(in Arabic: حمزة الغامدي)
November 18, 1980
Al Bahah Province, Saudi Arabia
|Died||September 11, 2001
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Relatives||Ahmed al-Ghamdi (brother)|
Hamza al-Ghamdi (Arabic: حمزة الغامدي, Ḥamzah al-Ghāmdī, also transliterated as Alghamdi) (November 18, 1980 – September 11, 2001) was one of five hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175 as part of the September 11 attacks.
He arrived in the United States in May 2001 on a tourist visa. On September 11, 2001, Hamza boarded United Airlines Flight 175 and hijacked the plane along with four other terrorists so that the plane could be crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
Some reports say that Hamza left his home to fight in Chechnya against the Russians in early 2000. (Other reports say he left in January 2001.) He called home several times until mid-2001, saying he was in Chechnya.
Known as Julaybeeb during the preparations, Hamza traveled to the United Arab Emirates some time in late 2000, where he purchased traveler's cheques presumed to have been paid for by Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Five other hijackers also passed through the UAE and purchased travellers cheques, including Majed Moqed, Saeed al-Ghamdi, Wail al-Shehri, Ahmed al-Haznawi and Ahmed al-Nami.
In January 2001, Ghamdi rented a post office box in Delray Beach, Florida with another hijacker, Mohand al-Shehri. According to FBI director Robert Mueller and the 9/11 Commission however, Hamza did not first enter the United States until a London flight on May 28 with Mohand and Abdulaziz al-Omari.
In March 2001, Ghamdi was filmed in a farewell video that was aired on al Jazeera. In the video, many future 9/11 hijackers swear to become martyrs, although no details of the plot are revealed. Ghamdi does not speak in the film, but is seen studying maps and flight manuals.
He was one of 9 hijackers to open a SunTrust bank account with a cash deposit around June 2001. Ghamdi also applied for and received a Florida drivers license on June 27, 2001. In the next two months, he obtained two duplicate licenses simply by filling out change-of-address forms. Five other suspected hijackers also receive duplicate Florida licenses in 2001, and others had licenses in different states. Some have speculated that this was to allow multiple persons to use the same identity.
Ghamdi purchased his own eTicket for Flight 175 on August 29, using his Visa card. The FBI also claimed that he also purchased an eTicket for a "Flight 7950" from Los Angeles to San Francisco, although it does not give the projected date of flight.
On August 30, Hamza bought Ahmed al-Ghamdi an identical eTicket for Flight 175, and bought them each one-way tickets on an AirTran flight on September 7, from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. However, Ghamdi instead went with Mohand al-Shehri to Newark, New Jersey on $139.75 tickets purchased from the Mile High Travel agency in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
Hamza and Ahmed al-Ghamdi stayed at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On September 8 they checked out of the hotel, and moved into the Days Hotel on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton, Boston, Massachusetts where they remained up until the attacks.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Hamza left the hotel with Ahmed al-Ghamdi. The two men shared a taxicab to get to Logan International Airport, where they boarded Flight 175. Hamza al-Ghamdi and his older brother Ahmed pushed the passengers and crew to the back of the plane while Fayez Banihammad and Mohand al-Shehri killed the pilots Victor Saracini and Michael Horrocks allowing Marwan al-Shehhi to take control of the plane.
On September 22, 2001, Arab News reported that Hamza al-Ghamdi's father told the Al-Watan newspaper that an "FBI-released" photograph bore absolutely no resemblance to his son. However, the picture Ghamdi's father refers to is assumed to have not been a picture released by the FBI, as they did not make the hijacker's pictures available until September 27, 2001.
- Videotape of recorded will of Abdulaziz al-Omari and others
- "World Trade Center Suspect profiles." Sun-Sentinel.
- "Statement for the record FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Joint Intelligence Committee inquiry." (.pdf) US Senate. September 25, 2002. - mirror
- "Hijackers may have taken Saudi identities." The Boston Globe. September 15, 2001.
- "Hijacker list raises more questions." Arab View. September 22, 2001
- "The FBI releases 19 photographs of individuals believed to be the hijackers of the four airliners that crashed on September 11, 01." FBI. September 27, 2001.
- "Video is said to show bin Laden prepping for 9/11 attacks." CNN. September 7, 2006.