the Pilot
ORIGINALLY AIRED: October 10, 2001
UPDATED: January 19, 2005

In the days following the horrifying attacks in the United States attention focused on the terrorists themselves.

One of the most perplexing cases is that of Ziad Samir Jarrah, who flew one of those planes.

Raised in Lebanon in a secular family, taught in a Christian school, Ziad Jarrah seemed to friends and family a most improbable recruit to Islamic extremism.

Bekaa Valley

Ziad Samir Jarrah is born on May 11, 1975, in Mazraa, Lebanon, a suburb of Beirut.

Watch our entire interview with Ziad Jarrah's uncle, Jamal Jarrah (22 minutes)

school 197? - 1995
Jarrah is sent to a Catholic school in Beruit. His parents believed he would get a superior education. He loved sports, particularly swimming and basketball. The Jarrahs were Muslim but not particularly devout.
Jarrah on airplane April, 1996
Jarrah (right) and his cousin, Salim, move to Greifswald, Germany.
Jarrah's girlfriend, Aisel Sengun 1996
Jarrah meets a young Turkish woman named Aysel Senguen who lived down the hall in his student quarters. She's the daughter of conservative, working-class immigrants from Turkey and soon they begin to date. She is attractive and is described by friends as "very western".
school residence 1997
Jarrah registers at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. He studies aeronautical engineering and aircraft construction and design.
Shortly after he moves to Hamburg, Aysel first heard him talk about jihad.
painting of Jarrah, by landlady late-1997
Jarrah becomes a tenant in a house owned by Rosemarie Canel. She liked the young man and as an artist was moved to paint a portrait of him. Jarrah took the portrait home to Lebanon as a Christmas gift for his mother.
Summer 1998
Aysel is in school in Bochum, Ziad is in Hamburg. He is out of touch a lot of the time. This and his new-found religion is starting to put a strain on their relationship. And yet they still discuss marriage and children and a future together. Aysel writes this email challenging his beliefs and asking him to be open and honest with her about all aspects of his life.

Read a translated version of Aysel's e-mail. View the original in German. (.pdf)
Hamburg early 1999
Jarrah's landlady, Rosemarie Canel, moves houses. Jarrah follows her, using the new address as his "official" one for some time after.

Jarrah grows a beard and expresses an interest in becoming a pilot.
landlady Rosemarie Canel September 1999
Jarrah registers for a semester at the University of Applied Sciences but disappears after only one class.

Watch a clip from our interview with Jarrah's professor (28 seconds)
Jarrah late 1999 - early 2000
According to Jarrah's landlady, he spends a lot of time with friends in nearby Harburg, the location of the Technical University where others implicated in the U.S. suicide missions were living and studying at the time.

Late in 1999 Jarrah and others traveled to Afghanistan and attended an al-Qaeda training camp in Kandahar.

He and Aysel resume their tumultuous relationship.
Jarrah's visa

spring 2000
Jarrah heads to the U.S. at about this time, telling his parents he wants to learn to fly. A student visa was issued to him on May 21, 2000. He arrives in Newark in June and flew to Venice, Florida where he enrolled at the Florida Flight Training Centre.

Jarrah's student visa (close up)
- click to see the document issued to Jarrah on May 21, 2000.


August 2000
Aysel, Jarrah's girlfriend, visits his family in Lebanon. He says he's too busy with his studies in the U.S. to join her.

Watch a clip from a wedding video showing Ziad Jarrah celebrating at his father's house earlier that year. (30 seconds)

Florida flight school

October 2000
Jarrah flies to Germany to visit his girlfriend and they travel to Paris. During his time in the U.S. their relationship is close and Jarrah makes hundreds of phone calls to her. He also sends e-mails.

November/December 2000
Jarrah receives is private pilot certificate from the FAA in November 2000 and began flight simulator training for large jets.

He visits Aysel in Germany and returns with her to Florida. She stays in the U.S. for 10 days and takes a photo of him sitting in a flight simulator.

Zaid Jarrah February 2001
Jarrah returns to Lebanon for the last time, to be with his father during an open heart surgery. He re-enters the U.S. on April 13, 2001.

Florida home April 2001
Jarrah rents an apartment at 1816 Harding in Hollywood, Florida.

He joins a health club but is less interested in strength and cardiovascular workouts than self-defence.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea home June 2001
Jarrah moves to an apartment at 4641 Bougainvilla in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. His roommate is Ahmed Al-Haznawi, another of the suspected hijackers.

He, Atta and another Hamburg pilot Shehhi take cross country surveillance flights and carry box-cutters on board.

Jarrah also takes additional training at Hortman Aviation in Philadelphia and asks to fly the Hudson corridor, a low-altitude hallway along the Hudson river that passes New York landmarks like the World Trade Center.
July 2001
Jarrah travels to Germany to see Aysel one last time. Atta drives him to the airport. She remembers that he seemed distant. He returns to the U.S. on August 5th.
Pin Del Motel August 27, 2001
Jarrah registers at the Pin-Del Motel in Laurel, Maryland. The motel is a mile from the Valencia, where at least four other hijackers stayed in the same week.

close-up of the receipt
receipt from the Pin Del September 4, 2001
Jarrah's family sends him at least $700 in addition to his regular monthly stipend of $2,000. He tells his family he needs the money for "fun".
Al-Haznawi September 5, 2001
Jarrah and Al-Haznawi (his roommate from earlier in the summer) book one-way tickets on a September 7, 2001, flight to Newark.

September 9, 2001
Jarrah makes his final phone call to his family. He confirms receipt of the money sent September 4th and says he'll see them on September 22 for a family wedding.

Watch a clip from Dr. Martha Crenshaw in which she explains how Jarrah's anger and hatred may have grown stronger with his knack for deceiving others (30 seconds)

September 10, 2001
Jarrah mails a final letter and a package with his personal belongings to Aysel in Germany. She doesn't receive the letter until 9/11 investigators find it several weeks later.

Read a translated version of Jarrah's letter to Aysel. View the original in German. (.pdf)
September 11, 2001
Jarrah calls Aysel on the morning of September 11th and tells her three times that he loves her and hangs up.

Jarrah boards United Airlines flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. He and three others are seated in first class. Shortly after take-off, the hijackers changed the plane's flight path. Jarrah took controls of the airplane.

A group of passengers attempted to overpower the hijackers and shortly afterwards the plane crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside.

Read the 9/11 Commission Report which describes the last minutes of the flight. (Chapter 1, pages 11-14)

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the fifth estate: THE PILOT
ORIGINALLY AIRED: October 10, 2001
UPDATED: Wednesday January 19, 2005 at 9:00pm on CBC-TV
REPEATING: Sunday January 23, 2005 at 7:00pm ET on CBC Newsworld
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