One of the 9/11 terrorists could have been stopped after being caught “casing” airport security and taking video of the process, but personnel who complained about him were ignored.
TSA’s get a lot of heat from American citizens who get “offended” when they are selected for a random pat down and baggage search. The same people who cry foul, and rant “Do I look like a terrorist? How dare they!” are the same ones who object to racial profiling. You can’t have it both ways, folks. The safer of those two options is, of course, random searches and pat downs. To hell with those who take offense. It’s for their own good.
Other options exist, but are deemed unfeasible. For example, EVERY traveler could be metal detected, patted and have their luggage searched, including children whose toys would be dismantled. (Haven’t we all watched a movie where drugs were hidden in a teddy bear?) Impossible–chaos would ensue as passengers and flights are put on hold.
Or, only people with brown skin and middle-eastern features could be targeted for the public touching ordeal and delay involved. But that would be subjective and extreme, to say the least, for every American of Latin, Greek, Israeli or Armenian descent would be targeted. And TSA personnel would have to become experts in ethnic physiology. THAT is not going to happen. Nor should it.
What should happen, in addition to random searches, is all suspicious activity should be reported followed by diligent pursuit of the individuals until it is determined they intend no harm.
If that had happened at Logan Airport during the summer of 2001, the twin towers may still be standing and thousands would not have died in fiery explosions, or by plunging to their deaths from 100 floors up, or by being crushed by tons of rebar, glass and cement.
According to The New York Post, the ball was dropped by higher ups which lead to one of the primary terrorists carrying out his mission of destruction and murder on 2/11/2001.
Here’s what they’ve uncovered:
At least three eyewitnesses spotted al Qaeda hijackers casing the security checkpoints at Boston’s Logan Airport months before the 9/11 attacks. They saw something and said something — but were ignored, newly unveiled court papers reveal.
One of the witnesses, an American Airlines official, actually confronted hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta after watching him videotape and test a security checkpoint in May 2001 — four months before he boarded the American Airlines flight that crashed into the World Trade Center.
The witness alerted security, but authorities never questioned the belligerent Egyptian national or flagged him as a threat.
“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,” said Brian Sullivan, a former FAA special agent who at the time warned of holes in security at the airport.
The three Boston witnesses were never publicly revealed, even though they were interviewed by the FBI and found to be credible. Their names didn’t even appear as footnotes in the 9/11 commission report.
But what they testified to seeing — only revealed now as part of the discovery in a settled 9/11 wrongful-death suit against the airlines and the government — can only be described as chilling.
Stephen J. Wallace, a 17-year American Airlines technician, first alerted Logan authorities that two Middle Eastern men — one of whom he would ID as Atta from a photo array following the attacks — were acting suspiciously outside the main security checkpoint.
He remembers it vividly. It was the morning of May 11, 2001. One was videotaping and taking still photos of the flight board and the checkpoint from about 25 feet away, while the other was talking loudly in Arabic on a cellphone. The behavior went on for 45 minutes.
Wallace was so disturbed, he walked over to them and asked about the contents of their carry-on luggage, which he described as “brand-new” pilot bags.
“I said, ‘You guys don’t have any of this stuff in your bags, do you?’ ” pointing to a kiosk display of prohibited items.
“One of them said to the other, gesturing at me, called me a rather nasty name in Arabic,” Wallace added, explaining that he recognized the word because “I swear in Arabic.”
They then nervously packed up their bags and raced to another checkpoint, with Wallace hot on their heels. Before they entered the other checkpoint, Wallace alerted several authorities.
Since that unforgettable horror airports have heightened security. Who of us doesn’t measure out shampoo and conditioner to fit in the 3 ounce bottles, or avoid buying a large beverage just before going through airport security so we don’t have to guzzle it down at the checkpoint? And who doesn’t wear slip-on shoes to speed access through to the other side?
All of us should be willing to submit to reasonable searches, because you don’t know whom to trust . . .
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