When Ziad Jarrah is questioned at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on January 30, 2001, he reveals that he has been in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the previous two months and five days, and that he is returning to Florida. [Chicago Tribune, 12/13/2001] Investigators also later confirm that “Jarrah had spent at least three weeks in January 2001 at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.” [CNN, 8/1/2002] However, the Florida Flight Training Center, where Jarrah has been studying for the previous six months, later says he is in school there until January 15, 2001. His family later reports he arrives in Lebanon to visit them on January 26, five days before he supposedly passes through Dubai. His father had just undergone open-heart surgery, and Jarrah visits him every day in the hospital until after January 30. Pointing out this incident, his uncle Jamal Jarrah later asks, “How could he be in two places at one time?” [Longman, 2002, pp. 101-02] This is not the only example of Jarrah being in two places at the same time—there is also evidence he was in different places at once from March 1995-February 1996 (see March 1995-February 1996).
Is this evidence of a Jarrah double?
In 2002 CNN told us this about Jarrah’s questioning:
One of the September 11 hijackers was stopped and questioned in the United Arab Emirates in January 2001 at the request of the CIA, nearly nine months before the attacks, sources in the government of the UAE, and other Middle Eastern and European sources told CNN.
The CIA suspected Ziad Jarrah had been in Afghanistan and wanted him questioned because of "his suspected involvement in terrorist activities," UAE sources said.
The FBI believes Jarrah, a Lebanese national, was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania shortly after 10 a.m. on September 11. U.S. officials believe the plane's target was the White House.
A CIA spokesman vigorously denied that the CIA knew anything about Jarrah before September 11 or had anything do with his questioning in Dubai.
"That is flatly untrue," the spokesman said...
Jarrah was questioned after he had already spent six months in the United States learning to fly. He had a valid U.S. multiple-entry visa in his passport, a fragment of which was found at the Flight 93 crash site. Investigators have confirmed that Jarrah had spent at least three weeks in January 2001 at an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.
However what's not so commonly reported is the Joint Inquiry comment on these claims, from September 2002:
The Joint Inquiry Staff is aware of a media report that Ziad Jarrah, a September 11 hijacker suspected of having been the pilot aboard United Flight 93, was stopped by United Arab Emirate (UAE) officials at the behest of the CIA as he arrived in Dubai in January 2001. Based on our investigation, the media reports are incorrect. The Joint Inquiry Staff requested and reviewed all pertinent CIA records to determine whether such a request was made. The Joint Inquiry Staff determined that Jarrah was unknown to the CIA prior to September 11, 2001. UAE officials had detained Jarrah because of an irregularity in his passport, not at the request of the CIA, a fact acknowledged by them to U.S. Government officials. Additionally, the date in the media stories is incorrect. Jarrahwas stopped in January 2000, not January 2001 as reported by the media. Further, our investigation could find no evidence that any other U.S. officials asked that Jarrah be stopped.
Another story adds weight to the idea that Jarrah was in Afghanistan during January 2000:
FILM of the ringleader of the September 11 hijackers reading his “martyrdom” will inside Afghanistan at Osama Bin Laden’s headquarters has emerged five years after the Al-Qaeda outrage.
It is the first time that a videotape has appeared of Mohammed Atta — who flew an American Airlines plane into the north tower of the World Trade Center — at a training camp in Afghanistan. It fills in a significant gap in the timing of the build-up to the attacks on the United States.
Dates on the tape show Atta was filmed on January 18, 2000, together with Ziad Jarrah, the pilot of United Airlines flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after the passengers apparently stormed the flight deck.
Could this have been a different visit? It seems not, at least according to the 9/11 Commission:
Footnote 97 to Chapter #5:
Jarrah encountered a minor problem during his return trip to Hamburg. On January 30, 2000, while transiting Dubai on his way from Karachi to Germany, Jarrah drew questioning from UAE authorities about an overlay of the Qu'ran that appeared on one page of his passport.The officials also noticed the religious tapes and books Jarrah had in his possession, but released him after he pointed out that he had lived in Hamburg for a number of years and was studying aircraft construction there. FBI report,"Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004
Here he's questioned in Dubai on January 30th, yes, but again it's 2000. And in Chapter 7 the Commission Report gives their account of what Jarrah was doing in 2001:
[during the holiday period of 2000-2001] Jarrah flew through Germany to get home to Beiruit. A few weeks later, he returned to Florida via Germany, with Aysel Senguen. She stayed with him in Florida for ten days, even accompanying him to a flight training session...
At the end of 2001, Jarrah again flew to Beiruit, to visit his sick father. After staying there for several weeks, Jarrah visited [his girlfriend, Aysel] Senguen in Germany for a few days before returning to the United States at the end of February.
Travels in Early 2001
9/11 Commission Report
There’s some confirmation of this in a footnote of Terry McDermott’s “Perfect Soldiers” (our emphasis):
3. Senior security official, UAE, interview by author, Abu Dhabi, July 2003. The Emiratis say that they initially stopped Jarrah because his name was on a watch list provided to them by the United States. American officials say this is untrue. The United States has, however, acknowledged in internal documents and in communications with German investigators that the Emiratis did contact them about Jarrah. They decline to say what they told the Emiratis. The Americans told the Germans, according to FBI documents obtained by the author, that the Jarrah interview was not substantive. Merely routine, they said. The Emiratis say this is utterly untrue. The interview lasted four hours, according to their records, and the Americans were informed of it while it was occurring. It is possible that the facts of the events were the victims of the dysfunctional relationship among different American agencies. The Emiratis won’t say which Americans they contacted, but it would be a good guess that they called the CIA station at the US embassy in Abu Dhabi and that the information either died there or was passed back to Langley and in either case not shared with the FBI.
At this point, lacking further documentation from either side, it is impossible to say which version is correct. It is worth noting, however, that when the initial reports of the Jarrah interview were made by Jane Corbin for the BBC in 2001 (and later repeated in her book, “Al Qaeda: The Terror Network That Threatens the West”, Nation Books, New York, 2002), citing UAE sources, the Americans publicly denied any knowledge of it. As it happened, Corbin had the wrong date for the event, so the American services might have been technically correct in denying any knowledge of it. They later repeated that denial several times when other reports repeated the inaccurate date. As of this writing Americans have yet to correct the record, although, as noted above, the FBI has acknowledged to its German counterpart the stop did occur and they were informed.
Footnote #3 to Chapter 2
McDermott doesn’t say what the correct date was here, but Chapter 2, where the Jarrah trip is described, begins with “After Ziad Jarrah left Hamburg in late November 1999...”. The January 2000 date seems most likely.
There's also some documentary support this in Jarrah's visa, reproduced for the Moussaoui trial, which contains a US "Admitted" stamp dated Jan 05 2001 (centre).
This is not consistent with the "returning from Pakistan and Afghanistan" story, as he's supposed to have been there since November, but it does fit with the Commission and Joint Inquiry timetable.
Does this conclusively prove the official account, though? Of course not. We believe it does show how the timing conflict could have a very simple explanation, though: the original reports got the year wrong, using 2001 instead of 2000. And certainly you should beware of anyone pushing this story, who leaves out the Commission and Joint Inquiry accounts.
We can't finish this page without pointing out that there are many other claims about evidence for "doubles", timeline inconsistencies and so on, for Jarrah and most of the other hijackers. We'll revisit the topic when time allows, but if you want to read more claims in this area then try Cooperative Research's "The Two Ziad Jarrahs" and the Team8 forum "Tracking the alleged hijackers and their doubles".