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Hijacking suspect linked to Germany, Afghanistan

Jarrah
Jarrah  


HAMBURG, Germany (CNN) -- Family members of Ziad Samir Jarrah -- who the FBI believes helped hijack one of the planes used in Tuesday's terrorist attacks -- told CNN on Saturday that he spent some time recently in Afghanistan, the country accused of harboring alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden.

In addition, German authorities said Jarrah and hijacking suspects Marwan al-Shehhi and Mohamed Atta all attended Harburg Technical University in Hamburg, Germany, at about the same time.

The FBI says Jarrah is believed to have been at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93 on Tuesday when it crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania. Al-Shehhi and Atta are accused by the FBI of hijacking the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

Jarrah studied electrical engineering at the Hamburg school and Atta studied urban planning, German authorities said. Jarrah, Atta, and al-Shehhi also lived in southern Florida where they are believed to have taken flight lessons, federal sources said.

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CNN Correspondent Brent Sadler, who spoke to Jarrah's family in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, said they told him Jarrah also spent some time in Afghanistan 18 months ago.

Jarrah's family was in shock and sorrow Saturday as a result his disappearance, but many family members said they did not have enough information to confirm that he was on United Air Lines Flight 93 when it crashed.

Sadler said several family members, described as well-off and well-educated, had lived, worked and were educated in the United States. Jarrah's father said his son was mild-mannered and shy.

Jarrah, 26, had been reported as missing by his girlfriend, who lives in the western German city of Bochum, after she had not spoken to him for some time.

German authorities confirmed that Jarrah lived in Hamburg and Bochum after searching two apartments in those German cities. At the Bochum apartment, investigators found a suitcase with documents relating to airlines and airplanes. They would not elaborate further.

Germany's prosecutor-general is still looking for another man also thought to have been enrolled at Harburg.

-CNN's Berlin Bureau Chief Bettina Luscher and Beirut Bureau Chief Brent Sadler contributed to this report.







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