SPI - "Identities of some of the hijackers in doubt" 9/21/01

An interesting article I found from 9/21/01 that raises many questions surrounding the identities of the "9/11 Hijackers". "Debunkers" like to say that the BBC is the sole source of the "hijackers still alive" reporting and that it is simply not the case.

Identities of some of the hijackers in doubt

FBI feels that the men may have stolen identities

Friday, September 21, 2001


WASHINGTON -- FBI Director Robert Mueller said yesterday the identities of several of the suicide hijackers are in doubt as investigators arrested a man in Illinois wanted for questioning in last week's terror attacks.

In Chicago, the FBI arrested a man with the same name as a man with ties to a jailed associate of suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The FBI said it was trying to determine whether the man in custody is the same person.

In Pennsylvania, at the site of the Sept. 11 crash of United Airlines Flight 93, Mueller said the FBI is confident it has "several hijackers whose identities were those of the names on the manifest. We have several others who are still in question."

Doubts emerged in the Middle East over the identities of several of the 19 hijackers identified by the FBI last week. Saudi newspapers have reported that some of the men are alive; some are pilots.

An official at the Saudi Embassy here said there were five mistaken identities on the list, adding that all the men are alive and living abroad.

Late last week the FBI felt it had ascertained the identities of the groups of men who commandeered the aircraft, crashing two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and a fourth in Pennsylvania.

The FBI now feels that some of the hijackers had stolen the identities of others, used them to obtain immigration and financial documents, and lived under those identities in the United States.

In the Illinois case, the FBI said Nabil Al-Marabh, 34, was arrested Wednesday night at a convenience store in Burbank, Ill., near Chicago and was being questioned yesterday.

He is among almost 200 people the FBI wants to question, either because they are possible associates of the hijackers or because they are believed to have information about the hijackers or the attacks. Officials would not specify why Al-Marabh was wanted.

Kathleen McChesney, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, said agents believe Al-Marabh is the man wanted on a Massachusetts warrant and are still trying to determine whether he is the same person whose name appears on the FBI's list.

The FBI previously said Al-Marabh was on the FBI's list.

She said Al-Marabh is being held on an Immigration and Naturalization Service request and a warrant issued in Boston for assault with a knife.

Many of the 19 hijacking suspects in the terror attacks last week remain shrouded in confusion.

The FBI list of hijacking suspects includes the names of at least six missing Saudi Arabian men who left their country, plus four others whose parents have lost contact with them. But the lack of details about the suspects, plus the assertions of mistaken identity, have left their parents refusing to mourn and Saudi Arabian officials dismissive of the entire list.

"The haste in publishing the names of suspects in the attacks has made the media fall into the error of involving innocent people, especially Saudis," Prince Mit'eb bin Abdullah, the deputy commander of the Saudi National Guard, complained to reporters in Riyadh.

Saudi officials say that part of the problem stems from the proliferation of similar names in Saudi Arabia, as well as the numerous varieties of spelling them in English.

As investigators followed the money trail, a bank in Florida said it found accounts connected to people involved in the attacks.

The FBI has told banking regulators that large and small banks around the country found accounts held by several of the 21 individuals identified by the bureau, a banking source said.

SunTrust Banks Inc. is providing the FBI with information about the summer activity on nine checking accounts connected to people involved in last week's terrorist attack, bank spokesman Barry Koling said.

The FBI asked the nation's water companies to increase security at their facilities. U.S. officials have said they are taking every precaution to ensure terrorists can't strike again.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice yesterday prohibiting until further notice flights in the immediate vicinity of any major professional or collegiate sporting event.

A Muslim cleric, Moataz Al-Hallak, had a voluntary, informal three-hour meeting with prosecutors in Washington and denied knowing anything about bin Laden, according to the cleric's attorney, Stanley Cohen. In 1999, prosecutors alleged that Al-Hallak was a contact between members of the terrorist network, but he was never charged.