State Senator Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) said a number of the 9-11 hijackers lived in Bay Ridge before they flew planes into the World Trade Center. The politician made the declaration while speaking with WNYC talk show host Brian Lehrer on Thursday, February 9.
“A number of them that drove the planes into the — 9-11 — into the building at World Trade Center that killed 3,000 Americans — are you ready for this? They were in this community, they lived here in Bay Ridge, they were visiting in this community,” Golden said.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, none of the 19 hijackers involved in the attacks lived in Brooklyn.
Murad Awawdeh, President of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York says that Golden’s statement is “completely a lie. He’s like New York’s Kellyanne Conway, and we don’t need anyone like that,” he told Brooklyn Paper. “For him to make a statement like that — he’s peddling fear.”
Golden’s office said he simply “mixed up” the 2001 attacks — which killed nearly 3,000 people — with the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, which killed six.
“He didn’t make it up, he misspoke,” Golden’s chief of staff John Quaglione told BP. “When he said ‘9-11,’ he was thinking ‘World Trade Center bombing,’ but it didn’t come out. He had his incidents mixed up.”
Mahmud Abouhalima, who was convicted in the 1993 bombing, lived in Bay Ridge. He fled with his family to Egypt after the bombing and was subsequently arrested in Cairo.
As for direct links between the 9-11 terrorists attacks and Brooklyn, BP cites two “tenuous ties.”
Mohamed Atta, responsible for flying American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, “rented rooms in Brooklyn and the Bronx in the spring of 2000, a federal investigator has said,” as reported by The Daily News. The room was rented in Brooklyn for a short time, previous to Atta’s move to Florida for flight training.
Ziad Jarrah crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania field after passengers banded together to prevent the plane from flying into the intended target of either The Capitol Building or The White House. According to a Boston Globe article from 2001, “a Brooklyn apartment lease from 1995-1996 bears Ziad Jarrah’s name – and landlords there have identified his photograph – his family insists he was in Beirut at the time.”
Last month, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway referred to the non-existent “Bowling Green Massacre” in an interview on MSNBC during her attempt to defend the travel ban.
Does Golden’s “Bay Ridge terrorists” comment parallel Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre”?
“We don’t need more incitement — especially in Bay Ridge, especially with the ‘Muslim ban’ that was put in place,” Awawdeh said.
Protests and gatherings have taken place throughout Brooklyn, New York City, the U.S., and around the globe since President Trump signed the executive order.