Ahmed Al-Nami Still Alive
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The story...

Ahmed Al-Nami is still alive, according to media reports.

Our take...

The usual source for this claim is an article in the Telegraph.

Mr Al-Nami, 33, from Riyadh, an administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines, said that he was in Riyadh when the terrorists struck.

He said: "I'm still alive, as you can see. I was shocked to see my name mentioned by the American Justice Department. I had never even heard of Pennsylvania where the plane I was supposed to have hijacked."

He had never lost his passport and found it "very worrying" that his identity appeared to have been "stolen" and published by the FBI without any checks. The FBI had said his "possible residence" was Delray Beach in Florida.

However, a Saudi Information Agency report talks about someone ten years younger, who may have fought in Afghanistan, and hadn’t called since June 2001: sounds like a different person

Ahmed Abdullah AlNami: 23 from Abha he left the Kingdom 15 months ago after he was recruited to fight with Chechens to drive Russians out. He was a student the Abha branch of Imam Mohamed Ben Saud University the main religious university in the country. His family received the last call from him in June 2001 at the same time Hamza AlGhamdi called his family. He was imam of the mosque in his district in the southern city of Abha. He was trained in Khandahar, Afghanistan, and was stationed at the Khandahar airport. He traveled to the USA via Dubai. He was on board United Airlines #93 that crashed in Stony Creek Township.

By way of confirmation, other reports talk about about a missing "Ahmad Abdullah Alnami", whose picture apparently matches that of the hijacker:

Ahmad Abdullah Alnami, 23, also from Asir, who was on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. The Arab News reported that a photograph of a youth by that name published locally was identical to one provided by the FBI.

Alnami has been missing since December, and his family did not know his whereabouts, according to Al Watan, another Saudi newspaper. It reported that Alnami, who became very religious about 2 1/2 years ago, had been the prayer leader at a mosque in Asir's capital of Abha and had studied Islamic law at King Khaled University there.

Al Watan quoted Alnami's father as saying that his son never returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca 15 months ago and had last called his family four months ago.

A Boston Globe article ties Alnami to Wail and Waleed al-Shehri, and talks about how he changed in 1999:

It was in this mosque that four young Saudi men - two brothers from the Seqeley family known as Wael and Walid Alshehri and their friends Ahmed Alnami and Saeed Alghamdi from nearby Abha - are believed by several friends and a local cleric to have taken a solemn oath to go and carry out ''jihad.''

Friends who knew them say they gathered in the mosque in the spring of 2000 to pray and meditate in an informal ceremony that bound them to jihad and, if necessary, to die in the defense of Islam. In the months that lay ahead, they began secretly slipping away from their families...

Alnami, 23, was distinctly middle class. His late father had been an employee of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, and he was the youngest of six siblings.

Alnami played the oud, a traditional Arabic guitar, and had a good singing voice. He would gather with high school friends for bonfires in the wind-swept park atop Souda, the highest point in Saudi Arabia, and make them laugh mimicking the Saudi pop star Mohammed Abdou. He was fond of smoking apple tobacco in a ''nargilla,'' a traditional waterpipe. The music, the singing, the smoking all would have been frowned upon as un-Islamic by the men in his family.

Then in the summer and fall of 1999, Alnami began a rapid change, becoming obsessively pious after returning home from a Saudi-government sponsored religious summer camp. One friend said that his family feared that the sharp turn in his behavior was a ''bipolar disorder.'' He grew a beard, he shunned his old friends, he stopped playing music. His sweet voice now was used to call the faithful to prayer at the Al Basra mosque in Abha, and occasionally at the mosque in Khamis Mushayt, where he is presumed to have met up with the Alshehri brothers.

When Alnami saw his old friends in Abha, he tried to steer them away from ''those practices that are evil,'' as he put it, and toward ''the right and true path of Islam.'' He entered King Khalid University's School of Islamic Law, long regarded as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, and it was there, his friends believe, that he delved deeper into militant circles. Apparently he befriended another young Saudi named Saeed Alghamdi, who was also from Abha.

''He just drifted away from us and it was like we had lost him,'' said a high school classmate who works at a publishing company as he stared at old snapshots of Alnami.

There’s plenty of support for an Alnami who has connections to other hijackers, who changed prior to 9/11, and who has now disappeared, then. As the “still alive” Alnami is reported to be ten years older, this seems most likely to be a case of mistaken identity.

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