Mohamed Atta (Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta)

Mohamed Atta

Mohamed Atta (September 1, 1968 – September 11, 2001) was an Egyptian hijacker and one of the ringleaders in the September 11 attacks who served as the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, crashing the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated attacks. At 33 years of age, he was the oldest hijacker to participate in the attacks. Born in 1968 in a small town in Egypt’s Nile Delta, Mohamed Atta moved with his family to the Abdeen section of Cairo at the age of 10. Atta studied architecture at Cairo University, graduating in 1990, and continued his studies in Hamburg, Germany at the Technical University of Hamburg. In Hamburg, Atta became involved with the al-Quds Mosque, where he met Marwan al-Shehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Ziad Jarrah, together forming the Hamburg cell. Atta disappeared from Germany for periods of time, spending some time in Afghanistan, including several months in late 1999 and early 2000 when he met Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaeda leaders. Atta and the other Hamburg cell members were recruited by bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for the “planes operation” in the United States. Atta returned to Hamburg in February 2000, and began inquiring about flight training in the United States.

Atta arrived in the United States, together with Marwan al-Shehhi, in June 2000. Both ended up in Venice, Florida at Huffman Aviation where they entered the Accelerated Pilot Program. Atta and Shehhi obtained instrument ratings in November 2000, and continued training on simulators and flight training. Beginning in May 2001, Mohamed Atta assisted with the arrival of the muscle hijackers. In July 2001, Atta traveled to Spain where he met with bin al-Shibh to exchange information and finalize the plot. In August 2001, Atta traveled as a passenger on several “surveillance” flights, to establish in detail how the attacks could be carried out. In early September 2001, Atta traveled to Prince George’s County, Maryland, where fellow hijacker Hani Hanjour was at the time. Atta then traveled to Boston, and on September 10, with Abdulaziz al-Omari to Portland, Maine. They spent the night at the Comfort Inn in South Portland. On the morning of September 11, Atta and Omari traveled on Colgan Air back to Boston, where they boarded American Airlines Flight 11. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the team of hijackers attacked and Atta took over control of the aircraft. At 8:46 a.m., Atta crashed the Boeing 767 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board including himself and the other hijackers and cabin crew and an additional 1,366 civilians at or above the floors of impact in the North Tower.

Born

  • September, 01, 1968
  • Kafr el-Sheikh Governorate, Egypt

Died

  • September, 11, 2001
  • USA
  • New York, New York

Cause of Death

  • suicide

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