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Homeland Security

Atta and Binalshibh meet in Spain

Part of 9-11

Event Details
Primary Organization9-11 plotters
Other OrganizationAl-Qaeda
Other OrganizationHamburg Cell
LocationCambrils, Spain1
Start Time July 9, 20011
End Time July 16, 2001
ParticipantsMohamed Atta1, Ramzi Binalshibh1
ParticipantsMuhammed Belfatmi2
Narrative and Notes
PossibleBinalshibh says he told Atta that bin Laden wanted the attacks carried out as soon as possible because all the operatives inside the United States presented a security risk. Atta said he could provide a date within six weeks.

Atta also said Jarrah's plane -- which would turn out to be Flight 93 -- was to hit the U.S. Capitol, contrary to bin Laden's wishes that the White House be hit. Atta said the White House was probably too difficult a target.

Atta outlined much of the rest of the 9-11 plan, including how hijackers would take control of their respective planes.

Atta also said he was considering targeting a nuclear facility (presumably a power plant), but the other pilots thought that would be too difficult.

Atta said he selected Boeing aircraft over Airbus planes for hijacking, because he believed Airbus planes had an autopilot that prevented them from crashing into the ground.

Binalshibh gave Atta several necklaces and bracelets he bought in Bangkok so Atta's hijackers would look wealthy and attract less attention as they passed through security.1
QuestionableThe Spanish government has suggested Belfatimi -- later possibly associated with Hamburg Cell member Said Bahaji -- was nearby and possibly took part in the meeting.2
1The 9-11 Commission Final Report, July 22, 2004, Chapter 7.4.
2The 9-11 Commission Final Report, July 22, 2004, Footnotes.
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