Who was “Majed Moqed”?

If you’re in the DC area, there will be a press conference tomorrow, Jan. 26, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC (529 14th St NW, Holeman Lounge). Featured speaker Sibel Edmonds, formerly a Middle East translator for the FBI, will be supported by several 9/11 families. Frustrated over intelligence lapses and other problems in the period preceding Sept. 11, 2001, Edmonds became an FBI whistleblower. She has now filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department.


It is important to keep the memory of 9/11 alive, and not for morbid reasons. Family members and intelligence experts continue to point out to a mostly unlistening press the stonewalling, unnecessary secrecy, and incomplete investigation that characterize the Bush response to 9/11. Ceaseless exploitation of the “war on terror” by the White House — the invasion of the Middle East, the reversal of FDR’s New Deal – is paralleled by an odd lack of effective detection. The press conference will highlight some examples.


But many oddities are apparent even from well outside the cloak-and-dagger world of international intrigue. Case in point:  the skyjacker named “Majed Moqed.”


For starters, the name itself is a nom de guerre. The “moqed” surname is not even an Arabic word, much less an Arabic name; it is Hebrew. – The skyjacker adopted an Old Testament word meaning “hearth” or more pertinently “firebrand,” among several fire-related terms, for his title. See for example

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/ebd/ebd170.htm and



Not to belabor linguistics here, but the “hearth” sense of moqed also resonates in regard to one of the holiest Muslim sites, the Temple Mount:



The site also goes by another name, known throughout the Muslim world:  Majed Mount.



The Temple Mount (also called Noble Sanctuary, Hebrew language: Har HaBayit, Arabic language: Al-Haram As-Sharif), is a mostly man-made hill in the eastern part of the Old City of Jerusalem.

It was the site of the first and second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and since the 7th century has been the site of two major Muslim religious shrines, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is the holiest site in Judaism, the third holiest site in Islam, and has special significance to Christianity. It is thus one of the most contested religious sites in the world.”


“Majed” (spelled with an e) is not included in lists of masculine Arabic first names, like this one: http://www.ummah.net/family/masc.html#M. Perhaps this name has been confused with the common first name Majid, often transliterated “Majeed.” But it’s not the same. “Moqed” is likewise not found on any list of Arabic last names.


In short, this suicide attacker took a pseudonym naming himself after a brand snatched from a ruined and burning mosque or the last embers of a hearth deep inside the mosque, or both, with other similar resonances as well.


My question is: why isn’t the public allowed to know this? What danger or threat to national security could there be in clarifying this information?


Regardless of what the White House knows, the independent 9/11 Commission seems to know Majed Moqed’s identity: see page 232 of the Commission report, which states that Moqed is a Saudi “who hailed from a small town called Annakhil, west of Medina” and furthermore states that he had dropped out of college.


So what’s the big secret? Sen. Bob Graham mentions in his book Intelligence Matters that some people, perhaps especially in DC, seem to like knowing things that other people don’t know. Maybe that’s the key to the non-disclosure here. If so, too bad: Having more people in our electorate informed about some of these matters might actually jog someone’s memory or insight, leading to further developments. Maybe that’s the key to the non-disclosure.


Meanwhile, a beginning hypothesis is that, if this alias had any significance, it might pertain to a waqf – an Islamic trust. This skyjacker might be literally related to some trustees – although admittedly he might just have identified with the patriarchal keepers of a sacred trust. Something motivated him to go on a one-way trip in a kamikaze attack. It might benefit us all to find out what, if we can.


On the contrary, it would be cynicism-inducing if the White House knew of the family’s identity and failed to reveal it out of favoritism or special treatment.

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