What is Known: Mohamed Atta, who
was a hijacker aboard Flight 11 that crashed into the
North Tower of the World Trade Center, Marwan al-Shehhi,
who was aboard Flight 175 that crashed into the South
Tower of the World trade Center and Ziad al-Jarrah,
who was aboard Flight 93 that crashed in Shankesville,
traced back to a common venue: the Al-Quds mosque in
Hamburg, Germany. Atta, 33, had an Egyptian passport,
al-Shehhi, 23, had an United Arab Emirate passport and
Jarrah, 26, had a Lebanese passport. Their actions began
to take a common course by late 1999 when the three
men all reported their passports missing and obtained
new passports to replace them. By doing so, the trio
erased any visas or other tell-tale signs of previous
With their "clean" passports,
the trio applied in mid May 2000 to the US consulate
in Berlin for tourist visas to the United States. When
they received their visas, they bought air tickets to
the United States.
Al-Shehhi was the first to arrive in America.
He landed at Newark airport on May 29, 2000 and, moving
to south Florida, rented quarters for himself and Atta.
He then opened up a joint bank account at the Florida
Sun Trust Bank.
Atta meanwhile proceeded by bus from Berlin
to the Czech Republic. After being turned away at the
border for lack of a proper visa, he returned to Berlin,
got a transit visa, and returned to Prague. The next
day he flew from Prague to the Newark and joined al-Shehhi
Jarrah was the last of the trio to arrive.
He went from Berlin to Munich, then caught a plane to
Atlanta, Georgia on June 28. He then joined Atta and
al-Shehhi in South Florida.
The trio took flying lessons on small
single-engine planes between July and December 2000
Atta and al.-Shehhi at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida,
and Jarrah at Florida Flight Training Center in Venice,
Meanwhile $109,000 flowed in to the Atta
and al.-Shehhi bank accounts rom an United Arab Emirates
bank account in the name of "Mustafa Ahmed."
Although the Hamburg trio did not fly
jet planes or airliners, in December 2000, Atta and
al.-Shehhi had three hours apiece of training on a jet
aircraft simulator in Opa-Locka, Florida and purchased
flight deck videos for Boeing jetliners. (Jeddah had
no known training on jet simulators or aircraft).
In January 2001, they made short trips
abroad lasting less than 2 weeks. Jarrah flew to Dubai
Airport in the United Arab Emirates, Atta flew to Madrid.
In April, Atta made a 2 day journey to
Prague. In Prague, he was observed meeting with Ahmed
Khalil Ibrahim Samir al.-Ani, the second Secretary of
the Iraqi Embassy in Prague, and an Iraqi intelligence
officer. That summer, Atta made a trip to
Spain, and two trips to Las Vegas.
In late August, Jarrah bought Global positioning
equipment and cockpit schematics for Being 757s. Atta
bought a first class ticket on Flight 11; al.-Shehhi
bought a first class ticket on flight 175 and Jarrah
bought a first class ticket on Flight 93.
Atta and Shehhi forwarded most of the
remaining money in their bank account to the account
in the United Arab Emirates and proceeded to Boston.
On September 10th, Atta then rented a car and drove
to Portland with one of the Jeddah conspirator with
a false passport. The next morning, Atta and his companion,
took a connecting flight to American Airlines 11, which
three of the other Jeddah conspirators boarded from
Al.-Shehhi, meanwhile, in Boston, joined
four Jeddah conspirators on Flight 175.
Jarrah went to Newark, where he joined
three Jeddah conspirators, on Flight 93.
Here is what is not known:
1. Why Atta made his side trip to Prague before coming
to the USA in June 2000. Presumably, he needed to meet
someone in person just before going to America. But
it is not known who he saw in Prague, or why the side
trip took on such urgency that he had to return to Berlin
by bus to get a visa.
2. Who sanctioned and provided the $109,000 that was
funneled through the United Arab Emirates account to
the Hamburg Conspirators. The identity of "Mustafa
Ahmed" has not been determined.
3. The purpose of Atta, al.-Shehhi and Jarrah trips
after completing their flight courses in December 2000.
Did they change their mission?
4. The purpose of Atta liaison with Al.-Ani in Prague
in April 2001. Did Al-Ani provide Atta with instructions,
documents of any assistance? Did Atta have any further
contact with Al.-Ani after he was expelled from the
Czech Republic later that April?
5. How did Atta, Al-Shehhi and Jarrah join with the
13 Jeddah conspirators who arrived in America between
May and July? Someone, somewhere, must have arranged
their meeting. The relationship between the Jeddah and
Hamburg conspirators is unknown. What was their order
of battle and who was in command?
6. The purpose of Atta subsequent 12 day trip to Spain
in July 2001.
7. The purpose of Atta's two brief two-night trips
to Las Vegas. There was no observed meeting between
Atta and any other hijacker in Las Vegas. If he met
anyone on these trips, who was it?
8. The purpose for Atta trip from Boston to Portland
on September 10th. Atta and his companion chose to pass
through the security checkpoint in Portland instead
of Boston. Were weapons or tools smuggled through for
him in Portland by another party?
9. The job of the Hamburg trio in carrying out the
attack. None of them had any known training on an actual
jet (Atta and Al-Shehhi had a maximum of 3 hours in
a simulator). There is therefore no reason to assume
that they, as opposed to the Jeddah crew, piloted the
airliners on flights 11, 175 and 93. Had they been involved
in a prior plot? Did they perform preliminary intelligence
work on the Boeing 767s and 757s, which would account
for their cross-country first class flights tro Las
Vegas and elsewhere? Did they organize the hotels, driving
licenses, false identities and other logistics for the
Jeddah conspirators? Were they on the planes or did
they provide their boarding passes to others?