Moqed, flew into Iran from Bahrain. In February 2001, Khalid al Mihdhar may
have taken a flight from Syria to Iran, and then traveled further within Iran to
a point near the Afghan border.
KSM and Binalshibh have confirmed that several of the 9/11 hijackers (at
least eight, according to Binalshibh) transited Iran on their way to or from
Afghanistan, taking advantage of the Iranian practice of not stamping Saudi
passports.They deny any other reason for the hijackers' travel to Iran.They also
deny any relationship between the hijackers and Hezbollah.
In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda
members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were
future 9/11 hijackers.There also is circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbol-
lah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of these future muscle
hijackers into Iran in November 2000. However, we cannot rule out the pos-
sibility of a remarkable coincidence--that is, that Hezbollah was actually focus-
ing on some other group of individuals traveling from Saudi Arabia during this
same time frame, rather than the future hijackers.
We have found no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the plan-
ning for what later became the 9/11 attack.At the time of their travel through
Iran, the al Qaeda operatives themselves were probably not aware of the spe-
cific details of their future operation.
After 9/11, Iran and Hezbollah wished to conceal any past evidence of
cooperation with Sunni terrorists associated with al Qaeda. A senior Hezbol-
lah official disclaimed any Hezbollah involvement in 9/11.
We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. government.
7.4 FINAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Final Preparations in the United States
During the early summer of 2001, Atta, assisted by Shehhi, was busy coordi-
nating the arrival of most of the muscle hijackers in southern Florida--pick-
ing them up at the airport, finding them places to stay, and helping them settle
in the United States.
The majority settled in Florida. Some opened bank accounts, acquired mail-
boxes, and rented cars. Several also joined local gyms, presumably to stay fit for
the operation. Upon first arriving, most stayed in hotels and motels; but by mid-
June, they settled in shared apartments relatively close to one another and
Though these muscle hijackers did not travel much after arriving in
the United States, two of them, Waleed al Shehri and Satam al Suqami, took
On May 19, Shehri and Suqami flew from Fort Lauderdale to Freeport,
the Bahamas, where they had reservations at the Bahamas Princess Resort.The
two were turned away by Bahamian officials on arrival, however, because they
THE ATTACK LOOMS
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