Saturday, February 02, 2002

I've had Portland, Maine on the brain. Why did Atta and another terrorist drive there from Boston on September 10th, stay overnight, and fly from Portland to Boston before boarding the terrorist plane at Boston's Logan Airport? Other terrorists boarded the plane directly in Boston. The Portland terrorists' actions can't be because they felt security would be easier in Portland, as in fact they still had to go through Boston security, and other terrorists did go directly through Boston security. It could be to make it appear less suspicious than if four swarthy men all appeared at once to board the plane in Boston, but that also seems an unlikely explanation as they all ended up going through the same airport. They rented a car to drive to Portland from Boston (around 100 miles) and wouldn't have used a whole tank of gas. Why did they need to stop for gas if they intended to abandon the car in Portland? (I note in passing that, by wild coincidence, Kennebunkport, site of the summer compound of the Bush family, lies between Boston and Portland!) Did one of them know someone in Portland? Did they have to meet with someone to obtain final instructions? Since having to go through another airport security gate greatly increased the risk of detection, there must have been a very compelling reason to go to Portland.