Skip to comments.LIVING WITH THE TERRORIST ENEMY
Posted on 09/17/2001 2:36:32 PM PDT by Wallaby
Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.
LIVING WITH THE TERRORIST ENEMY DAILY MAIL (London) MICHAEL SEAMARK September 17, 2001
SOME, with their long beards and Middle Eastern garb, were never going to blend in.
Others quietly, unobtrusively, slipped into the lifestyle of the country they were eventually to devastate.
Atta ran in front of his car last autumn. 'He kicked it because I nearly hit him. I threatened to call the police. He produced 300 marks (around GBP 99) and said, 'Sorry, no police, sorry, sorry.' Then he ran off.'
But with the exception of a single motoring ticket, and failing to return some rented videos, all of the suspected hijackers had one vital thing in common.
They all kept out of trouble - and away from the attention of the security services. The terrorists criss-crossed the United States with ease but their network also crossed into Europe. Stunned neighbours are slowly realising exactly who was living amongst them. 'That's the horror of terrorism,' said Sandra Bowden, a Florida councillor. 'They looked like you and me, and they walk among us.'
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.
THREE of the suspected hijackers plotted their part in the atrocity from a home in furnished with little more than a television.
Khalid Al-Midhar, Nawaq Alhamzi and Hani Hanjoor disappeared late one night about three weeks ago from the two-storey Parkside Apartments on Mount Ada Road, Clairemont, in San Diego.
When FBI agents started asking questions at the complex the terrible truth dawned on residents. 'This is just too devastating to have so close to home,' said Keith Link, whose own apartment overlooked the trio's terror cell.
It appears that they settled first at Clairemont before moving to nearby Lemon Grove, then spending time at an Arizona flight school before returning to the Parkside Apartments.
Al-Midhar and Alhamzi spent some time staying with prominent Moslem leader Abdussattar Shaikh, a retired English professor at San Diego State University.
He lives in a two-storey house on a hillside overlooking a Lemon Grove valley. Filled with books and pamphlets on Islam, it's a gathering place for young men who share the culture and faith.
Alhamzi, who said he was from Saudi Arabia, lived with him from September to December. 'He was a loner and didn't talk much,' said Shaikh.
'He said he came here to learn English, but I didn't see him going to school very often. He told me he wanted to marry a Mexican girl. He said that Mexican girls made good wives. The problem was that he didn't know any Spanish. So I taught him a few Spanish phrases.'
The other suspect, Al-Midhar, lived with Shaikh for about four weeks last September. 'Khalid spoke hardly any English. He said he was from Saudi Arabia and he and Nawaq were friends from childhood.
'I never had any hint that they were going to do something this terrible. They never expressed dislike or hatred for America. Looking back, the only strange thing about them was that they always went out to make phone calls rather than make them in the house.
'I feel so sad. I'm doing my best to bring the people together, and I get people like that in my house.'
Hanjoor received pilot training at CRM Airline Training Centre in Scottsdale, Arizona, for three months in 1996 and in December 1997. CRM president Duncan Hastie said Hanjoor, believed to be the pilot of the jet that crashed into the Pentagon, was polite and personable, but a poor student. 'He didn't do his homework and he didn't show up on time.'
Hanjoor received a commercial pilot's licence in 1999.
Neighbours say the three men all returned to live at the Clairemont apartments several months ago.
Apartment manager Holly Ratchford described Alhamzi as polite, an 'attractive guy' who often stopped by the rental office to chat and share coffee and cookies.
Residents at first warmly greeted their neighbours but gave up when they got little or no response. Late in the evening people would come and pick them up 'in really fancy nice cars, brand-new Lincolns'.
Neighbour Freddy Evans said: 'They used the pool, but only when no-one else was there. They were strange. Three grown men playing in the pool like kids.'
Another resident LaBaron Coker saw them abruptly disappear late at night last month. 'I saw them moving out. They had a rental truck.'
DELRAY Beach - twice winner of the prestigious All-America City award - was home to seven of the hijackers.
FBI investigators believe the quiet town library became their communications HQ. 'I could not believe my eyes when I saw the names of the suspects released by the FBI,' said librarian Kathleen Hensman. 'Several of them jumped straight out at me. I am sure they came in here.'
FBI agents continued to build a growing picture of the terrorists' lives as they criss-crossed Florida. Mohammed Atta got a police ticket in Coral Springs in April for being unable to show his driver's licence. Apart from that slip-up, the terrorists stayed clean.
Ahmed Alnami and Saeed Alghamdi had lived off and on in the Delray Beach area since late 1992.
Joanne last saw them a few days before the attack. They always travelled together and were home during the day. 'I thought they were students or something.'
Atta and hijacker Marwan Alshehhi spent most of their time on the Boeing 727 flight simulator at Opa Locka airport near Miami. They didn't bother practising how to land - only to turn.
In Deerfield Beach, the next town down the coast from Delray, some of the terrorists moved into the Panther Motel. Owner Richard Surma said: 'They seemed nice people. But they didn't like American women's pictures on the walls. These guys covered every single picture.'
When the men left Mr Surma looked through the rubbish bins. he found illustrated books on karate and judo, a German-English dictionary and a craft knife. There were U.S. Federal Aviation Authority air traffic maps, and flight training textbooks for Boeing passenger jets.
At least three of the men, all on the FBI suspect list, did apparently become increasingly reckless as the day of destiny beckoned. At the Pink Pony lap-dancing bar in Daytona Beach, manager John Cap said: 'They were talking about what a bad place America is. They said, 'Wait until tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed'.'
They spent almost GBP 1,000 on lap-dancers and drinks. A business card and a copy of the Koran left by the men is being examined by the FBI.
Another suspect, Abdul Alomari, lived in Vero Beach with his wife and family. Neighbours noticed the late-night meetings when dozens of cars might turn up but they hardly socialised.
It was a surprise when Alomari told his landlord last month that his family would soon be moving back to Saudi Arabia . And even more of a surprise when they threw a party for all the neighbourhood children.
THEIR cover was perfect in its anonymity. An apartment in a shabby building in a working-class suburb of the German port city inhabited by 100 German and foreign, mainly Turkish, families.
'I thought they were some Koran study group or other,' said Burkhardt Schroeder, their neighbour on the second floor. 'They certainly dressed the part. There wasn't anything about their manner that was either offensive or gave me cause to think that I had terrorists living on my doorstep.'
In fact, Mohamed Atta, 33, Marwan Al Shehhi, 23, his cousin Waleed Alshehri and Ziad Jarrahi were part of a terrorist network of astonishing sophistication. German police swooped on other flats in Hamburg over the weekend, and there were further raids on properties in the former capital Bonn and Bochum in the Ruhr - a network of apartments that themselves suggest a well-financed, well-organised 'sleeper' unit of terrorists waiting to be activated.
Atta and his co-terrorists lived at 54 Marienstrasse in the Harburg suburb of Hamburg, which numbers 80,000 Moslems amongst its 1.7million population.
Alshehi apparently lived as a law-abiding citizen. But not Atta.
Klaus Lehmann, who lives in Harburg, said Atta ran in front of his car last autumn. 'He kicked it because I nearly hit him. I threatened to call the police. He produced 300 marks (around GBP 99) and said, 'Sorry, no police, sorry, sorry.' Then he ran off.'
A couple of years ago he failed to return three rented vidoes ( Ace Ventura, Vampires and Storm of the Century).
Another reminder of why Obama’s foreign policy, State Dept. policies, and use of, and usefulness of, Susan Rice ... all spell trouble.
Given that there must be, by now, several hundred more hard core suspects of interest, here, now.
With Obama, or Holder, or Rice in charge, there is no U.S. Border, because its purpose has been replaced by their selective-absolutism (shades of what Morsi is doing in Egypt), and the only border is the boundaries between such despots treason-and-tyranny ... and our property and rights that we are able to preserve.
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