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FBI: Cameras Place Hijackers in Portland Before Attack

Two hijackers apparently stopped at an ATM, a gas station and a Wal-Mart in the Portland area hours before boarding a commuter flight to Boston, where they got on one of the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center, the FBI said Thursday.

Charles S. Prouty, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office, released fresh details Thursday about the activities of Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, who were in Portland on the night before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Prouty said the agency's chronology of the activities of Atta and Alomari was being made public in hopes that it would generate tips from residents who might have more information about the time the two men spent in Portland.

Prouty made a videotape that included several enlarged photographs taken of the two men at locations near the Portland International Jetport.

One picture, taken at 8:41 p.m. on Sept. 10, showed the men at the Fast Green ATM machine behind Pizzeria Uno restaurant near the Maine Mall in South Portland.

Atta and Abdulaziz were next caught by a surveillance camera at the nearby Jetport Gas Station on Western Avenue at 9:15 p.m. In those pictures, Atta was wearing a shirt in which the right third is white and the left two-thirds black.

Another surveillance camera caught the men entering the Wal-Mart store on Payne Road in Scarborough at 9:22 p.m.

The final picture, which had already been released, was taken the next day as Atta and Abdulaziz passed through a security gate at the airport and boarded their commuter flight.

Atta and Alomari drove to Portland in a car that was rented at Boston's Logan International Airport, then boarded a USAirways flight back to Boston. From there, they boarded American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, the first tower hit.

Alomari and Atta spent the night before the attack at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, about a mile from the airport, authorities said.

The rental car was seized at the airport and taken to the state police crime lab in Augusta. Its contents have not been divulged.

A bag that Atta checked at the airport in Portland never made the connecting flight in Boston. Officials said the bag contained a four-page document in Arabic which contained instructions for the mission as well as religious references.

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