9/11 hijacker remains still in FBI and medical examiner’s custody

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–As the local community reacts to the news of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s burial in central Virginia, CBS 6 asked if it’s protocol for suspected terrorists’ remains to be laid to rest.

For instance, we wondered how the FBI handled the remains of the suspects in the 9/11 attacks.

A spokesman for the FBI said that as far as his office knew, the remains of all nine of the hijackers who attacked the Pentagon and were on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania were still at Dover Air Base.

As for the World Trade Center attackers published reports indicate remains of four of the ten hijackers are still in the custody of the New York City medical examiner’s office.

As far as that office and the FBI have reported, it appears no relatives have made claims for the remains of any of the 19 hijackers.

The spokesperson said that as a result their remains could be held indefinitely.

Technically those investigations are still open and it’s not clear whether releasing any of the remains would require specific government approval. It is not clear either why, since the Boston Marathon bombing investigation is ongoing, that there was such a rush to release Tsarnaev’s body.