9/11 Research Wiki

Juan Carlos Merida Delgado

Mr. Merida is a citizen of Panama. Beginning in 1996, he received flight training at a federally regulated flight-training school in Norman, Oklahoma. While there, he encountered Zacarias Moussaoui.

In 1996 Mr. Merida, who had learned to fly at the Uruguayan Air Force Academy and served in Panama's post-Noriega air force, came to the Airman Flight School here on a student visa to gain American flight certification. He stayed on as an unpaid volunteer, he said, adding air time by accompanying instructors on their training flights, and paying his bills with the help of his father, a dental surgeon in Panama.

In February 2001, Mr. Moussaoui arrived for training at the school. Mr. Merida said he picked up Mr. Moussaoui at the Oklahoma City airport and drove him back to Norman in the school's van. "He was a weird guy," Mr. Merida said. "He was really quiet. I like to talk. This guy was not willing to talk. I took him to a hotel; that was it."

A few days later, Mr. Merida said, Mr. Moussaoui stopped him in the hall and asked for help moving into an apartment. Mr. Merida said he drove him to his new home. That was their last contact, he said.

Mr. Merida said that as the F. B. I. searched Airman's records, he volunteered information about his contacts with Mr. Moussaoui. Mr. Merida said he also showed an agent the apartment he had taken Mr. Moussaoui to. "The F.B.I. didn't know about this apartment," he said.

Mr Merida is on a watch list.