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DID THE BERGEN RECORD BREAK SOMETHING HERE? (Able Danger Member Interview)
NRO ^ | 8/14/05 | Jim Geraghty

Posted on 08/14/2005 8:03:47 PM PDT by NathanBookman

Mike Kelly, a columnist for the Bergen Record of New Jersey, had Curt Weldon’s staff arrange an interview with a member of Able Danger.

He uncovers a few tidbits we haven't heard before:

For a year before the 9/11 attacks, the Wayne Inn was home to Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaida mastermind behind the hijacking plot that killed almost 3,000 people...

A former member of the military intelligence team told me in an interview that it had enough data to raise suspicions. "But we were blocked from passing it to the FBI."

The connect-the-dots tracking by the team was so good that it even knew Atta conducted meetings with the three future hijackers. One of those meetings took place at the Wayne Inn. That's how close all this was - to us and to being solved, if only the information had been passed up the line to FBI agents or even to local cops.

The story begins a year before the attacks. A top-secret team of Pentagon military counter-terror computer sleuths, who worked for a special operations commando group, was well into a project to monitor al-Qaida operations.

The 11-person group called itself "Project Able Danger." Think of them as a super-secret Delta Force or SEAL team. But instead of guns, they relied on advanced math training as their key weapons. And instead of traditional spying methods or bust-down-the-door commando tactics, the Able Danger group booted up a set of high-speed, super-computers and collected vast amounts of data.

The technique is called "data mining." The Able Danger team swept together information from al-Qaida chat rooms, news accounts, Web sites and financial records. Then they connected the dots, comparing the information with visa applications by foreign tourists and other government records.

From there, the computer sleuths noticed four names - Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi.

All four turned out to be hijackers. Atta and al-Shehhi took a room at the Wayne Inn. They rented a Wayne mail drop, too, and even went to Willowbrook Mall. Al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi took rooms at a motel on Route 46 in South Hackensack.

What is interesting about this information now is that a CIA team, working separately from the Able Danger Team, had set its sights on al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi. The two were already on a CIA terror watch list and still had managed to obtain U.S. visas.

The CIA feared al-Mihdar and al-Hazmi might try to slip into the United States. But the CIA lost track of them after they left a terror meeting in Malaysia in early 2000 for Bangkok. Worse, the CIA waited until the summer of 2001 to tell the FBI that two suspected terrorists had visas to enter the United States - and might be here…

By mid-2000, the Able Danger team knew it had important information about a possible terrorist plot. Because of a peculiar series of computer links that went through Brooklyn, the team began referring to the four future hijackers as the "Brooklyn cell." Their movements and communications were raising too many suspicions.

But there’s an interesting wrinkle at the end:

Perhaps just as alarming, even the Able Danger team understood its limits. When lawyers blocked Able Danger's request to approach the FBI, the team simply went back to its work and kept quiet - even after the 9/11 attacks occurred.

Why? If the Able Danger team was so concerned about U.S. security, why didn't it approach Congress or even the press to sound an alarm?

When I posed that question in my interview with the Able Danger team member, he fell silent. Listening on a speaker phone, a congressional staffer interrupted: "Have you ever seen what happens to whistleblowers?"

Again, the Able Danger member had no answer.

Back in my wire service days, I used to cover Washington for the Bergen Record. I never dealt with Kelly, but my understanding is that he’s been at the paper for nearly three decades, and been a columnist about half that time. He’s no green rookie. And I can say from my experience with the Record that the editors were not lackadaisical. The North Jersey communities they cover were hard hit by 9/11. I doubt the editors would permit a columnist to quote an unnamed source, throwing out allegations as explosive as this, if they didn’t find him credible. If he gave off any whiff of nuttiness, I have a feeling this column would have been written quite differently.

In my previous post, I had stated that the accounts of Weldon’s guy and the 9/11 Commission were so different that this can’t be a simple misunderstanding – somebody’s lying. And an account with a lot of details (like the Commission’s Friday release) tends to seem more plausible than a vague one. Well, this account offers a lot of details. Anybody in North Jersey want to contact the Wayne Inn? They remember anybody who looked like Atta staying a year? Do they still have their pre-2001 guest records?

It still would be helpful if any one of these eleven guys in Able Danger could come forward and answer these questions publicly, not just with print reporters. I realize they have careers to think of, but as the tag line for “Patriot Games” said, “Truth needs a soldier.”

[Posted 08/14 05:52 PM]


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: abledanger; atta; tenet; weldon
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Mystery: One that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma.
1 posted on 08/14/2005 8:03:50 PM PDT by NathanBookman
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To: NathanBookman

Fire up old sparky for Gorelicker.


2 posted on 08/14/2005 8:11:50 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Pitchforks and Lanterns..with a smiley face!)
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To: NathanBookman

I am sure the NYT will come out against any whistleblowing going on with ADanger. After all, wouldn't they be whistleblowing on federal employees and to reveal what they were doing would constitute a violation of national security. Cough.


3 posted on 08/14/2005 8:14:44 PM PDT by Dr.Hilarious ("And I can KICK!"-Crispin Glover)
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To: NathanBookman
There was a regular highway between the Islamic community in New Jersey and the one in Northern Virginia ~ same people, same ambitions, same deal.

AlQaida found places it could hide where they were not readily differentiated from the general population.

4 posted on 08/14/2005 8:16:29 PM PDT by muawiyah (/ hey coach do I gotta' put in that "/sarcasm " thing again?)
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To: NathanBookman
When I posed that question in my interview with the Able Danger team member, he fell silent. Listening on a speaker phone, a congressional staffer interrupted: "Have you ever seen what happens to whistleblowers?"

So a Commission staffer threatened them if they spoke up. Interesting.
Sandy Burger must have been after some pretty damning stuff.
I hope the Republicans don't drop this ball. After 3000+ people are dead, the people deserve to hear the whole story, and not just the Clinton democrats side of it.

5 posted on 08/14/2005 8:20:08 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("A people without a heritage are easily persuaded (deceived)" - Karl Marx)
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To: NathanBookman

Can someone tell me the location of this Wayne Inn?


6 posted on 08/14/2005 8:20:18 PM PDT by doug from upland (The Hillary documentary is coming -- INDICTING HILLARY)
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To: concerned about politics

" I hope the Republicans don't drop this ball."

The Republicans seem to fumble all too often.
Not this time, it is the 2 minute warning, 4th and 10.


7 posted on 08/14/2005 8:24:22 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (The presence of "peace" is the absence of opposition to socialism -- Marx)
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To: samadams2000
"Fire up old sparky for Gorelicker."

And Billy and the Beast and the Sasquatch, Janet.

And all of the scumbag lawyers who were protecting the terrorist scum.

8 posted on 08/14/2005 8:25:57 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: concerned about politics
"Sandy Burger must have been after some pretty damning stuff."

Do we know what documents Sandy Burger stole from the top secret files?

9 posted on 08/14/2005 8:26:43 PM PDT by zeaal (SPREAD TRUTH!)
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To: doug from upland

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=7173


10 posted on 08/14/2005 8:28:16 PM PDT by savedbygrace ("No Monday morning quarterback has ever led a team to victory" GW Bush)
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To: doug from upland

Type "Wayne, NJ" into Google, and click on the map link and zoom out. There's Wayne, New Jersey right next to Paterson. I imagine the Wayne Inn is the Wayne Wellesley Inn in that town, though I could be wrong.


11 posted on 08/14/2005 8:30:28 PM PDT by caspera
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To: Reactionary

Id like to see Ben Veniste light up like an X-mas tree.


12 posted on 08/14/2005 8:30:34 PM PDT by samadams2000 (Pitchforks and Lanterns..with a smiley face!)
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To: doug from upland
Can someone tell me the location of this Wayne Inn?

Wayne Inn
(973) 696-2000
535 State Route 23
Wayne, NJ 07470

13 posted on 08/14/2005 8:30:44 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: doug from upland

Wayne Inn
535 State Route 23
Wayne, NJ 07470-6817
Phone:(973)696-2000


14 posted on 08/14/2005 8:30:48 PM PDT by xjcsa (The Kyoto Protocol is about as futile as sending seven maids with seven mops to rid a beach of sand)
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To: savedbygrace

Wayne Wellesley Inn is on Rte. 23 per that LGF post. That's gotta be it.


15 posted on 08/14/2005 8:32:37 PM PDT by caspera
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To: NathanBookman

From Little Green Footballs, a couple years ago:


6/20/2003: Atta Lived in Jersey

Mohammed Atta, the demon who led the September 11 hijackers, lived for a year in a motel in Wayne, New Jersey: State police tie Sept. 11 leader to Wayne inn. (Hat tip: Michael S.)

The revelation - the first time authorities have placed Atta in the motel - came after state police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes testifed Thursday afternoon before the Assembly Homeland Security Committee about his agency's efforts to combat terrorism.

In his testimony, Fuentes confirmed what officials had said previously: New Jersey was one of the launching points for the Sept. 11 attacks and that some of the 19 hijackers moved through New Jersey hotels and used New Jersey-based criminal networks to obtain identification documents.

Fuentes would not go into detail, but Sgt. Kevin Rehmann, a state police spokesman, later said Fuentes was referring to Atta. Rehmann said Atta had lived in the Wayne Motor Inn on Route 23 for a year. Atta is thought to have been the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks and was on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Rehmann could not provide dates for Atta's stay or say whether other hijackers stayed at the motel. He said the matter was still under investigation.

I’m not saying there’s a connection, but it’s a curious coincidence: I’ve noticed that a lot of the hate email I receive from Islamists seems to trace back to ISPs in New Jersey.
posted by Charles at 8:17 AM PST


16 posted on 08/14/2005 8:33:18 PM PDT by xjcsa (The Kyoto Protocol is about as futile as sending seven maids with seven mops to rid a beach of sand)
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To: caspera

Or not!


17 posted on 08/14/2005 8:33:59 PM PDT by caspera
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To: NathanBookman

Time Magazine tried to smear Weldon today, and Podhoretz at NRO's the Corner bought it hook, line and sinker.


18 posted on 08/14/2005 8:37:27 PM PDT by holdonnow
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To: Stellar Dendrite

It could be first and goal, down by six, and our republicans would try a field goal; too little with no real purpose or drive.

I hope I'm wrong.


19 posted on 08/14/2005 8:37:27 PM PDT by kenth
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To: doug from upland
DU,

Google search on "Wayne Inn, Wayne, NJ"

Wayne Inn
(973) 696-2000
535 State Route 23
Wayne, NJ 07470

20 posted on 08/14/2005 8:38:10 PM PDT by anymouse
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To: anymouse

http://www.wellesleyinnandsuites.com/hotels/listhotel.php?code=WLWB


21 posted on 08/14/2005 8:38:31 PM PDT by woofie
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To: zeaal
Do we know what documents Sandy Burger stole from the top secret files?

Nope. He said he "brought some back and destroyed duplicates."
How much do you want to bet the democrats were deep into Oil for Food (remember China and Buddhist Gate), and that's why the Clinton's never did a damn thing about Islamic terrorism. They looked the other way every time, including the build up to 9/11. They made sure people didn't talk to each other, so one hand had no idea what the other hand was doing.
Even in the old Yugoslavia Clinton took the side of the radical Muslims. He also took the side of the Palestinians.
When the OFF scandal first broke, the press reported names of predominate Americans were on the receiving list. Wilson and Plame were also involved in European Muslim businesses tied to terrorism.

Geeze. The story just sort of keeps getting bigger and bigger.

22 posted on 08/14/2005 8:41:55 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("A people without a heritage are easily persuaded (deceived)" - Karl Marx)
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To: samadams2000

I'd love to see something really happen here...but it's that 'good ole' boys club (girls included)' with its stronghold in DC...nothin' much happens to the cheaters and criminals in beautiful Washington, DC...it's called covering each others ass... (Look at what happened to Sandy Burglar...NOTHIN' MUCH)


23 posted on 08/14/2005 8:42:33 PM PDT by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: doug from upland

"Can someone tell me the location of this Wayne Inn?"

Here is the link to the satellite image. Don't know when the image was taken.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=535+State+Route+23,+Wayne,+NJ+07470&spn=0.003551,0.010131&t=k&hl=en

(I am not smart enough to post actual pic)


24 posted on 08/14/2005 8:43:29 PM PDT by NathanBookman (Will this hurt Bush's re-election chances?)
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To: concerned about politics
So a Commission staffer threatened them if they spoke up. Interesting.

It was a congressional staffer, who probably wouldn't have been a commission staffer.

25 posted on 08/14/2005 8:44:52 PM PDT by Bob
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To: Bob
It was a congressional staffer, who probably wouldn't have been a commission staffer.

Opps. Sorry. Yes, That's what I meant.
It sounds like a threat, doesn't it?

26 posted on 08/14/2005 8:47:26 PM PDT by concerned about politics ("A people without a heritage are easily persuaded (deceived)" - Karl Marx)
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To: concerned about politics

In the article, I believe the Congressional staffer was reponding to the reports question of "Why didn't this Able member speak up earlier". The Staffer was implying that if the Able member did, it may affect his career negatively. The staffer was not threatening the person, he was actually answering for him.


27 posted on 08/14/2005 8:51:12 PM PDT by NathanBookman (Will this hurt Bush's re-election chances?)
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To: NathanBookman

BUMP


28 posted on 08/14/2005 8:56:31 PM PDT by kitkat ("We're not going to let anybody frighten us from our great love of freedom." GWB, 7/22/05)
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To: holdonnow; defconw

"Time Magazine tried to smear Weldon today, and Podhoretz at NRO's the Corner bought it hook, line and sinker."

Call him up and say "GET OFF THE BLOG YOU BIG DOPE"!!


29 posted on 08/14/2005 9:00:22 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (The presence of "peace" is the absence of opposition to socialism -- Marx)
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To: holdonnow

Any other insights?


30 posted on 08/14/2005 9:01:07 PM PDT by woofie
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To: concerned about politics
It sounds like a threat, doesn't it?

Not really. I tend to agree with the post following yours that the staffer was answering for him rather than threatening him.

31 posted on 08/14/2005 9:01:31 PM PDT by Bob
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To: NathanBookman

This is getting more interesting by the minute.


32 posted on 08/14/2005 9:13:38 PM PDT by Peach
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To: NathanBookman

If anything this article shows how easy it is for the terrorists to operate in this country.

Add to the story the whistleblowers from the flight school in a suburb near Mpls who were brushed off as well.

And with the increasing numbers of illegals and non-English speakers, it gets easier every day.

I'm sure there are Arab men here in Mpls. staying in motels. Heck, there are Somalians here who have broken the law and are not deported.

I don't think that we are in any better shape security-wise post 911.


33 posted on 08/14/2005 9:29:53 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: NathanBookman
In the article, I believe the Congressional staffer was reponding to the reports question of "Why didn't this Able member speak up earlier". The Staffer was implying that if the Able member did, it may affect his career negatively.

I understand how the Gorelick Wall would have prevented domestic LE agencies from being notified, but what about the chain of command? Who did these officers report to, and did they pass the information to them?

This information either got to the President, or else someone below Her in the chain of command decided not to pass it on.

34 posted on 08/14/2005 9:32:05 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: NathanBookman
I think somebody will eventually talk (maybe Saddam himself or any of his chief lieutenants hiding in Syria) and the Iraqi/9/11 connection will be fully understood. If Zarqawi is caught he might spill his guts as well. But I hear he is a homosexual, dying of AIDS, has been wounded in the stomach and is a missing foot. Frankly, I thought the Jidhadists killed all homosexuals, so what are they doing following him? Anyway, bottom line is Bush should pardon Clinton for all the ineptitude, bungling, lying and cheating during his slime ball presidency. Actually, I think in his own heart, Bush has done just that. Bush's compassion is amazing. Bill is now called to do a lot of good work in the world (Tsunami and Africa relief) and even hangs out at Kennybunkport with old man Bush (I think he even does the chores around the house). Penance is as penance does.
35 posted on 08/14/2005 9:50:11 PM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: Blind Eye Jones

Bush's "compassion" is going to kill us.


36 posted on 08/14/2005 9:58:25 PM PDT by eddiemunster
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To: xjcsa

How far is the location of where the Anthrax letters were mailed from Wayne?


37 posted on 08/15/2005 12:33:32 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: NathanBookman

bump


38 posted on 08/15/2005 12:38:59 AM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Conservatives are from Earth. Liberals are from Uranus.(c))
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To: eddiemunster

'Bush's "compassion" is going to kill us.'


In what way?


39 posted on 08/15/2005 12:42:56 AM PDT by Blind Eye Jones
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To: NathanBookman

bttt and bflr.


40 posted on 08/15/2005 12:49:13 AM PDT by cgk (Keeper: Malkin/Ollie/Charen and Pro-life/pro-baby ping lists!)
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To: NathanBookman

bttt


41 posted on 08/15/2005 1:01:18 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: xjcsa

bttt


42 posted on 08/15/2005 1:03:34 AM PDT by nopardons
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To: lepton

":To: xjcsa

How far is the location of where the Anthrax letters were mailed from Wayne?"

You ask an interesting about a possible epicenter.


43 posted on 08/15/2005 1:10:41 AM PDT by Seeing More Clearly Now
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To: NathanBookman; All
Able Danger, 9-11 Report, Gorelick, and so much more...

Click the picture...


44 posted on 08/15/2005 1:11:46 AM PDT by backhoe (The 1990's? The Decade of Fraud(s)...)
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To: Stellar Dendrite; concerned about politics
The Republicans seem to fumble all too often. Not this time, it is the 2 minute warning, 4th and 10.

But, the Republicans are out of timeouts.

45 posted on 08/15/2005 2:17:03 AM PDT by beyond the sea ("If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball." - Jack Lemmon)
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To: NathanBookman

http://www.bergen.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MzkzNTY5

State police tie Sept. 11 leader to Wayne inn

Friday, June 20, 2003

By RANDY DIAMOND
TRENTON BUREAU


Mohamed Atta, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, lived in a Wayne motel for about a year before the attacks, state police said Thursday.

The revelation - the first time authorities have placed Atta in the motel - came after state police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes testifed Thursday afternoon before the Assembly Homeland Security Committee about his agency's efforts to combat terrorism.


In his testimony, Fuentes confirmed what officials had said previously: New Jersey was one of the launching points for the Sept. 11 attacks and that some of the 19 hijackers moved through New Jersey hotels and used New Jersey-based criminal networks to obtain identification documents.

Fuentes would not go into detail, but Sgt. Kevin Rehmann, a state police spokesman, later said Fuentes was referring to Atta. Rehmann said Atta had lived in the Wayne Motor Inn on Route 23 for a year. Atta is thought to have been the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks and was on American Airlines Flight 11, which slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Rehmann could not provide dates for Atta's stay or say whether other hijackers stayed at the motel. He said the matter was still under investigation.

A clerk at the motel said Thursday night he had worked there for only a month and had no knowledge of past guests.

The Record has previously reported that several of the terrorists were seen in Passaic County and that two unidentified terrorists stayed at the Wayne motel.

Two days after the attacks, FBI agents searched the Wayne Motor Inn's guest records and took copies of several receipts, hotel employees said at the time.

The motel has been used as a filming location for several episodes of "The Sopranos."

At the Izumi Hibachi Steakhouse, next door to the motel, FBI agents interviewed employees and seized receipts because several suspected hijackers ate there, employees said. An employee said on condition of anonymity that one of the men asked which way was east. According to Islamic custom, worshipers must face east, toward Mecca, as they pray.

Agents visited the restaurant twice, the employees said.

Atta also allegedly visited a seafood store about 500 feet from the hotel, accompanied by another hijacker, Marwan Al-Shehhi. The store owner told The Record that he identified the two hijackers in photographs that FBI agents showed him.

Fuentes said at Thursday's hearing that northern New Jersey, in particular, remains a possible terrorist target because of its large population and proximity to New York City.

"We need to be more vigilant than other parts of the country,'' he said.

He said two dozen state police detectives have been assigned to the state Office of Counterterrorism to guard against attacks.

Fuentes also said his agency opens the state's emergency operations center in West Trenton and regional operations centers in Jersey City and Buena Vista in South Jersey - staffing them 24 hours a day - whenever the federal Department of Homeland Security raises the terrorism threat alert level to orange.


46 posted on 08/15/2005 2:25:41 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: NathanBookman

Well, it appears that Geraghty is changing his tune somewhat since early yesterday. I had read an earlier account in the NRO by him (and also Podheritz(sp) that didn't put a lot of credibility in Weldon's story.


47 posted on 08/15/2005 3:49:20 AM PDT by SueRae
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To: jimbo123

Thank you. I'm close enough to know locals who frequent the Wayne Inn bar. They've know this since late 2002.

The question becomes where did the 9/11 investigators start their line of inquiry that lead them back to Atta's residence in the Wayne Inn.

The possibility arises that someone connected to the Able Danger crew had passed along the information to the investigators. There were many other breadcrumb trails that would have lead 9/11 investigators to the Wayne Inn, so until the question is asked and answered, nothing can be assumed. There is info on this in the 9/11 report, I just don't have it available atm.


48 posted on 08/15/2005 3:59:04 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: NathanBookman
Thank you for posting this, NB.

And now I wonder even more about Tenet and another's (he was military) resignations.

49 posted on 08/15/2005 4:14:54 AM PDT by Alia
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To: NathanBookman

Jim Geraghty doesn't know his facts. He's trying to pull out a minor detail already known and roll it up into a HUGE NEW REVELATION to further snowball the Weldon/Able Danger accusations.

The Wayne Inn and the other hotel used on Route 46, while not specifically named, are mentioned in indirect reference in the final report in Section 6 of the 9/11 Commission's public report.

When does the 9/11 commission believe that Atta first rented hotel rooms in NJ? How does that compare to the Able Danger group's info?

More pertinent questions.


50 posted on 08/15/2005 4:41:06 AM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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