In addition, a restaurant manager in Hollywood, Fla. told The Associated Press that FBI agents showed him a picture of two men suspected in the hijacking and that he remembered seeing them in his bar last Friday. Tony Amos said one of the men said his name was Mohamed and that he was a pilot for American Airlines.
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.
Beginning to Understand
Investigators are beginning to understand how hijackers may have overpowered the flight crews and passengers to gain control of the doomed airplanes in what appears to have been a highly coordinated operation.
Once in the air, the hijackers of the Boston flights used box cutters and other knife-like weapons made of plastic handles embedded with razor blades to kill flight attendants — and lure a pilot from the cockpit, after which they were able to seize control of the plane, sources said.
One of the flight attendants on American Airlines Flight 11 was able to call authorities and give some details of the hijacking before the jet crashed into the World Trade Center. Along with the knife-like weapons, the flight attendant said the hijackers used cans of mace to immobilize business- and first-class passengers.
While searches are under way for survivors and suspects, the nation is struggling to resume some semblance of normalcy.
The Federal Aviation Administration will allow a limited reopening of the nation's commercial airspace system in order to allow flights that were diverted Tuesday to continue to their original destinations, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said today.
But the unprecedented nationwide ground-stop order for airports will continue at least through today while new security measures are being completed, he said. Those measures include a thorough search and security check of all airplanes and airports before passengers are allowed to board aircraft, and the end of curbside and off-airport check-in. Boarding areas will be reserved for passengers only, officials said, and only ticketed passengers will be allowed past airport screeners.
However, the more measures will be taken to ensure flight safety. Sources tell ABCNEWS that the federal government Thursday will announce plans to significantly increase uniformed police patrols at airports. A "check point" program that will place additional U.S. marshals, border patrol and customs agents at many airports will be implemented as soon as possible. Vehicles near airports also will be monitored more closely.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball, which cancelled schedule games Tuesday, called off games for the second straight day. The National Football League is also considering cancelling games scheduled this weekend and Monday. And the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq Stock Market and the American Stock Exchange will remain closed at least until Friday.
Was It Bin Laden?
Bin Laden has been indicted as the mastermind behind the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and quite possibly the deadly attack on the USS Cole last year. There is a $5 million price on his head.
He has denied responsibility for Tuesday's attacks, and a Pakistan-based newspaper quoted bin Laden as blaming "some American group."
According to Reuters, the Urdu-language Khabrain has a reputation for sensational reporting, and there was no independent confirmation of the claim. However, Afghanistan's ruling Taliban also denied that bin Laden was involved.
The FBI has set up a Web site (http://www.ifccfbi.gov) for those with information about the attacks.