Tags: War on Terrorism | feds | ignored | 911 | hijackers | tips | post

NY Post: Feds Ignored Tips About 9/11 Hijackers

Sunday, 05 October 2014 09:04 AM

The 9/11 attacks could have been prevented had federal investigators heeded the warnings of at least three witnesses who saw men casing Boston's Logan Airport four months before the attacks, the New York Post reports.

Writer Paul Sperry details just-released court papers showing that the three all found the activities of the men on May 11, 2001 suspicious. Though they informed security about the group's leader, Mohamed Atta, and another man videotaping and testing a security checkpoint, no further action was taken.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Atta and two other men boarded a plane at Logan, hijacked it with box cutters and crashed it into the World Trade Center.

"I'm convinced that had action been taken after the sighting of Atta, the 9/11 attacks, at least at Logan, could have been deterred," former FAA special agent Brian Sullivan said. Sullivan had warned of security problems at Logan during the period the men were still doing surveillance.

American Airlines technician Stephen J. Wallace was one of the witnesses. He told authorities that two Middle Eastern men were taking video and still photographs near the main security checkpoint. After the 9/11 attacks, Wallace identified Atta as one of the men he saw.

After observing their actions for about 45 minutes, Wallace said he confronted the men, asking them "You guys don’t have any of this stuff in your bags, do you?" as he pointed to a sign of items not allowed on flights.

"One of them said to the other, gesturing at me, called me a rather nasty name in Arabic," Wallace said. He said he knew the word because "I swear in Arabic."

The two then packed their bags and quickly moved to another checkpoint as Wallace followed. Wallace called authorities before they entered the second checkpoint.

"I said, specifically, 'These two clowns are up to something,'" he said in testimony. "They’ve been taking videos and pictures down at the main checkpoint."

No one ever followed up, and the men caught an American Airlines flight to Washington, D.C.

American Airlines passenger screener Theresa Spagnuolo also was suspicious of the men. She, too, reported that she had seen them videotaping the main checkpoint. She identified Atta as the one taking video.

"She was bothered by Atta’s filming, so she spoke to her supervisor about it," who "informed her it was a public area and nothing could be done about it," agents who investigated the case after 9/11 wrote in their report.

Her supervisor James Miller Jr. testified later that "It looked weird to me," but that people up the chain told him nothing could be done and he relayed that information to Spagnuolo.

But Sperry writes that airport security did have authority to investigate anyone who appeared to be conducting surveillance on the checkpoint. And two months before the incident the federal government had advised all airlines that al-Qaida did make surveillance before an attack.

The three witnesses' accounts were never made public, despite their being found credible by the FBI, the Post reports. And their names were not part of the 9/11 Commission Report.

The accounts finally came to light in a lawsuit filed by the family of one of the victims of 9/11. Mark Bavis died on one of the flights that left from Boston that day. But the case was settled in 2011, so the documents never were revealed in open court.

Bavis family lawyers released the FBI interviews and transcripts of depositions despite objections from federal authorities. The information is expected to be used in another 9/11 lawsuit by the owner of World Trade Center Properties against the airlines involved.

That case is on appeal and expected to be heard in early 2015.

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The 9/11 attacks could have been prevented had federal investigators heeded the warnings of at least three witnesses who saw men casing Boston's Logan Airport four months before the attacks, the New York Post reports. Writer Paul Sperry details just-released court papers...
feds, ignored, 911, hijackers, tips, post
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2014-04-05
Sunday, 05 October 2014 09:04 AM
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