FAA details terror warnings given to airlines
CNN Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it provided 15 warnings to airlines regarding possible terrorist attacks -- including al Qaeda hijackings -- in the months leading up to September 11.
The agency released the data a day after National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice outlined a few of the security directives, which are traditionally considered "classified" by federal statute, in a White House press briefing.
A government official involved in transportation issues said Thursday that the FAA told airlines the situation in the Middle East was tense and terrorists might attack U.S. interests. The FAA mentioned Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda in alerts the agency sent to domestic airlines.
"These people had been trained to do hijacking," the official told CNN, quoting the FAA's message to the airlines.
A spokesman for United Airlines, which had two planes hijacked in September, confirmed the airline had received "alerts or cautions" regarding possible terrorist attacks. But United spokesman Joe Hopkins said they were "always general in nature."
A spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a trade group representing domestic carriers said he never received FAA warnings mentioning suicide hijackings before the attacks.
"I am not aware of any warnings or notifications in advance of September 11 concerning specific security threats to any of our airlines," spokesman Michael Wascom said Thursday.
On Friday, the FAA briefly described the 15 circulars issued to airlines between January and September 2001:
Revelation, consternation, investigation over 9/11
May 17, 2002
FAA says it cautioned airlines of hijack threat before attacks
May 16, 2002
Security breach turns into drug bust
May 13, 2002
Air marshals train for terror threats
May 8, 2002
Air passenger fee hike may not fly
May 7, 2002
Security breach prompts airport evacuation
May 3, 2002
It's safe to pack the tweezers again
May 1, 2002
Suspicious passengers disrupt flight
April 29, 2002
Big net makes big haul at airports
April 28, 2002
'Operation Tarmac' airport sweep widens
April 24, 2002
Arrests a 'wake-up call' for U.S. airports
April 23, 2002
United pilots training with stun guns
April 23, 2002
Officials: Air patrols ending over New York, Washington
April 16, 2002
Security chiefs report for 'boot camp'
April 4, 2002
Allied Pilots Association
Air Transport Association
Air Travelers Association
Federal Aviation Administration
Transportation Security Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
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