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Bangor, what the f*** was going on in Bangor?

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John Doe II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 03:12 AM
Original message
Bangor, what the f*** was going on in Bangor?
Just imagine that right after 911 you hear of a city from where three hijackers flew to Boston on 911 while two others were connecting to Boston from Portland.
Imagine that this city is also one of the first cities of interest where the FBI showed massive presence right after 911.
Welcome to Bangor!
You have never ever heart of all this? Thats not surprising. Bangor was one center of attention but the story disappeared a few days after 911.
Maybe worth to have a close look again.


On September 12 ABC reports:
ROSS: (VO) Also today, authorities were tracking another set of six hijackers who were believed to have entered the country from Canada at a small border crossing in Jackman, Maine. The men are then believed to have flown into Boston on commuter flights yesterday morning from Bangor and Portland, Maine , with the thought of clearing security at the smaller airports instead of Boston.
Unidentified Man #2: Each one was carrying some type of small shoulder bag, not a real bulky one but something small, both kind of dark complected, dark hair.

(ABC, 9/12/01 c)

In Bangor, the FBI focused their attention on a cell phone company, where agents interviewed employees at Unicel's corporate office on Union St., next to the Bangor International Airport.
Rick O'Connor, senior vice president, said the agents were interested in knowing more about several men who attempted to buy cell phones recently. O'Connor said the company did not sell phones to them.
He said he didn't know how the FBI knew about the incident, but agents appeared at the office Wednesday morning. "No one had called them," he said.

(AP, 9/12/01 j)

The following day the New York Times writes in detail about this incident:
Investigators began trying today to piece together the path of a clutch of terrorists who hijacked two jetliners here on Tuesday, tracing their movements in the past week from Bangor, Me., to Boston , where they boarded the planes that later crashed into the World Trade Center.
Federal agents questioned employees at a store in Bangor where five Arab men believed to be the hijackers tried to rent or buy cell phones late last week. Store employees at first refused to sell the phones because the men lacked proper identification, but they gave in after the five offered $3,000 in cash, store employees and an airport official in Maine said.
The men then phoned the Bangor airport trying to get a flight to Boston but were told there was no flight that matched their desired departure time, the authorities said. The men then phoned Portland International Jetport, where two of them apparently made reservations for a flight to Boston on Tuesday morning.

(New York Times, 9/13/01 c)

The fact that the store employee accepted the $ 3000 is later the same day corrected. He didnt accept.

On September 14 the Bangor Daily News calls the news about the cell phone incident confirmed:
Confirmed reports from sources at Unicel in Bangor that a group of Middle Eastern men had attempted to buy cellular phones Monday but were refused after they failed to produce adequate identification.
(Bangor Daily News, 9/14/01)


In a story in Thursday's edition of the Montreal Gazette, Vincent Cannistraro claimed five of the men who crashed two passenger jets into New York City's World Trade Center entered Maine from Canada.
The former chief of intelligence for the CIA who now makes his home in McLean, Va., was quoted as saying the five Middle Eastern terrorists entered the state from either the U.S. Customs Station at Jackman on the Quebec border or in a rented car aboard one of two ferries from Nova Scotia: The Cat, which docks in Bar Harbor or the Scotia Prince in Portland.
According to the Gazette, Cannistraro said the group drove to Bangor where they "boarded a feeder plane, but only three of them could get on board because it was full and the other two went on to Portland and got a flight from Portland." From there, Cannistraro claimed the men regrouped in Boston's Logan International Airport where two of Tuesday's four airline hijackings were launched.

(Bangor Daily News, 9/14/01)

The Bangor Flight arrived in Boston at 7.10 a.m. only ten minutes after the flight from Portland.


Although the whole Bangor story is very interesting the investigation seemed to have stopped just after a couple of days. There is only one follow up story in Bangor Daily News from October 13, 2001. This account once again stresses the suspicion that the hijackers were indeed in Bangor. Why is there no real investigation?

Ten days before the attack, (Laura) Monteith said, she was driving for Paul's Taxi and picked up three men at about 12:45 a.m. outside Jimmy V's, a Bangor bar and restaurant. () She said she can't forget the face or words of the man who sat in the front seat with her. Shown separate pictures of the hijackers, she identified Mohamed Atta , the man authorities suspect piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, as the man in the front seat. A second man she identified as Fayez Rashid Ahmed Hassan Al Qadi Banihammad , who the FBI said was on United Airlines Flight 175, which struck the South Tower.
()
Tom Sullivan drives for Town Taxi and said that the day before the terrorist attacks, he took several men resembling the terrorists to Staples at the Airport Mall in Bangor and later dropped them off at the Bangor Mall . He believes some of those men were hijackers.
A third cabdriver, who did not want to be identified, said that on Saturday, Sept. 8, he brought four men he now believes were among the terrorists to Ames Department Store at the Airport Mall. He said that they were in a rush to make a 4:30 p.m. flight and quickly bought seven or eight suitcases.

(Bangor Daily News, 10/13/01)

I havent been able to find any article about Bangor and 911 since October 2001. Arent there enough reasons and suspicion to really investigate what happened in this city?

As stated in the ABC interview from September 12, 2001 and by Vincent Cannistraro not only Bangor but also the border crossing of Jackman was used by the hijackers.

Another unconfirmed media report said the group had proceeded from Jackman to Bangor where they attempted to board a charter to Boston.
(Bangor Daily News, 9/13/01)

Cannistraro, who was in contact with people close to the investigation, said authorities believe the suspects may have entered the U.S. at two Maine border points -- Jackman, a remote site near Armstrong, Que. and Portland, via the ferry from Yarmouth, N.S.
(Bangor Daily News, 9/13/01)

And surprise, surprise: something suspicious is witnessed there as well. And surprise, surprise: no investigation.

Jackman:
Investigators were reviewing gas station receipts Wednesday to determine
whether four men who bought gas at a station in the border community were
linked to Tuesday's terrorist attack.
The receipts were handed over to authorities Wednesday by a Ray Stevens,
owner of a gas station in Jackman Me.
''There were four individuals who came in on the 17th of August,' he told
the Canadian Press.

(Windsor Star, 9/13/01)

What Stevens could give officials was a name, due to the credit card receipt. He declined to disclose the name to the media on Wednesday.
(Bangor Daily News, 9/13/01)

A confirmed report from a Jackman convenience store owner, who said a group of Arab men purchased gasoline at his business last month. One of the men produced a credit card with a home address of United Arab Emirates. According to the Montreal Gazette, Abu Dhabi Television in the United Arab Emirates reported that two men with Saudi Arabian passports and international driver's licenses issued in the UAE were linked to a Mitsubishi sedan seized Tuesday night at Logan airport.
(Bangor Daily News, 9/14/01)

Who were this four suspects? What was the name on the credit card?

The Canada connection was very much in the center of attention right after 911. Here another reason why:

Halifax:
In Halifax, a team of plain-clothed Mounties descended on the Avis car rental lot near the airport Wednesday and undertook a detailed forensic examination of a tan 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. Dogs sniffed its interior and exterior. Wearing a blue RCMP windbreaker, Corporal Richard Shaw stood guard over the vehicle, its door frames, hood and trunk coated with white fingerprint dust. It was later towed to an RCMP compound for further examination.
Robert Putnam, manager of the Avis outlet, declined to give details about who rented the car.

(Vancouver Sun, 9/13/01)

Once again one of the very first centers of attention. And once again a story that is dropped on September 14 without any explanation.
Strangely there is no follow up story on this. At least I couldnt find any.
Why was this car examined?
What have been the results?
Why is there nothing in the press about it?

Bangor, Jackman and Halifax. Three places that have been very suspicious for good reasons. All three have been connected as you can see in the explanation of Cannistraro. And all three drop completely out of the news and out of the interest of the FBI. No investigation. No explanation. No nothing.
Strange, isnt it?




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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. How do you know...
...that these incidents drop "out of the interest of the FBI"? Because they weren't in the news anymore?
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. This is true-- we can't simply assume there was a solid lead there
Edited on Tue Feb-22-05 11:23 AM by spooked911
that the FBI ignored.

On the other hand the FBI has been known to stifle important leads if it doesn't fit their story-line-- i.e. the story of Mohamed Atta in Venice Florida as a drug-abusing swinger.

The question is-- where did the original leads come from about Bangor and why did they "fall through"?
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gbwarming Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-22-05 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. One explanation is that (ABC news consultant) Cannistraro botched it
Edited on Tue Feb-22-05 11:56 AM by gbwarming
These stories that you've posted have two elements
1. A detailed story provided by Cannistraro which was not confirmed by either the ME police or the FBI. He seems to be the sole source of the detailed story.

2. Various reports in Bangor and Jackman about middle eastern men taking cab rides, buying gas and cell phones. They don't all add up. The Jackman gas station report was a month before 9/11, the cell story four days before, and the cabbies are all over the place. The first cabbie drives 3 ME men (including Atta) and a white guy 10 days before 9/11, the second cabbie has four men buying luggage and rushing to catch a flight on 9/8, and the 3rd drove 'several' men to two malls on 9/10. IMO there is a considerable chance that these helpful citizens interacted with someone other than the hijackers.

How many tips did the FBI receive in the days and weeks after 9/11? Cannistraro/ABCnews focused attention on Bangor, but it is possible that dozens of other cities had similar sighting which went unreported. Hundreds of immigrants were detained without charge and tens of thousands of people of middle eastern descent were questioned in the weeks following 9/11.



==============
Maine connection to attacks probed;
A.J. Higgins and Renee Ordway, Of the NEWS Staff. Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Me.: Sep 13, 2001. pg. 1
Full Text (1071 words)
(Copyright 2001 Bangor Daily News)

ABC News reported Wednesday that Chitwood had confirmed that four of the suspected terrorists had crossed into Maine through Jackman.

But Chitwood said late Wednesday afternoon that his remarks had been misconstrued by the network, and he further maintained that the ABC reports quoting his theories about a Jackman connection were erroneous.
==============
Former CIA official defends story of Maine link to terrorism Governor, police spokesman deny hijackers were in Bangor;
A.J. Higgins, Of the NEWS Staff. Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Me.: Sep 15, 2001. pg. 1
...
Cannistraro's claims conflicted with statements made Thursday by Gov. Angus S. King and Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland. Both state officials said that based on the information provided to them by the FBI to date, there appeared to be no Bangor or Canadian connection with the airline hijackings. And Rebecca Hupp, interim director at BIA, said Friday she had received no inquiries from the FBI concerning any activities at the airport.

Cannistraro, a 27-year intelligence veteran with a private consulting firm that includes ABC News among its clients, conceded Friday it was possible some Maine officials were simply not in the loop.

"I can only tell you what the FBI told me and that was that three of these people got on the flight from Bangor," Cannistraro said Friday.
...
======= (Here is one later article addressing the Bangor investigation)
Question of Bangor link to attacks unanswered;
Doug Kesseli, Of the NEWS Staff. Bangor Daily News. Bangor, Me.: Oct 13, 2001. pg. 1
Full Text (1150 words)
(Copyright 2001 Bangor Daily News)
...
On Friday, Bangor Police Chief Donald Winslow reaffirmed earlier statements that his department has received no substantiated information that the suspected terrorists were in Bangor. Winslow added that he is not discounting the possibility that they were in the city at one point. After all, he said, some were believed to have been in the United States for years.

Enough people have reported sightings in the Bangor area to keep investigators busy.
=======
(Edit for spelling)
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John Doe II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-28-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I agree but
I agree that analysing the media accounts doesn't neccessarily tell us anything about the FBI investigation but still what was going on in Bangor, Jackman and Halifax seems to be very interesting to me.

You write:
1. A detailed story provided by Cannistraro which was not confirmed by either the ME police or the FBI. He seems to be the sole source of the detailed story.

Cannistraro is the only one who combines what was going on in the three different locations. But the fact that suspicious things were going on in theses three locations (especially in Bangor) is completely independent of Cannistraro's statement.

2. Various reports in Bangor and Jackman about middle eastern men taking cab rides, buying gas and cell phones. They don't all add up. The Jackman gas station report was a month before 9/11, the cell story four days before, and the cabbies are all over the place. The first cabbie drives 3 ME men (including Atta) and a white guy 10 days before 9/11, the second cabbie has four men buying luggage and rushing to catch a flight on 9/8, and the 3rd drove 'several' men to two malls on 9/10. IMO there is a considerable chance that these helpful citizens interacted with someone other than the hijackers.

It's true that the stories don't completely add up but they don't contradict each other neither.

How many tips did the FBI receive in the days and weeks after 9/11? Cannistraro/ABCnews focused attention on Bangor, but it is possible that dozens of other cities had similar sighting which went unreported. Hundreds of immigrants were detained without charge and tens of thousands of people of middle eastern descent were questioned in the weeks following 9/11.

Bangor was in the focus of the FBI on the morning of 9/12. The FBI wasn't notified by anybody to show up in Bangor but yet Bangor is next to Vero Beach and Atta' house and Portland the FIRST place the FBI investigates.
There are other small stories in other cities but they differ a lot from this one: the suspicion is much smaller, the media present the news that there is no suspision anymore and theses cities had no connecting flight to Boston like Bangor.


The story of Bangor, Halifax and Jackman doesn't prove anything but can anybody explain me the strange case that eg many many newspapers print on September 13 that the car in Halifax was analysed but (as far as I've seen) not a single paper prints the result of the analyses.

Bangor is big in the news. But nowhere an explanation. No journalist interest although several witnesses saw hijackers in town. This has strong resemblance to the fact that Atta and Al Omari had been seen in Portland long before September 2001. Many witnesses pointed this out yet the FBI not only stated that Atta and Al Omari didn't show up in Portland before September but they also showed NO INTEREST in interviewing the witnesses (eg Portland library).

The lack of interest by the FBI is as unexplainable as them believing the two Bukhari, Abdul Rahman Al Omari and Kamfar being hijackers.
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Last Lemming Donating Member (806 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-23-05 06:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Parenthetically
immediately after the attacks--a married couple--"hillbillies" is all I remember thinking--who knew the hijackers that last month before Sept 11; and I believe said they knew Atta's girlfriend--interviewed on Larry King--I thought they lived up in Maine but can't quite remember
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John Doe II Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. Interesting
In Maine, authorities impounded a blue Nissan Altima found at the Portland International Jetport that they believe provided the transportation for five suspected terrorists. Investigators suspect the car was driven to Bangor, Maine, where three of the suspected terrorists allegedly boarded a flight to Boston. Then, the other two suspects drove the car back to Portland and boarded a separate flight to Boston. The car is at the Maine State Crime Lab in Augusta.
http://web.archive.org/web/20010913195826/http://abcnew...
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