Hani Hanjour

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04/02/2019 20:45 - 04/02/2019 20:49 #25833 da NiHiLaNtH
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October 3, 1991-February 1992: Hanjour Is First 9/11 Hijacker to Enter US

Future 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour first arrives in the US on October 3, 1991.
Some media accounts have him entering the country in 1990.
He apparently is the first hijacker to enter the US.
He takes an English course in Tucson, Arizona until early 1992. There are some important al-Qaeda operatives currently living in Tucson.
However, it is not known if Hanjour has contact with them at this time, or even when he first develops his radical militant beliefs.
According to Hanjour’s eldest brother Abulrahman, Hani stays in Arizona for three months then returns to Saudi Arabia, where he
spends the next five years managing his family’s lemon and date farm. FBI Director Robert Mueller
also reports his stay as lasting three months. However, the FBI tells one person that Hanjour may have
stayed in the US for as long as 15 months.



Spring 1996: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Stays in Florida

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour, who returned to his native Saudi Arabia after a previous stay in the US, now arrives in the US for the second
time, and will spend much of the next three years in the country. Hanjour first stays in Miramar, Florida with a couple that are longtime
friends with Abulrahman Hanjour, his eldest brother: Adnan Khalil, a Saudi professor at a local college, and his wife Susan.
Susan Khalil later remembers Hani Hanjour as socially inept, with “really bad hygiene.” She says, “Of all my husband’s colorful friends,
he was probably the most nondescript. He would blend into the wall.” The Washington Post later reports: “Hanjour’s meek, introverted
manner fits a recurrent pattern in the al-Qaeda network of unsophisticated young men being recruited as helpers in terrorist attacks.
FBI agents have told people they have interviewed about Hanjour that he ‘fit the personality to be manipulated and brainwashed.
’” Yet, Susan Khalil says, “I didn’t get the feeling that he hated me or hated Americans.” Hanjour, she says, “was very kind and gentle
to my son, who was 3 years old.”
He prays frequently, at their home and at a nearby mosque.
After staying for about a month he leaves the Khalil’s, having been accepted at a flight school in California.
Many of the hijackers will later live in this part of Florida. A nearby mosque is run by radical imam Gulshair Shukrijumah,
who possibly associates with Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi in 2000 and 2001.




April 30-Early September 1996: Hani Hanjour Studies English in Northern California; Enrolls at Aeronautics Academy

Hijacker Hani Hanjour moves from Florida to the San Francisco Bay area in California, staying with an unidentified family.
He lives with them from late April to early September. For most of this time he takes English lessons in an intensive program requiring
30 hours of class time per week, at the ELS Language Center at Holy Names College in Oakland.
He reportedly reaches a level of proficiency sufficient to “survive very well in the English language.”
Yet in 2001, managers at an Arizona flight school will report him to the FAA at least five times, partly because they think his level of
English is inadequate for him to keep his pilot’s license. Due to his poor English, it will take Hanjour five hours to complete an oral exam
meant to last just two hours. At the end of this period, Hanjour enrolls on a rigorous one-year flight training program at the renowned
Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, in Oakland. However, he only attends the 30-minute orientation class, on September 8, and then never
returns.




October 1996-December 1997: Hani Hanjour Twice Attends Scottsdale Flight School

In late 1996, hijacker Hani Hanjour attends CRM Airline Training Center in Scottsdale, Arizona for three months.
This is normally adequate time to earn a private pilot’s certificate, but Hanjour fails to accomplish this.
Duncan Hastie, the school’s owner, finds Hanjour a “weak student” who is “wasting our resources.”
According to Hastie, “He was not able to fly solo in a small plane, which is equivalent to getting out of a parking space [in a car] and
stopping.” Hanjour returns to CRM in December 1997 with two friends: Bandar Al Hazmi, a Saudi like Hanjour, and Rayed Abdullah of
Qatar. (There apparently is no family relationship between Bandar Al Hazmi and the two Alhazmi 9/11 hijackers.)
Hanjour takes about three lessons, but still fails to complete the coursework necessary for a license to fly a single-engine aircraft.
Subsequently, he phones the school about twice per year requesting more lessons, but, according to Hastie,
“We didn’t want him back at our school because he was not serious about becoming a good pilot.”
The final time Hanjour calls, in 2000, he requests training on a Boeing 757: the kind of plane he is alleged to have flown into the
Pentagon on 9/11.




1998: Hani Hanjour Attends Two More Arizona Flight Schools

In January 1998, future 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour and his friend Bandar Al Hazmi, who are now renting an apartment together in
Phoenix, Arizona, train together at Arizona Aviation flight school. Hanjour supposedly receives his commercial pilot rating while there.
Later in 1998, Hanjour joins the simulator club at Sawyer School of Aviation in Phoenix. According to the Washington Post, Sawyer is
“known locally as a flight school of last resort.” Wes Fults, the manager of the flight simulator, says Hanjour has “only the barest
understanding what the instruments were there to do.” After using the simulator four or five times, Hanjour disappears from the school.





April 15, 1999: Hanjour Gets Pilot’s License despite Dubious Skills

When Hani Hanjour attended flight schools between 1996 and 1998 he was found to be a “weak student” who “was wasting our
resources”, and when he tried using a flight simulator, “He had only the barest understanding what the instruments were there to do.”
Yet, on this day, he is certified as a multi-engine commercial pilot by Daryl Strong in Tempe, Arizona. Strong is one of many
private examiners independently contracted with the FAA. A spokesperson for the FAA’s workers union will later complain that
contractors like Strong “receive between $200 and $300 for each flight check.
If they get a reputation for being tough, they won’t get any business.” Hanjour’s new license allows him to begin passenger jet training
at other flight schools, despite having limited flying skills and an extremely poor grasp of English.
At the next flight school Hanjour will attend in early 2001, the staff will be so appalled at his lack of skills that they will repeatedly contact
the FAA and ask them to investigate how he got a pilot’s license. After 9/11, the FBI will appear to investigate how Hanjour got his
license and question and polygraph the instructor who signed off on his flying skills.
The Washington Post will note that, since Hanjour’s pilot skills were so bad, the issue of how he was able to get a license
“remains a lingering question that FAA officials refuse to discuss.”
After gaining the license, Hanjour apparently returns to the Middle East. He will arrive back in the US in December 2000.




May 5 and 10, 2000: 9/11 Hijackers Alhazmi and Almihdhar Are ‘Dumb and Dumber’ as Pilot Students; Hanjour Possibly with Them

9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar arrive at Sorbi’s Flying Club, a small school in San Diego, and announce that they
want to learn to fly Boeing airliners. Alhazmi had previously had a lesson at another nearby flying school . They are there with someone
named “Hani”—possibly 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour—but only the two of them go up in an airplane.
The 9/11 Commission will say that Hanjour is outside the US at this time, although some media reports will place him in San Diego.
Instructor Rick Garza says that the dream to fly big jets is the goal of practically every student who comes to the school, but he notices
an unusual lack of any basic understanding of aircraft in these two. When he asks Almihdhar to draw the aircraft, Almihdhar draws the
wings on backwards. Both speak English poorly, but Almihdhar in particular seems impossible to communicate with.
Rather than following the instructions he was given, he would vaguely reply, “Very good. Very nice.”
The two offer extra money to Garza if he will teach them to fly multi-engine Boeing planes, but Garza declines.
“I told them they had to learn a lot of other things first… It was like Dumb and Dumber. I mean, they were clueless.
It was clear to me they weren’t going to make it as pilots.”




December 12, 2000-March 2001: 9/11 Hijackers Hanjour and Alhazmi Live in Arizona

9/11 hijackers Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi move together from San Diego to Mesa, Arizona, just outside Phoenix.
While there, Hanjour spends time training at Arizona Aviation flight school, which he previously attended in January 1998.
According to the 9/11 Commission, “He wanted to train on multi-engine planes, but had difficulties because his English was not good
enough. The instructor advised him to discontinue but Hanjour said he could not go home without completing the training.”
He also attends the JetTech flight school in Phoenix . In March 2001, Hanjour moves to Paterson, New Jersey, where he rents an
apartment with Salem Alhazmi.





January-February 2001: Flight School’s Repeated Warnings About Hijacker Hanjour Ignored by FAA

In January 2001, the Arizona flight school JetTech alerts the FAA about hijacker Hani Hanjour. No one at the school suspects Hanjour of
terrorist intent, but they tell the FAA he lacks both the English and flying skills necessary for the commercial pilot’s license he has already
obtained. For instance, he had taken classes at the University of Arizona but failed his English classes with a 0.26 grade point average.
A JetTech flight school manager “couldn’t believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills that he had.” A former employee
says, “I’m still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon. He could not fly at all.” They also note he is an
exceptionally poor student who does not seem to care about passing his courses. An FAA official named John Anthony actually sits next
to Hanjour in class and observes his skills. He suggests the use of a translator to help Hanjour pass, but the flight school points out that
goes “against the rules that require a pilot to be able to write and speak English fluently before they even get their license.”
The FAA verifies that Hanjour’s 1999 pilot’s license is legitimate, but takes no other action. However, his license should have been
rejected because it had already expired in late 1999 when he failed to take a manadatory medical test.
An Arizona FAA inspector later says, “There should have been a stop right then and there.” He will claim that federal law would have
required Hanjour to be re-examined. In February, Hanjour begins advanced simulator training, “a far more complicated task than he
had faced in earning a commercial license.” The flight school again alerts the FAA about this and gives a total of five alerts about
Hanjour, but no further action on him is taken. The FBI is not told about Hanjour. Ironically, in July 2001, Arizona FBI agent Ken Williams
will recommend in a memo that the FBI liaison with local flight schools and keep track of suspicious activity by Middle Eastern students .




February 8-March 12, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Practices on Boeing 737 Simulator, but Has Problems

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour practices on a Boeing 737-200 simulator for a total of 21 hours at the JetTech International flight school in
Phoenix, Arizona. Hanjour also attends ground school and pays just under $7,500 for the training. Despite only completing 21 of his
originally scheduled 34 hours of simulator training, according to the FBI this is the best-trained of the four hijacker pilots.
However, an instructor comments: “Student made numerous errors during performance… including a lack of understanding of some
basic concepts… Some of the concepts involved in large jet systems cannot be fully comprehended by someone with only small prop
plane experience.” The school contacts the FAA to warn it of Hanjour’s poor English and flying skills.




(April-July 2001): 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Receives More Flight Training; Rents Small Aircraft

According to the 9/11 Commission, soon after settling in the area , 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour starts receiving “ground instruction” at
Air Fleet Training Systems, a flight school in Teterboro, New Jersey. While there, he flies the Hudson Corridor: “a low-altitude ‘hallway’
along the Hudson River that passes New York landmarks like the World Trade Center.” His instructor refuses a second request to fly
the Corridor, “because of what he considered Hanjour’s poor piloting skills.” Soon after, Hanjour switches to Caldwell Flight Academy in
Fairfield, New Jersey, about 25 miles from lower Manhattan, from where he rents small aircraft several times during June and July.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Caldwell’s owner will confirm that several suspects sought by the FBI, reportedly including
hijacker Mohamed Atta, had rented planes from him, though when they did so is unstated.
A search of the Lexis Nexus database indicates there are no media accounts of any witnesses recalling Hanjour or any of the other
hijackers attending these schools.



Summer 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Apparently Returns to Phoenix, Arizona, for More Flight Training with Associates

While most evidence places future 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour on the East Coast in the summer of 2001, Hanjour may undergo some
flight training in Phoenix, Arizona, as well. Hanjour trained at the Sawyer School of Aviation previously, and there is some evidence he
returns there. One school document records Hanjour’s name for use of a flight simulator on June 23, 2001, though his name does not
appear on payment records. Faisal al-Salmi, Rayed Abdullah, and Lotfi Raissi also use the flight simulator this day. Al-Salmi will later be
convicted of lying about his associations with Hanjour. Abdullah had moved with Hanjour from Florida in 1997,
and is known for giving extremist speeches at a Phoenix mosque. Raissi will later be suspected of involvement in the 9/11 plot, then
cleared. There are also indications that Hanjour signs up to use a flight simulator in August with three other Muslim men, including
al-Salmi. One Sawyer employee is fairly certain she sees Hanjour during the summer. Another witness sees Hanjour with al-Salmi
elsewhere in Phoenix. The 9/11 Commission will note that the evidence of Hanjour training in Phoenix during the summer is not
definitive, but “the FBI’s Phoenix office believes it is plausible that Hanjour returns to Arizona for additional training.”
On July 10, 2001, Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams sends a memorandum to FBI headquarters urging a nationwide check on Middle
Eastern students at flight schools, but apparently neither Williams nor anyone else actually conducts any kind of
check on Phoenix flight schools at this time.





June 19, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Fails Night Flying Test

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour attempts to obtain pilot’s certification to fly at night, but is unsuccessful as he fails the test.
More details, such as the location of the airfield where the test was taken, are not known, but Hanjour’s flying skills were previously
said to be poor.





July 20, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour and Possibly Alhazmi Fly Near Washington

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour rents an aircraft from Caldwell Flight Academy in New Jersey and flies to Montgomery Airpark in Maryland.
The route he takes means that he flies near to Washington. He is accompanied by another man the 9/11 Commission will suggest is
hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi, whose credit card is used to pay for the aircraft rental, as well as fuel in Maryland.




Mid-August 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Rents Plane in Maryland; He Is Still Not Skilled Enough to Fly Solo

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour goes to the Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland, about 20 miles west of Washington. He wants to rent a
single engine Cessna airplane. However, when two instructors take him on three test runs, they find he has trouble controlling and
landing the plane. One instructor has to help him land. Due to his poor skills, therefore, he is not allowed to rent one of their planes
without more lessons. Further, while Hanjour appears to have logged over 600 hours of flying experience and possesses a valid pilot’s
license, he refuses to provide contact information: He gives no phone number and only gives his address as being a hotel in Laurel.
In spite of Hanjour’s lack of flying skills, chief instructor Marcel Bernard later claims, “There’s no doubt in my mind that once [Flight 77]
got going, he could have pointed that plane at a building and hit it.” However, on 9/11, in piloting Flight 77 into the Pentagon,
Hanjour would have needed to do much more than simply point the plane at a target. Because Flight 77 at first seemed to overshoot its
target, the Washington Post will note that “the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet
maneuver. The plane circled 270 degrees to the right to approach the Pentagon from the west, whereupon Flight 77 fell below radar
level.… Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill, making it highly likely that a trained pilot was at the helm.”
One Washington air traffic controller will later comment, “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the
radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane.” One law enforcement official who will study
Flight 77’s descent after 9/11 will call it the work of “a great talent… virtually a textbook turn and landing.” Remarkably, the
9/11 Commission will overlook the numerous accounts of Hanjour’s terrible piloting skills and state that 9/11 mastermind
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed assigned the Pentagon target specifically to Hanjour because he was “the operation’s most experienced
pilot.”




August 20, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Hanjour Passes Check Ride, but Apparently Does Not Obtain Certification

9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour successfully conducts “a challenging certification flight supervised by an instructor at Congressional Air
Charters of Gaithersburg, Maryland, landing at a small airport with a difficult approach,” according to the 9/11 Commission Report.
The instructor, Eddie Shalev, thinks that “Hanjour may have had training from a military pilot because he used a terrain recognition
system for navigation.” However, it is unclear what certification the 9/11 Commission thinks Hanjour receives.
Shalev is an Israeli national and has a military background. He began working at Congressional Air Charters in April 2001.
A stipulation used as evidence at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui will mention the flight, but fail to mention any certification Hanjour
allegedly receives based on it, merely saying it is a “check ride with a flight instructor.” Hanjour will subsequently rent aircraft from the
company on August 26 and 28.
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