FBI tells court about last moments of 9/11 flight

25th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 January 2005, HAMBURG - US investigators gained a picture of the last half hour aboard hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 on 11 September 2001 from two flight attendants who were in phone contact with the ground, an FBI agent told a German court on Tuesday. Special agent Matthew Walsh, testifying at the Hamburg retrial of Mounir al-Motassadeq, said, "I've heard the (recorded) calls between the flight attendants and the ground. You could tell that the attendants themselves were very scared." He said th

25 January 2005

HAMBURG - US investigators gained a picture of the last half hour aboard hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 on 11 September 2001 from two flight attendants who were in phone contact with the ground, an FBI agent told a German court on Tuesday.

Special agent Matthew Walsh, testifying at the Hamburg retrial of Mounir al-Motassadeq, said, "I've heard the (recorded) calls between the flight attendants and the ground. You could tell that the attendants themselves were very scared."

He said the FBI (US Federal Bureau of Investigation) had determined that the hijack pilot was Mohammed Atta, 33.

Motassadeq, who was a close friend of Atta and hijack pilots Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al-Shehhi, is accused of being a member of their terrorist organization and being an accessory to 3,000 murders.

The Moroccan's earlier conviction and sentence to 15 years in jail was quashed on appeal and a new trial ordered. He is free on bail.

Walsh, who arrived in court with an authorisation letter listing 18 topics on which he was not allowed to testify, said, "The plane was flown very radically and blood was shed on board. But there was not widespread panic."

Under questioning from Dominic Puopolo, a US computer consultant who has attended the whole trial as a co-plaintiff, he confirmed it would have been difficult to breathe because pepper spray had been released in the cabin.

"Pepper spray is a debilitating weapon. I've been sprayed with it as part of my training," he said. "The only real remedy is to go out in the fresh air. Aboard a plane it would continue to circulate."

Puopolo's mother was among the passengers killed when the plane, which had been hijacked after take-off from Boston, crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.

Walsh, 35, said the attendants' account indicated one passenger, an Israeli military officer, was killed in the course of the hijack by his throat being cut and two flight attendants were wounded by stabbing.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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