Alhamzi said he was from Saudi Arabia, Shaikh said. "He said he came here to [the U.S.] to learn English, but I didn't see him going to school very often," Shaikh said. "He told me he was taking English classes at a downtown language school.
"He told me that he wanted to marry a Mexican girl. He said that Mexican girls made good wives and Saudi men have taken Mexican girls to Saudi Arabia. The problem was that he didn't know any Spanish. So I taught him a few Spanish phrases, like, 'Que pasa.' "
Alhamzi said he was leaving to attend school in San Jose but called in January, saying he was in Arizona. "That's the last time I heard from him," Shaikh said.
Shaikh said the other hijack suspect, Al-Midhar, lived with him for about four weeks last September. "Khalid hardly spoke any English. He said he was from Saudi Arabia. . . . He and Nawaq were friends from childhood."
He shared a room with Nawaq Alhamzi.
"When Khalid left, he told me he was returning to Saudi Arabia, where he had a wife and children. After he left, I never heard from him again. . . . I never had any hint that they were going to do something this terrible. They never expressed dislike or hatred for America. I am very shocked."
In all, 12 of the 19 suspects named Friday, one more than in previous reports, were said by the FBI to have lived at one time in Florida. They appear to have lived in three separate locations. Members of the groups in each of the locations appear to have been separately responsible for individual hijackings. There is little at this point to tie one group to the others. This is in keeping with the common view among investigators that Islamic terrorists typically operate in individual cells, largely uninformed of other cells.
U.S. officials said all of the suspects appear to have entered the country legally. An emerging view within the intelligence community was that the hijackers had not arrived with the hijack plan intact but were recruited later or came as terrorist sympathizers pledged to help when asked.
Many of the suspects were Saudi nationals. Osama bin Laden, a Saudi fugitive believed to be harbored in Afghanistan, remains the prime suspect as the mastermind of the attacks.
Many of the best clues came from Florida, where several of the men received flight training and where they appear to have holed up in the weeks before the attacks. FBI agents worked along a 30-mile stretch of South Florida's Atlantic coast, collecting motel registrations, rental car records and other receipts.
At the Panther Motel in Deerfield Beach, they found an apparent treasure trove.
When owner Richard Surma took out the trash Monday morning, he discovered a stack of flight manuals for Boeing 757s, detailed aeronautical maps of Eastern states, a flight school tote bag and a protractor.
Surma, a graphic designer, rescued the discards, figuring he could use the protractor for his drawings. "The binder looked brand new and the tote bag was nice."
He assumed the stuff came from a room where two men, who had left abruptly Sunday, had been staying. When police canvassed the neighborhood following Tuesday's hijackings, Surma called an officer to tell him what he had found the day before.
Investigators searched the room, dusting for fingerprints. They took the aeronautical materials, the linens and other items. "It was like they didn't even need to take anything to the lab, because the lab came here," Surma said.
Twenty miles north in Boynton Beach, agents searched the room at the Homing Inn where Waleed M. Alshehri had stayed.
Alshehri, identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers on American Airlines Flight 11, spent a month and four days at the hotel, said the owner, who requested anonymity. "Every time he came to pay, it was, 'Hi, how are you?' He was a normal guy. When he checked out, the room was clean and neat."
Alshehri's driver's license listed a permanent address at a seaside motel in Hollywood, Fla., the Bimini Motel. Joanne Solic, one of the Bimini's owners, said that one of the suspects shown in an FBI photo had stayed at her hotel with another Arab man all of May and a few days in late April.
"We don't get many from Saudi Arabia," she said. That country was listed on the registration card.
"They were nice kids--clean cut, nice looking and courteous," she said. "Lots of hellos and thank yous, though I don't think they spoke English too well."
The men had only a couple of suitcases, and the room they stayed in didn't have a phone, she said. They used the one down the hall.
In Pompano Beach at Warrick's Rent-a-Car, owner Brad Warrick said his company had rented cars to Mohamed Atta three times, beginning Aug. 6. The FBI said Alshehri and Atta were hijackers aboard the same American Airlines flight.
Atta showed a Florida driver's license with a Coral Springs address, a Visa card and an Allstate insurance card, Warrick said. Over the next month, he drove that car and another rental more than 3,000 miles.