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Revealed: the men with stolen identities
THEIR names were flashed around the world as suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on America. But yesterday four innocent men told how their identities had been stolen by Osama bin Laden's teams to cover their tracks.
The men - all from Saudi Arabia - spoke of their shock at being mistakenly named by the FBI as suicide terrorists. None of the four was in the United States on September 11 and all are alive in their home country.
The Telegraph obtained the first interviews with the men since they learnt that they were on the FBI's list of hijackers who died in the crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
All four said that they were "outraged" to be identified as terrorists. One has never been to America and another is a Saudi Airlines pilot who was on a training course in Tunisia at the time of the attacks. - "He said that CNN had probably got the picture from the Flight Safety flying school he attended in Florida. CNN has since broadcast a clarification saying that the photograph may not be that of the accused" (London Telegraph)
Tracing Trail Of Hijackers They roomed together in a motel, worked out together at a gym, and one even visited an adult bookstore in the Washington suburbs in the weeks before smashing a plane into the Pentagon on Sept. 11 (News Day)
Hijack 'suspect' alive in Morocco Waleed Al-Shehri, A Saudi-Arabian aircraft pilot who was named as one of five suspects on board one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centre, has turned up alive and well in Morocco (BBC)
Embry-Riddle Alumnus Cleared Of Reported Hijacker Link Officials at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University today said they were relieved to know that a 1997 alumnus has been reported to be alive and located in Morocco.
Embry-Riddle officials have learned that Waleed Al-Shehri talked to U.S. government officials in Morocco earlier this week. An individual with a similar name was identified by the FBI in its September 14 announcement as being aboard American Airlines flight 11, the first plane to strike the World Trade Center.
Embry-Riddle records show that a student with the name Waleed A. Al-Shehri graduated with a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical science.
'We are very pleased that our Al-Shehri turned up alive and well, and that the link between Al-Shehri and this despicable act has been proven to be nonexistent,' said George H. Ebbs, university president. (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
False identities mislead FBI ~ Special report: terrorism in the US The FBI acknowledged yesterday that some of the terrorists involved in the attacks last week were using false identities, as it emerged that at least two men had been wrongly implicated.
After analysis of the passenger lists of the four hijacked flights and other immigration documents, investigators identified Salem Al-Hazmi and Abdulaziz Al-Omari as two of the terrorists.
The real Salem Al-Hazmi, however, is alive and indignant in Saudi Arabia, and not one of the people who perished in the American Airlines flight that crashed on the Pentagon. He works at a government-owned petroleum and chemical plant in the city of Yanbu.
He said yesterday he had not left Saudi Arabia for two years, but that his passport had been stolen by a pickpocket in Cairo three years ago.
Abdulaziz Al-Omari has also come forward to say he was not on the flight from Boston that crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre. (London Guardian)
FBI Chief Raises New Doubts Over Hijackers' Identities FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged Thursday that investigators may not know the true identities of some of the 19 suspected airplane hijackers from last week's suicide attacks.
Mueller said last week that he had "a fairly high level of confidence" that the FBI knew the real names of the hijackers, based on flight manifests and follow-up interviews. - Officials refused to say how many hijackers may have used false identities, but officials of the Saudi Arabian government said Thursday that six of the men that the United States has named as hijackers killed in the attacks appear to be living in the Middle East.
Investigators believe that some of the 19 suspected hijackers may have stolen the identities of law-abiding Middle Easterners, further complicating the probe. (Los Angeles Times)
More Attacks Planned? Second Wave of Terrorist Strikes Feared The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Chicago exchange have launched a major investigation into some suspicious and highly sophisticated stock trading just prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Investigators are probing highly unusual trading in "puts" — basically bets made by an investor that a stock's price will fall by a certain date. The week before the attack, virtually unheard of numbers of puts were sold for United Airlines and American Airlines, which operated the four hijacked planes; Morgan Stanley, the investment bank which occupied more than 20 floors in the now-destroyed twin towers; and a number of other companies that were adversely affected by the tragedy and whose stocks plunged as a result. "This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence," Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News said today on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. (ABC)
Transcript of President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow Americans, in the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the union. Tonight, no such report is needed; it has already been delivered by the American people.
We have seen it in the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground. Passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me welcome his wife Lisa Beamer here tonight? (CNN)
'Hijackers' denting FBI credibility The Saudi media is continuing the investigative reporting into the backgrounds of the alleged hijackers on the FBI’s list. As more of the “hijackers” are found alive this is having an effect on the FBI’s credibility. Western media outlets such as American Broadcasting ‘Corp. in the United States have begun picking up the local reports and are asking the FBI for comment.
There are many individuals in the Kingdom with the name Ahmed Alnami. Al-Watan newspaper has found one Ahmed Abdallah Alnami who is currently missing. According to his father, who was speaking from Asir, Alnami went to perform Umrah one year and 3 months ago and disappeared. The 23-year-old was single and had become very religious in the period before his disappearance. His family received a telephone call from him 4 months back from an undisclosed location. At that time they asked him to come back and complete his studies at the Shariah College of King Khaled University in Abha, but he never returned. A close associate of the family is hoping that his name being on the list is a confusion of some type. They wish the young man would call to say he’s alive.
There definitely is a serious confusion in regards to information on alleged hijacker Waleed M. Alshehri. Yesterday Arab News reported the details of a Waleed M. Alshehri reported missing from the Al Baha region. Now details are emerging of another Waleed M. Alshehri who according to his father is alive, well and flying his normal schedule for Saudi Arabian Airlines. - the father of an Egyptian man believed to have been at the controls of the first plane to hit the World Trade Center said yesterday that his son was no killer. "My son is innocent," Muhammad Al-Amir Atta, 65, told reporters at his home in the Cairo suburb of Giza (Arab News)
Pentagon Attack Hits Navy Hard American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 loaded with enough fuel for a transcontinental journey, cleared the crest of a small ridge in Arlington, Va., by a few hundred feet with its engines wailing (Aviation Week)
Profiting From Disaster? When The Stocks Fell, $5 Million Profit Was Made Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market. An extraordinary number of trades were betting that American Airlines stock price would fall. The trades are called "puts" and they involved at least 450,000 shares of American. But what raised the red flag is more than 80 percent of the orders were "puts", far outnumbering "call" options, those betting the stock would rise. (CBS)
Terrorist trade probe widens Options buying rose in firms that attack affected - "The day before the attacks, put volume on American Airlines stock was 4,516, nearly 11 times its average daily volume for the year" (Chicago Tribune)
"Tomorrow always belongs to us" "Then I looked up to my left and saw an American Airlines jet flying right at me. The jet roared over my head, clearing my car by about 25 feet. The tail of the plane clipped the overhanging exit sign above me as it headed straight at the Pentagon." (USA Today)
2nd Witness Arrested; 25 Held for Questioning Two of 19 suspects named by the FBI, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, have the same names as men listed at a housing facility for foreign military trainees at Pensacola. Two others, Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alnami, have names similar to individuals listed in public records as using the same address inside the base. In addition, a man named Saeed Alghamdi graduated from the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, while men with the same names as two other hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, appear as graduates of the U.S. International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the Aerospace Medical School at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, respectively. (Washington Post)
Alleged hijackers may have trained at u.s. bases U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s. Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.-known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source. (Newsweek)
After the Attacks: Communications; New Perspective on the Issue Of Cell Phone Use in Planes The debate over the use of wireless phones on commercial airline flights may intensify in light of news this week that passengers aboard the hijacked airliners that crashed in Pennsylvania and Washington called loved ones from the air shortly before they died.
As many airline commuters are well aware, federal law prohibits the use of wireless communications devices once a commercial airplane leaves its gate. Those rules, created out of concern that communications in the air and on ground-based networks could be disrupted, were initially adopted in the mid-1980's, after the first commercial cellular telephones were made available.
When they can get away with it, passengers often disregard those rules -- as did passengers on the hijacked jets, in response to an obvious emergency. And news of those desperate calls has left many people wondering how, and how well, cell phones work on airplanes in flight, and whether their use does interfere with other communications signals.
According to industry experts, it is possible to use cell phones with varying success during the ascent and descent of commercial airline flights, although the difficulty of maintaining a signal appears to increase as planes gain altitude. Some older phones, which have stronger transmitters and operate on analog networks, can be used at a maximum altitude of 10 miles, while phones on newer digital systems can work at altitudes of 5 to 6 miles. A typical airline cruising altitude would be 35,000 feet, or about 6.6 miles. (New York Times)
FBI Announces List of 19 Hijackers The following is a list of the nineteen (19) individuals who have been identified as hijackers aboard the four airliners that crashed on September 11, 2001, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania. Information listed for each hijacker differs, but may include date of birth, address provided, or visa status. This is the extent of the information available at this time.
The FBI requests that anyone who may have information about these individuals-even though they are presumed to be dead- to immediately contact an FBI field office or call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-483-5137. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
The Day the FAA Stopped the World "At 9:25, Garvey, in an historic and admirable step, and almost certainly after getting an okay from the White House, initiated a national ground stop, which forbids takeoffs and requires planes in the air to get down as soon as reasonable. The order, which has never been implemented since flying was invented in 1903, applied to virtually every single kind of machine that can takeoff, civilian, military, or law enforcement" (Time Magazine)
Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies received warning signals at least three months ago that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture (Biz Report)
A blur in the sky, then a firestorm -- "It dropped all of a sudden, like a stone,'' a witness says of United Airlines Flight 93. Kelly Leverknight was watching news of the attacks on New York and Washington when she heard the plane.
It sounded like it was flying low above her home in rural Pennsylvania, moving from west to east. It was an odd enough sound that she stepped outside to have a look.
"I heard the plane going over and I went out the front door and I saw the plane going down," said Leverknight, 36. "It was headed toward the school, which panicked me, because all three of my kids were there.
"Then you heard the explosion and felt the blast and saw the fire and smoke."
Leverknight and dozens of her neighbors raced to the Shanksville-Stonycreek School where they found their children safe. The plane, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco, had plunged into a reclaimed coal mine surrounded by corn fields, leaving a 200-yard swath of debris with no individual pieces bigger than 2 feet across. (St Petersburg Times)
Carpenter Marlene Cruz Survives Explosions in WTC Basement On September 12, 2001, Peter Jennings interviews Marlene Cruz, a carpenter injured in one of the pre-collapse explosions in the sub-basement level B of the WTC North Tower, approximately 1,100 feet below the airplane's point of impact at floors 93 to 98. She was the first casualty of 9/11 admitted at Bellevue Hospital. Cruz is a living witness whose testimony proves that pre-planted explosives were used to weaken the foundations of the towers as part of a well-planned controlled demolition. This clip was taken from original, unedited archive footage of ABC's broadcast on 9/12. (ABC)
Cleveland Mayor Michael White's Retractions from 9/11/2001 about Delta Flight 1989 Delta Flight 1989 - with 69 passengers and a crew of nine - was grounded at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport yesterday. It had left Boston en route to Los Angeles. There had been rumors a bomb was on board, but none was found.
A plane diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport yesterday morning was kept sitting on a runway for a couple hours and its passengers were interviewed by FBI agents. But suspicions that the plane had been hijacked or had a bomb on board turned out to be unfounded.
Delta Flight 1989 made an emergency landing at Hopkins about 10:45 a.m., nearly two hours after the World Trade Center towers were hit by two hijacked planes. (Clevland Plain Dealer)
New York City Ben Fountain said "How could they let this happen? They knew this building was a target. Over the past few weeks we'd been evacuated a number of times, which is unusual. I think they had an inkling something was going on." (People)
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