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Pol made up Brooklyn’s
9-11 connection to defend Trump travel ban

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A Brooklyn pol falsely claimed that several of the 9-11 hijackers lived in Bay Ridge before crashing planes into the World Trade Center. State Sen. Martin Golden (R–Bay Ridge) made the bogus statement while defending President Trump’s immigration ban on WNYC on Thursday.

“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 told host Brian Lehrer.

That number is zero, according to official reports, and Golden sounds a lot like a certain White House advisor who invented a terror attack on U.S. soil while also defending the President’s ban, according to a local immigration activist.

“That’s completely a lie. He’s like New York’s Kellyanne Conway, and we don’t need anyone like that,” said native Bay Ridgite Murad Awawdeh, who also heads the Muslim Democratic Club of New York. “For him to make a statement like that — he’s peddling fear.”

A rep from Golden’s office later said the senator had mixed up the deadliest attack on American soil, in which 2,996 people died, with the World Trade Center’s 1993 bombing that killed six.

“He didn’t make it up, he mis-spoke,” said chief of staff John Quaglione. “When he said ‘9-11,’ he was thinking ‘World Trade Center bombing,’ but it didn’t come out. He had his incidents mixed up.”

Only one of the six men convicted in the 1993 bombing, Mahmud Abouhalima, lived in Bay Ridge, according to a New York Times account following bombing.

The Bay Ridge portion of Golden’s district is home to the borough’s largest concentration of Muslims, and Arabs constitute the neighborhood’s second-largest ethnic group, according to census data.

9-11’s tenuous ties to Brooklyn

The 600-page 9/11 Commission Report meticulously traces the 19 hijackers as they crisscrossed the U.S. in the months leading up to the attacks, but it does not mention any living in Brooklyn, let alone Bay Ridge.

A few media accounts that emerged in the days after the tragedy tenuously connecting two hijackers to the borough.

An anonymous Justice Department source told the Associated Press in 2001 that Mohamed Atta, who flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, entered the U.S. via New Jersey in 2000, briefly stayed in a Brooklyn hotel before moving to the Bronx and then Florida for flight school.

Pilot Ziad Jarrah, who crashed United Flight 93 into a Pennsylvania field en route to the nation’s capitol, has an even murkier tie to the borough. His name appears on a lease for an unspecified Brooklyn apartment between 1995 and 1996, according to a 2001 Boston Globe article, which says landlords confirmed a photo of Jarrah, but the hijacker’s family said he was living in Beirut.

Jarrah — a native of Lebanon, which is not on the President’s travel ban — first showed signs of radicalization in late 1996 while attending university in Germany, and he trained to fly planes in Florida, according to the 9/11 Commission’s report, which makes no mention of Jarrah ever living in Brooklyn.

Golden’s claim may be bogus, but the cop-turned-legislator is stoking real fear among Bay Ridge’s Muslims, Awawdeh said.

“We don’t need more incitement — especially in Bay Ridge, especially with the ‘Muslim ban’ that was put in place,” he said. “And someone who’s a former law-enforcement agent who’s doing crazy s---, that should unsettle anyone.”

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

Updated 6:04 pm, February 13, 2017: Updated with comments from Golden's spokesman.
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Reader feedback

Philip from Bay Ridge says:
Perhaps Golden confused this with the situation involving Rashid Baz. That was the Muslim murderer who shotup a van load of Jewish Yeshiva students on a Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramp (killing one). This happened after Baz heard a fiery Jew hating sermon at the Bay Ridge Islamic Center.

It's not clear whether any of the 9/11 hijackers stayed in Bay Rudge for any length of time. Possible that some did, but not probable. However, Baz, and at least 1 former Iman of the Bay Ridge Islamic Center, are hardly the only Muslim members of the Bay Ridge community with ties to Islamic terrorism.
Feb. 11, 2017, 4:12 pm
Eddie from Bay Ridge says:
Don't forget Matin Shiraj, convicted of a plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station about 6 years ago. He worked at the Islamic bookstore on 4th Avenue near 69th Street. The "bookstore" is though to serve as a front for various radical Islamic activities.
Feb. 11, 2017, 4:18 pm
ali from bay ridge says:
there is a lot that you people don't know about and never will that's what the government knows best but maybe we will know now that trump is in the house cause he says it like it is
Feb. 11, 2017, 4:47 pm
Mike from Bronz says:
So what this article reveals that there was significant connection between Islamic terrorists and Bay Ridge, not to mention other NYC communities, as do the following comments. And yet your conclusion and headline is that Golden is a fool. This is how we got 9/11 in the first place; keeping our heads up our rear ends.
Feb. 12, 2017, 10:49 am
Marge says:
More Americans are killed each year by other Americans who have guns, than are killed by foreign terrorists. Now if guns don't kill people, but people kill people, why is this ok? If an American gun owner kills another American, it's just the way things are, but if a foreigner kills an American we have to put the world on lockdown.
Feb. 12, 2017, 12:21 pm
Ronnie 69 from USA says:
Another Dumb Ass Politician Talking out of his Butt Hole.
Just Like the ELECTORAL DOUCHE-BAG in the White House.
Feb. 12, 2017, 5:43 pm
Mike L from Kensington says:
Thankfully at least one commenter got it right above. .Ronnie 69. Golden is anything but golden! The guy needs to be put out to pasture and voted out of office. Hopefully enough people in Bay Ridge will come to their senses cause Golden is out of touch and definitely leans to the alt right. If he got his facts mixed up as they claim than he's either senile or spouting alternative facts..he probably has a thing for Kelly Ann Conjob!
Feb. 12, 2017, 6:02 pm
John Quaglione from Bay Ridge says:
Senator Golden misspoke. There is nothing more too it. As I mentioned to reporter Max Jaeger (but not printed), he is one of the founding members of the Bay Ridge Unity Task Force, who stood on 5th Avenue outside the Islamic Center, to help guarantee peace. Senator Golden is proud of the diversity of this community and the way we all live together, go to school together, and shop and dine together, etc. He is not, attempting to invite fear among people, quite the opposite. He has a responsibility to see that the laws are followed and to make decisions to protect our community, City and State. I hope we can all agree that our safety should always be paramount, and that terrorism should never be allowed a home in our neighborhood.
Feb. 12, 2017, 10:45 pm
Pants on Fire from Ridge says:
John Quaglione is fast to forgive an verifiabley false outright lie - but what do you expect from the party of the fascist, loofah face —— gibbon.
Feb. 13, 2017, 10:24 am
Peter Williams from Bay Ridge says:
Mrty needs to know that the fanatic Left is hanging on every word ready to pounce and make a huge deal over anything - as this liberal paper is doing pushing the non-existent "Muslim ban" theme. There is none.

There are enough Jihadist fanatics in this neighborhood, regardless. You can start with Linda (Sharia law proponent) Sarsour.
Feb. 13, 2017, 6:50 pm
Peter Williams from Bay Ridge says:
By the way, the only "fascists" are the vulgar, rioting, threatening Left. And they prove it daily.
Feb. 13, 2017, 6:51 pm

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