|Ramzi bin al-Shibh Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 7 in|
|Date of Birth||May 1, 1972|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Ramzi bin al-Shibh is a Yemeni terrorist who is accused of being a “key facilitator for the September 11 attacks” in 2001 in the United States. Considered by many to be the “20th hijacker” as one of the pilots (who was unable to enter the United States), he has been held by the United States as an enemy combatant detainee at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Ramzi bin al-Shibh
Abu Ubaidah, Ramzi Omar, Ahad Sabet
Ghayl Bawazir, South Yemen
- Father – He passed away in 1987.
- Siblings – Ahmed (Older Brother)
5 ft 7 in or 170 cm
67 kg or 147.5 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
Ramzi bin al-Shibh Facts
- His family shifted to a working-class neighborhood in the capital Sana’a when he was a child.
- After his father’s death, Ramzi bin al-Shibh was raised under the guidance of his mother and older brother Ahmed.
- He started working part-time as a clerk for the International Bank of Yemen when he was still in high school in 1987. He worked there until 1995.
- In 1995, he unsuccessfully applied for a U.S. visa and then went to Germany instead. In Germany, he requested political asylum claiming that he was a political refugee from Sudan and lived in Hamburg until a judge refused his asylum request in 1997. He subsequently returned to the Hadramaut region of Yemen.
- Following his return to Yemen, he received a German visa under his real name shortly afterward. He then went on to live in Germany using the name “Ramzi Omar”.
- He met Mohamed Atta (an Egyptian hijacker and the ringleader of the September 11 attacks in 2001) at a mosque in 1997. The two were roommates for 2 years in Germany.
- He traveled to Kandahar in Afghanistan in 1999 and was trained at al Qaeda camps, where he also met others involved in planning the September 11 attacks.
- Along with Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh was originally planned to serve as one of the hijacker pilots for the 9/11 attacks. He then applied from Hamburg to take flight training in the United States as well as applied to Aviation Language Services (which provides language training for student pilots). He applied 4 times from Germany (on May 17, 2000, June 2000, September 16, 2000, and October 25, 2000) for a U.S. visa but his application got rejected each time. Reportedly, his visa was repeatedly denied by U.S. officials at the time because of the general concern that people from Yemen (which was struggling economically at the time) would illegally overstay their visit and seek work in the United States.
- He eventually took on a “coordinator” role for the 9/11 attacks plot as he was unable to secure a visa to enter the United States. He then started serving as a link between Mohamed Atta in the United States and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (a Pakistani extremist terrorist who was named as “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” in the 9/11 Commission Report) in Afghanistan.
- He was one of the terrorists in the first Most Wanted Terrorists Seeking Information list (later known as the FBI Seeking Information – Terrorism list) published by the FBI on January 17, 2002.
- In the documentary titled Top Secret: The Road to September 11 by Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda, it was reported that 3 weeks before the 9/11 attacks, Saeed al-Ghamdi (a Saudi terrorist who was one of four terrorist hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 as part of the September 11 attacks) is believed to have used the name “Abdul Rahman” to message Ramzi bin al-Shibh online (who was posing as a girlfriend), writing: “The first semester commences in three weeks. Two high schools and two universities. … This summer will surely be hot …19 certificates for private education and four exams. Regards to the professor. Goodbye.”
It has been reported as a reference to 2 military/governmental targets and 2 civilian targets, 19 hijackers, and 4 hijacked planes.
Featured Image by United States Department of Homeland Security / globalsecurity.org / Public Domain