Point H-3: The Claim that the Hijackers Were Devout Muslims

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The Official Account

The four 9/11 planes were hijacked by devout Muslims. According to The 9/11 Commission Report, Mohamed Atta, the ringleader, had “adopted fundamentalism.” [1] The hijackers, by virtue of their beliefs, had become a “cadre of trained operatives willing to die.” [2]

The Best Evidence

The official account depends on the idea that the 9/11 planes were hijacked by devout Muslims – devout enough to die for the cause. And yet the mainstream media contained many stories contradicting the claim that the alleged hijackers were devout Muslims.

Five days after 9/11, a story in London’s Daily Mail contained this report:

At the Palm Beach bar Sunrise 251, [Mohamed] Atta and [Marwan] Al Shehhi spent $1,000 in 45 minutes on Krug and Perrier-Jouet champagne. … Atta was with a 6ft. busty brunette in her late twenties; the other man was with a shortish blonde. Both women were known locally as regular companions of high-rollers. [3]

One month after 9/11, a Boston Herald story, entitled “Terrorists Partied with Hooker at Hub-Area Hotel,” reported:

A driver for a pair of local escort services told the Herald yesterday that he drove a call girl to the Park Inn in Chestnut Hill on Sept. 9 around 10:30 p.m. where she bedded down with one of the mass murderers. It was her second trip to the terrorist’s room that day. Two of the hijackers aboard Flight 11 that crashed into the World Trade Center – Waleed M. Alshehri and Wail Alshehri – spent Sept. 9 in the Route 9 hotel, sources said. … The dirty Hub dalliances of the terrorists is just the latest link between the Koran-toting killers and America’s seedy sex scene. [4]

A week earlier, a San Francisco Chronicle article, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” reported that at least five of the “self-styled warriors for Allah,” including Mohamed Atta, had “engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures [including lap dances] in America’s reputed capital of moral corrosion,” Las Vegas. The group, investigators said, had “made at least six trips here.” The story then quoted Dr. Osama Haikal, president of the board of directors of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada, as saying: “True Muslims don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t go to clubs.” [5]

On October 10, the Wall Street Journal summarized these stories in an editorial entitled “Terrorist Stag Parties.” [6] Whereas the Journal’s editorial pointed to the contradiction only implicitly, by means of its ironic title, the problem had already been drawn out explicitly, five days after 9/11, by a story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel entitled “Suspects’ Actions Don’t Add Up.”

Three guys cavorting with lap dancers at the Pink Pony Nude Theater. Two others knocking back glasses of Stolichnaya and rum and Coke at a fish joint in Hollywood the weekend before committing suicide and mass murder. … [This] is not a picture of devout Muslims, experts say. Let alone that of religious zealots in their final days on Earth. … [A] devout Muslim [cannot] drink booze or party at a strip club and expect to reach heaven, said Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. … “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam. … Something here does not add up.” [7]

The 9/11 Commission did not explain how its characterization of the hijackers as devout Muslims was consistent with these press stories. It simply ignored them. For example, referring to a trip to Las Vegas by Atta and two other hijackers roughly a month before 9/11, the Commission wrote: “Beyond Las Vegas’s reputation for welcoming tourists, we have seen no credible evidence explaining why, on this occasion and others, the operatives flew to or met in Las Vegas.” [8]


The reported behavior of the men said to have hijacked the 9/11 planes cannot be reconciled with the claim that they were devout Muslims.

The 9/11 Commission made no effort to reconcile the contradiction. It simply claimed that the men were devout, with their leader having become a fundamentalist, while simply ignoring all the reports that contradict that claim.

Had the mainstream media drawn out the implications of its own stories, which contradict the 9/11 Commission’s claims about devout Muslims, the American public would have been made aware that the 9/11 attacks could have provided no pretext for attacks on Muslim countries.

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References for Point H-3
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, authorized edition (W. W. Norton, 2004), 160 (pdf: 177). The text says: “When Atta arrived in Germany, he appeared religious, but not fanatically so. This would change … ”
Ibid., 154.
Eric Bailey, “It Was a Little Strange. Most People Want to Do Take-Offs and Landings. All They Did Was Turns,” Daily Mail, 16 September 2001.
David Wedge, “Terrorists Partied with Hooker at Hub-Area Hotel,” Boston Herald, 10 October 2001.
Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4 October 2001.
Terrorist Stag Parties,” Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2001.
Jody A. Benjamin, “Suspects’ Actions Don’t Add Up,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 16 September 2001.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 248 (pdf: 265).


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