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The Pilots and Their Muscle Men Began to Assemble. First Up: the Newark Team

In this series, Newsweek maps the road to 9/11 as it happened 20 years ago, day by day.

In Florida, hijacker pilots Mohammed Atta and Ziad Jarrah boarded separate flights on September 7 to begin positioning the hijacking teams in three different departure points: Boston, Newark and the suburbs of Washington DC. Atta flew on a US Airways to BWI, presumably to meet with Hani Hanjour and his American Airlines Flight 77 team, who were positioned in Laurel, Maryland, just north of Washington. Atta would then travel to Boston on September 9 and on to Portland, Maine, the next day, where he would board his early morning flight to connect with his Boston-to-Los Angeles American Airlines Flight 11.

Two of Atta's muscle men—Hamza and Ahmed al-Ghamdi—also flew on the 7th, taking Airtrans from Florida to Boston through Atlanta, to position themselves to board AA Flight 11 in Boston, where they would meet up with Atta.

Jarrah flew from Ft. Lauderdale to Newark on Continental, renting a Mitsubishi Galant from Budget Rent-a-Car. He would stay in the Marriot Hotel in Newark until September 9. On the 7th, one of Jarrah's muscle men, Ahmed al-Haznawil, also flew Continental (though on a separate flight) to Newark, while Ahmed al-Nami and Saeed al-Ghamdi took Spirit airlines. The four hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 would all be together by the night of September 7: the earliest team to assemble.

Mohammed Atta
Two men identified as hijackers Mohammed Atta (R) and Abdulaziz Alomari (C) pass through airport security on September 11, 2001, at Portland International Jetport in Maine. Atta knew Zammar when the two men lived in Hamburg. REUTERS/PORTLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT

Jarrah didn't stay put though, and evidently drove from Newark to Washington DC to also meet with Atta (and Hanjour). On September 9, just after midnight, he got a speeding ticket while heading north on I-95 between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware while he was returning to Newark.

Marwan al-Shehhi left Florida on September 9, flying Delta to Boston. He spent the night together with Mohammad Atta in the Milner Hotel, and the two were observed by hotel staff having breakfast together on September 10, according to later reconstructions made by the FBI.

On September 8th, two of al-Shehhi's muscle men—Fayez Banihammad and Mohand al-Shehri—flew from Ft. Lauderdale to Boston on Airtrans, also checking into the Milner Hotel, where the United Airlines Flight 175 team would stay until September 11th.

Follow the Newsweek live tweet of September 11, 2001 (based upon the new book On That Day) starting at 4:45 a.m. EST @Roadto911.

Newsweek is reconstructing the road to 9/11 as it was constructed 20 years ago, day by day. Each day a new story will be published here. On September 11 we'll live tweet the events of the day, minute by minute, starting at 4:45 a.m. EST, @RoadTo911.