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Mohamed Atta:
Terrorist, Patsy, or Scapegoat?

[Atta and Alomari] spent their last night pursuing ordinary activities: making ATM withdrawals, eating pizza, and shopping at a convenience store. [9/11 Commission Report]

"Most college kids order pizza all the time," Ponemon said. "But most people pay cash for pizza. These guys paid with a credit card. That was an odd thing." [SignOnSanDiego]

Click for full sized image
The shirt worn by Atta on 9/10

The above were not the actions of a terrorist ringleader determined to achieve a goal which was years in the planning, they were the actions of someone determined to leave a trail of evidence.


Above are CCTV pictures released by the FBI supposedly showing Atta and Alomari at Portland Jetport on 9/11. Click images for full size photos.

Michael Tuohey's brief encounter took place at the U.S. Airways ticket and baggage check-in at the airport in Portland, Maine. Working the ticket counter as he did most every morning for 37 years, he remembered two clean-shaven Arab-looking businessmen with tickets in hand (Atta and Alomari) approaching his workstation, both looking elegant and wearing suits and ties. [American Free Press]

Did they change into casual clothes before walking past the camera?

(Mohamed) Atta and (Abdulaziz) Alomari boarded a 6:00 a.m. flight from Portland to Boston's Logan International Airport. [SFGate]

A Mitsubishi sedan [Atta] rented was found at Boston's Logan Airport. Arabic language materials were found in the car. [CNN]

How did Atta leave a rental car at Logan Airport in Boston when he supposedly flew there from Portland, Maine?

The official story:

[Atta] rented a car at Logan Airport Alamo and drove to Maine [on September 10]. Then flew down from Portland, Maine, early Tuesday before connecting on Flight 11. [Boston.com]

Why would Atta leave a rental car containing incriminating evidence at Logan Airport, rent another car in Boston to drive to Maine, then fly back to Boston again?

Even the 9/11 Commission couldn't explain this conundrum...

Atta picked up Omari at another hotel [on September 10], and the two drove to Portland, Maine, for reasons that remain unknown. [9/11 Commission Report]

...and they didn't look for answers.

The Bukharis provide a key to the enigma:

[Adnan and Ameer Bukhari's] names had been tied to a car found at an airport in Portland, Maine. [CNN]

The two rented a car, a silver-blue Nissan Altima, from an Alamo car rental at Boston's Logan Airport and drove to an airport in Portland, Maine, where they got on US Airways Flight 5930 at 6 a.m. Tuesday headed back to Boston, the sources said.

Before CNN learned the identities of the two brothers, Portland Police Chief Mike Chitwood said, "I can tell you those two individuals did get on a plane and fly to Boston early yesterday morning ... I can tell you that they are the focus of a federal investigation." [People's Daily 9/13/2001]

[Adnan Bukhari's] name reportedly appears on the American Airlines Flight Eleven manifest. [First Coast News]

A trail of evidence led investigators into Tuesday's terrorist attacks from one abandoned rental car in Portland, Maine, to two houses in Vero Beach, Florida. One of the Vero Beach houses had been rented by two brothers from Saudi Arabia. Inside it were two pilot's certificates in the names of Adnan Bukhari and his brother, Ameer Abbas Bukhari. [BBC News]

Early accounts stated it was Adnan and Ameer Bukhari who rented the car from Logan Airport Alamo and abandoned it at Portland, not Mohamed Atta. The Bukharis "did get on a plane and fly to Boston", Adnan Bukhari's name reportedly appeared on Flight 11's manifest, and a trail of evidence led investigators to Adnan Bukhari's house.

Within hours of the attacks it was nearly "case closed" that the Bukharis were hijackers of Flight 11, but a couple of simple facts proved their innocence - Ameer Bukhari died in a plane crash in 2000 and Adnan Bukhari is alive.

How did so much evidence initially point to the Bukharis, and how did Adnan Bukhari's name reportedly appear on Flight 11's manifest?

The words "fabricated evidence" spring to mind.

The Bukharis innocence caused a major rethink of Flight 11's hijackers, and this rethink resulted in the implausible scenario of Atta abandoning two rental cars in two airports.


[Mohamed Atta] spoke excellent German - good enough to correct other students' texts - as well as fluent English and Arabic. [FT.com]

Atta and two other suspected hijackers reported their passports stolen in late 1999. [BBC News]

[Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation] knew that Atta had lived in Hamburg, Germany and one day [in 2000] spoke to him in German as a way of friendly communication. Atta was stunned and quickly walked away. [house.gov]

An imposter could pretend to be Atta, but he couldn't pretend to speak German.

[Atta senior] had no knowledge his son had ever been in the United States. More absurd to him was the idea that his son had enrolled in a Florida flight school. “Did he ever learn to fly? Never. He never even had a kite.” Added Atta senior: “My daughter, who is a doctor, used to get him medicine before every journey, to make combat the cramps and the vomiting he feels every time he gets on the plane.” [MSNBC]

On the first day of the 9/11 Commission hearings, commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste opened his remarks with sharp criticism of the current White House and the delays in processing the commissioners' security clearances. Ben-Veniste, who first came to prominence as a Watergate special prosecutor from 1973 to 1975, was counsel for the Democratic minority on the Senate Whitewater committee. Today he is a major attorney with a top firm in D.C.

Al Qaeda's lead 9/11 hijacker, Mohamed Atta, was allegedly partying with CIA-connected pilots while he got his flight training in fall/winter 2000 at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Fla., where two of the other 9/11 hijacker pilots trained. Atta wasn't acting much like a holy martyr: He wore jeans and sneakers, played video games, bought himself a red Pontiac and was said to be a hedonist. The Press posed the question to Ben-Veniste: If Atta belonged to the fundamentalist Muslim group, why was he snorting cocaine and frequenting strip bars?

"You know," said Ben-Veniste, as he smiled a little. "That's a heck of a question." [9/11 CitizenWatch]


Below is supposedly the will of a hedonist who snorted cocaine and frequented strip bars:

Mohamed Atta's will: Page 1 - Page 2

Atta's original will was written in Arabic and has not been released by the FBI. This is an English version translated by the FBI and first reported in Der Spiegel.

Records from ... [Huffman Aviation] were deemed sensitive enough to have merited being escorted back to Washington by Florida Governor Jeb Bush aboard a C-130 cargo plane, which left Sarasota less than 24 hours after the September 11 attack. [Scoop]

How did Jeb Bush know where to lookhours after the attacks?

Mohamed Atta: terrorist, patsy, or scapegoat?


Update:

Pentagon officials said Thursday they have found three more people who recall an intelligence chart that identified Sept. 11 mastermind Mohamed Atta as a terrorist one year before the attacks on New York and Washington. But they have been unable to find the chart or other evidence that it existed. [Yahoo News 9/2/2005]

A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday. The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to identify the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa. Weldon declined to identify the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon described the documents as "2.5 terabytes" as much as one-fourth of all the printed materials in the Library of Congress, he added. [ABC News 9/15/2005]

Translation: Atta was a protected asset, not a terrorist.


See also:

Mohamed Atta loved pork chops, and 49 other things you may not know
What Muslim Would Write: 'The Time of Fun and Waste is Gone'?
At Least 7 of the 9/11 Hijackers are Still Alive


What Really Happened

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