You think you know all that happened in Portland because the FBI presented many photos and details of Atta’s and Al Omari’s movements on September 10 and 11 in this town? Well, be surprised there are innumerous unanswered questions. Sorry, if this is really long and detailed but some people like to know details. Otherwise simply followe the bold stuff or the comments in italics in order to see if you can find something interesting here!
WHAT HAPPENED IN PORTLAND?
“ The FBI effort in Greater Portland is part of the most intensive
and high-stakes investigation in the agency's history , the kind of
mobilization not seen since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”
“’It is a criminal investigation,’ said Lee Colwell, director of the
University of Arkansas System's Criminal Justice Institute and former second-in-command
of the FBI. ‘The goal of the investigation must be to establish as clearly
as possible exactly what happened, how it happened, who was involved, who
assisted and who abetted the effort in any way.’”
Then let’s see if this goal was achieved!
Since April 2000:
And he did not only see Atta:
”Kathy Barry, a reference librarian, also reported seeing Atta, whose
photograph has been distributed widely through the media since the Sept.
This all seems to be very interesting and witness accounts that might
help to figure out why Atta and Al Omari chose Portland to begin 911. But
apparently this is not interesting for the FBI:
Comment: (from Paul Thompson’s Timeline): According to the official story, Atta doesn't arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. (Miami Herald, 9/22/01, Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01)
But there are many more people who believe to have seen Atta or Al Omari
in Portland before 911:
“There were other reported sightings, too, including a worker at Micucci's
Grocery on India Street who is convinced he saw Atta in late August
former state Rep. Herb Adams, who believes he saw Atta at the Big Apple
convenience store on Park Street this summer ; and an employee at the
Convention and Visitors Bureau on Commercial Street, who reported seeing
two men she believed to be Atta and Alomari. ”
"There were sightings all over," (Portland Police Chief Michael) Chitwood
said. "At the library, the Chamber of Commerce. There was a report that
they were seen in the City's old port drinking.
Nonetheless it is later concluded:
August 28, 2001:
“His (Al Omari’s) first connection to Atta is his purchase of his airline
ticket with Atta's American Advantage card and his credit card.”
A week before 911:
Comment: Another strange coincidence. For more info see below: Alzeedi.
September 7-9, 2001:
September 9, 2001:
Comment: But on the same day Atta is also very active in Boston. Is there any proof that Atta flew from Florida to Boston on this day? New York Times 5/10/01 states that Atta and Al Omari flew to Boston but gives no details.
“Meanwhile, another investigator was interviewing a manager of Alamo
Rent A Car at the jetport. A search of the company's computer records
showed Atta had rented a blue Nissan Altima Sept. 9 in Boston and that
it was due back Sept. 11 by 6 p.m. It was listed as overdue.”
“Using credit card receipts and telephone records, the FBI traced their
whereabouts almost to the minute. Records show they rented a blue Nissan
at an Alamo office in Boston on Sunday, Sept. 9 and checked into the
motel at 5:43 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10.”
Comment: But it’s not clear who actually rented the car. Some accounts say Atta, some say Atta and Al Omari and some are cautious.
“A blue 2001 Nissan Altima that someone, maybe both of them, had rented
September 10, 2001:
Afternoon: “Sometime on Monday afternoon, September 10, 2001,
ATTA and AL-OMARI departed Boston, Massachusetts, and arrived in Portland
later that same day.”
Comment : But it’s not clear actually if both were inside the Nissan.
Comment: Is there any proof that Atta and/or Al Omari not already departed on September 9? Is the detail that they departed on September 10 only based on the next known fact, their arrival at the Comfort Inn?
“It is not clear when the two arrived in South Portland, or if they
even arrived there together.”
5:43 p.m.: “Atta and AL-OMARI checked into the Comfort Inn, 90 Maine
Mall Road, South Portland, Maine.”
« one of the suspects rented a room at the Comfort Inn
in South Portland, McCausland disclosed.”
Comment: So only one rented a room. Is there any proof that both stayed at the hotel? Is there any proof that Al Omari wasn’t already in Portland?
The hotel is a mile from the airport.
“They” took a no-smoking room
“At reception Atta asked if he could have 15 copies of USA Today, intending
perhaps to bulk up his luggage, but had to make do with four copies instead.”
Comment: The Independent account is very bizarre and has some mistakes. Nonetheless I inserted this. What are all the USA Todays for?
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.: “There were reports the two were sighted at two nearby
restaurants - a Pizza Hut and Weathervane Seafood Restaurant - between
7 and 8:30 p.m.”
Comment: The second Restaurant is not mentioned by the FBI!
“A waitress at Weathervane said two Middle Eastern-looking men – one who resembled Atta - dined at the restaurant that night and asked for the details of how the fish and chicken were cooked.
Sue Paquette, a spokeswoman for Weathervane, said the two men may
have been part of a group of five Muslim men - wearing traditional
Middle Eastern dress, including turbans - who dined at the restaurant two
nights before, on Saturday.”
Comment: A group of five. We will meet them again!
After 8 :00 p.m. : “Sometime between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm, two Middle
Eastern males were seen at Pizza Hut, 415 Maine Mall Road, South Portland,
Maine, for approximately fifteen (15) minutes.”
Comment: This is the only time the FBI doesn’t say Atta and Al Omari but “two Middle Eastern males”.
“Employees at a Pizza Hut in South Portland, Maine, recall seeing two
Arab men that could have been Atta and Alomari stop in between 8
and 9 p.m. They stayed only 15 minutes.”
The following statement hints at but does not prove that they paid with
“Employees at the Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut have been instructed by
the F.B.I. not to comment on what the men bought or ordered. (…)Today
in South Portland and Scarborough, employees at the Comfort Inn, Pizza
Hut and other places in the chronology said they had been told not to talk.
Most said they had no recollection of the men anyway.”
Comment: It’s rather difficult to see what kind of national security is at stake if we know if Atta eat “Pizza Hawai” or preferred more the Mexican style?
Comment: Atta and Al Omari seem to have been very hungry. But they most likely went to another restaurant, too.
“They (agents) checked Dimillo's floating restaurant, where a waitress
reportedly served the men the night before the attack.”
“Steven DiMillo, the owner of DiMillo's Floating Restaurant in Portland,
said an FBI agent last Saturday interviewed about 40 of his employees.
DiMillo said he was busy at the time and did not learn why the agency was
interested in talking to his workers.”
Comment: This makes three restaurants in one and a half hour!
8:31 p.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI were photographed by a Key Bank drive-up
ATM located at 445 Gorham Road, South Portland, Maine. They were driving
a 2001 blue Nissan Altima rental car bearing Massachusetts license 3335VI.”
Comment: But this photo is not released by the FBI on their homepage.
8:41 p.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI were photographed by a Fast Green ATM
located in the parking lot of UNO's restaurant, 280 Maine Mall Road, South
Comment : This seems to imply that they demanded twice money at a bank machine within ten minutes. What did they need all this cash for? And why not once simply take the whole amount of money one wishes to have?
Time unknown : « An official at the Kittery Trading Post told
The Associated Press that he turned over surveillance tapes made
the night before the attacks showing two men inquiring about items,
including knives and rubber bullets. ”
“They (Agents) checked out the Kittery Trading Post, where some men
from the Middle East had reportedly sought to buy knives and rubber bullets.”
Comment: Why did the FBI not release the photos of this surveillance
9:15 p.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI were at Jetport Gas Station, 446 Western,
Avenue, South Portland, Maine. ATTA was wearing a half dark, half light
colored shirt with light colored slacks.”
“(T)hey asked directions to the local Wal-Mart.”
9:22 p.m.: “ATTA was at Wal-Mart, 451 Payne Road, Scarborough, Maine,
for approximately twenty minutes.”
“Atta spent 17 minutes in the store.
Comment: Why is it a secret what Atta bought?
“In South Portland, Atta and Alomari had found a Wal-Mart and were on
a spending spree. They blew about $ 200 on T-shirts alone, and Atta
was so impressed with one of the sports shirts he had bought that he put
it on before he left the store. ”
Comment: Most likely this account is simply BS as the security photos
show Atta leaving (alone) Wal Mart with his black and white shirt on. Did
the “Independent” make up the story about the buying of a T-Shirt as well?
One week later the workers at Wal-Mart finally reveal a piece of info:
Comment: So, to make this clear: The hijackers wait till the very
last second before buying the central weapon of their suicide mission and
are even so little prepared that they have to ask the way to the Wal-Mart?
"It was shocking to the employees that they were in the parking lot
and in our store, but nobody has come out and said they saw anyone ,"
said Cheryl Giordano, a photo lab technician at Wal-Mart.”
Comment: Nobody saw anyone. Too bad although Atta had this eye-catching shirt.
Comment: But the secrecy surrounding Atta and Al Omari and their activity on September 10 goes even further:
“The FBI has ordered a blackout on how much money the men withdrew
from the bank and what they bought at the Wal-Mart.”
“The banks have not released how much or even if Mr. Atta and Mr.
Alomari withdrew money from the A.T.M.’s”
“Today in South Portland and Scarborough, employees at the Comfort Inn,
Pizza Hut and other places in the chronology said they had been told not
to talk. Most said they had no recollection of the men anyway.”
Comment: Again: Why this secrecy?
Time unknown: “Comfort Inn manager Laura Wale said that she recalled
nothing unusual about Atta and Alomari and that she didn't believe they
had any visitors in their hotel room.”
Comment: The journalist speaking to Laura Wale two years later stressed that Wale didn’t see the hijackers personally. (Portland Press Herald, 9/9/03) Is this believable in view of above mentioned quote?
September 11, 2001:
Comment: Another surprising coincidence on 911! There are many accounts of four or five Eastern men that day! Keep in mind the group seen in Weathervine a few days earlier.
5:33 a.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI checked out of the Comfort Inn.”
5:40 a.m.: “The 2001 blue Nissan Altima rental car, bearing Massachusetts
license 3335VI, entered Portland International Jetport Airport parking
lot. It was parked on the first floor directly across from the airport
“Inside the car were parking receipts showing that the men had arrived
at the garage at 5:40 a.m., just minutes before their flight was scheduled
Comment: Actually it is only assumed that the Nissan went from the Confort Inn to the jetport. It could have come from somewhere else as well. The fact that Atta and supposedly Al Omari checked out and then their Nissan entered the parking lot seven minutes indicates but doesn’t prove that they are in the car as well.
5:43 a.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI checked in at US AIRWAYS counter.”
Comment: “Even if Portland offered an easy way into the system, the
layout of Logan required the two hijackers to pass through security a second
time when they changed to American Airlines Flight 11, said Jeffrey
Monroe, Portland's director of transportation.”
5:45 a.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI passed through airport security.”
Comment : This time is in dispute ! Keep in mind that on the video
stills two different times are given! Moreover it seems hard to see how
they can manage to park the car till they passed the security in 5 minutes
(keep in mind that they had two bags).
5:45 a.m.: “at 5:45 the next morning, flew from Portland International
Jetport to Boston.”
“Despite a clear sky, the 5:45 American Airlines flight from Portland
was slightly delayed. Not until 6:00am did the men board the plane for
the one-hour trip to Boston. ”
Comment: The official take off time is of course 6:00 a.m. But still it’s worth pointing out that according to some accounts Atta and Al Omari simply wouldn’t have made their flight if it wouldn’t have been delayed!
5:53 a.m.: “Their photographs were taken at 5:53 a.m.”
“The images were taken at 5:53 a.m., seconds after the two men had passed
through an airport security gate, (Portland Police Chief Michael) Chitwood
6:00 a.m.: “ATTA and AL-OMARI departed on Colgan Air en route to Boston,
“US Airways Flight 5930, a commuter plane with 19 seats that left
at 6 a.m. for Boston, Portland Transportation Director Jeff Monroe
“Airline ticketing information obtained by the Dayton Daily News
shows Atta's name is on the tickets along with a second man, Abdulaziz
“The 19-seat Beech 1900 (…) took off a few minutes late. ”
Comment: Take off time is in dispute!
At the gate and inside the plane they’re seen by Roger Quirion, his
colleague Brian Guerette and Jane Isenberg. Inside the plane also Vincent
Meisner witnesses them.
Comment: While there is a contradiction in the accounts of Quirion,
Isenberg’s description also differs slightly from the Guerette’s and Quirion’s:
Here the hijackers are in a hurry. Moreover Isenberg seems to imply to
me that the hijackers would have missed the flight if it would have been
in time? This corresponds to the “Financial Times” observation.
“Mr. Atta traveled to Boston on a commuter airline from Portland, Me.,
with Mr. Alomari. Mr. Alomari was assigned seat 3C; Mr. Atta, seat 8D.”
Comment: If one keeps in mind that Vincent Meisner states to have
been seated behind Atta: how is it possible that a machine with 19 seats
has nine rows?
Comment: Why does nobody talk to the media about his experience of having been seated next to a hijacker?
Comment: There is much reason given for the suspicion that actually
there is no Colgan commuter flight connecting Portland and Boston.
6:30 a.m.: “Atta and Marwan (Al Shehhi) rented a Mitsubishi sedan, which
they left at Logan Airport in Boston.”
Comment: Besides owning a Pontiac, how many cars did Atta rent? Is this a trace to follow in order to figure out if in the last days before 911 there are more than one Atta?
Late afternoon: “Late Tuesday afternoon, federal agents and local police
converged on the Portland airport and began a lengthy search for a car
they were trying to locate, officials said.”
Time unknown: That evening, just hours after the attack, Portland and
South Portland police were canvassing area hotels, trying to learn where
the men had stayed.
Time unknown: “The two officers spent four hours looking at every one
of the 700 or so cars in the parking garage.”
7:00 p.m.: Laura Wale, manage of Comfort Inn “got a phone call from
the hotel. An FBI agent was on the other line.
Comment: So the very first object of interest on 911 is not Atta’s
apartment nor Bukhari’s but the Comfort Inn in Portland.
Laura Wale has some interesting questions:
Comment: Hearing theses questions one seriously doubts the journalist who states “She never met Atta or Alomari.” (Portland Press Herald, 9/9/03).
“She also made sure to keep photocopies of Atta’s hotel receipt and
an inventory of items the FBI took out of his hotel room.”
9:00 p.m.: “Portland's link in the macabre chain of events began to
emerge Tuesday night, as federal investigators compared the passenger manifests
of the hijacked jets with those of connecting flights coming into Boston.
(…) Investigators matched two names from American Flight 11 and a US Airways
flight that left Portland on Tuesday at 5:45 a.m.
Night: “The Dumpster needed to be moved,” she (Laura Wale) said. “The
picture of (Atta’s) shirt on the FBI Web site? They pulled that out of
our Dumpster at the Comfort Inn.”
Comment: How strange after Atta was easily recognizable thanks to this shirt (and thus allowed the FBI to follow his traces in Portland) he throws it into a dumpster before leaving. Looks once again like assuring one’s traces are found!
“Several employees at Portland area hotels said that FBI agents and
local investigators had looked at registration and credit card records
Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Comment: Why “several names”? Why weren’t they only looking for Atta and Al Omari? No sense looking for other hijackers in Portland!
Time unknown: “Atta seems to have surfaced last Friday afternoon at
Shuckum's, a neighbourhood bar in Hollywood, Florida. On Tuesday, in
the hours following the atrocity, a barmaid was visited by FBI agents who
showed her pictures of two Middle Eastern men.”
11:30 p.m.: “The rental car, a blue 2001 Nissan Altima, was identified
at 11:30 p.m. in a parking lot at the airport, said Portland Police Chief
“FBI and state police declined to comment on what may have been found
in the car that was seized at the Portland airport.”
Comment: Again: Why this secrecy? But we know partly what’s in the car nonetheless:
“(Portland Police Officer Robert) Burke noticed a broken cigarette on
the ground, on the painted line of the parking space, alongside the passenger
door. He saw a few maps in the car and what looked like loose tobacco
— as if a cigarette had broken and spilled some out — on the console, between
the two front seats.”
Comment: This is maybe not important but somebody who smokes in his car also would take a smoking room, wouldn’t he. But Atta and Al Omari went for a non-smoking room in the Comfort Inn.
The car was found like this: “The hotel typically requires guests to
provide their vehicle registration numbers, and the suspects' Massachusetts
license plate number was forwarded to investigators at the jetport.”
“The car (…) had been rented from Alamo somewhere in Boston, Chitwood
September 12, 2001:
Night: “In Coral Springs, witnesses said about 50 FBI agents and police
officers Tuesday night blanketed the apartment complex that Atta had listed
with the motor vehicle division as his last address.”
3:30 a.m.: “The FBI's evidence recovery team was busy at Logan, so the
car was taken by flatbed to the Maine State Police crime lab in Augusta
at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.”
5:00 a.m.: “FBI agents swooped down on two houses in Vero Beach, Fla.,
about 5 a.m. Wednesday, taking a man named Adnan Bukhari into custody,
Comment: On September 12 Adnan and Ameer Bukhari are believed to
have been suicide hijackers. When Adnan turns out to be still alive while
Ameer already dead for one year Adnan is considered an associate in the
media and some unspecified evidence that was found in the Nissan linked
him/them to the hijackers.
7:30 a.m.: “In North Jersey, a dozen FBI agents and sheriff's officers
arrived before 7:30 a.m. in Fort Lee , where they searched Mail
Boxes Etc., a private postal storefront in Linwood Plaza on Fletcher Avenue.
They left 12 hours later carrying several small boxes; they declined to
say what they were looking for.
Comment: Anybody an idea why the FBI was there?
Morning: “In Bangor, the FBI focused their attention on a cell phone
company, where agents interviewed employees at Unicel's corporate office
on Union St., next to the Bangor International Airport.
Comment: The Bangor “connection” seems pretty interesting especially as again there are many eyewitness accounts of people who believe to have seen Atta and others. But without any further explication the case is closed as the case of the terrorists passing the Canadian border.
Time unknown: “And in Halifax, the provincial capital, which is 200
miles northeast of Yarmouth, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers impounded
a car at the international airport there, officials said.
PRESS: The first article is published. But no names given. “Agents
also interviewed workers at the Comfort Inn near the airport, where news
reports indicated the terrorists may have stayed before the flight.”
On the reports about the Nissan: “Jim Osterrieder, the FBI chief in
Maine, declined comment on the reports. The FBI's Boston office also declined
“FBI agents were at the airport and reviewed surveillance tapes, which
captured the two suspects on video on Tuesday, Chitwood said.”
Comment: I find this rather surprising. They can’t have any photo of Abdulaziz at that moment. Moreover the video is very flue. Especially Al Omari is very hard to recognize on it. I believe the FBI assumed that theses are the two suspects because they recognized Atta and by somehow logical conclusion that the two had left the hotel and parked the car at the airport. But somehow the name creates a problem. Otherwise how explain they disclosed Atta’s name only on September 13 (although his name was already in the press one day earlier - but not in connection with Portland). And Al Omari later.
September 13, 2001:
Time unknown: “The FBI arrived at (the) home (of Dr. Mohamed Atta, a
kidney specialist from Maryland, and his wife) on Sept. 13.”
Comment: It was this Mohamed Atta by the way who spend the week-end from September 7 – 9 in New York.
PRESS: Atta’s identity is revealed but not the one of Al Omari:
Some AP articles of that day still don’t disclose Atta’s identity.
Portland Press Herald is strangely vague: “ Two of the terrorists
who crashed jets into the World Trade Center may have taken a flight from
Comment: Why the doubt? Why “may”? In the same account: “Portland's
link in the macabre chain of events began to emerge Tuesday night, as federal
investigators compared the passenger manifests of the hijacked jets with
those of connecting flights coming into Boston. (…) Investigators matched
two names from American Flight 11 and a US Airways flight that left Portland
on Tuesday at 5:45 a.m.”
“Gov. Angus King said the men probably drove from Massachusetts instead
of crossing the Canadian border like some speculated. State police also
sought to discount theories that the men came into Maine from Canada.”
“The 2001 Nissan Altima used by the men came from the same Boston rental
location as another car used by additional suspects that contained incriminating
materials when it was seized at Boston's Logan Airport.”
“"It was an Alamo rental with Massachusetts plates," he said, although
officials are uncertain where it was rented.”
“Atta and Marwan rented a Mitsubishi sedan, which they left at Logan
Airport in Boston. When the abandoned car was found by the FBI, it
contained flight manuals written in Arabic.
“Law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity said they
were investigating whether the hijackers crossed the Canadian border to
enter the United States. They said the FBI was seeking passenger manifests
from two ferries that travel between Nova Scotia and Maine.”
“It remained unclear Wednesday how the terrorists came into Maine,
but attention focused on Canada.”
Comment: Why is this unclear? It is as clear or unclear on September 13 as it is today: the Nissan was rented on September 9 and on September 10 Atta is in Portland. That’s all we know. So, why at that time the uncertainty and why today the certainty what happened, the certainty e.g. that they didn’t pass the Canadian border?
“One theory is that some of the hijackers entered the United States
from Canada, possibly by a tourist ferry to Portland, Maine. American officials
claim they have hard evidence that Atta did enter the United States from
Canada. They believe 22-year-old Ahmad Ibrahim Ali-al Hazoumi, and the
two Al Shehris might have used the same route. A gold Malibu rental
car from Avis at Halifax airport has been searched by the Royal Canadian
“The two men are thought to have taken a ferry from Nova Scotia, Canada,
“The terrorists may have been divided into separate, self-contained
groups, some recently crossing into this country from Canada. Others may
have been here for some time, law enforcement authorities said.”
”Chitwood said the men stayed in Greater Portland for at least one
“Records show that Atta once had a driver's license in Egypt.
Comment: Why then is Atta so active to rent cars?
”The rented Nissan led police to Adnan Bukhari, who lived near Vero
Beach Municipal Airport in Florida until two weeks ago.”
September 14, 2001:
But the regional press is still cautios:
Note already here the two different versions of Al Omari’s name!
Many thinks still remain unclear:
“Investigators don't yet know exactly when Atta and Al-Omari arrived
in Maine , but they know that someone, perhaps Atta, recently rented
a blue Nissan Altima from Alamo Rent A Car in Boston, and that the two
drove it to Portland.”
Had Al Omari a girl friend in Portland?
Roger Quirions witness account gets in the news:
September 15, 2001:
September 16, 2001:
The story about Al Omari having a girl friend changes:
Comment: I would assume that the FBI showed the woman a photo of Al Omari. And if on Friday she was convinced that her love had the body of Al Omari how come then that two days later it’s simply an unknown but very suspicious person?
September 18, 2001:
New doubts if Atta drove alone:
Comment: Apparently Atta rented the car alone. So this implies that there is no way of knowing if Al Omari didn’t already stay in Portland. This seems plausible as he might have had a girl friend and was seen several times in Portland.
September 20, 2001:
Comment: And all the eyewitnesses?
And later even the news of Al Omari possibly having an affair with a
local women is now only “a rumour”!
New Jersey driver licence: “The two men apparently were using
New Jersey driver licenses but little else was known about them, (Gov.
Angus) King said.”
“Investigators believe the occupants of the car used New Jersey drivers'
licenses to rent it from an Alamo rental center, state officials said.”
”Maine Gov. Angus King said the men were using New Jersey driver's licenses.
But Col. Carson Dunbar, head of the New Jersey State Police, said that
was not so.
“Kelly (commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety) said
the FBI has names and, ‘They have drivers' licenses showing them out of
Mark Goodwin, a spokesman for Northeast, said the plane arrived about
a week before the Sept. 11 attacks and that the company routinely outfits
small planes going overseas with auxiliary tanks. He said the work is done
in accordance with FAA regulations. Goodwin said this was the first time
the company had been asked to do work by Alzeedi. He declined to say whether
the company had done business with other Middle Eastern companies.
Portland in the news again:
“That angers Chitwood, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the
FBI for not keeping him informed.”
As shown in "Meet the four unknown hijackers" the FBI was looking in the first days after 911 not for Abdulaziz Al Omari but for Abdul Rahman Al Omari. This already is strange enough but how can it be explained that several witnesses in Portland came up after 911 and said that they had seen Al Omari in the city? We have to assume that the FBI showed a photo of Abdulrahman when looking for witnesses.
Seven months before he hijacked a U.S. jetliner and flew it into the World Trade Center, Mohamed Atta and two associates tried to get jobs with Lufthansa Airlines that would have granted them access to secure areas of the busy international airport in Frankfurt, Germany, according to a new book.
The 33-year-old Egyptian national applied for a job with Lufthansa on Feb. 15, 2001, according to "Netzwerke des Terrors (Networks of Terror)," a book published last month by Juergen Roth, one of Germany's top investigative reporters.
By the time he sought work in Frankfurt, Atta had already been to the United States and attended flight training school in Florida. Weeks later he would move out of the apartment he shared with fellow suspected terrorists in Hamburg, Germany.
Atta did not know that Lufthansa's personnel division had access to law enforcement files that indicated he had once been under investigation for petty drug crimes and falsifying phone cards while a student at the Technical University at Hamburg-Harburg in 1995, the book reports, citing federal law enforcement sources.
Atta didn't get the job. Neither did an Iranian citizen who dropped Atta's name while applying for the job three days later, not realizing an internal decision had already been made rejecting Atta. Nor did a third applicant who showed up on March 5, 2001, with Atta at his side. The three, according to the book, were members of an Islamic study group at the university in Hamburg. One of the two told Lufthansa's personnel division that he had been a pilot in the Pakistani air force, according to the book.
Lufthansa's U.S. spokesman Tom Tripp yesterday said he couldn't confirm or deny the report.
Best guess about Atta in Portland is that he used it as a switch point, swapping with someone else who took over his identity. Portland is a good choice because it's so close to the Canadian border. One of the Attas could have been over the border before the 9/11 attacks were even done.
Below are the pictures of Hani Hanjour going through the Washington airport, released by the Associated Press around July 2004. Accounts of him and what can be seen in his head and chest shots shows a man who's thin and wispy. Yet this person going through the airport seems pretty bulky to me.
Hanjour is supposed to be the guy at the bottom in the dark shirt. Maybe they're the same person, maybe not.