Born on May 11, 1975, in Mazraa, Lebanon, Ziad Jarrah came from an afflu-
ent family and attended private, Christian schools. Like Atta, Binalshibh, and
Shehhi, Jarrah aspired to pursue higher education in Germany. In April 1996,
he and a cousin enrolled at a junior college in Greifswald, in northeastern Ger-
many.There Jarrah met and became intimate with Aysel Senguen, the daugh-
ter of Turkish immigrants, who was preparing to study dentistry.
Even with the benefit of hindsight, Jarrah hardly seems a likely candidate
for becoming an Islamic extremist. Far from displaying radical beliefs when he
first moved to Germany, he arrived with a reputation for knowing where to
find the best discos and beaches in Beirut, and in Greifswald was known to
enjoy student parties and drinking beer. Although he continued to share an
apartment in Greifswald with his cousin, Jarrah was mostly at Senguen's apart-
ment.Witnesses interviewed by German authorities after 9/11, however, recall
that Jarrah started showing signs of radicalization as early as the end of 1996.
After returning from a trip home to Lebanon, Jarrah started living more strictly
according to the Koran. He read brochures in Arabic about jihad, held forth to
friends on the subject of holy war, and professed disaffection with his previous
life and a desire not to leave the world "in a natural way."
In September 1997, Jarrah abruptly switched his intended course of study
from dentistry to aircraft engineering--at the Technical University of
Hamburg-Harburg. His motivation for this decision remains unclear. The
rationale he expressed to Senguen--that he had been interested in aviation
since playing with toy airplanes as a child--rings somewhat hollow. In any
event, Jarrah appears already to have had Hamburg contacts by this time, some
of whom may have played a role in steering him toward Islamic extremism.
Following his move to Hamburg that fall, he began visiting Senguen in
Greifswald on weekends, until she moved to the German city of Bochum one
year later to enroll in dental school.Around the same time, he began speaking
increasingly about religion, and his visits to Senguen became less and less fre-
quent. He began criticizing her for not being religious enough and for dress-
ing too provocatively. He grew a full beard and started praying regularly. He
refused to introduce her to his Hamburg friends because, he told her, they were
religious Muslims and her refusal to become more observant embarrassed him.
At some point in 1999, Jarrah told Senguen that he was planning to wage a
jihad because there was no greater honor than to die for Allah. Although Jar-
rah's transformation generated numerous quarrels, their breakups invariably
were followed by reconciliation.
Forming a Cell
In Hamburg, Jarrah had a succession of living accommodations, but he appar-
ently never resided with his future co-conspirators. It is not clear how and
when he became part of Atta's circle. He became particularly friendly with
Binalshibh after meeting him at the Quds mosque in Hamburg, which Jarrah
AL QAEDA AIMS AT THE AMERICAN HOMELAND
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