Many of the hijackers as named by America are still alive.
This has never struck us as an idea that made much sense, especially if you believe the US Government were behind 9/11. If you were constructing a fake terrorist attack because you wanted to attack Afghanistan, or Iraq, then wouldn’t you involve a few Afghans or Iraqis? But no, we’re supposed to believe that they made them inconvenient Saudis, instead.
Worse still, the planners picked live Saudis almost at random, despite the fact that they’d be sure to come forward and spoil the whole thing. Why would anyone do that?
What’s more, all these stories occurred very soon after 9/11. Once the FBI released their official list of hijackers, complete with photographs (on the 27th September), these stories disappeared. This suggests to us they were only ever a mixup over names, and once the photos appeared as well these individuals realised they weren’t wanted men after all.
We’ve not alone in this, either. A BBC story is constantly cited as evidence that some of those named as the hijackers are still alive, for instance, but the company has now said it was just a “confusion over names and identities”:
A five-year-old story from our archive has been the subject of some recent editorial discussion here. The story, written in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, was about confusion at the time surrounding the names and identities of some of the hijackers. This confusion was widely reported and was also acknowledged by the FBI.
The story has been cited ever since by some as evidence that the 9/11 attacks were part of a US government conspiracy.
We later reported on the list of hijackers, thereby superseding the earlier report. In the intervening years we have also reported in detail on the investigation into the attacks, the 9/11 commission and its report.
We’ve carried the full report, executive summary and main findings and, as part of the recent fifth anniversary coverage, a detailed guide to what’s known about what happened on the day. But conspiracy theories have persisted. The confusion over names and identities we reported back in 2001 may have arisen because these were common Arabic and Islamic names.
In an effort to make this clearer, we have made one small change to the original story. Under the FBI picture of Waleed al Shehri we have added the words "A man called Waleed Al Shehri..." to make it as clear as possible that there was confusion over the identity. The rest of the story remains as it was in the archive as a record of the situation at the time.
We recently asked the FBI for a statement, and this is, as things stand, the closest thing we have to a definitive view: The FBI is confident that it has positively identified the nineteen hijackers responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Also, the 9/11 investigation was thoroughly reviewed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and the House and Senate Joint Inquiry. Neither of these reviews ever raised the issue of doubt about the identity of the nineteen hijackers.
And in fact if you look at the details, you’ll find that mistaken identity seems the most likely explanation. Read more in our analyses of the most common “still alive” stories: Abdulaziz Al Omari, Ahmed Al-Nami, Khalid Al Mihdhar, Mohammed Atta, Said al-Ghamdi, Salem Al-Hamzi, Wail Al-Shehri, Waleed Al-Shehri and Mohand Alshehri.
What’s more, Saudi Arabia have now accepted that their citizens, as named by the US, were involved. Why would they do that if any of them were still alive, and so plainly innocent?
Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that 15 of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers were Saudi citizens...
Previously, Saudi Arabia had said the citizenship of 15 of the 19 hijackers was in doubt despite U.S. insistence they were Saudis. But Interior Minister Prince Nayef told The Associated Press that Saudi leaders were shocked to learn 15 of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
"The names that we got confirmed that," Nayef said in an interview. "Their families have been notified."
And subsequently a video called “the 19 Martyrs” was released and partly aired on al Jazeera, which reportedly featured photographs of hijackers, and included bin Ladin giving a brief description of each. There was a detailed page on the video at ee.1asphost.com/raehatualmisk/19.html , and that’s gone now, but we saved a copy locally for posterity. We don’t know if the video is real, or this is an accurate account of it, but if true then it is another indication that the named hijackers were involved, and they’re now all dead.