Toilets of Terror
The five Saudi terrorists who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, stayed at a Marriott Residence Inn in Herndon, Virginia the night before. My work writing and presenting one-week training courses takes me to the Washington area frequently. In fact, I usually end up staying in that hotel when I'm teaching in Reston.
The guest rooms are in twenty-one small two-story buildings, most if not all of them with eight apartment-like suites. Some of the second-story suites have two bedrooms, and many of those extend up to a third story accessible only through the suites. Building #1, shown here, has one of these third stories on its right end.
The simpler rooms, which I occupy when I'm there, have one large room with a bed at one end and a small but complete kitchen at the other. They are very nice, really like complete apartments rather than hotel rooms.
The FBI Hijackers' Timeline, available here and here, shows that four of the five AA 77 hijackers checked into this hotel at September 10, see the timeline extract below for the full details. The FBI report states, "Nawaf Alhazmi and three unidentified males checked into the Marriott Residence Inn, 315 Elden Street, Herndon, VA, at approximately 3 PM on 09/10/01. Nawaf Alhazmi paid for the room with cash and a Visa credit card #4343 0305 1914 0687 (exp. 07/2004). Nawaf Alhazmi: Payment for hotel stay Room 122; checked."
Room 122, that's in the building shown here. The suites are numbered as:
|Room number||=||100 × building number||(1—20)|
|+ 10 × floor number||(1—2)|
|+ room number||(1—4)|
So, in building 1, floor 2, room 2. This is the U.S., so unlike most of the rest of the world, the floor on ground level is #1.
Nawaf al-Hazmi was one of the four "muscle hijackers", ignorant thugs employed only for brute force. Hani Hanjour was the pilot of that group. The other three terrorists in that group were Khalid al-Mihdhar, Majed Moqed and Salem al-Hazmi (apparently the brother of Nawaf). It's not clear from the publicly available documents which three of the other hijackers stayed in room 122, and whether the fifth one also stayed in that suite or in another. Prominent Saudi government official Saleh ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen was also staying in the hotel that night. He was in the U.S. to meet with officials of several Saudi-sponsored charities that were later accused of links to terrorist groups.
On one trip to Herndon in 2012 I was assigned to room #112. That is directly below the hijackers' suite #122. So, somewhat like my pictures of the plumbing in the hotel room directly above Jim Morrison's in Paris, here is the plumbing in the hotel room directly below the suite occupied by one group of 9/11 hijackers.
Documents found in the suitcase of Mohammed Atta, the Saudi ringleader of the September 11 attacks, included a letter instructing all nineteen of the 9/11 hijackers to shave their body hair.
Here we see a bathroom counter just like the one where the terrorists stripped naked and shaved each others' bodies. They then showered together and washed each others' bodies.
The complete body shaving is a peculiarity of the twisted Saudi-sponsored Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.
Each suite includes a complete kitchen.
On a later trip to Herndon in 2014 I was assigned to suite #622. It's in building six but it's laid out just like the hijackers' suite #122. The upstairs suites have two levels, with a bedroom and bath on each level.
Yes, it was just me, but all the smaller suites were already filled. Here are the facilities on the first level:
And, the upstairs bedroom and bath:
Below are extracts from the FBI Hijackers' Timeline showing the limited information released about the movements of this group of terrorists on the night of September 10th.