- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 18, 2002

Among the human remains painstakingly sorted from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania crash sites of September 11 are those of nine of the hijackers.
The FBI has held them for months, and no one seems to know what should be done with them. It's a politically and emotionally charged question for the government, which eventually must decide how to dispose of some of the most despised men in American history.
"I think in Islam, you're supposed to be buried whole, so I would take them and scatter them all over the place," said Donn Marshall, whose wife, Shelley, died at the Pentagon. "They don't deserve any kind of religious courtesies."
In New York, where the monumental task of identifying the remains of 2,823 victims believed to be dead continues, no remains have been linked to the 10 hijackers who crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center. About half the victims' families still are waiting for their loved ones to be identified, though it's likely many never will be because so much of the site was incinerated.
In contrast, the remains of all 40 victims in the Pennsylvania crash and all but five of the 184 victims at the Pentagon site were identified months ago.
Little attention has been paid to the terrorists' remains found mingled with those of the victims.
"It's a unique situation," said Dr. Jerry Spencer, a former chief medical examiner for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, who worked 30 years as a Navy forensic pathologist. "The terrorists are usually not in our possession in the United States like this. The other issue is, will the families want them back?"
Four sets of remains in Pennsylvania and five at the Pentagon were grouped together as the hijackers, but not identified by name, through a process of elimination.
Families of the airplanes' passengers and crews, and those who died within the Pentagon provided DNA samples, typically on toothbrushes or hairbrushes, to aid with identification. The remains that didn't match any of those samples were ruled to be the terrorists, said Chris Kelly, spokesman for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, which did the DNA work. The nine sets of remains matched the number of hijackers believed to be on the two planes.
Without reference samples from the hijackers' personal effects or from their immediate families to compare to the recovered DNA, the remains could not be matched to an individual.
With the one-year anniversary approaching, State Department officials said Friday that they had received no requests for the remains. The department would be responsible for handling such a request from any government seeking the return of a citizen's body.
Officials have said that all but one of the nine hijackers recovered had connections to Saudi Arabia. The other was Lebanese.
Officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, the military says the unidentifiable remains of the victims of the September 11 attack on the Pentagon will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
The Sept. 12 ceremony will hold special significance for families of five persons whose remains have never been identified, Col. Jody Draves, a spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington, which oversees the cemetery, said Friday.
The service will include burial of the cremated ashes of all remains not linked to a particular victim, as well as some remains that were identified that family members asked to be included.
"The intent is not as a memorial service but as a group burial for victims not identified," Col. Draves said.
The Pentagon attack killed 189 persons: 125 in the Pentagon and 64 aboard American Airlines Flight 77. Remains of the five hijackers on the flight have been separated from those of the victims.
The five victims whose remains have not been identified are:
Retired Army Col. Ronald Golinski, a civilian Pentagon worker.
Navy ET1 Ronald Henanway.
Rhonda Rasmussen, a civilian worker for the Army.
Jack T. Lynch, a civilian worker for the Navy.
Dana Falkenberg, a passenger on Flight 77.

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