Amanda Keller, a "lingerie model and stripper" has said she was the girlfriend of Mohamed Atta, living with him between February and April 2001. Her story, as reported by Daniel Hopsicker, has formed the basis for many surprising claims about Atta: that he liked going to night clubs, for instance, drank alcohol, used drugs and more. And it also contradicts the official timeline of Atta's whereabouts, for instance, putting him in Florida months after the FBI said he left. But is it actually true?
One problem with Keller is her inconsistency. While initial reports said Atta stayed with her, she then denied them:
Keller then appears to have gone back on that, allowing Hopsicker to interview her (although in his book "Welcome to Terrorland" he does say she knew him as "Mohamed Arajki").
But then in September 2006 she again denied it:
And then there's the issue of identification. Keller said of Atta, for instance:
Hopsicker believes shots of Atta from a video apparently taken in Afghanistan support this.
However, it's worth noting that the video was taken in January 2000, more than a year before Keller lived with "Mohamed". We're told that Jarrah and Atta shaved off their beards before heading for the US:
And sure enough, Atta's US VISA image from May 2000, and his famous driving licence photo from a year later (and only a few months after supposedly living with Keller) show him clean-shaven.
We've also yet to read any accounts of witnesses saying "yes, I recognised Atta but he used to have a beard", and in fact if Atta was trying to avoid the radical look then he would have a strong incentive to keep shaving.
There were further identification issues in a story that appeared only three days after the attacks.
Here his landlords describe Mohamed as about 25, 5 feet 10 inches, 160 pounds, a very handsome guy, with beautiful, unblemished skin. Meanwhile Atta was 5 feet 7 or 8 inches tall, we'd say looked older than his 32 years, and handsome? Really? It's no wonder that they didn't recognise Atta's photo. And the problems only continue in another article.
We found a survey which said the average height of men in the US between 1999 and 2002 was 5’ 9.2”: Atta’s driving licence puts him at 5’8”, his pilot's licence at 5'7". Why would he be described as “tall and lanky”?
One possible answer came in Hopsicker's May 2005 report that a Mohamed Arajaki emailed him, saying he was the man who had lived with Amanda Keller. Hopsicker dismissed this on, amongst other things, the grounds that many other local witnesses had identified Atta. However he did show pictures of Arajaki, who looked much more likely to be called "handsome" (to my straight male eyes, anyway).
And another site talking about this said Arajaki was seven inches taller than Atta, which would make him 6 feet 2 or 3 inches, a better fit for the "tall and lanky" comments.
This is a complex story, so please read Hopsicker's take on Arajaki, and perhaps browse the rest of the site to discover more of his arguments. But while you do that, keep in mind that his account has also been subject to change. Here's an early, short version of the Keller story:
Note that here "credible witnesses" are used to place Keller with Atta towards the end of March 2000. Very significant, as the FBI say Atta wasn't even in the US until June 2000. And yet now Hopsicker tells us that, ah, it was actually March 2001, and so those witnesses (or the assumptions used to consider what they said) weren't so credible after all.
And a later article showed an even more surprising date-related error.
Documentary evidence? Well, no. Here's the Atta fax he was referring to, with a matching application from al-Shehhi.
The faxes are headed March 11 2014, the first extremely clear indication that you really can't rely on the date. And the second comes in the content. Atta says he wants to train at the same time as al-Shehhi, who requests a starting date of 22nd of December 2000, with completion before the end of the year, strongly suggesting the fax was sent before that time.
This just isn't conclusive proof that the FBI is lying, then. Anyone can see that by simply looking at Atta's fax and doing maybe 60 seconds of research. And yet Hopsicker managed to misrepresent the fax date, failed to check the fax for more date-related clues, then oversold the whole thing. That can't and doesn't invalidate everything he says, but does reinforce the same point we make here, over and over again: it's vital to check and cross-check 9/11 sources and stories before you accept any version of events, and that goes just as much for this site as anyone else.