Video shows 9/11 hijackers security check
Updated: 2004-07-22 08:43
Surveillance video from Washington Dulles International Airport the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, shows four of the five hijackers being pulled aside to undergo additional scrutiny after setting off
metal detectors but then permitted to board the fateful flight that crashed into the Pentagon.
The video shows an airport screener hand-checking the baggage of one hijacker, Nawaf al Hazmi, for traces of explosives before letting him continue onto American Airlines Flight 77 with his
brother, Salem, a fellow hijacker.
The disclosure of the video comes one day before the release of the final report by the Sept. 11 commission, which is expected to include a detailed accounting of the events that day.
Details in the grainy video are difficult to distinguish. But an earlier report by the commission describing activities at Dulles is consistent with the men's procession through airport security
as shown on the video.
No knives or other sharp objects are visible on the surveillance video. But investigators on the commission have said the hijackers at Dulles were believed to be carrying utility knives either
personally or in their luggage, which at the time could legally be carried aboard planes.
All 58 passengers including the hijackers and six crew members, along with 125 employees at the Pentagon, died when the flight crashed into the Pentagon at 9:39 a.m. on Sept. 11,
The video shows hijackers Khalid al Mihdhar and Majed Moqed, each dressed conservatively in slacks and collared shirts, setting off metal-detectors as they pass through security. Moqed set off a
second alarm, and a screener manually checked him with a handheld metal detector.
The pair were known to travel together previously and had paid cash to purchase their tickets aboard Flight 77 on Sept. 5, 2001, at the American Airlines counter at Baltimore's airport.
AlMihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi had been known to be associated with al Qaida since early 1999 by the National Security Agency, and were put on a terrorism watch list on Aug. 24, 2001.
Only Hani Hanjour, believed to have been the hijacker who piloted Flight 77, did not set off a metal detector as he passed through Dulles security that morning, according to the video.
Moments after Hanjour passed alone through the security checkpoint, wearing dark slacks and a short-sleeved shirt, the final two hijackers, the al-Hazmi brothers, walked through the
Nawaf al Hazmi, described by investigators as the right-hand accomplice of hijacker planner Mohammed Atta, set off two metal detectors, and a screener manually checked him with a handheld
Nawaf and his brother, each wearing slacks and Oxford shirts, were directed to a nearby counter, where they appeared to examine their tickets while another screener checked Nawaf's carryon bag
with an explosive trace detector. Each was cleared to board Flight 77.
The Associated Press obtained the video from the Motley Rice law firm, which is representing some survivors families who are suing the airlines and security industry over their actions in the
Sept. 11 attacks.
"Even after setting off these alarms, the airlines and security screeners failed to examine the hijackers baggage, as required by federal regulations and industry mandated standards, or discover
the weapons they would use in their attack," lawyer Ron Motley said.
Elaine Teague, one of the family members suing over the death of her 31 year old daughter, Sandra, said she had previously been shown the footage by the FBI. But the terrorists' faces had been
Teague said she was surprised at how relaxed security was, given that airlines had received three warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration. One such warning, issued in June 2001, cited
"unconfirmed reports that American interests may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups."
www.prisonplanet.tv/articles/july2004/210704videoshows.htm Comment: A grainy video found three years later that backs up the 'hijacker's myth. Another desperate attempt to create some kind of background to the official version of events that will support
it in light of massive amounts of evidence to the contrary. Khalid al-Mihdhar who is supposedly shown in this video has beenproven to be still alive,along with several other named 'hijackers'.
A never-before-seen videotape of the Arab hijackers who slammed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon on
9/11 shows three of the five men triggering metal detectors before they boarded the doomed jetliner.
The chilling surveillance, taken at Washington's Dulles Airport on the fateful day in 2001, shows all five hijackers calmly passing through a checkpoint.
Hani Hanjour, who is thought to have piloted the plane into the Pentagon, is not stopped.
But then, Khalid Almihdhar and Majed Moqed each set off the metal detectors once. A security guard checks the pair with a hand-held detector and both men are then allowed to pick up their carry-on
bags and head to the gate.
Hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi is also seen on the grainy tape, standing by without a trace of fear on his face as a screener hand-checks his carry-on bag after he twice set off the detector.
He and his brother Salem are then pulled to the side to have their tickets checked before being sent along.
Furious relatives of the passengers who died that day believe the tape shows the last missed chance to save their loved ones.
"I'm angry, very very angry," said Rosemary Dillard, 56, of Alexandria, Va., whose husband, Eddie, was on the doomed flight. "I think absolutely it could have been prevented."
Officials of the 9/11 commission believe the hijackers at Dulles were carrying box cutters either on their bodies or in their luggage.
At the time, box cutters and utility knives could legally be carried onto commercial flights.
The tape surfaced on the eve of today's release of the report by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The video was taken about two hours before Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon at 9:39 a.m.
All 59 passengers and crew aboard the flight and 125 workers in the Pentagon were killed.
"I guess my reaction is it's too late," said Randall Caswell of Silver Spring, Md., whose son, William, died aboard Flight 77. "Nothing is going to bring our son back."
Lawyer Brian Alexander, whose law firm represents hundreds of 9/11 victims' families, said the video supports the contention that little was being done to thwart terrorists from breaching aviation
"If you study it, collectively every one of the red flags went off and yet they were unable to realize what their duties were, and that is keep bad guys off the planes," Alexander said of the
failures at Dulles.
Alexander also pointed out that Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi had been fingered in 1999 as Al Qaeda associates and placed on a terrorism watch list a month before the 9/11 attacks.
"The amount of information they had about the threat is incredible and shocking," Alexander said.