Vehicles of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks

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Several vehicles were used by the hijackers of the September 11 attacks. Reports by the FBI and other agencies and press accounts provide details of some of these automobiles.

Mohamed Atta's Nissan Altima[edit]

FBI press released photo[1]

A 2001 Nissan Altima, 1N4DL01D81C212547 is the VIN of a blue rental car belonging to Alamo Rent A Car, that was found in the Portland International Jetport parking lot, following the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was issued a Massachusetts license plate 3335 VI.

While it was initially reported that Adnan and Ameer Bukhari had rented and driven the car,[2] the accepted story is now that Mohamed Atta rented the car, although later reports continued to suggest that Adnan Bukhari fell under suspicion because of documents found within the car.

The car had been rented from the Logan Airport terminal in Boston, Massachusetts by Atta at 6:08pm Sunday, September 9. He provided his address of 10001 Atlantic Boulevard in Coral Springs, Florida, where he is believed to have stayed in room #122. He listed his phone number as 954-815-3004, a number also associated with Fayez Banihammad. He used his Visa card ending in 7778 to pay for the rental.[3][4]

According to the Associated Press story on September 13, the same Boston terminal had also rented Atta the Mitsubishi sedan seized at Logan Airport.[5]

Atta is thought to have picked up Abdulaziz al-Omari on September 10, and the two of them drove it to a Comfort Inn in South Portland, Maine, where they spent the night in room 232. At 8:31pm, the car was photographed with two occupants at a Key Bank drive-thru ATM at 445 Gorham Road in South Portland[6]

According to parking receipts found in the car, it arrived at the Portland International Jetport at 5:40am on September 11, and was parked on the first level. After checking in at 5:43, and passing security and an x-ray machine at 5:45, Atta and Omari are believed to have taken the 6:20 Colgan Air Flight 5930 to Boston.

Officials became aware of the car around 11pm on September 11,[citation needed] and by 3:30am of September 12, the car was the subject of a search warrant issued to FBI agent James Lechner, and taken by a flatbed truck to a crime lab in Augusta, Maine. The warrant was sealed until October 4.[7]

Items seized from car[edit]


  • 3 floor mats
  • 3 maps, including Alamo
  • rental agreement
  • paperwork
  • Chips Ahoy! package
  • rug
  • 3 hair samples
  • food
  • toothpick
  • parking receipt
  • kleenex

Taken from car

  • 5 vacuum-filters of evidence
  • 2 carpet samples
  • 18 fingerprint liftings

While it was not listed in the search warrant's findings, a cigarette butt was reported to have been removed from the car separately, and taken directly to a crime lab[8]

Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi's Toyota Corolla[edit]

In early February 2000, hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi rented an apartment at the Parkwood Apartments complex in the Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego, and Mihdhar purchased a used blue four-door 1988 Toyota Corolla, CA 3JFZ283, VIN#JT2AE92E9313137546.[9] This car would be used from shortly after the arrival of the first hijackers in San Diego and driven across the continent to Arizona and Oklahoma to Virginia, Connecticut, and other locations on the east coast of the US until it was found at Dulles Airport with items indicating that it had been used in conjunction with preparations for the hijackings.

By May 2000, Mihdhar transferred his vehicle's registration to Hazmi. Hani Hanjour arrived in San Diego in early December 2000, joining Hazmi, but they soon left for Phoenix, Arizona where Hanjour could take refresher flight training. On December 12, Hanjour and Hazmi signed a lease for an apartment in the Indian Springs Village complex in Mesa, Arizona. On April 1, while driving with Hani Hanjour, Al-Hazmi received a speeding ticket and a summons for failure to wear safety belt from the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol. According to FBI reports, Al-Hazmi was driving 1988 blue Toyota Corolla, though some reports state he was in a Chevrolet Impala.[10][11] In April, they drove to the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in the Falls Church metropolitan Washington, DC area where Anwar al-Awlaki who they had previously met in San Diego was now the new imam, and Hanjour had specified as a forwarding address for his utility bills. It is thought that al-Awlaki introduced them to Eyad Alrababah who drove Hanjour to Fairfield, Connecticut on May 8, with Nawaf Al-Hazmi, vehicle with Moqed and Ahmed Alghamdi following in the Toyota.[10]

Items seized from car[edit]

After the 9/11 attacks at about 3:45 PM on 09/12/01, the Toyota was flagged as a suspicious vehicle at Dulles International Airport, and determined to be registered to Al-Hazmi of Lemon Grove, California. A search warrant was approved, and among the items seized were the following:[12]

  • 1) An hourly parking ticket dated and stamped 09/11/01 7:25 AM
  • 2) Four (4) color diagrams of an instrument panel for a B757 aircraft
  • 3) One yellow and black utility knife (box cutter)
  • 4) One Pan Am International Flight Academy, Jet Tech International, Phoenix, AZ, identification card in the name of HANI HANJOUR
  • 5) A cashier's check to the Flight Academy in the amount of $5745 from HANJOUR
  • 6) A travel itinerary for seats 13A and 13B for KHALID AL-MIHDHAR and MAJED MOQED on AA Flight 77
  • 7) A piece of paper with the name "Osama 5895316"
  • 8) Packing slip of package sent by Rawf Al Dog, 1565 Washington Boulevard, #8, Laurel Maryland... to the United Arab Emirates on 09/10/01 at 6:57 AM
  • 9) A checkbook with partially written checks...
  • 10) ..
  • 17) One spiral notebook containing handwritten Arabic notes and telephone number ....
  • 27) A hand drawn map of a neighborhood that appears to be 8541 Mount Vernon Avenue Lemon Grove California
  • 28) ...
  • 29) California vehicle registration for XXX San Diego California

The FBI was advised that the package was not delivered. It was checked by a bomb squad, and was found to contain a note written in Arabic and a check card to the wife or girlfriend of Al-Hazmi expressing his love stating that enclosed money was for her benefit.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  8. ^ "". USA Today. September 13, 2001. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  9. ^ FBI Hijackers' Timeline, pp. 54–55
  10. ^ a b "FBI Summary about Alleged Flight 77 Hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi". Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  11. ^ "Senate Bill Creates Terrorist Loophole". Human Events. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  12. ^ [2] FBI-Summary-about-Alleged-Flight-77-Hijacker-Nawaf-Alhazmi