Joined: 12 Oct 2006
|Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:26 am Post subject: Claims that some of the hijackers are still alive
|Initial news reports shortly after 9/11 indicated that some of the hijackers were alive, fueling speculation that others were responsible.
The BBC News reported on September 23, 2001, that some of the people named by the FBI as hijackers, killed on the crashes, were actually alive and well.
One of the hijackers was Waleed al-Shehri, and according to the BBC report he was found in Casablanca, Morocco.
However, the al-Shehri's father says he hadn't heard from his sons in ten months prior to September 2001. An ABC News story in March 2002 repeated this, and during a report entitled "A Saudi Apology" for Dateline NBC on Aug 25, 2002, NBC's reporter John Hockenberry traveled to 'Asir, where he interviewed the third brother Salah who agreed that his two brothers were dead and said they had been "brainwashed".
Furthermore, another article explains that the pilot who lives in Casablanca was named Walid al-Shri (not Waleed M. al-Shehri) and that much of the BBC information regarding "alive" hijackers was incorrect according to the same sources used by BBC.
According to the BBC report, Abdulaziz Al Omari, Saeed Alghamdi, and Khalid al-Midhar, three other hijackers, were also living in the Middle East.
A man with the same name as Abdulaziz Al Omari turned up alive in Saudi Arabia, saying that he had studied at the University of Denver and his passport was stolen there in 1995. The name, origin, birth date, and occupation were released by the FBI, but the picture was not of him. "I couldn't believe it when the FBI put me on their list", he said. "They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this." This individual was not the same person as the hijacker whose identity was later confirmed by Saudi government interviews with his family, according to the 9/11 Commission Report.
On 23 September 2001, the BBC and The Telegraph reported that a person named Saeed al-Ghamdi was alive and well. His name, birth date, origin, and occupation were the same as those released by the FBI, but his picture was different. He says that he studied flight training in Florida flight schools from 1998 to 2001. The journalist involved with the story later admitted "No, we did not have any videotape or photographs of the individuals in question at that time."
After the attacks, reports began emerging saying that al-Mihdhar was still alive. On September 19, the FDIC distributed a "special alert" which listed al-Mihdhar as alive. The Justice Department says that this was a typo.
The BBC and The Guardian have since reported that there was evidence al-Mihdhar was still alive and that some of the other hijackers identities were in doubt. This was commented on by FBI director Robert Mueller. Der Spiegel later investigated the claims of "living" hijackers by the BBC and discovered them to be cases of mistaken identities. In 2002, Saudi Arabia admitted that the names of the hijackers were in fact correct. None of the hijackers have turned up alive since the September 11, 2001 attacks.