1,576. 11/15/1999

Future 9/11 hijackers “Mohammed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, the four friends from Hamburg [Germany], arrived in the [al-Qaeda] Khaldan camp in November 1999 for a preliminary training course.” Osama bin Laden and senior al Qaeda member Khaled Sheikh Mohammed had already formed a plan to attack the United States with nine planes, but the men they had picked had poor flying skills and language barriers. The Hamburg group was more suitable. They were “educated, technical men, with English skills ranging from rudimentary to fluent. They did not need to be told how to live in the West. Visas would be no problem. All they needed was to learn how to fly and be willing to die. …Then he informed them that they would be martyrs. Their instructions were to return to Germany and apply to flight schools in the United States.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, Pages 347-350

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