The Good Oil: Is this the world's most infamous Toyota Corolla?
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Recent events in New Zealand have shown that the tragic consequences of terrorism are still very real for ordinary people, even in lockdown.
So it seems even more surreal that today marks 20 years since one of the most infamous terror strikes in history: the “9/11” attacks on key locations in the United States, including the Pentagon and World Trade Center complex.
There are new buildings and memorials marking 9/11 now, but there’s also one macabre relic of 9/11 still parked in the basement at FBI Headquarters in Washington DC.
A battered blue 1988 Toyota Corolla sedan, registration 3JFZ283, was key to quickly identifying Nawaf al-Hazmi as one of the hijackers who took over American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on September 11, 2001. The collision killed all 64 people on board and 125 in the building.
The car, owned by al-Hazmi, carried one or more of the hijackers to Dulles International Airport that day; it was flagged as suspicious by Airport police on September 12. The FBI subsequently learned that another Flight 77 hijacker, Khalid al-Mihdhar, had purchased the Corolla in early 2000, before transferring ownership to al-Hazmi in May.
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The car was used to travel to Arizona, Connecticut and Virginia as part of preparation for the attacks.
Among the items recovered from the car at the airport and logged as evidence were documents from a flight training school, diagrams of the plane’s instrument panel, a box cutter, grocery receipts and a parking lot ticket timestamped 9/11/01, 7.25am.