Tags: Report: | Suspects | Identified

Report: 5 Suspects Identified

Wednesday, 12 September 2001 12:00 AM

The Boston Herald on Wednesday said authorities also seized a rental car containing Arabic-language flight-training manuals after receiving a tip from a man who had an altercation with several Arab men in the parking garage at Boston's Logan International Airport.

The Herald, quoting unidentified sources, said it was told two of the men were brothers with United Arab Emirates passports. One of the brothers was a trained pilot, the paper said. At least two other suspects apparently crossed into Maine from Canada and flew from Portland, Maine, to Logan early Tuesday.

The suspects allegedly hijacked an American Airlines flight and a United Airlines flight Tuesday morning after they the planes left from Logan bound for Los Angeles.

"They started killing stewardesses in the back of the plane as a diversion," the source told the Herald. "The pilot came back to help and that is how they got into the cockpit."

One of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11, left Boston at 7:59 a.m. with 81 passengers, two pilots and nine flight attendants. The other, United Airlines Flight 175, left Logan at 8:14 a.m. with 56 passengers, seven attendants and two pilots.

The American Airlines jet struck the World Trade Center's north tower just before 9 a.m., and the United Airlines plane sliced into the south tower in a massive fireball moments later. Investigators suspect the brothers were aboard the United Airlines flight.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that a voice believed to be a hijacker was heard over a microphone apparently activated by a pilot on Flight 11, "We have more planes, we have other planes."

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that investigators seized two pieces of luggage that had missed that American Airlines flight because of a late connection from Maine. One of the bags had a tag with an Arabic name and contained instructional videotapes on techniques for flying large aircraft, a knife, some type of flight plan or log, a wheel-shaped calculation device used by pilots, and a copy of the Koran.

An unidentified air controller told the Monitor: "One of the pilots keyed their mike so the conversation between the pilot and the person in the cockpit could be heard. The person in the cockpit was speaking English. He was saying something like, 'Don't do anything foolish. You're not going to get hurt.'"

The suspects apparently had no guns, but are believed to have smuggled knife-like weapons on board in shaving kits or other carry-on luggage.

The FBI secured a car in Logan's parking garage after a civilian called authorities to say he had an altercation with several Arab men as they were parking their car. The man had called state police after his own flight had landed and he learned planes from Boston had been involved in the WTC attack.

While the U.S. government has officially identified no suspects, many pointed the finger at terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden, who has past links to Boston.

Former Boston FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick said Boston appears to have been the staging area for the terror attack on New York.

"There's a terrorist cell operating out of Boston," he said. "They had to have support, they had to have people on the ground, in Boston, supporting them," he told the Herald.

Law enforcement officials reportedly were looking at possible links between the attacks and alleged terrorists living in Boston with ties to bin Laden.

Former Boston cab driver Raed Hijazi was sentenced to death in Jordan last year for plotting terrorist attacks on tourists.

Bassam A. Kanj, another Boston cab driver, shared an apartment with Hijazi. Kanj was killed last year in a militant attack in Lebanon.

Also, a Montreal-based bin Laden cell reportedly included two Boston residents as members. That group was thwarted before it could set off a millennium bomb in the United States.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The Boston Herald on Wednesday said authorities also seized a rental car containing Arabic-language flight-training manuals after receiving a tip from a man who had an altercation with several Arab men in the parking garage at Boston's Logan International Airport. The...
Report:,Suspects,Identified
647
2001-00-12
Wednesday, 12 September 2001 12:00 AM
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