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Homeland Security

AA 11 hijacked

Part of 9-11

Event Details
Primary OrganizationAmerican Airlines Flight 11 Hijackers
LocationAA 11 hijack location, Schenectady, New York, United States
Time0814 local, Sept. 11, 2001
ParticipantsMohamed Atta, Abdul Aziz al Omari, Satam al Suqami, Wail al-Shehri, Waleed al-Shehri
Narrative and Notes
ReliableThe five hijackers, using knives or boxcutters, as well as some kind of spray irritant like Mace, quickly took control of the plane. It is believed they stabbed at least two flight attendants near the cockpit, killing neither but leaving one seriously wounded. They also cut the throat of one business-class passenger, and they claimed to have a bomb.

Atta, the only trained pilot among the hijackers, moved into the cockpit. It is not clear how the hijackers gained access, however.

8:19: Flight attendant Betty Ong reported the hijacking to American Airlines.

8:23: AA dispatchers tried and failed to the cockpit.

8:24: One hijacker keyed a microphone on the plane, apparently trying to talk to the passengers. Instead he broadcast to ground controllers the following message: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you'll be okay. We are returning to the airport.

8:25: The plane transmitted, "Nobody move. Everything will be okay. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet."

8:26: The plane turns from its east-northeast heading to south.

8:38: The plane began a rapid descent into the New York area.

8:41: Flight attendant Amy Sweeney reports via airphone that the passengers in coach class believe there was simply a medical emergency in first class.

8:44: Sweeney told an American manager, "Something is wrong. We are in a rapid descent. We are all over the place." The manager asked Sweeney to look out the window to see where they were.

She responded: "We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. Oh my God we are way too low." The phone call cut off.

At 8:46:40, the plane crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.1
PossibleThe business class passenger who was killed is thought to be Daniel Lewin, a former Israeli military officer, who may have tried to stop the hijacking.

It has been speculated that al Suqami, sitting directly behind him, attacked him.1
19-11 Commission Report, July 22, 2004. Chapter 1.1.
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