There Were 19 Sept. 11 Hijackers — Here’s What Happened to Them

Nearly 20 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, as the country still mourns, here’s what happened to the hijackers of the planes involved.

Kate Brierley - Author

Sep. 8 2020, Updated 9:21 p.m. ET

What Happened to the September 11 Hijackers?
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Sept. 11, 2020 marks 19 years since the unprecedented, coordinated terrorist attacks that rocked the United States, and the world. 

Nearly 3,000 people were killed during the attacks, which included four separate incidents. 

Two planes were flown into the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center, a third plane hit the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a final plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field, as historical reports recount.

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Over the years, a lot has been learned about 9/11 survivors, their inspiring stories, and the loved ones who carry their memory on.

Ten years after the attacks, on Sept. 11, 2011, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum was created at the revived site of the World Trade Center. 

But what ended up happening to the hijackers responsible for the devastating plane crashes?

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Here’s what we know about the Sept. 11 hijackers.

Four commercial airplanes were hijacked during the 9/11 attacks. The pilots were Mohamed Atta; Marwan al Shehhi; Hani Hanjour; and Ziad Jarrah.

But far more than four people were involved that day, and more still were responsible. 

In fact, there were a total of 19 terrorist hijackers aboard the four airplanes in total — all of whom were killed in the attacks.

They included one man from Egypt, one from Lebanon, two from the United Arab of Emirates, and fifteen more from Saudi Arabia. 

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The flights involved in the attack were American Airlines Flight 11 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles); United Airlines Flight 175 (from Boston to Los Angeles); American Airlines Flight 77 (from Dulles, Va. to Los Angeles); and United Airlines Flight 93 (traveling from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco).

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The hijackers were skilled and coordinated.

Much thought and planning went into the targeted attacks on the U.S. on 9/11. All of the attackers entered the U.S. on temporary visas, mostly tourist visas with entry permits for six months, as FAIR reports.

“Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the country in the months before September 11 and acted as the ‘muscle’ in the operation,” shares.

“The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four early-morning flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming ordinary passenger jets into guided missiles.”

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But the orchestrator of the attacks was not on board.

The 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was found and killed in Pakistan in 2011.

But also involved was Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is still at large, reports say. He took over al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death.

On Sept. 11, 2019, he called "the killing of 3,000 people in New York, the Pentagon and on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania ‘blessed raids.’”

Our hearts go out to those lost in the attacks, as does our appreciation to the first responders.

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