Hijackers Said to Seek Prostitutes

by Shelley Murphy and Douglas Belkin
The Boston Globe
October 10, 2001


Four alleged terrorists spent their last night looking for prostitutes in Boston before hijacking two planes out of Logan Airport and smashing them into the World Trade Center towers in New York, according to law enforcement sources.

The hijackers called several local escort services on Sept. 10, asking how much it would cost for prostitutes to have sex with the four men who were staying at the Milner Hotel in Boston's Park Square, but didn't make a deal.

''It was going to be really expensive and they couldn't come to a consensus on price, so that was the end of it,'' said one law enforcement official. ''Either they thought it was too extravagant or they didn't have enough money left.''

One of the services contacted was VIP Escorts, the official said.

A woman who answered the toll-free number for VIP Escorts, which does not advertise prostitution services, said she had been contacted by the FBI about whether the hijackers had solicited their services but declined to comment further.

Another woman who advertises under ''adult services'' in a local weekly newspaper said last night that she went to the Boston FBI office three days after the hijackings and reviewed photos of men whom she might have seen in local hotels prior to Sept. 11.

She told the FBI she had had no contact with the alleged hijackers, she said, and was unable to identify any men in six pages of photos. Two other women, she said, were also called to the FBI office. The woman asked not to be identified in this story.

After spending Sunday night, Sept. 9, at the posh Charles Hotel in Cambridge, two of the hijackers were en route by taxi on Monday to join two others at the Milner Hotel when they asked the driver for names of local escort services, the source said.

A Cambridge cab driver, Pierre Louis, told the Globe last night that FBI agents brought photographs to his home and asked if he could pick out any who might have been his fares that day. He said he was able to tentatively identify one man for the FBI, but he declined to discuss any questions that agents asked him.

The Globe has reported that four of the hijackers - Marwan Al-Shehhi, Fayez Rashid Ahmed, Mohand Alshehri, and Satam M. A. Al Suqami, - spent Monday night, Sept. 10, at the Milner, according to the hotel's general manager.

It's unclear which of the men made the calls, but law enforcement sources said one of the terrorists inquired about how much it would cost for all four men to have sexual intercourse with a prostitute.

''It was over $400 and that was too much,'' said the source.

The FBI has not turned up evidence that the men spent their last night with any local women.

The next day, Al-Shehhi, Ahmed, and Alshehri are believed to have joined two other men in hijacking United Flight 175, while Al Suqami and four others allegedly hijacked American Flight 11.



Copyright 2001 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing Inc.

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