Issue #2:
Was there a security failure on the parts of the airlines and/or airports on September 11th?

Security is a different issue than intelligence. An airline does not need advance warning if it has adequate security. For example, an Arab jihadist recently attempted to hijack an El Al flight headed to Turkey. While heading for the cockpit he was knocked down and captured by two sky marshals. Even if he had managed to elude them, he would not have been able to get through the lock door which was braced with a steel bar. El Al, which has not had a plane successfully hijacked in 25 years, depends on multiple-levels of security precaution, not intelligence tips, to protect its planes.

The federal government first put sky marshals on planes in 1969. Up until 1973, they were operated by the marshal's service, stationed in 33 key airports, made over 3,000 arrests and had no plane under their guard hijacked. The sky marshal program was then transferred to the FAA.

The FAA was also responsible for testing the effectiveness of the screening of passengers for carry-on weapons at Logan, Newark and National Airports, which the airlines had contracted out to private security companies. Prior to 9-11-2001, the FAA used undercover "red teams" to determine what percentage of weapons were detected, and advised the airlines of any deficiencies.

The FAA also required cockpit doors to be locked prior to take off. The doors also had to be locked during the flight.


1) What happened to the Sky marshal program? Were any sky marshals flying aboard airliners? If not, when, and by whose authority, was the program terminated?

2) What deficiencies did the FAA's red teams discover prior to 9-11 at Logan, Newark and National Airport? What percentage of simulated weapons were detected in these tests? Were the airlines informed? What measures did the airlines, airports and security services take to remedy these deficiencies prior to 9-11?

3) Were the cockpits locked? If so, How did the hijackers gain entry to the cockpits? Were the keys to the cockpits kept in the first class cabin so as to provide convenient access to the flight crew? If so, what measures were taken to prevent the passengers from taking the keys and using them to hijack the planes?


Supervising pilots, operations officers and security officers for American and United Airlines and FAA inspectors on 9-11.


FAA reports of ground controllers on 911 Tape recordings of cell phone calls from Betty Ong and other flight attendants on hijacked flights.

NSA intercepts of all communications from those flights.

FBI reports of autopsies on pilots and passengers to determine whether any guns or poison sprays were used (both were reported in preliminary FAA report, though the gun report was later attributed to an error).

FBI report of all weapons found at the crash site at te Pentagon and Shanksville. FBI analysis of status of cockpit doors recovered at crash sites and locations of cockpit keys.

Recordings from recovered voice recorders and black boxes on Flight 93.

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