The family also had a home in Lebanon's
Bekaa Valley, near the town of Al Marj.
Samir Jarrah, suspected of piloting United Airlines
flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, was born
on May 11, 1975 in Mazraa, Lebanon a suburb
father, Samir is a civil servant, and his mother
Nasisa, a school teacher.
only son, he had a privileged upbringing. Ziad
Jarrah was sent to a Catholic school in Beirut,
where his parents believed he would get a superior
a young man he rarely attended mosque on Fridays
and was indifferent to politics. He graduated
in 1996. His uncle,
banker Jamal Jarrah had difficulty believing
that his social and worldly nephew was responsible
for the atrocities in the U.S.
interview with Ziad Jarrah's
uncle, Jamal Jarrah (22
Jarrah and his cousin, Salim, moved to Greifswald,
Germany in April 1996.
(right) and his cousin, Salim, moved
to Greifswald, Germany, in 1996.
initially studied German language courses at
the University of Greifswald, and after completing
two semesters was able to qualify for other studies
at German universities.
Jarrah also met a young Turkish woman
named Aysel Senguen, and they began to date.
Attractive, intelligent and westernized, she was
studying to be a doctor.
Jarrah showed little interest in religion. His
friend, Abdul Rahman Al-Makkadi recalls leading
him to the mosque and considered him a 'weak' Muslim.
girlfriend, Aysel Senguen. They met while
Jarrah was studying German at the University
1997 Jarrah registered at the University of Applied
Sciences in Hamburg to study aeronautical engineering,
and aircraft construction and design.
In mid-1997, he became a tenant in a house owned
by Rosemarie Canel. She checked him out carefully
and was reassured by the fact he had a cousin in
business in Greifswald. She quickly found she
liked the young man, and as an artist felt moved
to paint a portrait of him.
"He was interesting to
paint, with the black beard and all", she said. He took the portrait
home to Lebanon as a Christmas gift for his mother.
two years his grades were above average and he
showed every indication of being dedicated to
a career in aviation. Professor Wolfram Dietrich
remembers him as being cheerful and helpful to
Canel's portrait of Jarrah.
September of 1999, Jarrah registered for the
semester at the University but disappeared after
only one class. Aysel had already begun noticing
changes Jarrah. He had begun to nag her about
her smoking and drinking. He didn't approve of
her choice of clothing. And from time to time,
he'd disappear. In one e-mail exchange
she challenged his beliefs and asked him to be
Read a translated
version of Aysel's e-mail. View the original in
According to his landlady, he
was spending time with friends in nearby Harburg.
also happens to be the location of the Technical
University where others implicated in the U.S.
suicide missions were living and studying at
Atta, an Egyptian national, whom investigators
say was a key organizer of the 9/11 attacks,
was studying urban planning at the Technical University.
He lived at 54 Marienstrasse with his cousin Marwin
Neighbours recall that young men would gather in
the Marienstrasse apartment for discussion and prayer.
a key organizer of the attacks, was studying
urban planning at the Technical University.
was the pilot who flew American
Airlines flight 11 into the North
Tower of the World Trade Center and Al-Shehhi
was the pilot on United Air Lines flight 175 which
flew into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Although Jarrah's relationship with Aysel grew
tense, she agreed to an Islamic religious ceremony
to sanction their union. She traveled with him
to Lebanon to meet his family. They began to
make plans to marry.
But he was leading a parallel life. Among Jarrah's
new friends was a radical Islamist named Ramzi
Binalshibh, a key organizer in the attacks.
Jarrah even traveled to Afghanistan and swore a
blood oath of loyalty to Osama bin Laden in late
Jarrah's uncle says Ziad was planning to marry his girlfriend soon. A
new car (an early wedding present) sat in the driveway of
his family's house after the attack.
student visa (close up) - click
to see the document issued to Jarrah
on May 21, 2000.
In the summer of 2000 Jarrah moved to the U.S.
to learn to fly at the Florida Flight Training
Centre in Venice, Florida. Just down the road,
Marwan Al-Shehhi studied flying at Huffman Aviation.
August 2000, Aysel visited Jarrah's family in
Lebanon. He was said to be in the U.S. and too
busy with his studies to join her.
Watch a clip
from a wedding video showing Ziad Jarrah
celebrating at his father's house in the summer
of 2000 (30
November 2000, Jarrah had earned a pilot's
license. Thorsten Beirman, another student at the
flight school, recalls:
was not at all an aggressive person but when
flying he seemed to change and he would brook
no other opinions. I didn't feel safe and I decided
that I would never fly with him again".
November 2000, Jarrah had earned his
pilot's license at the Florida Flight
Training Centre in Venice.
Beirman recalls that Jarrah didn't seem to have
any plans for his future as a pilot.
was about 5' 11" and weighed about 175.
He was strong, muscular and well coordinated,
according to Bert Rodriguez, the owner and martial
arts instructor at "1 US Fitness" in
had a membership and was learning street-fighting
techniques from Rodriguez. "He
wanted to learn about fighting and control, about
being in control and how to control somebody," Rodriguez
Bert Rodriguez, Jarrah's instructor at "1 US Fitness", says
he liked Jarrah. "He was very humble, very quiet."
liked the guy. He was very humble, very quiet
he didn't want to be in a situation where he
would get picked on." On his application,
he indicated that he was eventually "headed
back to Deutschland."
Jarrah continued his relationship with Aysel
making hundreds of phone calls to her. She
came to visit him in Florida in early 2001 where
she took snapshots of his pilot training in a
Jarrah returned to Lebanon for the last time
to be with his father during open heart surgery
in February 2001.
He re-entered the U.S. April
13 and rented an apartment at 1816 Harding in
Hollywood, Florida on April 23.
On June 22, he
moved to an apartment at 4641 Bougainvilla in
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea where his roommate was
Ahmed Al-Haznawi, another of the hijackers.
According to the commission looking into events around 9/11, at this time Jarrah
came close to abandoning his role in the hijacking plot. He argued with Mohammed
Atta. A coded message described the two as an unhappy couple on the cusp of
Jarrah wanted to return to Germany to be with Aysel and in July 2001, Atta
took Jarrah to the Miami airport with a one-way ticket to Germany. But, after
what was described as an emotional conversation with Ramzi Binalshibh, the
plot's Germany coordinator, Jarrah returned to the United States the following
August 27, Jarrah registered at the Pin-Del Motel
in Laurel, Maryland. Nawaq Alhamzi, (who was
aboard flight 77, which hit the Pentagon), paid
cash for a one-night stay at the same motel on
Pin-Del Motel is about a mile from the Valencia
Motel where at least 2 other hijackers stayed
between August 23 and 30.
September 4, his family sent Jarrah $700 in addition
to his regular monthly stipend of $2,000. According
to his uncle, Jamal Jarrah, he told his
family it was for "fun". But the next
day he and his roommate booked one-way flights
to Newark, New Jersey for September 7.
September 9 he made his final phone call to his
family. He confirmed receipt of the money sent
on the 4th. The family reported he was cheerful
and normal and said he'd see them Sept. 22 for
a family wedding. According to them, everything
Photo of Ziad Samir Jarrah, released by the FBI on September 27, 2001.
Jarrah spent the last evening of his life writing
a letter to Aysel, the woman he had made marriage
plans with. Early the next morning he called and
told her that he loved her three times and then
Read a translated
version of Jarrah's final letter to Aysel,
written September 10th. View the original in
11, Jarrah boarded UA Flight 93 from Newark
to San Francisco. Shortly after take-off the
hijackers, took control of the plane and changed
flight path, possibly heading for Washington DC.
took the controls of the
airplane and instructed passengers to remain
calm. Cell phone conversations from terrified passengers
reveal the plane had been taken over by a group
group of passengers attempted to overpower the
hijackers and rushed towards the cockpit. Jarrah
waggled the wings and pitched the nose of the
plane to keep them at bay. He instructed one of
the other hijackers to block the door of the cockpit.
Cockpit recordings revealed that one of the hi-jackers
screamed "Allah is the
greatest." Another said
"put it in the ground,
put it in the ground." Shortly
afterwards the plane crashed into the Pennsylvania
countryside at 580 miles an hour.