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International Inquiry into 9-11, Phase One, San Francisco, March 26-28th 2004
International Inquiry into 9-11, Phase One, San Francisco, March 26-28th 2004

"And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial stormtroopers are so precise."

Independent Flight 77 - Pentagon Event Investigation

The HIjackers of AA Flight 77

For Immediate Release

This is a work in progress
Agent Fescado

The Hijackers of AA Flight 77

Who's dead? Who's alive? Who even exists?

The Hijackers

The following have been named as the men who hijacked AA Flight 77, which left Washington's Dulles International Airport bound for Los Angeles before being flown into the Pentagon.

The Hijackers Used Stolen Identities

Stolen Info and Fake Addresses Complicate FBI?s Job of Naming Hijackers
By Shirley E. Perlman
Staff Writer
October 22, 2001

In 1992, a man who gave his name as Saeed Alghamdi used the Social Security number of a Vermont woman who had been dead for almost 30 years and the address of an Air Force base in Florida that has no record of him having been there.

In 1997, the name Saeed Alghamdi turns up again, this time on a driver's license in Florida with the address of a Naval Air Base in Pensacola whose records show at least four other men by the same name.

Are they the same man? Are they different men? Are any of the men the Saeed Alghamdi named on the FBI's list of hijackers?

No one can say for sure. Almost six weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the identities of several hijackers remain uncertain, complicated by aliases, invalid Social Security numbers, multiple dates of birth and phony addresses.

Last month, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the bureau had a "fairly high level of confidence? that the 19 men named as hijackers were not using aliases. But officials concede that some of the terrorists may have stolen their identities.

One factor complicating the investigation is that the hijackers' Arabic names are remarkably common. For example, when investigators went to the Naval Air Base in Pensacola, the address listed on a Florida driver's license issued to a Saeed Alghamdi in 1997, they learned that several people by that name had attended flight school there over the past 10 years.

"What we have here is a situation of people with identical names,? said Harry White, public affairs officer at the base. He said the school has had more than 1,600 people with the first name Saeed, spelled various ways, and more than 200 with the surname Alghamdi.

White maintains, however, that none of the Saeed Alghamdi students was involved with terrorist activity. "We have found no direct connection between any of the foreign students trained at NAS Pensacola and any of the terrorist suspects,? he said.

Whether any of those Saeed Alghamdis is the man who used the Social Security number of a deceased Bennington, Vt., woman and an address at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. is also a mystery. The woman, Lucy Marsden, died of a heart attack in 1965 at age 74. The connection was discovered by the Center for Public Integrity during a search of hijackers' names.

A spokesman at Tyndall could not say whether a Saeed Alghamdi had ever been at the base. In Bennington, Marsden's son, Leroy, 87, said he was "very? surprised to hear that his mother's Social Security number had been linked to a man named Saeed Alghamdi.

"I'm puzzled as to where it came from and what he used it for,? Leroy Marsden said.

Court records filed recently by the FBI show how six of the suspected hijackers swore to false information to get photo IDs. Investigators believe the hijackers used those IDs, from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, to board the doomed flights.

The IDs were obtained six weeks before the attacks using false addresses and in some cases without the required proof of identity, according to the FBI. So far, three people have been arrested for aiding the terrorists.

According to the FBI, the six hijackers with Virginia ID cards were Abdulaziz Alomari, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Khalid al-Midhar, Majed Moqed and Salem Alhamzi. Hanjour, Moqed, al-Midhar and Alhamzi are four of the five men suspected of hijacking American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon. Alhamzi was on Flight 175, and Alomari was on Flight 11, the flights that flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Records show the IDs were issued on Aug. 1 and 2.

To get a photo identification card, a person must show the same proof of identity and residence that would be required for a driver's license. In the absence of that proof, the state of Virginia requires a person to submit an identity affidavit swearing to his name, address and basic biographic information. It also requires the sworn, notarized certification of a lawyer.

By tracing the addresses used by Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi, investigators were led to a man who admitted helping the hijackers.

The man, who is now a confidential government witness, told the FBI that he had helped about 100 other people get fraudulent identification cards over a four-month period this year and that he was paid approximately $100 per card. He said he got $80 from Alomari and Alghamdi.

According to the FBI, the man said he and a friend were standing in a parking lot next to a motor vehicle office in Arlington when they were approached by three Arab men in a van who wanted help getting identification cards.

The man and his friend took the hijackers to a lawyer's office where a secretary helped complete forms that were already signed and notarized. ID cards were issued for Alomari and Ahmed Alghamdi that day, the FBI said.

A similar pattern was followed for two other suspected hijackers, Hani Hanjour and Khalid al-Midhar. They obtained ID cards with the help of a man from El Salvador, Luis Martinez-Flores, who has been in this country illegally since 1994, the FBI said. He was paid $100. In that case, no lawyer was used. Martinez-Flores certified the papers himself, the FBI said. The hijackers used an address once used by Martinez-Flores in Falls Church, Va.

The next day, Hanjour and al-Midhar, helped two of their comrades -- Moqed and Salem Alhamzi -- get identification cards by certifying the applications themselves using the same phony address.

"Hanjour certified Moqed's Virginia residence and al-Midhar certified Alhamzi's Virginia residence,? the FBI said. "Both applications were approved.? Pam Goheen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, said the state recently discontinued use of the affidavit and certification forms and replaced them with more stringent requirements.

"Those forms no longer exist effective Sept. 21,? she said. Goheen said a plan to replace the procedure was in the works prior to the attacks. "Obviously the events in September confirmed the agency's decision to do that,? she said.

Of the six hijackers with Virginia IDs, only four were in the U.S. legally. Russ Bergeron, a spokesman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said officials were unable to determine Hanjour's status and that Ahmed Alghamdi "appears to have overstayed his visit? in the United States.

No INS information was available for Saeed Alghamdi. "We may have found information on that name or a name similar to that, but we are unable to say definitively at this time that the record we have is actually the record for the person they say is the hijacker,? Bergeron said. (webarchive newsday)

The Incompetence Factor

"I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon," the former employee said. "He could not fly at all."

A Trainee Noted for Incompetence
May 4, 2002

Although the authorities say none of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 were tied to an F.B.I. intelligence alert issued by an agent in Arizona two months earlier, one hijacker, Hani Hanjour, had come to the Federal Aviation Administration's attention earlier last year, when he trained in Phoenix.

Mr. Hanjour, who investigators contend piloted the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon, was reported to the aviation agency in February 2001 after instructors at his flight school in Phoenix had found his piloting skills so shoddy and his grasp of English so inadequate that they questioned whether his pilot's license was genuine.

Records show a Hani Hanjour obtained a license in 1999 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Previous and sometimes contradictory reports said he failed in 1996 and 1997 to obtain a license at other schools.

"The staff thought he was a very nice guy, but they didn't think his English was up to level," said Marilyn Ladner, a vice president at the Pan Am International Flight Academy, which operated the center in Phoenix. Ms. Ladner said that the F.A.A. examined Mr. Hanjour's credentials and found them legitimate and that an inspector, by coincidence, attended a class with Mr. Hanjour. The inspector also offered to find an interpreter to help Mr. Hanjour, she said.

"He ended up observing Hani in class," Ms. Ladner added, "though that was not his original reason for being there."

Company officials briefed members of Congress about the case, including Representative James L. Oberstar, Democrat of Minnesota, who made public some of its general details in December.

The aviation agency did not return a call for comment.

Pan Am International, one of the largest pilot schools in the nation, also operated the flight school in Eagan, Minn., near Minneapolis, where the instructors' suspicions led to the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, the man whom the authorities have said was intended to be the 20th hijacker.

Ms. Ladner said the Phoenix staff never suspected that Mr. Hanjour was a hijacker but feared that his skills were so weak that he could pose a safety hazard if he flew a commercial airliner.

"There was no suspicion as far as evildoing," Ms. Ladner said. "It was more of a very typical instructional concern that 'you really shouldn't be in the air.'"

A former employee of the school said that the staff initially made good-faith efforts to help Mr. Hanjour and that he received individual instruction for a few days. But he was a poor student. On one written problem that usually takes 20 minutes to complete, Mr. Hanjour took three hours, the former employee said, and he answered incorrectly.

Ultimately, administrators at the school told Mr. Hanjour that he would not qualify for the advanced certificate. But the ex-employee said Mr. Hanjour continued to pay to train on a simulator for Boeing 737 jets. "He didn't care about the fact that he couldn't get through the course," the ex-employee said.

Staff members characterized Mr. Hanjour as polite, meek and very quiet. But most of all, the former employee said, they considered him a very bad pilot.

"I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon," the former employee said. "He could not fly at all." (nytimes)

Informal Brainstorming

On Firday, 21 December 2001, it was made public that a tape had been recovered with bin Laden naming hijackers, including the Alhazmi brothers of Flight 77 (but one of them is reported alive?). I Don't know when the tape was discovered or produced, but I do know the US was pissed off enough about something to start dropping 'daisy-cutters' on the 10th of December. This tape might have been further evidence linking the 'captured' terrorists to the operations of bin Laden further justifying an escalation. Then on Christmas, 2 weeks after the 'daisy-cutter' bombardments of the Tora-Bora region, reports of Osama's death start filtering over the net. A couple days later, on the 27th, Al-jazeera network broadcasts the last known legitimate bin Laden video.


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