectation of the end, which is near ... God praise everybody who trained and helped me, namely the leader Sheik Osama bin Laden.” [Washington Post, 9/11/02] Al Jazeera also shows Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Wail Alshehri in Kandahar studying maps and flight manuals. [Financial Times, 9/11/02]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Satam Al Suqami, Waleed M. Alshehri, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Wail Alshehri, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Saeed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi
          

Mid-March 2001: Hijackers Meet with ID Forger

       Hijackers Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Hani Hanjour, and Nawaf Alhazmi stay for four days in the Fairfield Motor Inn, Fairfield, Connecticut. They meet with Eyad M. Alrababah, a Jordanian living in Bridgeport, who has been charged with providing false identification to at least 50 illegal aliens. This meeting takes place about six weeks before the FBI says Moqed and Alghamdi enter the US. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; Associated Press, 3/6/02]
People and organizations involved: William Safire, Eyad M. Alrababah, Majed Moqed, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ahmed Alghamdi
          

April 12-September 7, 2001: Hijackers Collect Multiple Drivers' License Copies

      
The most famous image of Mohamed Atta came from his Florida driver's license.
At least six hijackers get more than one Florida driver's license. They get the second license simply by filling out change of address forms:
Waleed Alshehri—first license May 4, duplicate May 5;

Marwan Alshehhi—first license, April 12, duplicate in June;

Ziad Jarrah—first license May 2, duplicate July 10;

Ahmed Alhaznawi—first license July 10, duplicate September 7;

Hamza Alghamdi—first license June 27, two duplicates, the second in August; and

“A sixth man” with a Florida duplicate is not named. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01]
Additionally, some hijackers obtained licenses from multiple states. For instance, Nawaf Alhazmi had licenses from California, New York, and Florida at the same time, apparently all in the same name. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01; Daily Oklahoman, 1/20/02; Newsday, 9/21/01; South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01]
People and organizations involved: Waleed M. Alshehri, Marwan Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Hamza Alghamdi, Ziad Jarrah
          

April 23-June 29, 2001: Al-Qaeda Muscle Team Arrives in US at This Time or Earlier

      
This Ahmed Al-Haznawi picture is a photocopy of his 2001 US visa application.
The 13 hijackers commonly known as the “muscle” allegedly first arrive in the US. The muscle provides the brute force meant to control the hijacked passengers and protect the pilots. [Washington Post, 9/30/01] According to FBI Director Mueller, they all pass through Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and their travel was probably coordinated from abroad by Khalid Almihdhar. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] However, some information contradicts their official arrival dates:
April 23: Waleed Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami arrive in Orlando, Florida. Suqami in fact arrived before February 2001. Alshehri was leasing a house near Washington in 1999 and 2000 with Ahmed Alghamdi. He also lived with Ahmed Alghamdi in Florida for seven months in 1997. [Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01]
Alshehri appears quite Americanized in the summer of 2001, frequently talking with an apartment mate about football and baseball, even identifying himself a fan of the Florida Marlins baseball team. [Associated Press, 9/21/01]
May 2: Majed Moqed and Ahmed Alghamdi arrive in Washington. Both actually arrived by mid-March 2001. Ahmed Alghamdi was living with Waleed Alshehri near Washington until July 2000. He also lived with Waleed Alshehri in Florida for seven months in 1997. [Daily Telegraph, 9/20/01]

May 28: Mohand Alshehri, Hamza Alghamdi, and Ahmed Alnami allegedly arrive in Miami, Florida. According to other reports, however, both Mohand Alshehri and Hamza Alghamdi arrived by January 2001.

June 8: Ahmed Alhaznawi and Wail Alshehri arrive in Miami, Florida.

June 27: Fayez Banihammad and Saeed Alghamdi arrive in Orlando, Florida.

June 29: Salem Alhazmi and Abdulaziz Alomari allegedly arrive in New York. According to other reports, however, Alhazmi arrived before February 2001.
After entering the US (or, perhaps, reentering), the hijackers arriving at Miami and Orlando airports settle in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area along with Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah. The hijackers, arriving in New York and Virginia, settle in the Paterson, New Jersey, area along with Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] Note the FBI's early conclusion that 11 of these muscle men “did not know they were on a suicide mission.” [Observer, 10/14/01] CIA Director Tenet's later claim that they “probably were told little more than that they were headed for a suicide mission inside the United States” [CIA Director Tenet Testimony, 6/18/02] and reports that they did not know the exact details of the 9/11 plot until shortly before the attack [CBS News, 10/9/02] are contradicted by video confessions made by all of them in March 2001 (see March 2001).
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Federal Bureau of Investigation, William Safire, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Waleed M. Alshehri, Satam Al Suqami, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Saeed Alghamdi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Salem Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Wail Alshehri, Ahmed Alhaznawi
          

May-August 2001: Hijackers Take Practice Flights and Enjoy Las Vegas Diversions

       A number of the hijackers make at least six trips to Las Vegas. It is probable they met here after doing practice runs on cross-country flights. At least Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Khalid Almihdhar and Hani Hanjour were involved. All of these “fundamentalist” Muslims drink alcohol, gamble, and frequent strip clubs. They even have strippers perform lap dances for them. [San Francisco Chronicle, 10/4/01; Newsweek, 10/15/01]
People and organizations involved: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, William Safire, Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi
          

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

      
A portion of Salem Alhazmi's New Jersey identification card.
The US introduces the “Visa Express” program in Saudi Arabia, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain a visa through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, “The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02; US News and World Report, 12/12/01] At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden are higher than they had ever been before— “off the charts” as one senator later puts it. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02; Los Angeles Times, 5/18/02] A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/19/02] Five hijackers—Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad—use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] Even 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will successfully get a US Visa through this program in July (using a false name but real photograph), despite a posted $2 million reward for his capture. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/04] Only three percent of Saudi visa applicants are turned down by US consular officers in fiscal 2000 and 2001. In contrast, about 25 percent of US visa seekers worldwide are rejected. Acceptance is even more difficult for applicants from countries alleged to have ties to terrorism such as Iraq or Iran. [Washington Post, 10/31/01] The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002.
People and organizations involved: Saudi Arabia, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Osama bin Laden, Khalid Almihdhar, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

May 6-September 6, 2001: Some Hijackers Work Out at Gyms, Some Merely Hang Out

      
Ziad Jarrah's computer record at the US1 Fitness gym.
The hijackers work out at various gyms, presumably getting in shape for the hijacking. Ziad Jarrah appears to train intensively from May to August, and Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi also take exercising very seriously. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01; New York Times, 9/23/01] However, these three are presumably pilots who would need the training the least. For instance, Jarrah's trainer says, “If he wasn't one of the pilots, he would have done quite well in thwarting the passengers from attacking.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] For instance, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi work out for only four days in early September. [Associated Press, 9/21/01] Three others—Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri and Satam al-Suqami— “simply clustered around a small circuit of machines, never asking for help and, according to a trainer, never pushing any weights. ‘You know, I don't actually remember them ever doing anything... They would just stand around and watch people.’ ” [New York Times, 9/23/01] Those three also had a one month membership in Florida—whether they ever actually worked out there is unknown. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01]
People and organizations involved: Salem Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, William Safire, Mohamed Atta, Waleed M. Alshehri, Central Intelligence Agency, Marwan Alshehhi, Satam Al Suqami, Wail Alshehri
          

June or July 2001: Hijackers Plan Attacks from German University

       Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and an unknown third person are seen in the ground-floor workshops of the architecture department at this time, according to at least two witnesses from the Hamburg university where Atta had studied. They are seen on at least two occasions with a white, three-foot scale model of the Pentagon. Between 60 and 80 slides of the Sears building in Chicago and the WTC are found to be missing from the technical library after 9/11. [Sunday Times, 2/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed Atta, Pentagon, World Trade Center, Marwan Alshehhi
          

Summer 2001: Hijackers Use a Variety of Means to Get into Cockpit During Test Flights

       According to the Boston Globe, during various cross-country test run flights in the summer of 2001, “Some of the hijackers were seen videotaping crews on their flights. Other times, they asked for cockpit tours. Two also rode in the cockpit of the planes of one national airline, said a pilot who requested anonymity. The practice, known as ‘jumpseating,’ allows certified airline pilots to use a spare seat in the cockpit when none is available in the passenger cabin. Airlines reciprocate to help pilots get home or to the city of their originating flight.” [Boston Globe, 11/23/01]
          

June 2001: Hijackers Meet in London

       British investigators believe that at least five of the hijackers have a “vital planning meeting” held in a safe house in north London, Britain. [Times of London, 9/26/01] Authorities suspect that Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian now in British custody, trains the hijackers in this safe house, as well as previously training the hijackers in Afghanistan. [Daily Telegraph, 9/30/01]
People and organizations involved: Mustapha Labsi
          

June 25, 2001: Hijacker Opens Bank Account in Dubai

       Hijacker Fayez Banihammad opens a bank account in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 9/11 paymaster “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.” That name is a likely alias for Saeed Sheikh, who is known to visit Dubai frequently in this time period. [MSNBC, 12/11/01] Banihammad flies to the US the next day. Banihammad gives power of attorney to “al-Hawsawi” on July 18, and then “al-Hawsawi” sends Banihammad Visa and ATM cards in Florida. Banihammad uses the Visa card to buy his airplane ticket for 9/11. [Washington Post, 12/13/01; MSNBC, 12/11/01] The same pattern of events occurs for some other hijackers, though the timing is not fully known. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] Visa cards are given to several other hijackers in Dubai. [Times of London, 12/1/01] Other hijackers, including Hani Hanjour, Abdulaziz Alomari, and Khalid Almihdhar, open foreign bank and credit card accounts in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia. Majed Moqed, Saeed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Wail Alshehri, and possibly others purchase travelers checks in the UAE, presumably with funds given to them when they pass through Dubai. It is believed that “al-Hawsawi” is in Dubai every time the hijackers pass through. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02]
People and organizations involved: Ahmed Alhaznawi, Wail Alshehri, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Saeed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, William Safire, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Saeed Sheikh, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad
          

July 7, 2001: Random Police Check Almost Uncovers Hijacker Meeting Near New York City

       Police officer Dave Agar in South Hackensack, New Jersey, is searching the parking lots of cheap motels, looking for suspicious cars. He submits the license plate number of a 1988 Toyota parked outside the Jade East motel to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computer database frequently used by every level of law enforcement. He discovers that Nawaf Alhazmi owns the car. The computer record shows no outstanding warrants for Alhazmi (though it does give other information, including his address in San Diego). Agar makes a record of his search and continues his patrol. It is later discovered that Abdulaziz Alomari registered a room in the Jade East motel from July 6-13, and Khalid Almihdhar stayed most of that week with Alhazmi at the nearby Congress Inn. It is also discovered that Almihdhar, Alhazmi, and two or three other men had dinner together at a local diner. Police speculate the hijackers were holding a meeting to discuss their plot. One officer later says, “You wonder what would have happened if the check had turned up something on Alhazmi. We certainly would have brought him in for questioning.” [Bergen Record, 5/18/04] In late August, an FBI agent will look for Alhazmi and Almihdhar in the New York City area, but he will fail to check NCIC or car registration records that would have revealed the record of Agar's search mentioning Alhazmi's name (see August 29, 2001).
People and organizations involved: Dave Agar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, National Crime Information Center
          

July 8-19, 2001: Atta, Bin Al-Shibh, Alshehhi, and Others Meet in Spain to Finalize Attack Plans

       Mohamed Atta travels to Spain again (his first trip was in January). Three others cross the Atlantic with him but their names are not known, as they apparently use false identities. [El Mundo, 9/30/01] Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, a member of his Hamburg terrorist cell, arrives in Spain on July 9, and stays until July 16. [New York Times, 5/1/02] Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi also comes to Spain at about the same time and leaves on July 17. [Associated Press, 6/30/02] Alshehhi must have traveled under another name, because US immigration has no records of his departure or return. [Department of Justice, 5/20/02] Investigators believe Atta, Alshehhi, and bin al-Shibh meet with at least three Unknown others in a secret safe house near Tarragona. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02; Associated Press, 6/30/02] It is theorized that the final details of the 9/11 attacks are set at this meeting. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Atta probably meets with, and is hosted by, Barakat Yarkas and other Spanish al-Qaeda members. [International Herald Tribune, 11/21/01] One of the unknowns at the meeting could be Yarkas's friend Mamoun Darkazanli, a German with connections to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. Darkazanli travels to Spain and meets with Yarkas during the time Atta is there. He travels with an unnamed Syrian Spanish suspect, who lived in Afghanistan and had access there to al-Qaeda leaders. [Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03] The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia later reports that Atta also meets with fellow hijackers Waleed Alshehri and Wail Alshehri on July 16. [Associated Press, 9/27/01] Strangely enough, on July 16, Atta stayed in the same hotel in the town of Salou that had hosted FBI counterterrorist expert John O'Neill a few days earlier, when he made a speech to other counterterrorism experts on the need for greater international cooperation by police agencies to combat terrorism. Bin al-Shibh arrived in Salou on July 9, which means he would have been there when the counter-terrorist meeting took place. [Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp 135]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Barakat Yarkas, Wail Alshehri, John O'Neill, Mamoun Darkazanli, Marwan Alshehhi, International Herald Tribune
          

August 1, 2001: Actor Communicates Concerns to Stewardess That Airplane Will Be Hijacked; Warning Forwarded to the FAA

      
James Woods.
Actor James Woods, flying first class on an airplane, notices four Arabic-looking men, the only other people in the first class section. He concludes they are Islamic militants intent on hijacking the plane, acting very strangely (for instance, only talking in whispers). [Boston Globe, 11/23/01] He tells a flight attendant, “I think this plane is going to be hijacked,” adding, “I know how serious it is to say this.” He conveys his worries to the pilots, and they assure him that the cockpit would be locked. [New Yorker, 5/27/02] The flight staff later notifies the FAA about these suspicious individuals. Though the government will not discuss this event, it is highly unlikely that any action is taken regarding the flight staff's worries [New Yorker, 5/27/02] Woods is not interviewed by the FBI until after 9/11. Woods says the FBI believes that all four men took part in the 9/11 attacks, and the flight he was on was a practice flight for them. [O'Reilly Factor, 2/14/02] Woods believes one was Khalid Almihdhar and another was Hamza Alghamdi. [New Yorker, 5/27/02] The FBI later reports that this may have been one of a dozen test run flights starting as early as January. Flight attendants and passengers on other flights later recall men looking like the hijackers who took pictures of the cockpit aboard flights and/or took notes. [Associated Press, 5/29/02] The FBI has not been able to find any evidence of hijackers on the flight manifest for Woods' flight. [New Yorker, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration, Hamza Alghamdi, James Woods, Khalid Almihdhar
          

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

      
This Amhed Al-Ghamdi photo comes from his Virginia ID card, the only one publicly released by the 9/11 Commission.
Hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar meet Luis Martinez-Flores, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia. Martinez-Flores is paid $100 cash to accompany the two to a local Department of Motor Vehicles office and sign forms attesting to their permanent residence in Virginia. Given new state identity cards, the cards are used the next day to get Virginia identity cards for several (five to seven) additional hijackers, including Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, and Salem Alhazmi. [Arizona Daily Star, 9/28/01; Wall Street Journal, 10/16/01; Washington Post, 9/30/01]
People and organizations involved: Khalid Almihdhar, William Safire, Salem Alhazmi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Abdulaziz Alomari, Luis Martinez-Flores
          

August 2001: Six Hijackers Live Near Entrance to NSA

       At least six 9/11 hijackers, including all of those who boarded Flight 77, live in Laurel, Maryland, from about this time. They reportedly include Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi. Laurel, Maryland, is home to a Muslim cleric named Moataz Al-Hallak who teaches at a local Islamic school and has been linked to bin Laden. He has testified three times before a grand jury investigating bin Laden. NSA expert James Bamford later states, “The terrorist cell that eventually took over the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon ended up living, working, planning and developing all their activities in Laurel, Maryland, which happens to be the home of the NSA. So they were actually living alongside NSA employees as they were plotting all these things.” [BBC, 6/21/02; Washington Post, 9/19/01]
People and organizations involved: Moataz Al-Hallak, Osama bin Laden, Pentagon, National Security Agency, James Bamford, Khalid Almihdhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, William Safire
          

August 4, 2001: Possible 20th Hijacker Denied Entry to US

      
Customs agent Jose Melendez-Perez.
A Saudi named Mohammed Al-Qahtani is stopped at the Orlando, Florida, airport and denied entry to the US. Jose Melendez-Perez, the customs official who stops him, later says he was suspicious of Al-Qahtani because he had arrived with no return ticket, no hotel reservations, spoke little English, behaved menacingly, and offered conflicting information on the purpose of his travel. At one point, Al-Qahtani said that someone was waiting for him elsewhere at the airport. After 9/11, surveillance cameras show that Mohamed Atta was at the Orlando airport that day. 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste says: “It is extremely possible and perhaps probable that [Al-Qahtani] was to be the 20th hijacker.” Al-Qahtani boards a return flight to Saudi Arabia. He is later captured in Afghanistan and sent to a US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Melendez-Perez says that before 9/11, customs officials were discouraged by their superiors from hassling Saudi travelers, who were seen as big spenders. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/04]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Mohamed Atta, Richard Ben-Veniste
          

August 24-29, 2001: Hijackers Buy 9/11 Plane Tickets Using Their Apparent Real Names

       All of the hijackers book their flights for 9/11, using their apparent real names. Most pay using credit cards on the Internet. [Miami Herald, 9/22/01] At least five tickets are one way only. [Los Angeles Times, 9/18/01]
          

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

       The standard accounts place hijackers Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Khalid Almihdhar on the East Coast for the entire time in the weeks before the attacks [Newsday, 9/23/01 (B); Associated Press, 9/21/01; St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01; New York Times, 9/21/01; New York Times, 11/6/01; CNN, 9/26/01] However, neighbors at the San Diego apartment complex where the three lived are clear in their assertions that all three were there until days before 9/11. For instance, one article states, “Authorities believe Almihdhar, Hanjour and Alhazmi ... moved out a couple of days before the East Coast attacks.” [San Diego Channel 10, 11/1/01] Ed Murray, a resident at the complex, said that all three “started moving out Saturday night-and Sunday [September 9] they were gone.” [San Diego Channel 10, 9/14/01; San Diego Channel 10, 9/20/01] This is the same day that Alhazmi is reportedly seen in an East Coast shopping mall. [CNN, 9/26/01] As with previous reports, neighbors also see them getting into strange cars late at night. A neighbor interviewed shortly after 9/11 said, “A week ago, I was coming home between 12:00 and 1:00 A.M. from a club. I saw a limo pick them up. It was not the first time. In this neighborhood you notice stuff like that. In the past couple of months, I have seen this happen at least two or three times.” [Time, 9/24/01] To add to the confusion, there have been reports that investigators think Almihdhar is still alive and the Chicago Tribune says of Alhazmi, Almihdhar, and Hanjour: “The most basic of facts—the very names of the men—are uncertain. The FBI has said each used at least three aliases. ‘It's not going to be a terrible surprise down the line if these are not their true names,’ said Jeff Thurman, an FBI spokesman in San Diego.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/30/01]
People and organizations involved: William Safire, Nawaf Alhazmi, Jeff Thurman, Khalid Almihdhar
          

September 5, 2001: Hijackers Go on Gambling Cruise in Florida

       Two or three of the 9/11 hijackers are believed to go out on a gambling cruise ship that sails from Madeira Beach, Florida. According to a company official of SunCruz Casinos, who owns the ship, there are passengers on two of their cruises today who look like some of the men later identified as 9/11 hijackers, and whose names are either similar or the same as the hijackers'. In the days after 9/11, some of the cruise employees recognize a number of the hijackers as former customers. A casino manager on another SunCruz ship that sails from Port Canaveral, Florida, later believes that a former customer, caught on security video, resembles one of the hijackers. According to Michael Hlavsa, chairman of SunCruz Casinos, the hijackers “acted just like normal guests of ours and they were courteous.” Following 9/11, SunCruz turns over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01; Associated Press, 9/27/01; Washington Post, 9/27/01 (D) Sources: Michael Hlavsa]
          

September 6, 2001: WTC Security Scaled Back in Week and Day Before 9/11 Attack

       Security personnel at the WTC are working extra-long shifts because of numerous phone threats. However, on this day bomb-sniffing dogs are abruptly removed. Security further drops right before 9/11. WTC guard Daria Coard says in an interview later on the day of 9/11: “Today was the first day there was not the extra security.” [Newsday, 9/12/01 (B)] Janitor William Rodriguez later claims that he saw hijacker Mohand Alshehri inside the WTC in June 2001. [New York Daily News, 6/15/04]
People and organizations involved: Mohand Alshehri, Daria Coard, World Trade Center, William Rodriguez
          

September 8-11, 2001: Last-Minute Money Transfers Between Hijackers and United Arab Emirates

       The 9/11 hijackers send money to and receive money from a man in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who uses the aliases “Mustafa Ahmed,” “Mustafa Ahmad,” and “Ahamad Mustafa.” [MSNBC, 12/11/01] This “Mustafa” transfers money to Mohamed Atta in Florida on September 8 and 9 from a branch of the Al Ansari Exchange in Sharjah, UAE, a center of al-Qaeda financial dealings. [Financial Times, 11/30/01] On September 9, three hijackers, Atta, Waleed Alshehri, and Marwan Alshehhi, transfer about $15,000 back to “Mustafa's” account. [Time, 10/1/01; Los Angeles Times, 10/20/01] Apparently the hijackers are returning money meant for the 9/11 attacks that they have not needed. “Mustafa” then transfers $40,000 to his Visa card and then, using a Saudi passport, flies from the UAE to Karachi, Pakistan, on 9/11. He makes six ATM withdrawals there two days later, and then disappears into Pakistan. [MSNBC, 12/11/01] In early October 2001, it is reported that the financier “Mustafa Ahmed” is an alias used by Saeed Sheikh. [CNN, 10/6/01] It will later be reported that Saeed wired money to Atta the month before. These last-minute transfers are touted as the “smoking gun” proving al-Qaeda involvement in the 9/11 attacks, since Saeed is a known financial manager for bin Laden. [Guardian, 10/1/01]
People and organizations involved: Ahamad Mustafa, Waleed M. Alshehri, Marwan Alshehhi, Saeed Sheikh, Mohamed Atta, United Arab Emirates, al-Qaeda
          

September 8-11, 2001: Some Hijackers Sleep with Prostitutes

       In the days before the attacks, some of the hijackers (including Waleed Alshehri and/or Wail Alshehri) apparently sleep with prostitutes in Boston hotel rooms, or at least try to do so. A driver working at an “escort service” used by the hijackers claims he regularly drove prostitutes to a relative of bin Laden about once a week until 9/11, when the relative disappeared. Bin Laden has several relatives in the Boston area, most or all of whom returned to Saudi Arabia right after 9/11. [Boston Herald, 10/10/01] On September 10, four other hijackers in Boston (Marwan Alshehhi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mohand Alshehri, and Satam Al Suqami) call around to find prostitutes to sleep with on their last night alive, but in the end decline. Says one official, “It was going to be really expensive and they couldn't come to a consensus on price, so that was the end of it ... Either they thought it was too extravagant [over $400] or they did not have enough money left.” [Boston Globe, 10/10/01]
People and organizations involved: Wail Alshehri, Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Marwan Alshehhi, Waleed M. Alshehri, Mohand Alshehri, Satam Al Suqami
          

September 10, 2001: Three Hijackers at Same Hotel with Senior Saudi Official

      
Sami Omar Hussayen, nephew of Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen.
Three hijackers, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf Alhazmi, check into the same hotel as a prominent Saudi government official. [Washington Post, 10/2/03] Investigators have not found any evidence that the hijackers met with the official, and stress it could be a coincidence. [Daily Telegraph, 3/10/03] However, one prosecutor working on a related case asserts, “I continue to believe it can't be a coincidence.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/03] The official, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, is interviewed by the FBI shortly after 9/11, but according to testimony from an FBI agent, the interview is cut short when Hussayen “feign[s] a seizure, prompting the agents to take him to a hospital, where the attending physicians [find] nothing wrong with him.” The agent recommends that Hussayen “should not be allowed to leave until a follow-up interview could occur.” However, that “recommendation, for whatever reason, [is] not complied with.” Hussayen returns to Saudi Arabia a few days later, as soon as the US ban on international flights has ended. [Washington Post, 10/2/03] For most of the 1990s, Hussayen was director of the SAAR Foundation, a Saudi charity that is being investigated for terrorism ties. A few months after 9/11 he is named a minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques. Hussayen had arrived in the US in late August 2001 planning to visit some Saudi-sponsored charities. Many of the charities on his itinerary, including the Global Relief Foundation, World Muslim League, IIRO (International Islamic Relief Organization), IANA (Islamic Assembly of North America), and World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), have since been shut down or investigated for alleged ties to Islamic militant groups. [Washington Post, 10/2/03] His nephew, Sami Omar Hussayen, is indicted in early 2004 for using his computer expertise to assist militant groups, and is charged with administering a website associated with IANA, which expressly advocated suicide attacks and using airliners as weapons in the months before 9/11. Investigators also claim the nephew was in contact with important al-Qaeda figures. [Washington Post, 10/2/03; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/10/04] IANA is under investigation, as well as the flow of money from the uncle to nephew. [Daily Telegraph, 3/10/03] The uncle has not been charged with any crime. [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/03]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, SAAR Foundation, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, Global Relief Foundation, World Muslim League, International Islamic Relief Organization, Islamic Assembly of North America, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Sami Omar Hussayen, Khalid Almihdhar, William Safire, Nawaf Alhazmi
          

Before September 11, 2001: Hijackers Drink, Watch Strip Shows on Eve of Attacks

       A number of the hijackers apparently drink alcohol heavily in bars and watch strip shows. On September 10, three of them spend $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks in the Pink Pony, a Daytona Beach, Florida strip club. While the hijackers had left Florida by this time, Mohamed Atta is reported to have visited the same strip club, and these men appear to have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. [Boston Herald, 10/10/01] Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta are seen entering the Hollywood, Florida, sports bar Shuckums already drunk. They proceed to drink even more hard alcohol there . Atta and Alshehhi are seen at Sunrise 251, a bar in Palm Beach, Florida. They spend $1,000 in 45 minutes on Krug and Perrier-Jouet champagne. Atta is with a tall busty brunette in her late twenties; Alshehhi is with a shortish blonde. Both women are known locally as regular companions of high-rollers. [Daily Mail, 9/16/01] A stripper at the Olympic Garden Topless Cabaret in Las Vegas, Nevada, recalls Marwan Alshehhi being “cheap,” paying only $20 for a lap dance. [Cox News, 10/16//01] Several hijackers reportedly patronize the Nardone's Go-Go Bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey. They are even seen there on the weekend before 9/11. [Wall Street Journal, 10/16/01; Boston Herald, 10/10/01] Majed Moqed visits a porn shop and rents a porn video. The mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, says of the six hijackers who stayed there: “Nobody ever saw them at mosques, but they liked the go-go clubs.” [Newsweek, 10/15/01] Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar often frequented Cheetah's, a nude bar in San Diego. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Hamza Alghamdi watched a porn video on September 10. [Wall Street Journal, 10/16/01] University of Florida religion professor Richard Foltz states, “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam ... People who would kill themselves for their faith would come from very strict Islamic ideology. Something here does not add up.” [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/16/01]
People and organizations involved: Khalid Almihdhar, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Hamza Alghamdi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Majed Moqed
          


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