The Hijackers We Let Escape
Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman report. (Newsweek)
A TICKET FOR SPEEDING
Meanwhile, Alhazmi, having flunked out of two California flight schools, decided to try his luck in Phoenix in early 2001. There he hooked up with another Al Qaeda terrorist in training, Hani Hanjour, who eventually piloted Flight 77. In April 2001 Alhazmi headed east, and was pulled over for speeding. Oklahoma State Trooper C.L. Parkins ran Alhazmi’s California driver’s licence through the computer, checked to see if the car was stolen and made sure there wasn’t a warrant out for Alhazmi’s arrest. When nothing came up, he issued the terrorist two tickets, totalling $US138, and sent him on his way. (The tickets were not discovered until after September 11.) Like Almihdhar, Alhazmi eventually went east, spending time in New Jersey and Maryland. On August 25, he used his credit card to purchase two tickets for Flight 77.
With Mark Hosenball, Tamara Lipper and Eleanor Clift in Washington, Andrew Murr and Jamie Reno in San Diego