- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

Security measures tightened nationwide yesterday to prevent "sleeper agents" from mounting new terrorist attacks, as the Justice Department identified the 19 hijackers who slammed three jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Tuesday in hellish attacks that killed thousands.
With as many as 100 suspected accomplices still on the loose, increased security measures were visible yesterday throughout the country, particularly in the nation's capital. Buildings continue to be searched and evacuated. Suspicious persons have been pulled off planes in New York and ordered out of cars at gunpoint in the District.
Federal authorities noted that several of the hijackers, all with suspected ties to U.S. officials' prime suspect in the attacks — international fugitive Osama bin Laden — had been in this country for years, living in relative obscurity before carrying out their mission of devastation. There are concerns that they were part of a network of "sleeper agents" who can be called on at any time.
U.S. intelligence officials believe the 44-year-old bin Laden, who founded and funds the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, has more than 3,000 operatives in 34 countries.
President Bush was heavily escorted yesterday by U.S. Secret Service agents to the National Cathedral for a prayer service, three agents sitting directly behind him in a church full of military and political figures. Military jets later accompanied Air Force One to New York, where the president met with rescue workers at the World Trade Center site.
Several airports have reopened, but Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport remained closed because of security concerns. A number of major cities have beefed up police security patrols, particularly in the wake of information developed by the FBI from interviews that Atlanta — a major air transportation hub — also may have been a target of the hijackers.
Last night, federal authorities made the first arrest in the worldwide investigation of the terrorist attacks, a government official said.
The suspect is believed to have information highly relevant to the investigation and is a high flight risk, said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The Justice Department said the warrant identified the suspect as a material witness.
None of the hijackers, who perished after steering the fuel-gorged jetliners into their targets, was identified by his country of origin, but all had Middle Eastern names.
Justice Department officials, in releasing the names of the 19 air pirates, also distributed yesterday to 18,000 law enforcement agencies a list of more than 100 persons whom authorities want to question concerning Tuesday's attacks.
"These are the names of individuals the FBI would like to talk to because we believe they may have information that might be helpful to the investigation," Attorney General John Ashcroft told reporters at a briefing.
More than 4,000 FBI agents have questioned hundreds of people and tracked down more than 36,000 investigative leads as the ongoing probe — known as "Pentbomb" — spread throughout the United States. There have been no arrests in connection with Tuesday's attacks.
Seven of the hijackers were licensed pilots, and several received flight training in this country. A dozen of them were listed as having lived in Florida, including six in Delray Beach. Three were said to have lived in California, and two hijackers with the same last name were listed as having lived in Fort Lee, N.J. — Nawaq Alhamzi and Salem Alhamzi.
The 19 hijackers accused of hijacking the four planes involved in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attacks were:
* Marwan Al-Shehhi, 23; Fayez Ahmed; Mohald Alshehri; Hamza Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi, who were flying on United Airlines Flight 175, which destroyed the south tower of the World Trade Center.
* Waleed Alshehri, 25; Wail Alshehri, 28; Mohamed Atta, 33; Abdulaziz Alomari, 38; and Satam Al Suqami, 25, who were aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which destroyed the north tower of the World Trade Center.
* Khalid Al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaq Alhamzi, Salem Alhamzi and Hani Hanjour, who were on American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon
* Ahmed Alhaznawi, 20, Ahmed Alnami, Ziad Jarrahi and Saeed Alghamdi, 40, who were on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.
Mohamed Atta is believed to have been at the controls of American Airlines Flight 11, which took off from Logan International Airport in Boston and crashed into the World Trade Center's north tower at 8:45 a.m. Listing addresses in Hollywood and Coral Springs, Fla., he is believed to have taken flight training at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla.
Marwan Al-Shehhi also is believed to have received flight training at Huffman Aviation and at SimCenter Inc. in Opa-Locka, Fla. He was aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower at 9:05 a.m. Authorities believe he may have been at the controls of the huge jetliner when it crashed.
Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi have been named by German authorities as members of an Islamic fundamentalist group that planned attacks on U.S. targets. German police have said the two men were from the United Arab Emirates.
Waleed Alshehri lived in Daytona Beach, Fla., and obtained a Social Security card in 1994. He also had a Florida driver's license, which expired in January, and a commercial pilot's license — rated for both single and multi-engine aircraft. Authorities suspect he may have been the backup to Mohamed Atta on board American Airlines Flight 11.
Hani Hanjour received his commercial pilot's license in 1999, according to Federal Aviation Administration records, and was aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon at 9:39 a.m. He is believed to have lived in Phoenix and San Diego, but he listed a post office box in Saudi Arabia as his address.
Abdulaziz Alomari lived in Vero Beach, Fla., with his wife and four children in a $1,400-a-month town house. He was rated as a private pilot and flight engineer, listing his address as Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to FAA records. He was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 and was employed by Saudi Flight Ops, which handles maintenance for Saudi Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Wail Alshehri is said to have lived in Hollywood, Fla., and Newton, Mass.
Ziad Jarrahi, who was on board United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pa., at 10:10 a.m. is believed to have had a pilot's license from Hamburg, Germany, according to FAA records.
Previously, Justice Department officials, including Attorney General John Ashcroft, said there were 18 known hijackers on the four planes. A new name was added Thursday after it was learned that there were five — not four — hijackers on American Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.
The FBI asked that anyone who has any information about the hijackers call 866/483-5137.
Meanwhile, nine travelers of Middle Eastern descent who were detained Thursday by police and FBI agents at two New York airports were cleared of any connection with the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. One man remained in custody while authorities checked his credentials, which included what police said was a fake pilot's license.
The FBI's massive manhunt for those who provided logistical support for the hijackers, including credit cards, cash, lodging and transportation, continued yesterday throughout the country. A force of 4,000 agents is conducting numerous interviews, serving more than 30 search warrants and hundreds of subpoenas in several states and checking what Mr. Ashcroft has called "thousands of thousands of leads."
Agents have seized hundreds of pieces of evidence, including computers and what FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III described as "other documentary information that we are following up on."
In Minnesota, the possibility emerged that the FBI knew before Tuesday's attack of at least one Arab man seeking the type of flight training the hijackers received. Authorities confirmed yesterday that the FBI detained an Arab man in Minnesota a few weeks ago after he tried to seek flight simulator training for a large jetliner.
Those who hijacked the four airliners for Tuesday's attacks are believed to have received similar training.
Authorities said FBI officials in Minnesota had no reason to charge the man at the time and instead began deportation proceedings. Those proceedings were ongoing when the attacks took place Tuesday. He is being held but is not cooperating with the FBI.
Elsewhere, U.S. and Philippine authorities searched a Manila hotel in connection with the investigation. Philippine officials also questioned a Saudi Airlines pilot and refused entry to nine Malaysian men suspected of having undergone terrorist training.


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