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Interesting 9/11 story on the Comfort Inn manager (So. Portand, ME)

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 07:49 AM
Original message
Interesting 9/11 story on the Comfort Inn manager (So. Portand, ME)
This is the hotel where Atta stayed the night of 9/10. Starts out as another 9/11 personal tragedy story, but she has some very interesting questions regarding the FBI's actions on tracking down Atta.

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http://www.pressherald.com/news/local/030909911series.s...


'It's been a loss of a lifetime'


By JOSIE HUANG, Portland Press Herald Writer

Copyright 2003 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
E-mail this story to a friend





Staff photo by Fred J. Field

Laura R. Wale was general manager of this Comfort Inn in South Portland where two terrorists stayed before they flew an airliner into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Since then she has lost her job and suffered an emotional breakdown.




Laura Wale says her life was good. Maybe too good.

As general manager of the Comfort Inn in South Portland, she was a popular supervisor and savvy moneymaker for the hotel chain. She bought a three-bedroom house in Portland on her $70,000-plus annual salary and took regular trips to Las Vegas with her partner.

Then on Sept. 10, 2001, at 5:43 p.m., terrorist mastermind Mohamed Atta and a companion, Abdulaziz Alomari, checked into the hotel she managed. Twelve hours later, they left for the Portland International Jetport to strike the World Trade Center and change the world.

Two years after the attack, Wale has become one of the terrorists' most unlikely victims. She never met Atta or Alomari. But she believes her connection to 9/11 and the stress of dealing with federal investigators, the national media and her company sent her life into a tailspin.

<snip>


At turns, she sounds impatient and agitated. Her story veers off into conspiracy theories.

How did government agents know to storm the Comfort Inn only hours after the Twin Towers fell? Why did the FBI release surveillance video of Atta and Alomari at various locations in South Portland, but not the lobby of the Comfort Inn?

What, she wonders, is on that tape?

A fastidious record-keeper, she produces documentation of her falling out with the Silver Spring, Md.-based Sunburst Hospitality Corp., which runs the Comfort Inn hotel chain, including a photocopy of the criminal trespass notice.

Sunburst's executive vice president and chief operating officer, Kevin Hanley, refused to comment for this story.

But in a Sept. 25, 2001, letter he commended Wale and her staff for their "unparalleled professionalism" after Sept. 11. He reserved special praise for Wale, passing on a compliment from an FBI agent.

<snip>

The constant pressure was beginning to wear her down.

Wale said it upset her that she needed to be tested for anthrax because she had been one of the first people to enter the terrorists' hotel room after the attacks.

But perhaps the biggest blow came when she discovered on Sept. 26 that the federal government had cited her in court records in its case against the alleged 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui. As the Comfort Inn's general manager, she was the custodian of hotel records being used as government exhibits.

"What does anything they acquire from my hotel on 9/11 have to do with him or (what do) I have to do with it?" she asked.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where Moussaoui is facing trial for conspiracy to murder, would not comment on the case.






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LARED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Weird Story
hard to tell if there's something here or she's become unbalanced.

For instance, how does these two parts jive?

She stated

How did government agents know to storm the Comfort Inn only hours after the Twin Towers fell?

Then later the article says


She arrived just in time to see United Airlines Flight 175 crash into the south tower at 9:03 a.m.

Because flights were halted, she thought, "I'm going to have guests who can't get out. Guests who can't get in. Phone service is going to be interrupted. The whole shooting match is going to go down."

She put all her managers on 24-hour call. After she went home for the day, around 7 p.m., she got a phone call from the hotel. An FBI agent was on the other line.

"Your hotel has had direct involvement in 9/11. We need you to come in,"
the agent told her,....


Her first statement about storming the hotel within hours implies it was a relatively short time. I mean if it really took the FBI 6 to 9 hours (depending on what time zone shes using) to find out Atta stayed at the hotel is anyone really surprised?






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ramblin_dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I would say 6 to 9 hours is "within hours"
So I am surprised and want to know more. I would guess the FBI got the names from the passenger list rather quickly and focused on the arab sounding names. They had a list of at least 19 to deal with. Then what? Can credit card transactions be tracked that fast? Did they use a credit card, with the same name as on the passenger list?

This is yet another reason why a complete investigation is needed.
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Typical story that does nothing to advance anything except the O.Version
Lots of unsupported assertions. Sounds like something the Ted Olson crowd might concoct.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well, what I would find interesting is
what/who was on the tape? Who was Atta meeting with? I mean, why would he drive to Portland (from Boston) to catch a connector the following day back to Boston? Was he meeting someone in Portland? Or was he meeting up with Alomari? Is so, I never heard about him taking a flight into Portland.

If there are any backlogs at Logan, flights from Portland are almost always put on ground hold...it's only about 40 minutes flight time....so why would they take this chance?

And Atta had apparently been in Portland before...he was ID'd by the librarian at the Portland Public Library has being there on occassions in 2000/2001.

Since the only film evidence of Atta and Alomari is in Portland, I think this is a major link in the whole timeline....and what's the Moussaoui tie-in here?

But here is the questions that I'd like to know the answers to: "How did government agents know to storm the Comfort Inn only hours after the Twin Towers fell? Why did the FBI release surveillance video of Atta and Alomari at various locations in South Portland, but not the lobby of the Comfort Inn?"












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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. From what little I know
about LE, this part still makes sense.

Manifest --> CC records --> hit the hotel should be pretty quick. I'm sure the airline provided the FBI with the manifest early, probably even while some planes were in the air.

And I'm sure they did focus on the ME names, regardless of what we'd like to think. And the hotel should have been among the last times the card was run. I know I'd want to search the hotel room first.
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Damn all that stuff that advances the OV..
..all of that...

...evidence.

:nopity:
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Abe Linkman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Welcome back. The choir has been noticed
by its absence. Don't suppose it had anything to do with not wanting to get involved with certain threads, would it? Better to lay low on some of that stuff; right, bolospinner?
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Bolo Boffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-09-03 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. What has there been to debate?
You have no evidence. You spin madly in the wind.

I personally have done all I can do for you. You have to recognize that you are denying reality. This will be the first step in fixing what's wrong in your life.

Choir that.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-10-03 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. What's OV?
Hey, I'm just interested in why all the good stuff gets impounded...lobby tapes, gas station videos, passports, etc.....why is that? National security?
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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-10-03 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I guess OV stands for THE TRUTH...
..or, in other words, the "Official Version".
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-10-03 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Right...thanks for setting me straight.
Looks like AP picked up the story....minus those messy "conspiracist details"...

http://bangornews.com/editorialnews/article.cfm?ID=4073...
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