Nawaf al-Hazmi

From Academic Kids

Missing image
This photograph of Nawaf al-Hazmi was released by the FBI in the days following the attack.

Nawaf al-Hazmi (Arabic: نواف الحازمي, also transliterated Nawaq Alhazmi, used the alias Rabia al Makki) was one of five terrorists named by the FBI as hijackers of American Airlines flight 77 in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack. His brother, Salem al-Hazmi, was another of the 9/11 terrorists.


An al-Qaida veteran

Nawaf al-Hazmi has been called an "al-Qaida veteran" by the CIA, and has fought in several major conflicts throughout his life. According to the CIA, al-Hazmi was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and travelled to Afghanistan as a teenager in 1993. In 1995 he went with Khalid al-Mihdhar (another 9/11 hijacker) to Bosnia to join the fight between Muslims and Serbs. Afterwards, both men returned to Afghanistan along with Nawaf's brother Salem, joined al-Qaida, and fought against the Northern Alliance. Nawaf al-Hazmi fought with Chechnyan Muslims sometime around 1998, possibly with his brother and al-Mihdhar, and returned to Saudi Arabia in early 1999. [1] ( [2] (

In April of 1999, both al-Hazmi brothers and Khalid al-Mihdhar obtained US visas through the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [3] ( The 9/11 Commission Report says that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar were two of the first four terrorists hand-picked by Osama bin Laden to participate in a United States terrorist operation using hijacked planes. (They were originally slated to be pilots, but since both proved to be poor students, other pilots were eventually found.) In the fall of 1999, these four went to an elite training camp in Afghanistan, a sort of al-Qaida boot camp called Mes Aynak. The al-Hazmi brothers then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed instructed them in English, Western culture, and aviation.

Former Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al Faisal has revealed that al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi were put on a Saudi terror watch list in late 1999. He also said that he revealed this to the CIA, saying "What we told them was these people were on our watch list from previous activities of al-Qaeda, in both the embassy bombings and attempts to smuggle arms into the kingdom in 1997." The CIA strongly denies having received any such warning.[4] (

In the U.S.

The FBI and the 9/11 Commission report say that al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar first entered the United States in 2000, but the Washington Post and the LA Times report that the two first came in 1999, and that al-Hazmi's name was on their future apartment's lease in November of 1999. Either way, the two definitely attended the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was there that the details of the 9/11 attacks were decided upon. He was secretly videotaped at this meeting by Malaysian authorities.

A week afterwards, on January 15, 2000, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar flew to Los Angeles, California from Bangkok, Thailand. They were identified by the CIA, but were not put on the terrorist watch list that is shared with other agencies, despite the fact that the CIA's counter-terrorism center had sent out a cable just a month before, reminding agents how important it was to put suspicious people on this shared list when they enter the United States. Several further times in the next year and a half, when analysis of the al-Qaida Summit was performed and when information on the USS Cole bombing was discovered, it would have been standard procedure for the CIA to have reported al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar to the FBI, but the information was not shared.[5] ([6] ([7] ([8] ([9] ([10] (

After entering the country, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar went from the airport to a restaurant, and there met the Saudi national Omar al-Bayoumi, who has been suspected of being a Saudi agent (although Saudi Arabia denies this.) Al-Bayoumi invited the two to move to San Diego with him, and they did. They spoke very little English, and needed a lot of help to settle in. Al-Bayoumi found them an apartment, co-signed their lease, and gave them $1500 to help pay for their rent.

Missing image
Alhazmi's Appearance in the San Diego phone directory

Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdar's neighbors later reported that the two struck them as quite odd. They had no furniture, they constantly played flight simulator games, they paid for everything in cash, and limousines picked them up for short rides in the middle of the night.[11] ( [12] ( They later moved into the house of Abdussattar Shaikh, who was secretly acting as an FBI informant at the time, although he did not report the two to the FBI.[13] ( [14] (

In June of 2000, al-Mihdhar returned to Yemen, his birthplace, leaving al-Hazmi to take care of himself. This move was not authorized by al-Qaida. Another al-Qaida operative and future 9/11 hijacker named Hani Hanjour moved in with him. In 2001, al-Hazmi and Hanjour moved to Falls Church, Virginia. Eventually two other hijackers, Ahmed al-Ghamdi and Majed Moqed, moved in with them.

On April 1, 2001, al-Hazmi received a ticket for speeding. His license information was checked to see if there were any warrants for his arrest, but there were none. (Had his name been on the shared CIA watch list, he would have been arrested. [15] ([16] ( On May 1, 2001, al-Hazmi reported an attempted street robbery to police in Fairfax, Virginia, but later declined to press charges.

Al-Hazmi, along with at least five other future hijackers, traveled to Las Vegas at least six times in the Summer of 2001. They reportedly drank alcohol, gambled, and paid strippers to perform lap dances for them.[17] (

The INS finally put al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar on a watchlist to prevent entry into the U.S. in August of 2001, but they had been in the country for over a year. The FBI was subsequently contacted, and began to search for them on August 21, 2001, but did not determine their whereabouts in time. An internal review after 9/11 found that "everything was done [to find them] that could have been done." But the search does not appear to have been particularly aggressive. A national motor vehicle index was reportedly checked, but al-Hazmi's speeding ticket was not detected for some reason. California's drivers license records were not searched, although both were known to have entered the US through Los Angeles. The FBI did not search credit card databases, bank account databases, or car registration, all of which would had positive results. Al-Hazmi was even listed in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book, but this too was not searched until after the attacks.[18] ([19] ([20] ([21] ([22] ([23] (

The attacks

Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar purchased their 9/11 plane tickets on-line using a credit card with their real names. This raised no red flags, since the FAA had not been informed that the two were on a terrorist watchlist.[24] ([25] (

On September 10, 2001, Hanjour, al-Mihdhar, and al-Hazmi checked into a hotel. Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, a prominent Saudi government official, was staying at the same hotel. There is no evidence Hussayen met with them, but he has been linked to terrorism many times since then.[26] ([27] (

On September 11, al-Hazmi and four other hijackers boarded American Airlines flight 77. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, al-Hazmi set off the metal detector at the airport and was screened with a hand-wand. He passed the inspection, however. Al-Hazmi was also randomly selected for extra screening, but nothing suspicious was found in his bags. Sometime after takeoff, the plane was hijacked. It flown into the Pentagon at 9:37 am, killing 189 people.

The next day, a car registered to al-Hazmi was found in Dulles Airport. The car contained Mohammed Atta's letter, a cashier's check made out to a flight school in Phoenix, Arizona, four drawings of the cockpit of a 757, a box cutter-type knife, maps of Washington D.C. and New York, and a page with notes and phone numbers.[28] ([29] (

Timeline in America

  • January 15, 2000: Al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar arrive in Los Angeles from Bangkok, Thailand.
  • February 2000: Al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar move to San Deigo.
  • Autumn 2000: Al-Hamzi works at a gas station while living in San Deigo.
  • March 2001: Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour move from Phoenix to Falls Church, Virginia.
  • Mid-March 2001: Nawaf al-Hazmi, Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, and Hani Hanjour stay for four days in the Fairfield Motor Inn, Fairfield, Connecticut. They meet with Eyad M. Alrababah, a Jordanian who can provid false identification documents.
  • April 1, 2001: Al-Hazmi is stopped for speeding by an Oklahoma police officer.
  • August 2001: Nawaf al-Hazmi, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, and Salem Alhazmi-the hijackers who boarded Flight 77-now all live in Laurel, Maryland.

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