What Should Be Done with the 9/11 Hijackers’ Remains?

So, we’ve got some pieces and bits of 13 of the 9/11 hijackers.

The question is, what do we do with them?

Seven years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the remains of 13 of the 19 men responsible have been identified and are in the custody of the F.B.I. and the New York City medical examiner’s office.

But no one has formally requested the remains in order to bury them.

“Politically, one can understand that this is a hot potato,” said Muneer Fareed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America and a former professor of Islamic studies. “People don’t want to identify with the political equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer.”

What would happen if someone asked for the hijackers’ remains is not clear.

Neither the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which holds the remains of the nine hijackers whose planes hit the Pentagon and crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pa., nor the New York City medical examiner’s office, which holds the remains of 4 of the 10 hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings, has policies to deal with such a request.

“If and when it comes up, we’ll address it then,” an F.B.I. spokesman, Richard Kolko, said.

The bureau could turn down such requests, Mr. Kolko said, because the Sept. 11 investigation is an open case.

The medical examiner’s office, which, like the F.B.I., refuses to say where exactly the remains are being kept, will eventually put together a committee to come up with a policy, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the office.

Groups representing the victims of Sept. 11 are not sure what should be done with the remains.

“It would be sadly ironic if they ended up being properly buried or sent to a Muslim country when many of the remains of the victims remain buried in a garbage dump,” said Kurt Horning, a founder with his wife, Diane, of the group WTC Families for Proper Burial. “I know we’d feel very distressed.”

The Hornings’ son, Matthew, 26, was working at the World Trade Center and died there on Sept. 11. Their group has been advocating for excavation of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island where ash and other debris from the World Trade Center site was buried. The group believes the debris may contain identifiable remains.

The identified remains of the victims of Sept. 11 are regularly returned to their families upon request, after officials have made positive identifications.

I’m sure RWN readers can come up with some excellent suggestions.

I’m not sure what should be done, but I can suggest some guidelines: (1) no honorable burial and (2) preserve some DNA to keep future generations from rewriting history to absolve these Islamic terrorists and blame others who are innocent, as many have already tried to do.

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