Suicide Hijackers Identified by the FBI Proclaim Their Innocence
Of the 19 identities assigned by the FBI to the alleged suicide hijackers of the four commandeered jetliners, at least six have been disputed. The FBI’s September 14, 2001 press release identifying the suspects included names and, in some cases, other personal details. 1 The FBI’s September 27, 2001 press release included color photographs for each of the 19 suspects. 2
A handful of reports, most from one to two weeks after the attack, identified at least six men living in the middle east whose names — and in some cases other identifying details — matched those on the FBI’s list.
Abdulaziz Alomari was identified by the FBI as the hijacker who accompanied Mohamed Atta from the connecting flight from Portland and helped him hijack and pilot Flight 11 into the North Tower. Abdulaziz told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper: “The name [listed by the FBI] is my name and the birth date is the same as mine, but I am not the one who bombed the World Trade Center in New York.” 3 Saudi Embassy officials in Washington defended the innocence of Alomari, saying that his passport was stolen in 1996 and that he had reported the theft to the police. 4
Saeed Alghamdi, a Saudi Airlines pilot, was identified by the FBI of being a hijacker of Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania. Alghamdi was “shocked and furious” to learn this three days after the attack, noting that his name, place of residence, date of birth, and occupation matched those described by the FBI. “You cannot imagine what it is like to be described as a terrorist – and a dead man – when you are innocent and alive,” said Alghamdi, who considered legal action against the FBI. 5
Al-Hamzi was identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers of Flight 77, thought to have crashed into the Pentagon. Al-Hamzi said: “I have never been to the United States and have not been out of Saudi Arabia in the past two years.” 6
Al-Nami was identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers of Flight 93. Al-Nami said: “I’m still alive, as you can see. I was shocked to see my name mentioned by the American Justice Department. I had never even heard of Pennsylvania where the plane I was supposed to have hijacked.” 7
Waleed Alshehri, a Saudi Arabian pilot, was identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers of Flight 11. Alshehri turned up in Morocco after the attack where he contacted both the Saudi and American authorities to tell them he was not involved in the attack. 8 9
Abdulrahman al-Omari, a Saudi Airlines pilot, was identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers of Flight 11. After learning this, he visited the US consulate in Jeddah to demand an explanation. 10
Ameer and Adnan Bukhari
Ameer and Adnan Bukhari were named by CNN as suspected hijackers of Flight 175, the jetliner which crashed into the South Tower, in an article dated 9/13/01. In a correction, CNN stated that Ameer Bukhari died in a small plane crash in Florida, and that Adnan was still alive in Florida, having passed a polygraph test to confirm his innocence. 11
The 9/11 Commission
In spite of the widespread circulation of the news stories referenced above noting problems with the FBI’s identification of the alleged hijackers, neither the FBI nor the 9/11 Commission addressed the issue. The 9/11 Commission Report simply repeats the official narrative with the FBI’s original set of 19 suicide hijackers in Chapter 1 and goes into great detail about the men in Chapter 7 and in the Notes.
In 2006, the BBC published an effective repudiation of its 2001 coverage of the identities story, deferring to the 9/11 Commission and boasting that it “carried the full report, executive summary and main findings” while failing to note the Commission’s silence on discrepancies in the FBI’s identifications. In contrast to its earlier investigative journalism, the BBC now simply parroted the FBI:
The FBI is confident that it has positively identified the nineteen hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Also, the 9/11 investigation was thoroughly reviewed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and the House and Senate Joint Inquiry. Neither of these reviews ever raised the issue of doubt about the identity of the nineteen hijackers. 13
The apparent discrepancies in the FBI’s identification of suspects raises many questions but provides few answers. The failure of official agencies to address this issue may appear suspicious, but it may reflect an opinion that the “hijackers alive” story doesn’t pose a threat to the official account.
There are many possible explanations for the inclusion of identities of still-living individuals in the FBI’s list of suspects, from coincidence to identity theft. The use of assumed identities is consistent with the official account, but is perhaps more consistent with the view that the Arab men on the flight were patsies, particularly when seen in conjunction with the men’s poor piloting skills, Koran-proscribed behavior, and apparent efforts to leave a paper trail.
1. FBI Press Response, fbi.gov, 9/14/01
2. For Immediate Release, fbi.gov, 9/27/01
3. Who Did It?, ABCnews.com, [cached]
4. The hijack suspects, BBC, 9/28/01 [cached]
5. Revealed: the men with stolen identities, telegraph.co.uk, 9/23/01 [cached]
6. Revealed: the men with stolen …, 9/23/01
7. Revealed: the men with stolen …, 9/23/01
8. Hijack ‘suspects’ alive and well, BBC, 9/23/01 [cached]
9. Dead Saudi Hijack Suspect Resurfaces, Denies Involvement, AllAfrica.com, 9/24/01 [cached]
10. ‘Suicide hijacker’ is an airline pilot alive and well in Jeddah, Independent.co.uk, 9/17/01 [cached]
11. Arrests made at New York airports, CNN.com, 9/13/01 [cached]
12. Les Américains se trompent sur 5 des 19 terroristes, AllAfrica.com, 9/21/01 [cached]
13. 9/11 conspiracy theory, BBC.co.uk, 10/6/06