Evidence That 9/11 Terrorists Cased Logan's Poor Security

As another anniversary of 9/11 passes, we would be well served to examine information which has come to light since the 9/11 Commission Report was first published. That report erroneously assumed that, despite security problems at Boston's Logan Airport, no evidence suggests that such issues entered into the terrorists targeting. We now know that to be a false assumption and that such evidence does exist.

The Motley Rice law firm, in court documents supporting wrongful death claims, stated that lax security caused or contributed to the hijackers' selection of Boston's Logan Airport. As evidence they cited the following:

* The hijackers took a number of test flights (dry runs) in the lead up to 9/11. One of these was a flight from Logan Airport to Los Angeles six weeks prior to the attacks. This was the flight on which actor James Woods reported four suspicious Middle Eastern passengers. He later learned from the FBI that two of the men were Hamza al Ghamdi and Khalid Almihdhar, who were among the 19 terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. When Hamza and Khalid traveled through the terminal and screening checkpoints are we supposed to assume that they wore blinders to preclude them from observing security at Logan?

* Terrorist cells are organized into three basic functional entities - planning, observation/surveillance and execution. To assume that the 9/11 hijackers selected their targets (Logan, Dulles and Newark) and then failed to insure that security wouldn't upset their plan is simply ludicrous. Sure, security at our nation's airports was a systemic problem, but it is incredulous to believe the hijackers would have simply assumed this to be so, as versus validating security, or the lack thereof, at the targeted airports, particularly in view of their penchant for meticulous planning.

* Massport and the airlines had been warned by the FAA that Al Qaeda terrorists typically conduct surveillance in preparation for an attack, yet on May 11, 2001 American Airlines mechanic, Stephen Wallace, observed Mohamed Atta videotaping security checkpoints at Logan and reported it to the Massachusetts State Police. No action was taken. Wallace's report was corroborated by two airport witnesses - Theresa Spagnuola and James Miller. ATF agent Jeff Kerr, who interviewed both Spagnuola and Wallace for the FBI, has attested to Wallace's credibility. This was four months prior to the attacks.

* Janice Shineman, a marketing manager for Hewlett Packard at the time, observed Atta at Logan Airport on September 9, 2001 involved in suspicious activity. That, coincidently, was the same day hijacker Waleed al Shehri wired money from Logan Airport to alleged terrorist financier Mustafa al Hawsawi. Isn't it a bit more than a coincidence that there is evidence that both Waleed and Atta were at Logan that day? It has been reported that Waleed was also at Logan on July 31, 2001 purchasing an airline ticket.

* During the early part of September 2001, a rental car used by the Al Qaeda terrorists, was reported to have been in and out of Logan's central parking garage several times in the week or so leading up to the 9/11 attack.

All of the above helps substantiate Motley Rice's claim that the terrorists conducted surveillance and considered Logan's poor security in preparation for their attack. It amounts to evidence and suggests that the 9/11 Commission simply got it wrong in this regard.