Majed Moqed

Majed Moqed was one of the “muscle hijackers” of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon as the third of the four 9/11 plane hijackings.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 232, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. As a muscle hijacker, Moqed helped to storm the cockpit and keep passengers under control so that the hijacker-pilot could take control of the plane.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 227, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

Moqed was born on June 18, 1977, in a small town called Annakhil, west of Medina.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 232, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. He briefly studied at King Fahd University’s Faculty of Administration and Economics but dropped out and became involved with a network of extremists in 1999.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 232, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Sometime before the summer of 2000, Moqed traveled to Afghanistan and underwent training at al-Qaeda camps there, where he listened to speeches by Osama bin Laden, volunteered to be a suicide operative, and was eventually selected as one of the muscle hijackers for al-Qaeda’s ‘planes operation.’National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 233, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

In preparation for the 9/11 attacks, Moqed trained at Khaldan, a large al-Qaeda training facility located near Kabul.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 233, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Moqed pledged bay’ah (binding oath of loyalty) to bin Laden during this time and was sent to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) for training and the filming of a martyrdom video.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 233, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Sometime between September and November of 2000, KSM gave Moqed $2,000 and sent him to Saudi Arabia to obtain a U.S. visa. Moqed received his visa on November of 2000, and subsequently returned to Afghanistan to continue training.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 233, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

Later that month, Moqed and fellow 9/11 hijacker Satam al Suqami flew from Bahrain to Iran before heading to Afghanistan for final training.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 241, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. According to KSM, Moqed and the others traveled through Iran in order to conceal their travels to Afghanistan by taking advantage of the Iranian practice of not stamping Saudi passports.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 240-241, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

Having acquired a U.S. visa in Saudi Arabia, Moqed underwent specialized training in Afghanistan between late 2000 and early 2001.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 235-236, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. The training was conducted by Abu Turab al-Jordani at the al-Qaeda’s Al-Matar complex. Jordani reportedly taught the operatives how to conduct truck bombings and hijackings, disarm air marshals, handle explosives, storm cockpit doors, and use basic English words and phrases.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 235-236, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. After completing his al-Qaeda training, Moqed traveled to an al-Qaeda safe house in Karachi, Pakistan, before traveling to the United States via the United Arab Emirates.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 235-236, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Throughout their training period, Moqed and the other muscle hijackers were kept unaware of the full details of the impending 9/11 attack.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 235-236, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

On May 2, 2001, Moqed and fellow 9/11 hijacker Ahmed al Ghamdi arrived in the United States.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 230, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Moqed settled in Paterson, New Jersey, living alongside fellow 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmi, Hani Hanjour, Ghamdi, and others.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 230, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. In early May, Moqed and several other 9/11 hijackers briefly relocated to Fairfield, Connecticut, where they called local flight schools and real estate agents.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 230, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

In the days leading up to the 9/11 attacks, Moqed and the other hijackers on his flight relocated to Laurel, Maryland.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 252, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. They stayed in a motel for the first week in September and spent time working out at a local gym. On September 10, they lodged at a hotel in Herndon, Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 251-252, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

On the morning of September 11, Nawaf al-Hazmi and his team travelled to Washington Dulles International Airport.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 3, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. At around 7:15 am, Moqed and fellow hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar checked in at the American Airlines ticket counter for Flight 77, bound for Los Angeles.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 3, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. Moqed was flagged for extra security, and his bag was held off the plane until it was confirmed that he had boarded.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 3, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. When passing through security, Moqed set off the first metal-detector but managed to pass through the second one without issue.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 3, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

At 7:50 am, Majed Moqed and Khalid al Mindhar boarded the flight, sitting in 12A and 12B in coach, respectively.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 3, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. At 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at approximately 530 miles per hour, instantly killing everyone on board and an unknown number of people in the building.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 10, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf. The 9/11 attacks—including attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the thwarted attack headed for the White House or Capitol—left nearly 3,000 people dead in the single deadliest attack in U.S. history.National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Thomas H. Kean, and Lee Hamilton. 2004. The 9/11 Commission report: final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (Washington, D.C.): 7, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report.pdf.

Return to Full Database

Take action:

Help Counter Extremism

Stay updated on the latest

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On November 28, 2020, Boko Haram militants attacked farmers as they worked in the rice fields of Koshebe near the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri. Abubakar Shekau confirmed his faction was responsible for the massacre of 110 civilians.   

View Archive

CEP on Twitter