Mohammed Atta

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Driving license photo of Mohammed Atta

Mohammed Atta (full nameمحمد محمد الأمير عوض السيد عطا Muḥammad Muḥammad al-Āmir 'Awaḍ as-Sayyid' Aṭā ' , DMG Muḥammad ʿAṭṭā as-Sayyid ; *  September 1, 1968 in Kafr el-Sheikh , Egypt ; †  September 11, 2001 in New York ) was an Islamist terrorist and one of the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 .


Mohammed Atta as a student in Bremen in 1993 (left)

Atta was born in Kafr el-Sheikh, an Egyptian city in the Nile Delta . His father was a lawyer . He also had a Saudi Arabian passport. Atta's father later denied any involvement of his son in the attacks and claimed that he called him the day after. Then the Mossad killed him; a year later, however, the father claimed that his son was still alive and was hiding from the United States Secret Service .

Mohammed Atta grew up in Cairo at the end of the 1980s, he studied architecture at the University of Cairo and graduated in 1990 his studies with a diploma. He then moved to Germany and continued to study under the name Mohamed el-Amir from 1992 to 1999 urban planning / urban planning at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg ; he finished his studies as a graduate engineer for urban planning. The topic of the thesis was Khareg Bab-en-Nasr. An endangered part of the old town in Aleppo . District development in an Islamic-oriental city , the supervisors were Dittmar Machule and Wolfram Droth. From 1998 to 2001, Atta lived with Ramzi Binalshibh and Said Bahaji , who were also allegedly part of the Hamburg terror cell , at Marienstraße 54 in the Harburg district . In the group, conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism played a major role. In the trial of Mounir al-Motassadeq , witnesses testified that everything revolved around “the Jews ” and America.

On May 18, 2000, Atta received a five-year tourist and business visa (B1 / B2) from the US embassy in Berlin, which he had applied for the day before. On June 2, 2000, he flew to Newark, New Jersey . At the airport there, he received a residence permit for six months. Atta initially rented an apartment in New York City . From July to December 2000, he and Marwan al-Shehhi completed rapid training for a private pilot's license at the Huffmann Aviation flight school in Venice (Florida) . On August 14th, he passed the exam. In order to be able to start a flight training as a commercial pilot at Huffmann Aviation from September 1, 2000 to September 1, 2001 , Atta applied to convert his visa into a student visa. In mid-September he and al-Shehhi switched to the Jones Aviation flight school in Sarasota, around 30 kilometers away . Both failed at the first stage in instrumentation in early October 2000, after which they returned to Huffmann Aviation in Venice. On December 19, 2000, they passed their commercial pilot license exam . The costs for the pilot training of Atta and al-Shehhi in the amount of 114,500 US dollars were transferred from Dubai to the USA via a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed .

On January 4, 2001, Atta left the USA. At this point, his residence permit had already expired a month. On January 10th he returned to the USA via Madrid to Miami . None of the responsible visa inspectors noticed the one-month delay and the lack of certificates confirming Atta's visa status, which were actually mandatory. According to the US entry regulations (USC § 1182), he should not have received an entry permit. On July 9, 2001, Atta traveled again to Europe, only to return to the USA on July 17, 2001 from Madrid.

In August 2018 it became known that Atta's daughter Hamza bin Laden , the son of Osama bin Laden , was said to have married. The daughter is said to have Egyptian citizenship. Until the wedding became known, it was assumed that Atta had no offspring. He was previously portrayed as a “avowed virgin ”. In Atta's will, which he wrote five years before the attack, he did not mention any relatives. The child may have been conceived during Atta's stay in Afghanistan for several months in 2000.

Attacks on September 11, 2001

Atta was one of five hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11 , the first aircraft to fly into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States . The others were Abdulaziz al-Omari , Satam al Suquami, Wail al Shehri, and Waleed al Shehri. Presumably Atta was their leader and flew the plane. He was killed in the attack. Like all terrorists of September 11th, Atta belonged to the Salafist branch of Islam. After the attack, his will was found in a travel bag that had not been reloaded in time.

Pop Culture

In the two-part miniseries The Path to 9/11 , Atta is portrayed by Martin Brody. It reconstructs the plot of the bomb attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and that of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

See also


  • Steven A. Atkins: Mohamed Atta . In Peter Chalk (Ed.): Encyclopedia of Terrorism . ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara / Denver / London 2012, p. 68 ff.
  • Thomas H. Kean, Lee Hamilton (Eds.): The 9/11 Commission Report . WW Norton, New York 2004, ISBN 0-393-32671-3 . ( 5.3 The Hamburg Contingent ): online

Web links

Commons : Mohammed Atta  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. FOCUS Online: Fear of the sleepers: The US secret service had fatal aviator Mohamed Atta in its sights for a long time. September 24, 2001, accessed September 5, 2015 .
  2. a b 'He Never Even Had A Kite' , , September 24, 2001.
  3. Kate Connolly: Father insists alleged leader is still alive , , September 2, 2002.
  4. Examination certificate from the TUHH
  5. ^ Samuel Salzborn : Global anti-Semitism. A search for traces in the abyss of modernity. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2018, p. 117 f.
  6. 11.9 AND TERRORIST TRAVEL - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; Page 10
  7. 11.9 AND TERRORIST TRAVEL - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; Page 17
  8. ^ 9/11 Commission Report; Page 223/224
  9. 11.9 AND TERRORIST TRAVEL - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; Pp. 17-19, pp. 139
  10. brk: Media report: Osama bin Laden's son is said to have married the daughter of Mohammed Atta. In: Spiegel Online . August 5, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018 .
  11. Mohamed Atta's Last Will and Testament . PBS frontline. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
  12. Martin Chulov: Hamza bin Laden has married daughter of lead 9/11 hijacker, say family. In: August 6, 2018, accessed on August 19, 2018 .
  13. The FBI releases 19 photographs of individuals believed to be the hijackers of the four airliners that crashed on September 11, 01 - FBI National Press Office press release dated September 28, 2001
  14. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung : Radical Islamic proselytizing. On behalf of the Lord , April 9, 2012, accessed April 10, 2012
  15. “In the Name of God Almighty” , Spiegel Online , October 1, 2001.