- Said Bahaji
Said Bahaji ( _ar. سيد بهيجي, also transliterated as Saeed ) was an alleged member of the
Hamburg cellthat provided money to the perpetrators of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks.
He's a German citizen, was born to a Moroccan father and a German mother in 1975. The family moved to Morocco when he was nine years old. He came to
Hamburgin 1995. He enrolled in an electrical engineeringprogram at a technical university in 1996. He spent five months in the German army and then received a medical discharge. He lived in a student home during the weekdays and he spent weekends with his aunt, Barbara Arens. Both of them loved computers, and he called her his "high-tech aunt". She saw that he was secular until other students introduced him to radical Islam. She later put an end to the weekend visits.
November 1, 1998, he moved into an apartment in Germany with future hijackers Mohammed Attaand Ramzi Binalshibh. The Hamburg cellwas born at this apartment. [http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/la-012702atta.story] [http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/10/national/10PLOT.html?ex=1090987200&en=00e7941222956576&ei=5070] They met three or four times a week to discuss their anti-American feelings and plot possible attacks. Many al-Qaida members lived in this apartment at various times, including hijacker Marwan al-Shehhi, Zakariya Essabar, hijacker Waleed al-Shehri, and others. He apparently served as the group's Internetexpert.
He had already been under investigation by German Intelligence for his connections with
Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a radical Islamic cleric. Through this, German Intelligence was able to learn some of the activities of Atta and others, but the investigation was eventually dropped for lack of evidence.
In October 1999, he got married at the Al-Quds Mosque in Hamburg. Atta,
Ziad Jarrah, al-Shehhi, Zammar, and Binalshibh all attended his wedding.
In late 1999, Atta, al-Shehhi, Jarrah, and Binalshibh decided to travel to
Chechnyato fight against the Russians, but were convinced by Khalid al-Masriand Mohamedou Ould Slahiat the last minute to change their plans. They instead traveled to Afghanistanto meet with Osama bin Laden and train for terrorist attacks. There are conflicting reports as to whether he went with them; some news reports say that he went, but the 9/11 Commission Report says he stayed in Germany and helped cover for them in their absence. When the group returned to Germany, he was put on a border patrol watch list.
He told his employer in June 2001 that he was going to an internship for a software company in
Pakistan. His aunt, Barbara Arens, says that she was suspicious and that she went to the police and pleaded to them "to do something." She says that police took no action against him. Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammedtold him in August that if he wanted to go to Afghanistan, he should go in the next few weeks, because it would soon become more difficult. He left Germanyon September 4, 2001, just a week before the attacks, and flew to Karachivia Istanbul. For unknown reasons, German authorities failed to notice and prevent his departure.
He and cohort Ramzi Binalshibh were charged with 5,000 counts of murder by German officials. Binalshibh has since been arrested, but Bahaji is still at large.
* [http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/index.html The Final 9/11 Commission Report]
* [http://www.trackingthethreat.com/senDetails/Entities/ent132.htm Tracking the Threat.com]
* [http://www.interpol.int/Public/Data/Wanted/Notices/Data/2001/09/2001_41909.asp Interpol red notice on Bahaji]
* [http://www.interpol.int/Public/Data/NoticesUN/Notices/Data/2001/09/2001_41909.asp Interpol notice of UN sanction on Bahaji]
* [http://www.dia.mil/site6_images/cards/af/af018x.jpgWanted poster] on Bahaji at the
Defense Intelligence Agency, in jpg format
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=سيد بهيجي (Arabic); , Saeed (alternate transliteration)
SHORT DESCRIPTION=9/11 planner
DATE OF BIRTH=1974
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=living
PLACE OF DEATH=
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.