TERRORISTS COMING FROM THE NORTH
compiled by Dee Finney xxx
|7-29-03 - DREAM - I was in Wisconsin. I was in a large elementary
school which was in the country.
Toward the end of the day, there was a band concert and students from Canada came down to participate and play along with the students from Wisconsin. These kids were young - about 4th grade.
I helped with one young girl who was even younger - about 2nd grade. I even carried her at one point to help introduce her. Besides playing her instrument very well - (sounded like a clarinet) there was something special about her sweater. She wore a cardigan and on the left side was the figure of a tall young woman - rather like Princes Diana and this young woman had a long belt or something that dangled awkwardly which the little girl always had to grab ahold of and control.
I introduced the little girl to an old grandma lady so she could see how the sweater was made.
I was then standing near a window looking out into the farm country toward the west and I could also see out the East window which was very large.
I saw two planes come in really low - out of the east - not flying at regular altitude for airplanes. These planes were older, propeller type planes. They were flying over, following the contours of the land. They just barely missed the school and one landed in the farmer's field west of the building, followed by another plane which either exploded as it landed, or shot off some kind of explosive which showered bright red exploding fires in every direction.
That was pretty horrifying to see for everyone, but we were just starting to calm down,w hen two more planes came over, following the same course through the sky, but these two were eve lower than the first two. One of the planes - a bright yellow one almost hit the school roof as it flew over. These two planes also landed in the farmer's field.
I didn't even have time to see what happened to those tow planes, because I saw a whole armada of planes coming in from the East - it looked like Pearl Harbor attack all over again - but these were small planes like WWII - propeller type - and these were throwing off sparking things too rather like fiery grenades.
The first one almost hit the school and everybody jumped out of their seats.
Somebody yelled - "Get your coats and run to your classrooms" - as we were all still in the concert room. All the students had their coats hanging out in the hallway on hooks along the walls.
The little girl I had helped to introduce earlier came running into the room and grabbed onto me around the knees - She said, "I'm Gloria from 316".
She still had that danged belt hanging off her sweater. I helped her grab it so we could run and get her coat. I wondered shy someone didn't turn the lights off in the school so we weren't such a bright target.
ALERT ISSUED FOR STOLEN CROP-DUSTER
The Transportation Security Administration has issued an advisory that a Piper PA 25 Pawnee crop-dusting aircraft (similar in appearance to the aircraft shown above) was stolen from Ejido Queretaro, near Mexicali, Mexico, on November 1st, 2004.
"Although there is currently no indication that this has any connection to terrorist activity," the TSA said, "the theft is cause for concern. Past information indicates that members of al-Qaeda may have planned -- or may still be planning -- to disperse biological or chemical agents from cropdusting aircraft."
The stolen aircraft is registered in Mexico and bears the tail number XBCYP. If you see the aircraft, the TSA says you should immediately contact the TSA General Aviation Hotline at (866) 427-3287, or contact your nearest office of the FBI.
Hi all, I have been dreaming about Bernie a lot and he's from Boston.
I think from my dream that these three men were planning a suicide bombing in a plane. 1) I dreamed twice of shoe boxes and tennis shoes with "X" on them today and the voice said the guy couldn't do it until he was given the "OK" that he was ready. I think there are more shoe bombers types or they want that other shoe bomber released or they'll do something -- that's been happening a lot. I dreamed of a very violent young guy in a long trench coat the day that other shoe bomber went on the plane. 2) that nightmare I mentioned a few days ago -- the girl tried to hook me with a triple or treble hook. Steve thought it was talking about the anchor to hold down Laci Peterson but I wasn't sure and this caught me eye.
Then the dream went on and I looked up and there was a row of men crouched like birds up on a narrow beam above me and each one had a foot-long knife in his hand. I walked past a crossbeam and there were more men on the other side. So I think this means that those 3 men were not the only ones. There are more. There were at least 8 men above me on those beams -- a whole row of them. Of course the cross beam could indicate the PREVIOUS men that did it on 9-11.
It was not clear if the Moroccans were linked to last week's triple suicide bombings of foreign residential compounds in the capital, Riyadh, or similar bombings in Morocco Friday.
Forty-one people died in the Morocco attacks, while 34 died in the Riyadh bombings, which were the first to indiscriminately target civilians in the oil-rich kingdom.
"There was confusion at passport clearance. The three were behaving suspiciously. When asked if they were traveling together, one said 'no' and one said 'yes'. Then they were arrested," the Saudi security source said.
Saudi police established during questioning that the men, who were armed,
were planning to hijack a plane and crash it into the headquarters of the
kingdom's National Commercial Bank in Jeddah in a Sept. 11-style attack,
the source added.
|9-11-95 - DREAM - I was in a maroon colored car parked on the right
side of a street like Prospect Ave., facing north. I pulled out into traffic
and wanted to go north, but at the first intersection ahead, there was a
white concrete wall. I thought I would make a right turn and go around the
block, but couldn't because of the construction workers had dug a big ditch
and closed the road to the east.
So, I thought I'd turn left, but couldn't do that either because I was in the wrong lane to turn left and the light was red. I looked at the light and the light was red going the other way also.
In a moment, the light to go north turned green and at the same time the concrete wall vanished and I was looking at an outline map of the state of Washington. It felt that I was standing on the Oregon/Washington border, looking north into Washington. There was a red line going diagonally across the state, like a road. It went from approximately Seattle on the left ... diagonally down to the southern Washington/Idaho line . I knew that the closer to the coastline you went, the farther north you had to be. One had to be above the line which was numbered 316.
I sat there so long, looking at the scene, the light turned red and the concrete wall appeared again. The concrete wall stayed there until the light turned green, at which point the concrete wall vanished and I could see the State of Washington again.
There was no change ... only the red line numbered 316 was there.
The light turned red and the concrete wall appeared again, and I woke
up wondering what it was all about.
|9-2-02 - DREAM - I was in a house, doing laundry, getting ready to
go on vacation with Joe.
I didn't know when we were leaving, so I had to keep up on the laundry because I didn't want any dirty laundry laying around when we were away from the house.
Joe came home from work, so I asked him when he planned to leave. This was a Thursday and he said that he had to work part of Friday yet, so I knew it would be at least one more day before we left.
I then went outside to check some roads to see how they would be when winter came. I went down one street and a man was sitting on a huge bulldozer in his back yard. He was ready for whatever came. I noted that the sun was low in the sky and a huge dark shadow from his house lay over the road next to it, so I knew it would be icy by his house.
I then drove north on the north/south road to see how bad the snow could get on this road. the farther I went the higher the road go towards the north, so I figured they would be okay if the snow got too deep.
I then had a vision of a map of northern U.S. and all of Canada. There was no snow all the way to the arctic circle.
On the map was a Trans-Canada Highway way in the northern part of the land. It was kind of a curvy highway because it had to go around al the lakes that were up there. The highway was labeled I-90 (I know that I-90 is in northern U.S.) but I don't know how Canada labels their highways.
I also knew that my daughter and her husband were driving east on the highway all the way across Canada, but they liked snow and skiing so they would be okay if it started to snow.
My attention was called back to the present because of a dangerous traffic situation. I was on a boulevard type road where the traffic goes one way on the east side of the median, but here traffic was going both way s on my side and there were near accidents because vehicles were parked on both sides. I saw there was cars parked on the other side the way they were supposed to be.
I was still trying to figure out why traffic was all of a sudden going both ways on this side, when I came to a long string of army jee sparked on the side of the road in the wrong direction with soldiers in them. the soldiers weren't doing anything, it was obvious they were waiting for something to happen.
Then I saw what was going on when I got to where a multi-story college
dormitory was and there was a string of army jeeps waiting in line to go
into the college parking lot. I knew that when the army left, this school
would be known as just another gay college.
|2-19-03 - DREAM - I was in Wisconsin - up north, supposedly with the
women who were my in-laws. Carol said they were planning to go to church
It seemed that there were also characters from One Life to Live TV show as some of my relatives. (After 30 years of watching this show, they ARE like family)
It seems that some kind of energy exchange went on. It was like there of them were duplicated and then pulled back through themselves. I don't know how to describe what I saw happen.
Carole then drove me all the way home down the freeway that cross the U.S. It was highway 316. (I've seen this highway on maps before.) The highways listed on the internet, are not the one I saw on the map in my dream. My dream highway 316, cut across the U.S. on a diagonal from northeast to southwest, and jogged around a huge lake that does not really exist in real life.
When we got to Milwaukee, we did something on a computer and then went all the way back up north again.
I knew the women were going to some church, but I went to a different church.
Nobody was in the church itself, but everyone stood in the Narthex and in the side entrances while magnificent music played - like an entrance song. I wanted to look inside the church, but I didn't dare, because I was standing there with a plate with a big slice of pizza on it and I didn't want to be seen that way on TV, as the service was being televised.
The music ended and everyone filed into church at the same time. From
what I could see - the ceiling of the church was vaulted, had green walls,
and had a series of pillars down each side and had seats behind the pillars
on the sides as well. The church would have had to be cross-shaped to do
Gloria Patri -
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
John 3:16 - The central verse/theme of the Christian church -
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Footnotes: 3:16 Or his only begotten Son
NOTE: I think the little girl was dragging the Bible Belt behind her. Symbolically speaking!
FBI Director Robert Mueller did not mention the new warnings of an al Qaeda attack when he spoke during a conference on security in Arlington, Va. (William Philpott/Reuters) Warning: New 9/11 Style Attacks May Come
U.S. Officials Warn Al Qaeda May Attempt New Suicide Hijackings
By John J. Lumpkin
The Associated Press
W AS H I N G T O N, July 29, 2003 The Department of Homeland Security has told airlines and law enforcement agencies that al Qaeda may attempt new suicide hijackings sometime during the next few months.
The vague warning came from information gleaned from interviews of at least one al Qaeda prisoner as well as intercepted communications, said one intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The information was developed in the last few weeks.
"We continue to investigate this information to determine its level of credibility," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.
There was no specific information on any potential targets, nor did officials know who in al Qaeda might attempt any attacks. The officials said al Qaeda could launch strikes in the United States or Europe. There was no specific date, only a general sense that an attack could take place in the late summer, officials said.
"The intelligence community continues to receive information about al Qaeda's interest in using the commercial aviation system," Johndroe said. "Because of this the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory this weekend to the nation's airlines and law enforcement personnel."
Fodder for a Revised Worldwide Caution
At the State Department, spokesman Richard Boucher said the administration may incorporate information about possible hijackings into an existing worldwide caution to alert American travelers.
"We're looking at including hijacking as among the ongoing and continuing threats," he said, adding that he expects that a revised worldwide caution will be made available soon.
FBI Director Robert Mueller did not mention the new warnings in a speech in Arlington, Va. before about 1,000 police officers, firefighters and others who would be among the first to respond in an attack. Mueller said the United States is safer today than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, but a threat of terrorism still remains.
"The challenge for us is to recognize the threat is continuous out there and to do everything we can to prevent the next attack," Mueller said. "The oceans that separate the United States are not sufficient to prevent other attacks."
The warning was not provided to the general public, but officials acknowledged its distribution in response to queries.
"We advised airline and law enforcement personnel to take a look at all their practices and initiate additional measures they may feel are necessary," Johndroe said.
Terror Alert Remains Elevated
The information points toward a Sept. 11-style attack using hijacked planes as weapons, rather than a traditional hijacking, officials said.
The national terrorist threat level remains at yellow, signifying an elevated risk of attacks. There was no immediate sign that officials would raise it to orange, signifying a higher risk. The highest alert status is red.
Congress, which ordered an overhaul of aviation security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, recently acted to fill some holes in the system.
House and Senate negotiators last week approved an agreement to arm cargo pilots as part of a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill, a written copy of which only became available recently.
Bill to Strengthen Airline Security
Congress last year voted to give weapons to passenger airline pilots but not their counterparts on cargo planes. The first 44 airline pilots were trained to use weapons in the cockpit in April and an undisclosed number of pilots were trained this month.
The bill also would require that:
Commercial airlines carry out programs to train flight crews on how to deal with terrorists, including self-defense.
The Department of Homeland Security would establish security programs for charter flights that weigh 12,500 and above.
Homeland Security and the FAA would have to review security at facilities that repair and maintain aircraft outside the United States and prohibit them from fixing U.S. planes if they pose a security risk.
The bill also would lift a congressionally imposed cap of 45,000 full-time airport security screeners.
Lawmakers are expected to pass the bill in September.
Separately, the House and Senate have approved versions of bills to require inspections of cargo aboard passenger planes.
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
|Feds Warn Airlines Of Possible 9-11-Style Plots
Homeland Security Department Probes Credibility Of Intel Information
POSTED: 8:39 a.m. EDT July 29, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security has told airlines and law enforcement agencies that al-Qaida may attempt new 9-11-style suicide hijackings sometime during the next few months.
An intelligence source cited by The Associated Press said the warning is nonspecific and came from information acquired from at least one al-Qaida prisoner. It also came from intercepted communications.
Homeland Security Department spokesman Gordon Johndroe said officials are still investigating in order to find out how credible the information is. There's no word on potential targets.
Johndroe said airlines and law enforcers were advised to "take a look at all their practices and initiate additional measures they may feel are necessary."
The warning wasn't provided to the general public, but officials acknowledged it in response to questions.
The national terrorism alert level hasn't been increased. Homeland Security officials say there are no plans right now to raise the nation's threat level, which is currently at yellow -- "elevated risk."
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack?
Part 1: Warnings in advance
By Patrick Martin
16 January 2002
It is not necessary to postulate an all-embracing conspiracy, extending from the White House to the airline security personnel who let the armed hijackers board the planes, to believe that there is much more to the story of the September 11 attacks than the American public has been told so far. Certainly the least likely and least credible explanation of that days events is that the vast US national security apparatus was entirely unaware of the activities of the hijackers until the airliners slammed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
According to this official version, voiced most crudely by FBI Director Robert Mueller immediately after the event, no one in the US government had the slightest idea of the identities of the September 11 hijackers, the methods they would employ, or the targets they would choose. A careful review of the information that has come to light, in bits and pieces, since September 11, demonstrates that these claims are not merely tenuous, but clearly, obviously and knowingly false.
The case of Zacarias Moussaoui [The strange case of Zacarias Moussaoui: FBI refused to investigate man charged in September 11 attacks] is only the most glaring evidence that the September 11 terrorist attacks represent, not merely a colossal failure on the part of the FBI and CIA, but a refusal to act that has no legitimate explanation. Not only were there general warnings of the likelihood of suicide hijackings, but several of the hijackers, including the man alleged to be the principal organizer, Mohammed Atta, were under active surveillance by US agents. It is not too much to say that the terrorists were only able to accomplish their murderous and destructive mission because US intelligence agencies ignored repeated warnings, refused to carry out elementary defensive actions and manifested a seeming indifference to the prospect of a major terrorist attack on American soil.
Added to that is the refusal of any branch of the US government to conduct any probe into the circumstances of an attack which killed more American civilians on a single day than any other act of violence in US history. There has been no serious effort in the four months since September 11 to investigate, learn lessons and assign responsibility. This by itself is a demonstration that there are highly placed people in Washington with a great deal to hide.
Warnings from foreign governments
The governments of at least four countriesGermany, Egypt, Russia and Israelgave specific warnings to the US of an impending terrorist attack in the months preceding September 11. These alerts, while fragmentary, not only combined to foretell the scale of the attack and its main target, but indicated that hijacked commercial aircraft would be the weapon of choice.
According to an article in one of the major daily newspapers in Germany, published just after the destruction of the World Trade Center, the German intelligence service BND told both US and Israeli intelligence agencies in June that Middle East terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture.
The newspaper cited unnamed German intelligence sources, who said that the information came through Echelon, the US-controlled system of 120 satellites which monitors all worldwide electronic communications. Echelon is operated jointly by the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, although its existence is not officially admitted. (Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 14, 2001)
The government of Egypt sent an urgent warning to the US June 13, based on a video made by Osama bin Laden. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told the French newspaper Le Figaro that the warning was originally delivered just before the G-8 summit in Genoa. It was taken seriously enough that antiaircraft batteries were stationed around Christopher Columbus Airport in the Italian city. According to Mubarak, bin Laden spoke of assassinating President Bush and other heads of state in Genoa. It was a question of an airplane stuffed with explosives. These precautions then had been taken. (Source: New York Times, September 26, 2001, 2 Leaders Tell of Plot to Kill Bush in Genoa, by David Sanger)
According to Russian press reports, Russian intelligence notified the CIA during the summer that 25 terrorist pilots had been specifically training for suicide missions. In an interview September 15 with MSNBC, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he had ordered Russian intelligence in August to warn the US government in the strongest possible terms of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings. (Source: From The Wilderness web site; MSNBC).
The London-based Sunday Telegraph an arch-conservative newspaper usually highly supportive of the Bush administrationreported that the Israeli intelligence service Mossad had delivered a warning to the FBI and CIA in August that as many as 200 followers of Osama bin Laden were slipping into the country to prepare a major assault on the United States. The advisory spoke of a large-scale target in which Americans would be very vulnerable. The Los Angeles Times cited unnamed US officials confirming this Mossad warning had been received. (Source: Sunday Telegraph, September 16, 2001, Israeli security issued urgent warning to CIA of large-scale terror attacks, by David Wastell and Philip Jacobson; Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2001, Officials Told of Major Assault Plans, by Richard A. Serrano and John-Thor Dahlburg)
The Independent, a liberal daily in Great Britain, published an article asserting the US government was warned repeatedly that a devastating attack on the United States was on its way. The Independent cited an interview given by Osama bin Laden to a London-based Arabic-language newspaper, al-Quds al-Arabi, in late August. About the same time, tighter security measures were ordered at the World Trade Center, for unexplained reasons. (Source: Independent, September 17, 2001, Bush did not heed several warnings of attack, by Andrew Gumbel)
Despite this series of alerts, no US intelligence agency issued any warning of a possible attack on a target on US territory in the months leading up to September 11. The CIA and FBI had issued warnings about likely attacks on American military bases or embassies in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. On September 7 the US Department of State issued a worldwide alert about an impending attack by bin Laden followers, although it was focused on US-related targets in east Asia, especially Japan, not within the US itself. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Shelby, admitted, This obviously was a failure of great dimension. We had no specific warning of the US being attacked.
Moreover, the FBIs decision to take no action on Zacarias Moussaoui must be considered in the light of this continuous stream of warnings from overseas. The US government was being repeatedly alerted to the danger of devastating attacks using hijacked commercial aircraft, yet the FBI decided to conduct no serious investigation into a man, believed by French intelligence to be linked to Osama bin Laden, who wanted to learn how to steer a 747 jumbo jet, but not to take off or land. Moussaoui was not even turned over to the FBI by the Immigration and Naturalization Service until after September 11.
US investigations and concerns
Despite claims that US intelligence agencies had not considered the possibility of suicide attacks involving commercial airliners before September 11, there were many indications of such concerns on the part of the American government over a period of eight years.
An expert panel commissioned by the Pentagon in 1993 discussed how an airplane could be used to bomb national landmarks. It was considered radical thinking, a little too scary for the times, said retired Air Force Col. Doug Menarchik, who organized the $150,000 study for the Defense Departments Office of Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict. After I left, it met a quiet death. The decision not to publish detailed scenarios was made partly out of a fear that it could give terrorists ideas, participants said. A draft was circulated through the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but senior agency officials ultimately decided against a public release. (Source: Washington Post, October 2, 2001, Before Attack, U.S. Expected Different Hit, Chemical, Germ Agents Focus of Preparations, by Jo Warrick and Joe Stephens)
Three incidents of attempted attacks on buildings using airplanes took place during 1994. The first, in April of that year, involved a Federal Express flight engineer who was facing dismissal. He boarded a DC-10 as a passenger and invaded the cockpit, planning to crash the plane into a company building in Memphis, but was overpowered by the crew. The second came that September, when a lone pilot crashed a stolen single-engine Cessna into a tree on the White House grounds just short of the presidents bedroom. The third was the December hijacking of an Air France flight in Algiers by the Armed Islamic Group. The hijackers had the plane land in Marseilles and ordered it loaded with 27 tons of fuel, three times the amount required to reach Paris. Their aim was to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. French special forces stormed the plane on the ground. (Source: New York Times, October 3, 2001, Earlier Hijackings Offered Signals That Were Missed, by Matthew Wald)
In January 1995, Philippine police arrested and tortured Abdul Hakim Murad in a Manila apartment where bomb-making equipment was found. He told them of plans to plant timed explosive devices on 11 US airliners simultaneously, and to crash-land an airplane into CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The preparations were so far advanced that Murad detailed the specific flights targeted, most of them trans-Pacific flights which would explode over the ocean. Murad had attended flying schools in the United States, earned a commercial pilots license, and told investigators he was to fly the plane into CIA headquarters. Another Islamic fundamentalist was to fly a second plane into the Pentagon. (Source: Washington Post, September 23, Borderless Network of Terror, Bin Laden Followers Reach Across Globe, by Doug Struck, Howard Schneider, Karl Vick and Peter Baker)
Later that year, the alleged organizer of the first World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, was captured in Pakistan, turned over to US agents and flown back to the United States for trial. On the flight, Yousef reportedly boasted to FBI agent Brian Parr and the other agents guarding him that he had narrowly missed several opportunities to blow up a dozen airliners on a single day over the Pacific and to carry out a kamikaze-type suicide attack on CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Yousef was referring to the same plot for which Abdul Hakim Murad had been arrested in the Philippines. Murad was extradited to the United States, where his testimony played a major role in Yousefs trial and conviction. (Source: John Cooley, Unholy Wars, New York, NY, 2000, p. 247)
Early in 1996, US officials had identified crop-dusters and suicide flights as potential terrorist weapons, and began taking elaborate steps to prevent an attack from the air during the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Black Hawk helicopters and US Customs Service jets were deployed to intercept suspicious aircraft in the skies over the Olympic venues. Agents monitored crop-duster flights within hundreds of miles of downtown Atlanta. Law enforcement agents also fanned out to regional airports throughout northern Georgia to make sure nobody hijacked a small aircraft and tried to attack one of the venues, said Woody Johnson, the FBI agent in charge of the Atlanta office at the time. From July 6 through the end of the Games on August 11, the FAA banned all aviation within a one-mile radius of the Olympic Village that housed the athletes. It also ordered aircraft to stay at least three miles away from other sites beginning three hours before each event until three hours after each event ended. (Source: Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2001, Suicide Flights and Crop Dusters Considered Threats at 96 Olympics, by Mark Fineman and Judy Pasternak)
As early as 1996 the FBI began investigating the activities of Arab students at US flight schools. Government officials admitted that law enforcement officials were aware that fewer than a dozen people with links to bin Laden had attended US flight schools. FBI agents visited two flight schools in 1996 to get information about several Arab pilots who received training there. The two schools were among those attended by Abdul Hakim Murad, who had told Philippine and US police about plans to fly a hijacked plane into CIA headquarters. In 1998 FBI agents questioned officials from Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma about a graduate identified in court testimony as a pilot for Osama bin Laden. This was the school later attended by Zacarias Moussaoui. A Washington Post article concludes: Since 1996, the FBI had been developing evidence that international terrorists were using US flight schools to learn to fly jumbo jets. A foiled plot in Manila to blow up U.S. airliners and later court testimony by an associate of bin Laden had touched off FBI inquiries at several schools, officials say. (Source: Washington Post, September 23, 2001, FBI Knew Terrorists Were Using Flight Schools, by Steve Fainaru and James V. Grimaldi)
In the run-up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, there was active consideration of the danger of a fully loaded, fuelled airliner crashing into the opening ceremony before a worldwide television audience, according to former Sydney police superintendent Paul McKinnon. Osama bin Laden was considered the number threat, he said. IOC officials said plane-crash catastrophes have been incorporated into security planning for every Olympics since 1972. That was our nightmare scenario, one IOC official said. There were extensive IOC discussions with the FBI during 2001 in the course of the security planning for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. (Source: Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 2001, Jet crash on stadium was Olympics nightmare, by Jacquelin Magnay)
The 2000 edition of the Federal Aviation Administrations annual report on Criminal Acts Against Aviation, published early in 2001, said that although bin Laden is not known to have attacked civil aviation, he has both the motivation and the wherewithal to do so, adding, Bin Ladens anti-Western and anti-American attitudes make him and his followers a significant threat to civil aviation, particularly to US civil aviation. (Source: FAA)
Beginning in early 2001 a trial was held in New York City of four defendants charged with involvement in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The trial revealed that two bin Laden operatives had received pilot training in Texas and Oklahoma and another had been asked to take lessons. LHoussaine Kherchtou, a bin Laden associate turned government witness, told the court how he was asked to take flying lessons in 1993. Another bin Laden aide, Essam al-Ridi, testified that he had bought a military aircraft for bin Laden and flown it to Sudan. Al-Ridi became a government witness in 1998, giving the FBI inside information about a pilot-training scheme three years before the September 11 attack. While the proceedings of the trial extended from February to July 2001, they did not produce any heightened alert in relation to US commercial aviation. (Source: Court transcript available at http://www.cryptome.org )
|Thursday, February 13, 2003
FBI probes bid to buy crop-duster
By Marc Fortier and Jill Harmacinski
BEVERLY -- Two men tried to buy a crop-dusting airplane at Beverly Airport on Tuesday night and when questioned, jumped into a pickup truck and left the area, prompting a tight-lipped anti-terrorism investigation by state police and the FBI.
State police confirmed they are investigating an incident that occurred at the airport at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, but wouldn't provide further details.
"This thing is subject to an ongoing investigation, so they are not going to talk about any of the issues they are working on at this point,'' said state police spokesman Lt. Paul Maloney this morning.
Airport sources said the men, who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, went to Aviators of New England, a flight school at the airport on LP Henderson Road, and asked the owner if they could buy a crop-duster.
"They had thick accents," said Victor Capozzi, owner of General Aviation Services, another airport business. "He just thought it was kind of weird they'd come in asking about an (agricultural) plane."
He said the request was particularly unusual because crop-dusters are rarely used in the Northeast anymore.
"To ask for one of those planes is totally off the wall," Capozzi said.
Crop-dusters have been linked to terrorism because they can be used to spread germ and chemical warfare. And the incident comes at a particularly vulnerable time, as the nation remains on orange, high-alert terrorism status.
When questioned by Aviators of New England owner Richard Little, the men jumped in a pickup truck with Massachusetts plates and left the airport. Little then called the police, according to airport sources.
"Word spread right through the airport the minute it happened," Capozzi said.
The men apparently inquired about using an old crop-dusting plane that had been converted to tow banner advertisements across the skyline.
Steve LeBel of Rowley, owner of the small plane, wasn't at the airport at the time of the incident. But he said the plane isn't even set up for crop-dusting.
"A lot of banner towers use former spray planes, but they take all the spray equipment off it," said LeBel, who runs Ads In Flight, a banner-towing business. "It wouldn't even serve the purpose they're claiming to want to do."
The lack of information from police officials left some wondering whether the visit from the two men was a hoax, or a simple misunderstanding.
LeBel said he doubts the two men planned on doing anything.
"They just have the intention of making everybody nervous," he said.
Paul Vitale, former chairman of the Airport Commission, said it has been years since a working crop-duster was kept at Beverly Airport.
Employees at Aviators of New England were told not to discuss the matter.
"We are not at liberty to speak about it all," said a woman, who identified herself as Richard Little's wife, in a brief telephone interview last night. "We were advised by the authorities to keep quiet."
Beverly Mayor Thomas Crean said he knew of the incident, but offered little public comment.
"It's ongoing and there's nothing I can tell you right now," he said. "I've been advised of that. It's extremely sensitive."
Beverly police records indicate there was a "suspicious activity" call from Little's business at 5:42 p.m. Tuesday. Beverly police initially investigated, but then turned the matter over to Massachusetts State Police, Beverly Lt. William Terry said yesterday.
State police Lt. Michael Cronin, who heads the force's anti-terrorism unit, could not be reached for comment for this story yesterday.
Sources yesterday also said the FBI was brought in to investigate; however, the federal agency does not comment on pending investigations.
Growing season signals caution
By Patrick O'Driscoll, USA TODAY
By Eric Schultz, AP via The Huntsville Times
A crop-duster sprays cotton in rural Limestone County, Ala., last fall.
Heinen describes post-Sept. 11 security measures
ST. MARYS, Kan. As spring greens the farms of America, there is more than seasonal bird song in the air.
Agricultural spray planes are dive-bombing croplands, from vegetable farms and orchards on the coasts to grain fields and pastures in the Midwest.
But almost seven months after the Sept. 11 attacks touched off alarms about potential "terrorist crop-dusters," the buzz from above can still turn heads and prompt calls to the local sheriff or airfield. Is that odd little aerobatic plane with the extra wing spraying fertilizer, weed killer and pesticide or anthrax?
"It got a little carried away," says Scott Heinen, 29, co-owner of Nemaha Valley Aerial, a two-plane outfit just north of this small town near the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. "It will take more education to downplay this terrorist 9/11 deal."
So agricultural aviators have begun public relations campaigns that aim to reassure suburban and rural neighbors still on edge about potential airborne mayhem.
America on Alert
Three times last September, officials grounded all crop-dusting planes. Investigators say Mohamed Atta, suspected ringleader of the Sept. 11 hijackers, twice asked in Florida about how to fly a spray plane. They also found a computer disk with information about crop-dusting in the belongings of Zaccarias Moussaoui, who is awaiting trial on charges that he was part of the al-Qaeda conspiracy that resulted in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Like most of the nation's roughly 2,900 "aerial applicators," as crop-dusting services prefer to be called, Heinen ramped up security after Sept. 11. He and others met with law enforcement agencies. Some sought increased patrols. Others acquainted police and other emergency officials with what crop-dusters do and how, when and where they do it.
Now, some agricultural aviation groups are broadcasting announcements. "You may be hearing aerial applicators firing up their planes in the early morning darkness," says a radio ad by the Kansas Agricultural Aviation Association. "These professionals are flying on behalf of your food supply."
The National Agricultural Aviation Association is giving "talking points" to its members. They stress that greater security and the complexity of operating spray planes make a terrorist incident unlikely.
"We're going to have a little bit of paranoia out there as airplanes start flying again in the growing season," says operator Pat Kornegay of San Benito, Texas, the national group's president. "But ... it's probably an opportunity for us. Our business is largely misunderstood, especially by urban people who don't make the connection between our aircraft and the food on their table."
With a single-wing Piper Pawnee and a yellow Grumman AgCat biplane in his hangar, Heinen has posted security signs, installed video cameras and asked police to drive by on nights and weekends. "I'm not worried about terrorists," he says. "But I am worried that something crazy could shut it down again."
While the FBI interviewed every air-spraying service in the country in September, fliers lost an estimated $40 million in business. A bigger worry was public perception that airborne terrorists might douse people with poison or disease.
In October, a Coast Guard post in Natchez, Miss., reported a plane dropping white granules, stoking fears of anthrax. That same month, a barge towboat and a private craft on the Mississippi River reportedly were sprayed with an unknown substance.
James Callan, executive director for the national agricultural aviators, says the granules apparently came from a paper plant, and the spray was a puff from a "smoker" device used to gauge wind direction.
A sheriff in Arkansas also reported "this big green plane had just sprayed the town," says Ron Harrodof the Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association. It was an Air Force C-130, its engines smoking. "That was the type of hysteria," he adds. "We're going to try to bridge that gap of credibility."
The industry long has had to defend itself to those asking whether what's being sprayed is hazardous. What if a terrorist in a loaded plane dumped agricultural chemicals?
Kornegay says the fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides "are not capable of creating any kind of large-scale public health problem. They are biodegradable compounds. They are very safe around humans."
But he and other applicators say terrorism via crop-duster is remote and impractical for other, more basic reasons.
Crop-dusters are hard to start and harder to fly. The planes have a tail-wheel configuration unfamiliar to most pilots. Handling also is tricky, especially when the planes are loaded for spraying.
"They actually are aerodynamically unstable," Kornegay says. "And you can't just go rent one like a Cessna 150."
Spraying mechanisms are so finely tuned that a terrorist would have to reconfigure them to accommodate his poisons, an even more unlikely scenario. And crop-spray hoppers aren't pressurized and couldn't deliver poison gas.
Even if a powdered agent such as anthrax were tossed from a plane, spores as tiny and fine as those in last fall's anthrax attacks "probably would go upward in the atmosphere, not down," Kornegay says.
Agricultural aviators' biggest precaution since Sept. 11 has been security. In Kansas, agricultural flier Dan Barker of Goodland has added a basic security step once unthinkable out here: He removes the key from his plane's ignition.
"I never took the key out until Sept. 12," says Barker, a 31-year veteran crop sprayer.
|New Crop-Dusting Restrictions Weighed
Aircraft: Report that terrorists may have visited a company that flies the agricultural planes spurs concerns about chemical and biological weapons.
By AARON ZITNER and JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG
Times Staff Writers
September 25, 2001
WASHINGTON -- Faced with mounting evidence that terrorists had shown unusual interest in agricultural planes, federal officials are considering new restrictions on the export of crop-dusting and other aerosol equipment that could be used in chemical or biological weapons.
The proposal comes as law enforcement officials are reviewing the threat that crop-dusters, which are designed to spray pesticides and fertilizers on crops, could be used to deliver far more ominous materials.
In Florida, a mechanic at a crop-dusting service said Monday that Mohamed Atta, suspected of piloting a plane into the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, was among several foreign men who had visited his airport earlier this year and asked detailed questions about crop-dusting aircraft.
A Florida bank president said that a man, possibly Atta, had approached his bank with an unusual request for a loan to buy a crop-duster after making a similar request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture last year.
In Washington, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said authorities found "a significant amount" of crop-dusting information downloaded from the Internet when they searched the computer and personal baggage of a man they are holding for questioning.
The FBI has asked local law enforcement officials to identify crop-dusting aircraft in their areas and to "ensure that they are secured," Ashcroft told the House Judiciary Committee. Federal aviation officials have grounded crop-dusters twice since Sept. 11, in addition to the general grounding of all aircraft immediately after the attack. The latest grounding order, which was issued Sunday and ended early today, had been requested by federal law enforcement officials.
"The FBI assesses the uses of this type of aircraft to distribute chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction as potential threats to Americans," Ashcroft said. He said the FBI had received information "indicating the possibility of attacks" using crop-dusting aircraft, but that the agency had no specific information about any such attack.
But some terrorism and industry experts said Monday that the potential for crop-dusting planes to spread anthrax, smallpox, nerve gas or some other toxic material is low. The planes, they said, are poorly equipped to handle such a task.
Pilots Say Specialized Training Necessary
"The possibility that some terrorist organization would secure that much lethal agent, and be able to load it into a crop-duster without killing themselves and killing the pilot, is a very distant possibility," said Raymond Zilinskas, an expert in biological weapons at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.
Crop-dusting operators said that flying their planes requires specialized knowledge. Where most private planes have a single wheel under the nose, agricultural planes have a wheel under the tail, meant to stabilize the plane as it carries heavy loads over rough runways.
"Without having specialized training, I doubt someone could get it off the ground without tearing it up first," said Mark Hartz of Grand Prairie Dusters Inc. in Almyra, Ark.
Moreover, the tanks on crop-dusters have vents, making them poor containers for a chemical agent such as nerve gas, said Patrick Kornegay, who runs a Texas crop-dusting company and is president of the National Agricultural Aviation Assn. "You can't pump gas through the nozzle system," he said. "It would flow out of the vents."
Zilinskas, who served on two United Nations teams that inspected possible biological weapons sites in Iraq, said there are a range of technical problems to overcome in creating a biological or chemical weapon, but that Iraq and other hostile nations were working to solve them.
Zilinskas said that obtaining virulent strains of biological materials is difficult, and so is finding a way to grow them in suspension while keeping them potent and alive.
Equally difficult is creating a nozzle to disperse the materials, he said. Crop-dusting chemicals tend to be sprayed in large droplets, because farmers want the pesticides to fall onto plants quickly and sometimes to pierce the upper canopy of crop leaves. If the same nozzle sprayed a biological agent, Zilinskas said, the material would also fall to the ground and would not be inhaled.
If people did inhale the drops, he said, they would land in the upper respiratory system and would likely be coughed out.
But if the nozzle holes are too small, Zilinskas said, the lethal bacteria or viruses would be damaged and rendered impotent as they pass through. Moreover, he said, the materials would quickly clog up the nozzle.
Interest in Planes Alarms Some Experts
Two of these technical hurdles stopped the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo when it tried to spray Tokyo residents with anthrax in the early 1990s, Zilinskas said. "Not only did they have a problem obtaining a virulent strain--in fact, they obtained a nonvirulent strain--but when they drove their trucks through the city, the testimony is that their nozzles got clogged up," he said.
Aum Shinrikyo later killed 13 people and sickened hundreds by releasing the nerve gas sarin in the Tokyo subway system. But Zilinskas called it "a remote possibility" that terrorists could import or create enough nerve gas to cause mass casualties or mount the tanks on a crop-duster.
Other experts were more alarmed by the news of terrorist interest in crop-dusters. Crop-dusting nozzles "wouldn't be as effective as other hardware, but, sure, it would be something to be concerned about," said Ivan Kirk, a crop-dusting specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in College Station, Texas.
Kirk noted that some airborne spraying is aimed not at crops but at mosquitoes or medflies. That equipment uses a finer nozzle that aims to keep the pesticide in the air for a longer period of time, he said.
The proposed restriction on aerosol equipment exports is aimed at these finer nozzles, with orifices of 15 microns or smaller, Kirk said. Crop-duster nozzles often have orifices of 200 microns to 350 microns.
According to a document obtained by the National Agricultural Aviation Assn., State Department weapons proliferation officials have proposed that exports of certain "aircraft sprayers" and other aerosol equipment require a license if sent to a limited set of countries. State Department officials are citing "anti-terrorist reasons" for the proposed requirement, the document says. It is aimed at preventing the equipment from reaching Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Libya.
At the State Department, an official could provide few details of the proposal, but said it arose after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. State Department officials discussed the idea Monday with officials at the Commerce Department, which oversees export restrictions.
Bank Officer Recalls Unusual Loan Request
The Florida bank president said Monday that one of his loan officers remembered getting a request by telephone for financing to buy a crop-duster or crop-dusting company. Robert Epling, president of Community Bank of Florida in Homestead, said the officer could not identify the caller as Atta, and that the caller never submitted a loan application.
But Epling said the loan officer remembered the call because there is little crop-dusting in the area, and few requests to finance that business.
Epling said the loan officer recalled the incident after the FBI asked his bank last week to search its records for any signs of contact with Atta, particularly in connection with crop-dusting. The FBI also said that Atta had approached an area branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in person, for a loan. Epling said his bank shared a building with a branch office of the Agriculture Department.
In Belle Glade, Fla., on Monday, a worker at South Florida Crop Care, a crop-dusting service, recalled two visits by three foreign men earlier this year.
During one visit, one man asked numerous questions about the capabilities of crop-dusting aircraft. "He wanted to know how far the plane would fly, how much fuel the plane holds, what the capacity and the weight of the airplane were," said James Lester, in charge of ground maintenance for South Florida Crop Care. The man even wanted to get into the cockpit, but Lester refused.
Wednesday, Lester was shown a book of photographs by the FBI, and identified the inquisitive visitor as Atta, a presumed leader of the Sept. 11 suicide attacks.
Atta returned for a second visit to the Belle Glade airport sometime between March and May, Lester said.
J.D. "Willie" Lee, general manager of South Florida Crop Care, told reporters that groups of two or three Middle Eastern men came by almost every weekend for six or eight weeks before the terrorist attacks.
"The bottom line is, we were not observant at the time," Lee said. "To other people who handle hazardous products or equipment at any time, I say, be observant and try to get some background on suspicious people."
Zitner reported from Washington and Dahlburg from Florida. Times staff writer Norman Kempster also contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2003, The Los Angeles Times
Hijacker May Have Planned Aerial Chemical or Biological Attack
W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 24, 2001 The man believed to have flown a hijacked passenger airliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center also wanted to get behind the controls of a crop-dusting plane, raising fears that terrorists may have been planning a chemical or biological attack.
Mohamed Atta, a suspected ringleader in the recent terror attacks in New York and Washington, made repeated visits to a crop-dusting airfield in Florida, according to Willie Lee, the chief pilot and general manager of South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade.
Lee identified Atta to the FBI, telling agents the suspected hijacker came to the airfield as recently as the Saturday before the Sept. 11 attacks, asking questions about the capabilities of crop-dusters, including how big a load of chemicals they could carry.
Atta was "very persistent about wanting to know how much the airplane will haul, how fast it will go, what kind of range it has," Lee told ABCNEWS.
"The guy kept trying to get in the airplane," Lee added, saying his ground crew chief had to order Atta away from one of the planes at one point because he kept trying to climb onto the wing and into the cockpit.
Lee said Atta and as many as 12 or 15 other men appearing to be of Middle Eastern descent visited the airfield in groups of two or three on several weekends prior to the attacks, often taking pictures of the aircraft.
"The FBI assesses the use of this type of aircraft to distribute chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction as potential threats to Americans," Attorney General John Ashcroft said during a congressional hearing on proposed anti-terrorism legislation today. "[But,] we have no clear indication of the time or place of such attacks."
Ashcroft said information about crop-dusting had been downloaded off the Internet by associates of the hijackers. And ABCNEWS has confirmed a manual for a crop-duster was found among the belongings of Zacarias Moussaoui, who has been detained since August and is now under arrest as a material witness.
"Things like anthrax are easily transported, easily put into a solution that could be dispensed out of a crop-duster," says author and U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ward Carroll.
Fearing terrorists planned or may still plan to do just that, federal authorities grounded all crop-dusters which can carry as much as 500 gallons of solution on Sunday. The nationwide ban on agricultural flights ends at 12:05 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
Crop-dusting flights near major metropolitan areas have been prohibited since Sept. 11, when terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners, crashing three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers apparently tried to subdue the hijackers.
Police Had Hijacker in Custody
ABCNEWS has learned the FBI increasingly believes Atta was the primary U.S. operative who oversaw and directed the deadly Sept. 11 attacks.
A senior law enforcement official told ABCNEWS Atta appears to be the "common denominator" in each of the four hijacking cells. The Egyptian national spent time in Florida, the Washington, D.C., area, Boston and Hamburg, Germany all locations that have been the focus of intensive investigation.
ABCNEWS has also learned that Atta was in police custody five months before he and 18 other terrorists are believed to have carried out their attacks. Atta was stopped by police in Broward County, Fla., in April for driving without a license. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear for court the following month.
Four Material Witnesses Appear in San Diego Court
Four men described as "material witnesses" appeared in federal court in San Diego late this afternoon, for the beginning of a hearing that will continue on Tuesday.
The four were arrested over the weekend. Station KGTV in San Diego reported that Judge Reuben Brooks has placed a gag order on everyone involved and barred reporters from the courtroom on the grounds of "national security."
One man was unidentified since he is being held on an immigration violation. The other three are: Sam Awadallah, and Yazeed Al-Salmi both San Diego State students, and Mohdar Abdullah, a student at United States International University near San Diego.
An attorney said the men were cooperating voluntarily with the authorities.
Possible Terrorist Truck Training Probed
The FBI is investigating why several men, now under arrest in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, were training to drive big rigs loaded with hazardous materials.
After authorities arrested Karim Koubriti, Ahmed Hannan and Farouk Ali-Haimoud in Michigan last week on identity fraud charges, they were chilled to learn the men had attended truck-driving schools in the Detroit area.
FBI agents have interviewed the head of the U.S. Truck Driver Training School, who said Hannan and Koubriti had each taken four-week driving courses this summer. Koubriti failed his licensing exam at first, but passed it on a second try. Hannan never took the exam.
A fourth man Nabil al-Marabh, 34, who was arrested while working the night shift at a liquor store outside Chicago also learned to drive trucks in the Detroit area, getting a license to drive large trucks carrying hazardous materials after training at the A&K Driving School.
Al-Marabh was a Boston cab driver who moved freely first to Detroit and then Chicago, all at the same time he had been named in connection with the terrorist Osama bin Laden's plot to kill American tourists in Jordan.
The Department of Transportation has alerted the trucking industry to "be aware that numerous terrorist threats have been reported since Sept. 11, including unconfirmed reporting regarding potential use of chemical, biological, and/or radiological/nuclear [weapons of mass destruction]."
Warnings have also been issued to the petrochemical and nuclear power industries.
352 Arrested or Detained in FBI Manhunt
Ashcroft said today that 352 individuals have so far been arrested or detained by the FBI, Immigration and Naturalization Service and other federal, state and local law enforcement entities in a continuing nationwide manhunt for suspected terrorists and those with ties to the hijackers.
Authorities are still seeking to question as many as 392 others in connection with the investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks, the attorney general said.
Other figures relating to the investigation include:
324 searches conducted
Herbert Villalobos and an unnamed confidential witness are accused of falsely vouching for the terrorists when they applied for Virginia licenses last month, FBI officials said today.
State law requires applicants to provide two forms of identification or have a witness certify that he or she knows the applicant. The officials suggested the two men may not have known the hijackers, but routinely offered to sign such affidavits in exchange for a $100 fee.
Italian police arrested five Afghan men near the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican today and authorities in Belgium, Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands made several arrests over the weekend.
Federal investigators believe up to 30 terrorist attacks may have been planned in the United States and Europe following the Sept. 11 assaults and that at least two planned attacks have been thwarted, including a bombing in Belgium and an attack by helicopter on the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
The Case Against Bin Laden
The Bush administration is preparing to make public evidence directly linking bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to the Sept. 11 attacks and to other terrorist acts.
"There is a lot of classified information that leads to one person as well as one global terrorist organization," President Bush told reporters at the White House this morning.
"For those of you looking for a legal peg, we've already indicted Osama bin Laden," Bush added, referring to the indictment of the Saudi exile by U.S. courts for the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa. Bin Laden, who is based in Afghanistan, is also believed to be responsible for last year's bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.
"More information is coming in with respect to his activities and the activities of his network," added Secretary of State Colin Powell. "As we look through it and we can find areas that are unclassified it will allow us to share this information with the public."
Powell and other administration officials hope doing so will help win the support of Arab nations for a U.S.-led campaign against terrorist groups and their supporters.
|Terrorist made inquiries about crop-dusting planes in Belle Glade
By Scott Travis
Posted September 24 2001
Hijacking suspect Mohamed Atta twice visited a Belle Glade airport to inquire about crop-dusting planes, and other Middle Eastern men asked how far the planes could travel and how much poison they could hold, crop-dusting company employees said on Sunday.
James Lester, who cleans and loads a crop-duster at the Belle Glade Municipal Airport, told the Sun-Sentinel that he believes he twice spotted Atta and several associates at the airstrip near Lake Okeechobee.
Willie Lee, general manager of South Florida Crop Care, a single-plane crop-dusting business at the airport, told the The Washington Post that groups of two or three Middle Eastern men came by almost every weekend for six or eight weeks before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks including the weekend just before the assaults.
FBI agents visited the airport last week, Lester said. While Lester recognized the photo of Atta that agents showed him, Lee could not identify any of the men they were shown.
In addition to the visits by Atta and others to the Belle Glade airport, investigators discovered a manual on crop-dusters in the possession of Zacarias Moussouai, a man with alleged links to Osama bin Laden who was detained in August in Minnesota after he sought training at a flight school, The Washington Post reported.
The visits may have been what prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground crop-dusting planes until early today.
We were asked, and we did this for reasons of national security. It was a one-day ban, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.
Lester said FBI agents interviewed people at the airport in northwest Palm Beach County last week, questioning him about encounters he may have had with Atta. Agents showed him a picture of Atta, which is when Lester concluded the man who had visited was indeed the suspected hijacker.
Lester said Atta stopped by the airport once in February and once in March with two other men who appeared to be Middle Eastern.
They came by and wanted to know about airplanes, how to crank them, and they wanted to sit in the airplanes, he said.
Lester said he told the three men in February that he didnt have the authority to let them sit in the cockpit. He said he suggested they come back the next morning when his boss would be at work.
They didnt return the next day but showed up again in late March asking similar questions, Lester said. Again, they wanted to sit inside the crop-duster. Lester said he tried to brush them off during the second visit.
Id been working all day. It was hot, and I was getting the airplane cleaned up, Lester said. I didnt want to be rude, but I just told them, You cant get in the cockpit of the airplane.
Lester said he didnt think there was anything suspicious about their visit or their inquiries.
Youve got people coming in and out of the airport all the time, he said. When they see airplanes out flying and spraying, theyre curious.
Lee, who works at the same airport, could not specifically identify any of the Middle Eastern men who stopped by repeatedly in the months before the terrorist attacks.
He said they described themselves as flight students, with several mentioning a South Florida flight school where investigators initially thought some of the hijackers might have trained.
They pull in the gate there and get out and ask you all about the airplane, Lee told The Washington Post. How much does it haul? How hard is it to fly? ... They would want to get up on the wing and look at it.
Lee said a small population of people from the Middle East lives in Belle Glade and the mens presence did not arouse his suspicion. He said he thinks the visits involved as many as 12 to 15 people who visited in groups of two or three. He said they stayed 45 minutes to an hour each visit.
Since the attacks, FBI agents have visited the airport eight or 10 times to ask questions, Lee said. The airport is under 24-hour police watch.
Bill Malone, who runs a crop-dusting business in Okeechobee County, said Sunday he was asked last week to turn over a list of all his crop-dusting pilots to the FAA. He said other companies have gotten similar requests.
Even if terrorists had access to such a plane, Malone said flying a crop-duster takes specialized training because of its many controls and lack of front wheels. There are just three schools in the country that teach crop-dusting, he said, and most of the about 3,500 family-owned planes nationwide are closely watched.
Its tough to teach anyone how to fly them. And we just dont hire young pilots, because theyre too inexperienced, he said.
Handling such planes is specialized and difficult enough that the FAA usually requires another crop-dusting pilot to vouch for new pilots skills. Special FAA certification also is required.
The FAA isnt even that familiar with our airplanes, he said.
James Callen, executive director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association, told The Washington Post that the nations 4,000 crop-dusting planes, which also are used to combat fires and mosquitoes, commonly hold 300 to 800 gallons of chemicals. Crop-duster pilots must obtain small-plane commercial licenses and special training for agricultural aviation, Callen said.
Callen said the FBI and FAA have not informed the group of any specific reason for the grounding orders. He said there have been no confirmed reports of stolen planes or chemicals in recent weeks.
Staff Writer Buddy Nevins contributed to this report. Scott Travis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6637.
Copyright © 2003, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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... Satan (US) and the head of despotism, corruption and arrogance in modern times considers us as an enemy that should be listed on the terrorism list," Nasrallah ...
... EXPOSING THE LINKS BETWEEN COMMUNISM, THE ILLUMINATI, AND THE ISLAMIC TERRORISM TEXE MARRS SAYS
... Saying technology has brought with it too much ''power to create havoc,'' President Clinton on Friday unveiled a plan to guard against cyber-terrorism and said ...
... This kind of terrorism must STOP. ... The terrorism that is going on now will be deem the land unlivable because it will be full of radiation. ...
ANTI-WAR PROTESTS. BIOLOGICAL WARFARE A PROPHECY SMALLPOX. ... ...
... When we are through with that network, we will continue with a global assault against terrorism in general.". ... RUSSIA/CHECHNYA - TERRORISM LEADS TO WAR. ...
... Musharraf, sensitive to growing dissent and factions in his military that want Pakistan to withdraw from the US-led anti-terrorism coalition, appeared on prime ...
... While the threat of terrorism is understandably bad for tourism, the magnitude of the selloff makes it worthwhile to
... 5-7-2002 - Terrorism - The Pipe Bomber - The Militias - Hate Groups. 5-2-2002 - D-DAY - HISTORICAL OR FUTURE? THE DREAM AND THE REALITY. ... TERRORISM - 2001. ...
.. LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER - A VISION. ... ... .. GREATDREAMS - EARTHCHANGES - NEWS OF TERRORISM. ... ...
... provided the North were dramatically to alter its behavior across a range of issues," including its weapons programs, its past support for terrorism,
... authorities. In Washington, federal officials told CNN they believe the crash to be an isolated incident and not terrorism.
... The prime thrust of any diplomatic offensive would be sensitizing the world community to India's very legitimate concerns about cross-border terrorism.". ...
. Simultaneous ... Terrorism cannot survive for long in an unfriendly environment,'' Arroyo told reporters.
... To move from the tragedies of Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center to acts of terrorism requires but one small step," said US Senator Richard Lugar. ...
... The peacekeeping forces, under NATO auspices lasted 78 days. Lessons from the War in Kosovo. ~~ Afghanistan: The War on Terrorism. ...
... When we consider Terrorism, we ought to expand our vistas of mind to the fact that what is titled " Terrorism" is really a war of international proportion ...
ANOTHER TERRORISM THREAT???
... US Germ Attack - Simulation a Disaster 4-26-98. NEW BIO-TERRORISM CENTER. Copyright © 1998 The Seattle Times Company. May 26, 1998. Battling bio-terrorism. ...
... It was quite a distance away, but I remember thinking it was terrorism related. Then all of a sudden, a blinding light flashed from the middle of the city. ...
... The transatlantic rift deepened yesterday when Germany joined France in opposing military strikes against Iraq as part of a new front in the war on terrorism. ...
... And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. ... We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. ...
... STEAL THIS BOOK BY ABBY HOFFMAN A GREAT STEAL!!!! THE GENTLE SURVIVALIST. TERRORISM DISASTER SURVIVAL GUIDE. UNDERGROUND SHELTERS. ... Description: A listing of links covering topics including earth changes, farming, and amateur radio.
... in the political arena with the move from a "free world" to a "policed world" where fear of terrorism has created an air ...
... EgyptAir 990. In ... me away. Speculation is high about terrorism on this plane crash. Mostly ...
... Japan, ship ...
.. AP-NY-12-12-99 1333EST. PREPARING FOR TERRORISM - SEATTLE. ...
... Terrorism Threat To Trident Submarines. August 9, 2001. ... Marines taking part in a chemical warfare counter-terrorism exercise in Jacksonville, North Carolina. ...
... He has been linked to Islamic terrorism in many countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco
... Gouttierre calls this guerilla terrorism because of the high degree of operational freedom the agents enjoy: If you make the people involved not ...
... Terrorism at WTC. ... There is so much going on all over the world, more earthquakes, more terrorism, hurricanes, death will be swift and merciful. ...
... dream.". I personally don't see a connection ????? 8-31-99 - RUSSIA/CHECHNYA TERRORISM LEADS TO WAR.
... In the days immediately following Clinton's testimony, he then bombed Afghanistan and Sudan, in direct response to threats of further terrorism. ...
... But there is absolutely no evidence that it was an act of terrorism or that there was any criminal intent," he told a news conference. ...
... The originating country was not very large, to the north of Afghanistan and to the northwest of Turkey. NOTE: THE WAR ON TERRORISM? ~~~~. ...
... 8. "Steel Rain' in Newsweek, March 18,1991, p.31. 9. See note 2, volume 9, p. 416. 10. See Chapter 8 for a more in-depth discussion of terrorism. 11. Gilliam. ...
... The film alleges that gunshots were coming from members of the Army's secret Delta force anti-terrorism unit who were deployed alongside members of the FBI's ...