Wail al-Shehri (July 31, 1973 - September 11, 2001) was one of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks.
Shehri was an elementary school teacher from Khamis Mushait in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia. In early 2000 he traveled to Medina to seek treatment for mental problems. He and his younger brother Waleed traveled to Afghanistan in March 2000 and joined an Al-Qaeda training camp. The brothers were chosen, along with others from the same region of Saudi Arabia, to participate in the September 11 attacks. Once selected, Shehri returned to Saudi Arabia in October 2000 to obtain a clean passport, then returned to Afghanistan. In March 2001, he recorded his last will and testament on video. Shehri arrived in the United States in early June 2001, staying in budget motels in the Boynton Beach area of south Florida. On September 5, 2001, Shehri traveled to Boston and checked into a motel with his brother. Six days later, Shehri arrived early in the morning at Boston's Logan International Airport and boarded American Airlines Flight 11. Fifteen minutes after take off, the flight was hijacked and deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.
In the aftermath of the attacks, some news reports mistakenly reported Shehri as a trained pilot and son of a Saudi diplomat, who was still alive and well. The Shehri family in Khamis Mushait spoke to the media, denying those early reports, saying that the Shehri brothers had disappeared and have not been heard from since
Wail al-Shehri, his brother Waleed, and Satam al-Suqami arrived together at Logan Airport at 06:45 on the morning of September 11, 2001. Upon check-in, all three men were selected by the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS) for further screening of their checked baggage. As the CAPPS was only for luggage, the three hijackers did not undergo any extra scrutiny at the passenger security checkpoint. One of the five Globe Aviation security screeners on-duty later reported that either Wail or Waleed had been using a crutch when they passed through security, and that the crutch had been X-rayed as per regulations.
By 07:40, all five hijackers were aboard the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 07:45. Wail and Waleed al-Shehri sat together in first class in seats 2A and 2B respectively. The aircraft taxied away from Gate 26, and departed Logan International Airport at 07:59, following a 14-minute delay. Flight 11 was hijacked at approximately 08:14, which is when the pilot stopped responding to air traffic control. Once the hijacking began, the brothers are suspected of having stabbed two flight attendants. At 08:46:40, Mohamed Atta deliberately crashed Flight 11 into the northern facade of the North Tower (Tower 1) of the World Trade Center. The immediate damage destroyed any means of escape from above the impact zone, trapping 1,344 people. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28, after burning for 102 minutes.