The mystery of what Mohammed Atta was doing in Portland, Maine, on 9/10/2001 has been compounded by the disappearance of most of the locations that Atta visited that last evening of his life.
As you may recall, Atta on September 10, 2001, picked up another 9/11 terrorist, Abdul-Azzia Al-Omari (or Alomari), at the Milner Hotel (78 Charles Street South) in Boston.
They drove a rented Nissan Altmia to Portland, Maine, and arrived at the Comfort Inn Hotel, 90 Maine Mall Road, South Portland, Maine, at 5:43 p.m. The Comfort Inn, in 2001, was the nearest inexpensive hotel to the airport.
After checking in at the motel, Atta and Alomari were seen several times between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Between 8 and 9 p.m., they were seen at Pizza Hut; at 8:31 p.m., they were videotaped by a KeyBank automatic teller machine, and videotaped again at 8:41 p.m. at a Fast Green ATM next to Pizzeria Uno.
At 9:15 p.m., the two stopped at Jetport Gas on Western Avenue, where they asked for directions, and at 9:22 p.m., Atta was caught on videotape in the Wal-Mart in Scarborough. The FBI reports he spent about 20 minutes there.
5: 43 p. m.: Atta and Alomari check into the Comfort Inn, 90 Maine Mall Road, South Portland.
8-9 p. m.: Two men described by the FBI as "Middle Eastern" males are seen at Pizza Hut, 415 Maine Mall Road, for about 15 minutes.
8: 31 p. m.: Atta and Alomari are photographed at a Key Bank driveup ATM at 445 Gorham Road, South Portland.They are driving a 2001 blue Nissan Altima rental car, Mass.license 3335VI.
8: 41 p. m.: The suspects are photographed by a Fast GreenATM in the parking lot of Pizzera Uno restaurant, 280 Maine Mall Road.
9: 15 p. m.: Atta and Alomari are at Jetport Gas Station, 446 Western Ave., South Portland. Atta wears a half-dark, half-light colored shirt with light-colored slacks.
9:22 p.m.: Atta is at Wal-Mart, 451 Payne Road, Scarborough, for about 20 minutes.
5: 33 a. m.: Atta and Alomari check out of the Comfort Inn.
Source: “The Night Before Terror,” Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine, 5 October 2001.In eleven years, businesses close, open, and close, of course. Intriguingly, the physical links to the visit to the Portland area of Atta and Al-Omari have, with the exception of the Comfort Inn, mostly vanished as separate entities or have been physically torn down.
On the morning of 9/11, Atta and Al-Omari drove to Portland International Jetport (below) and boarded a 6 a.m. commuter flight to Boston's Logan International Airport.