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Adnan Bukhari

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Adnan Zakaria Bukhari

A Saudi flight engineer, was initially reported by CNN to be one of the hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 as part of the September 11, 2001, attacks – his name was even said to have been on the flight manifest.

Bukhari gave lessons to Saudi Arabian Airlines pilots at the FlightSafety Academy in Vero Beach, where several of the hijackers had trained. As of 2001, he held flight engineer, turbojet, mechanic, airframe, powerplant, instrument panel, and single-engine landing certificates, as well as a First Class Medical Certificate issued in May 2000.

Between 5:00 and 5:30 on the morning of September 12, FBI agents, backed by a SWAT team, stormed Bukhari's leased house at 4036 57th Terrace and arrested him, saying that identity cards of him and an Ameer Bukhari, mistakenly thought to be a brother, were found in a rental car the hijackers had left in Portland, Maine. While searching his house, they announced that they had found a copy of Ameer Bukhari's pilot license, and a "hazardous materials manual".

After passing a polygraph, he was released and later cleared of any wrongdoing.


On September 19, an FAA employee named James P. Hopkins was fired for independently going through FAA records and reporting to the FBI that Bukhari had trained at the FAA's academy in Oklahoma City twice, in 1991 and 1998. The Office of Special Counsel reviewed the case and awarded Hopkins his employment back, citing unfair termination.


CNN CORRECTION: We would like to correct a report that appeared on CNN. Based on information from multiple law enforcement sources, CNN reported that Adnan Bukhari and Ameer Bukhari of Vero Beach Florida, were suspected to be two of the pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center. CNN later learned that Adnan Bukhari is still in Florida, where he was questioned by the FBI. We are sorry for the misinformation. A federal law enforcement source now tells CNN that Bukhari passed an FBI polygraph and is not considered a suspect. Through his attorney, Bukhari says that he is helping authorities. Ameer Bukhari died in a small plane crash last year. - CNN


However, the FBI did say it no longer was looking for Amer Taiyb Kamfar, who lived at the same Vero Beach address as Abdul Rahman Alomari, identified as Abdulaziz Alomari on the list of suspected hijackers. The alert for Kamfar, put out to all law enforcement agencies on Wednesday, had described him as armed and extremely dangerous. FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said she couldn't comment on why the bulletin was rescinded.

The FBI also released Vero Beach resident Adnan Bukhari, who lived next door to Alomari. Agents had spent 12 hours searching Bukhari's house at 4036 57th Terrace after a dawn raid Wednesday.

At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, FBI agents returned to the house, towed Bukhari's Plymouth Voyager and took several boxes from the house, according to a neighbor who asked not to be identified. The neighbor said Bukhari did not return to his house. Bukhari did not attend a student meeting at FlightSafety Academy, said Mamduh Felmban, Bukhari's training partner.

Bukhari's attorney told CNN Wednesday that Bukhari is not connected with the terrorist attacks, that he is helping authorities, and that any documents found with his name meant his identity was stolen. He said Bukhari had passed an FBI-administered lie detector test. He also said Ameer Bukhari, the pilot killed in a mid-air crash in Vero Beach last Sept. 11, was not his brother, as had been reported.


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