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The Investigation
Full coverage of US attacks and their aftermath

-Bin Laden
-The hijackers
-Other suspects

Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth in rural Pennsylvania. Within three days the FBI released the names of those it believed carried out the hijacks:

Flight 175 (South tower of World Trade Center): Marwan al-Shehhi, Fayez Ahmed, Mohald al-Shehri, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Ahmed al-Ghamdi

Flight 11 (North tower of World Trade Center): Waleed M al-Shehri, Wail al-Shehri, Mohammed Atta, Abdulaziz al-Omari and Satam al-Suqami

Flight 77 (Pentagon): Khalid al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaq al-Hamzi, Salem al-Hamzi and Hani Hanjour

Flight 93 (Pennsylvania): Ahmed al-Haznawi, Ahmed al-Nami, Ziad Jarrah and Saeed al-Ghamdi

Mohammed Atta, 33, was born into a wealthy Cairo family. He moved to Germany in 1992 to study at Hamburg University, where German authorities believe he formed a terrorist cell with some of the other suspected hijackers. According to German reports, he and two other suspected hijackers reported their passports stolen in late 1999. Atta used his new passport to obtain a tourist visa for the US in May 2000. Together with some of the other suspects, he took flying lessons in Florida, and made inquiries about buying crop duster planes. A web of meetings and transactions links Atta to most of the other hijack suspects.

Atta is alleged to have been the ringleader of the hijackers, and to have been at the controls of American Airlines flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center.

Investigators say they have established a direct link between Atta and Osama Bin Laden. They also say he was a member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the group led by Ayman al-Zawahri.

Washington has said that at least three of the hijack suspects were al-Qaeda operatives.

Investigators have pieced together what happened in the last hours of the flights using information gleaned from calls that passengers made from their mobile phones. They have also found incriminating documents and letters in the suspects' cars and houses.

The use of false identities has made it difficult to track the suspects. But investigators say they have evidence showing money transfers from a leading Bin Laden operative in the United Arab Emirates to an account in the name of Mohammed Atta at a bank in Florida. These are said to have taken place on 8 and 9 September. Atta is alleged to have returned unused funds to the same bank account in the UAE.

The full evidence has not been made public.

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