Monday, June 17, 2002

Could the fellow who played the role of 'Mohamed Atta' who supposedly crashed into the World Trade Center still be alive? Consider:

  1. It is odd to sacrifice the mastermind of an operation as complex as the September 11 terrorism. It would make much more sense to allow the mastermind to survive to plan more terrorism.

  2. The trip to Portland remains unexplained. It might have been intended to make the arrival of a group of Arab-looking men on Flight 11 less suspicious, by having some of them arrive from a different airport. The problem with this is that once the two terrorists arrived in Boston from Portland they still had to pass through the same security gate as the others, and thus the flight from Portland did absolutely nothing to make the arrival of the terrorists less suspicious. In fact, the late arrival of the plane from Portland to Boston almost made Atta, or the person now claiming to be 'Atta', miss his Boston flight (and the clumsy way that the 'Atta' passing through Boston security claimed not to speak English made things worse, and doesn't seem like the always-in-control Atta we've come to know from his other actions). Similarly, the terrorists may have believed that weapons could be smuggled through Portland Airport more easily than through Logan Airport. Again, this doesn't work as an explanation, as on arrival at Logan the two terrorists still had to pass through the same Logan security they would have had to pass through if they had gone directly to Logan Airport. In fact, if they were carrying weapons, going through two airport security systems would have increased their risk of detection. You might argue that they didn't know that they would have to pass through Logan security, but that seems highly unlikely given the planning which obviously went into the terrorism.

  3. We've seen lots of pictures taken of Atta and Alomari as they were recorded by various video cameras in Portland, but no other images taken in Logan Airport. Is that because a search of the video tapes taken at Logan shows no images of the two terrorists, or images which don't match the picture of 'Atta' that we are so used to seeing?

  4. It was originally thought that at least some of the hijackers came in from Canada. That is apparently not the case. However, there are rumours of a dinner at a Halifax restaurant on September 10 attended by a group of Arab-looking men. Could this be a dinner of Atta and his terrorist colleagues? The timing is off, as Atta was still in Portland on the morning of September 11, but the rememberance of the date of the meal may also be off.

  5. The passenger manifests apparently do not contain the names of any of the hijackers, and so do not help us determine who was on the planes. In fact, there appears to be no evidence of which hijackers got on the planes (when you get right down to it, with no hijacker names on the manifests and no video of the hijackers from the airports, we have no evidence that any of the hijackers were on the planes except for those very odd cellphone calls!).

I wonder whether Atta and Alomari actually went to Logan Airport from Portland. Is it possible that they flew to Halifax from Portland, and then from Halifax to Europe? This would preserve the actor who played 'Atta' to plan more terrorism. I would explain why he went to Portland: presumably he bought a ticket to Boston, but then didn't use it, thus throwing investigators off the scent. It would explain why we have no images of him from Logan Airport. The dinner in Halifax may have been a celebration of a job well done before he flew off to parts unknown. (On a possibly unrelated note, isn't it a weird coincidence that the motel Atta stayed at when visiting Las Vegas was around the corner from the FBI office?)