Saudi Suspects in U.S. Attacks Were Not in the U.S.

Islam Online | September 17, 2001

RIYADH, Sept 17 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - U.S. officials in Riyadh offered Abdul Rahman Said al-Omari an official apology in the presence of Saudi interior ministry officials for including his name among the list of suspects in the U.S. terrorist attacks, news agencies reported Monday.

Omari, a pilot with Saudi Airlines, told the Saudi daily Al-Watan that he was amazed to see his name on the FBI's list of suspects allegedly involved in the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center Tuesday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Omari said he returned to Saudi Arabia in early September after undergoing training for one year in the United States, AFP added.

Meanwhile, the mother of another Saudi man, also suspected in the September 11th attacks, said Monday that her son has been in Chechnya for two years with a relief committee operating in the tiny war-torn Muslim republic. 

The mother of Ahmad Ibrahim al-Ghamdi told Al-Watan that her son had been studying engineering in the Saudi city of Mecca before departing for Chechnya, AFP reported.

Ibrahim, 20, the youngest child in a family of three sons and four daughters, had been in constant contact with his family from Chechnya, said his mother.

The father of Fayez Mohammad al-Shehri, yet another Saudi suspect, also told the daily that his son had also left for Chechnya two years ago with the relief committee.

"He was going with the relief committee," said Shehri's father, a school headmaster.

Notably, the preliminary lists of confirmed dead of American Airlines flights 11 and 77 and United flight 175, released September 13th by U.K. daily The Guardian, did not include any Arab or Middle Eastern names.

According to The Guardian, some 81 passengers and 11 crew members were on board when American Airlines flight AA11, en route from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

This is the preliminary, partial list of passengers aboard the flight.

Captain John Ogonowski 
First Officer Thomas McGuinness 
Barbara Arestegui 
Jeffrey Collman 
Sara Low 
Karen Martin 
Kathleen Nicosia 
Betty Ong 
Jean Roger 
Dianne Snyder 
Madeline Sweeney

Anna Allison 
David Angell 
Lynn Angell 
Seima Aoyama 
Myra Aronson 
Christine Barbuto 
Carol Bouchard 
Neilie Casey 
Jeffrey Coombs 
Tara Creamer 
Thelma Cuccinello 
Patrick Currivan 
Andrew Currygreen 
Brian Dale 
David Dimeglio 
Donald Ditullio 
Albert Dominguez 
Al Filipov 
Carol Flyzik 
Paul Friedman 
Karleton Fyfe 
Peter Gay 
Linda George 
Edmund Glazer 
Page Hackel Farley 
Peter Hashem 
Robert Hayes 
Edward Hennessy 
John Hofer 
Cora Holland 
Nicholas Humber 
John Jenkins 
Charles Jones 
Robin Kaplan 
Barbara Keating 
David Kovalcin 
N Janis Lasden 
Danny Lee 
Daniel Lewin 
Jeff Mladenik 
Antonio Montoya 
Laura Morabito 
Mildred Naiman 
Laurie Neira 
Renee Newell 
Jacqueline Norton 
Robert Norton 
Jane Orth 
Thomas Pecorelli 
Bernthia Perkins 
Sonia Puopolo 
David Retik 
Philip Rosenweig 
Richard Ross 
Heath Smith 
Douglas Stone 
Xavier Suarez 
James Trentini 
Mary Trentini 
Mary Wahlstrom 
Kenneth Waldie 
John Wenckus 
Candace Williams 
Christopher Zarba

Some 58 passengers and six crew members were on board when American Airlines flight AA77, en route from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles, crashed into the Pentagon, The Guardian reported. Again, no Arabic or Middle Eastern names appear on the list.

Captain Charles Burlingame 
First Officer David Charlebois 
Michele Heidenberger 
Jennifer Lewis 
Kenneth Lewis 
Renee May

Paul Ambrose 
Yemen Betru 
MJ Booth 
Bernard Brown 
Suzanne Calley 
William Caswell 
Sarah Clark 
Asia Cottom 
James Debeuneure 
Rodney Dickens 
Eddie Dillard 
Charles Droz 
Barbara Edwards 
Charles Falkenberg 
Zoe Falkenberg 
Dana Falkenberg 
James Ferguson 
Budd Flagg 
Dee Flagg 
Richard Gabriel 
Ian Gray 
Stanley Hall 
Bryan Jack 
Steve Jacoby 
Ann Judge 
Chandler Keller 
Yvonne Kennedy 
Norma Khan 
Karen Kincaid 
Norma Langsteuerle 
Dong Lee 
Dora Menchaca 
Chris Newton 
Barbara Olson 
Ruben Ornedo 
Lisa Raines 
Todd Reuben 
John Sammartino 
Diane Simmons 
George Simmons 
Mari Rae Sopper 
Robert Speisman 
Leonard Taylor 
Sandra Teague 
Leslie Whittington 
John Yamnicky 
Vicki Yancey 
Shuyin Yang 
Yuguag Zheng

Some 56 passengers and nine crewmembers were on board when United flight 175, on route from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center, The Guardian reported. No Arabic or Middle Eastern names appear here either.

Captain Victor Saracini 
First Officer Michael Horrocks 
Robert J Fangman 
Amy N Jarret 
Amy R King 
Kathryn L Laborie 
Alfred G Marchand 
Michael C Tarrou 
Alicia N Titus

Alona Avraham 
Garnet Bailey 
Mark Bavis 
Graham Berkeley 
Klaus Bothe 
David Brandhorst 
Daniel Brandhorst 
John Cahill 
Christoffer Carstanjen 
John Corcoran 
Dorothy Dearaujo 
Gloria Debarrera 
Lisa Frost 
Lynn Goodchild 
Francis Grogan 
Carl Hammond 
Gerald Hardacre 
Eric Hartono 
James Hayden 
Roberta Jalbert 
Ralph Kershaw 
Heinrich Kimmig 
Brian Kinney 
Maclovia Lopez 
Marianne Macfarlane 
Juliana Mccourt 
Ruth Mccourt 
Wolfgang Menzel 
Shawn Nassaney 
Marie Pappalardo 
Patrick Quigley 
Jesus Sanchez 
Kathleen Shearer 
Robert Shearer 
Jane Simpkin 
Brian Sweeney 
Tim Ward 
William Weems

Meanwhile, an official source at Saudi Airlines announced that Amer Kenfer, a Saudi aviation engineer whose name appeared on the list of passengers on board the United Airlines flight, en route from Boston to Los Angeles, is currently in Saudi Arabia.

Kenfer called Saudi Airlines from his home in Mecca once he heard his name announced as one of the passengers on the United flight, confirming that another passenger must have made use of the fact that foreigners in the U.S. are not asked to show their passports on domestic flights and had in this way used Kenfer's name.

The official Saudi source added that another Saudi suspect whose name was also included on the list of passengers who boarded the same United flight, Amir Bokhari - a Saudi Airlines pilot - had died two years ago during aviation training exercises.