Khalid al-Mihdhar (aka Almihdhar, Al-Midhar) terrorist, was one of five men identified by the U.S. Justice Department as hijackers of American Airlines flight 77 in the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack.
He was the first hijacker shown to have some connection to Osama bin Laden, when it was discovered that he had attended a meeting with a suspect in the USS Cole bombing who had been identified by the FBI as one of bin Laden's top security officials.
In January 2000,the CIA videotaped him at a meeting of suspected terrorists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At that meeting was also a man who later became a suspect in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. The INS was advised in August 2001 to put him and his known associate Nawaf al-Hazmi on a watch list to prevent entry into the US, but passport records revealed that they had both previously entered at Los Angeles National Airport in 2000, then in the New York area in 2001. The FBI was subsequently contacted, and began to search for them on August 21, but could not determine their whereabouts.
After the attack, it was learned that they rented rooms in suburban San Diego from Abdussattar Shaikh, a retired professor, beginning in September 2000. Al-Mihdhar stayed there only in September.
External Links and References
NY Times--THE INVESTIGATION: 2 Suspected Hijackers Were Sought by F.B.I. at Time of the Attacks
LA Times--Search for Suspects Was on for Weeks
Newsweek--FBI Links USS Cole Bombing and World Trade Center Attack