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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com
Boston Globe Online / Nation | World
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Several among hijackers linked by pilot skills

By Matt Carroll and Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 9/15/2001

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Like the 10 men already identified as the terrorists who hijacked four commercial airliners that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field, several of the nine identified yesterday by the US government as participants in the suicide missions were well-grounded in the tools they chose for their terrible task.

They were trained pilots.

Ziad Samir Jarrah, listed along with four other terrorists on the plane hijacked from Newark International Airport that crashed in a rural Pennsylvania field, possessed a pilot's license that allowed him to fly single-engine planes.

Those records list Hamburg, Germany as Jarrah's permanent home. Hamburg police said terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, who were flying the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, lived there while studying at Hamburg Technical University.

Atta and Al-Shehhi were aboard the separate flights hijacked from Logan International Airport, that struck the World Trade Center towers. Both Atta and Al-Shehhi were also trained as pilots.

The 26-year old Jarrah obtained a driver's license in Florida on May 2, the same day that Atta received his Florida license, and listed his address as Harding Street in Hollywood, Fla.

Myrna Bernard, who works next door to Jarrah's home, said he was quiet and lived with a woman and possibly several children. The couple had many visitors during the several months they had lived in the house, Bernard said.

A property manager, who declined to identify herself, said that Jarrah had moved out of the unit in June after living there two months. When he moved in, Jarrah provided a passport, a picture ID, and a student card from Hamburg. Jarrah spoke English well, and identified himself as a pilot, the property manager said.

The FBI appeared at the property manager's office Tuesday night and secured all her records on Jarrah, she said.

Saeed Alghamdi, one of the four listed as hijacking United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania, appears to have resided in the United States for about eight years, longer than any of the other suspected terrorists.

Public records show that the 38-year old Alghamdi attained a Florida driver's license in January 1993.

Computer records indicate that Alghamdi began living at an apartment complex on Dunn avenue in Daytona Beach in about 1996. The 200-unit complex is located a few blocks away from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, which trained at least one of the other terrorists, Waleed Alshehri in 1997. Alshehri and Alghamdi appeared to live at the same address at about the same time. Alshehri has been in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida driver's license, records show.

Embry-Riddle graduates account for more than one-quarter of all commercial airline pilots in the United States. With the exception of the Air Force Academy, the school has more commissioned officers and rated pilots in the Air Force than any other educational or military institution.

Alshehri also may have lived for a time at a boarding house in Vienna, Va., a Washington, D.C., suburb. FBI agents have interviewed current tenants at the house, which is about three blocks from the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters.

Abdul Latif Darab, a native of Afghanistan who has lived in the United States since 1982, told the Associated Press that he told the FBI that Alshehri had not lived at the address for at least 14 months.

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

Hani Hanjour may have lived in Phoenix and San Diego and was believed to have been a pilot. FAA records show that a Hani Saleh Hanjoor, with a post office box address of Taife, Saudi Arabia, was granted a six-month pilot's license in April 1999.

The database shows that an individual named Jani Saleh Hanjoor had held a student pilot's license while living in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The operator of CRM Airline Training Center in Scottsdale told the Associated Press that while Hanjoor's name was familiar to him, he declined to provide further comment on the advice of his lawyer.

Records show that Ahmed Alnami, 23, one of the four alleged terrorists responsible for hijacking United flight 93 out of Newark, was recently living in Florida with Hamza Alghamdi, one of the five responsible for hijacking United 175 out of Boston. The two are listed in computerized databases as living together at 1915 Lavers Circle in Delray Beach as recently as last December.

However, property manager Tricia Barbee said neither name appears in her property database of current or previous tenants. Barbee, who said that she had yet to be contacted by law enforcement about either Alnami or Alghamdi, said, ''We have no knowledge of an investigation taking place at our property, and these names are not names that are showing up in our database as current or previous tenants.''

The pair are also listed as living at 755 Dotterel Rd. in Delray Beach, a condominium and apartment complex known as the Lavers Racquet Club or the Delray Beach Racquet Club, according to Julissa Maldonado, a tenant.

Computerized records also show that Alghamdi held a driver's license in Saudi Arabia.

Although no street address could be found for him, the Justice Department said in a press release that Ahmed Al Haznawi, one of the terrorists on United Flight 93, had a possible address of Delray Beach and used a birth date of Oct. 11, 1980.

The department statement said it had ''no information'' for Majed Moqued, identified as a terrorist on American Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.

Nawaq Alhamzi and Salem Alhamzi, two of the hijackers aboard the Newark flight that crashed into the Pentagon, lived in an apartment complex in Fort Lee, N.J.

Also aboard the Newark flight was Khalid Al-Midhar, who the Justice Department said possibly lived in Los Angeles and New York.

Sacha Pfeiffer, John Ellement, Stephen Kurkjian, and Mark Fritz of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

This story ran on page A3 of the Boston Globe on 9/15/2001.
© Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

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