Mohand Alshehri Still Alive
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The story...

Reports suggest Mohand Alshehri are still alive:

Saeed Al-Ghamdi, Mohand Al-Shehri, Abdul Aziz Al-Omari and Salem Al-Hazmi "are not dead and had nothing to do with the heinous terror attacks in New York and Washington." The Saudi Arabian embassy told The Orlando Sentinel.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told the Arabic Press after meeting with President George W. Bush on Sept. 20th "It was proved that five of the names included in the FBI list had nothing to do with what happened."

Our take...

It’s certainly true that Saudi Arabia claimed this at the time, but then this was only nine days after the attacks, 6 days after the FBI hijacker list first appeared. And it had very little to say about Alshehri:

Mohald Alshehri - Possible residence: Delray Beach, Florida.

That’s not exactly specific, and also used the name “Mohald” instead of “Mohand”. The official FBI hijacker list with photos wouldn’t appear until September 27th, a full week later, but even then (aside from the photograph) little detail had been added:

Mohand Alshehri

-Possible residence(s): Delray Beach, Florida

-Alias: Mohammed Alshehhi; Mohamd Alshehri; Mohald Alshehri

There’s little to go on here. How could Saudi Arabia identify this individual with any degree of certainty?
In any event, further information appeared a couple of days later:

More information is now available about Muhannad Al-Shahri, who is accused of hijacking United Airlines Flight 175 which smashed into the World Trade Center. The FBI gave his name as Mohald Alshehri. His family told Al-Watan that he had gone to Chechnya to fight in the Jihad there more than a year ago. There was no information about him. He only contacted his mother during last Eid Al-Adha festival, when he told her that he was in Chechnya.

His family believes that Muhannad was one of the victims of the operation, but was not among the hijackers. Muhannad’s teacher told the Arabic daily that he was a regular student with a quiet nature. He studied at the Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University’s branch in Abha only for one semester. He later moved to Riyadh. He was 24 years old and had six brothers.

More name variations (although translating Arabic into the Roman alphabet is an inexact science, perhaps contributing to the problem), and a suggestion from the family that he was a victim, not a hijacker, but also acceptance that he was there.

And then, months later, Saudi Arabia finally accepted that the list of hijackers was correct:

Saudi Arabia acknowledged for the first time that 15 of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers were Saudi citizens...
Previously, Saudi Arabia had said the citizenship of 15 of the 19 hijackers was in doubt despite U.S. insistence they were Saudis. But Interior Minister Prince Nayef told The Associated Press that Saudi leaders were shocked to learn 15 of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.

"The names that we got confirmed that," Nayef said in an interview. "Their families have been notified."

And as such, any story that Mohand Alshehri is still alive will need considerably more than their earlier statement, if it’s to be taken seriously.

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