Hani Hanjour

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Hani Saleh Hasan Hanjour (Arabic: هاني صالح حنجور‎, Hānī Ṣalāt Ḥanjūr) (August 30, 1972 – September 11, 2001) was the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, crashing the plane into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks.

A Saudi, Hanjour first came to the United States in 1991, enrolling at the University of Arizona, where he studied English for a few months before returning to Saudi Arabia early the next year. This was prior to any intentions for a large-scale attack. He came back to the United States in 1996, studying English in California before began taking flying lessons in Arizona. He received his commercial pilot certificate in 1999, and went back to his native Saudi Arabia to find a job as a commercial pilot. Hanjour applied to civil aviation school in Jeddah, but was turned down. Frustrated, his views of Islam became increasingly radical. Hanjour left his family in late 1999, telling them that he would to be traveling to the United Arab Emirates to find work. According to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden or Mohammed Atef identified Hanjour at an Afghanistan training camp as a trained pilot and selected him to participate in the September 11 attacks.

Hanjour arrived back in the United States in December 2000. He joined up with Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego, and they immediately left for Arizona where Hanjour took refresher pilot training. In April 2001, they relocated to Falls Church, Virginia and then Paterson, New Jersey in late May where Hanjour took additional flight training.

Hanjour returned to the Washington DC area on September 2, 2001, checking into a motel in Laurel, Maryland. On September 11, 2001, Hanjour boarded American Airlines Flight 77, took control of the aircraft after his team of hijackers helped subdue the pilots, passengers, and crew, and flew the plane into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks. The crash killed all 64 passengers on board the aircraft and 125 people in the Pentagon.


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