The dubious security video from Dulles Airport
By Elias Davidsson
A security video recording purports to show alleged hijackers of flight AA77 pass through the security checkpoint at Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C. This recording was not voluntarily released by the US government, but was forced out in 2004 by the Motley Rice law firm representing some survivors’ families, under the Freedom Of Information Act.1 This video recording was released as an exhibit by the prosecution in the Moussaoui trial but requires a lengthy download to watch.2 It is however available on various websites.3 The video purports to show persons designated as the hijackers of flight AA77 pass security check on the morning of 9/11.
Jay Kolar, who published a detailed, critical analysis of this video recording,4 pointed out that it lacks a camera identification number and time stamp (data:time clock). Joe Vialls, who also analyzed this video recording in 2004, wrote that “[j]ust this single terminal at Dulles Airport has well over 100 such cameras, everyone of them with an individual camera ident[ifcation] number and date-time clock of its own.“5 He explained: “On-film data is essential of course, because it would be extremely difficult to track a target around the airport without these basic tools, and absolutely impossible to sort out the precise time and date of an event that occurred more than two years before, which is exactly what the 9-11 Commission now claims to have done.“ According to Vialls, the video recording could not have been made on the morning of 9/11 because the light suggests that it had been made around noon. He urges viewers to ”play back a full size copy [of the video recording]…and freeze-frame at the appropriate points”, pointing out the “footprint size shadow underneath the cab, and the brilliant sunshine streaming in through the open doors. On a full-screen picture you can even see the minuscule short [near vertical] shadows of the people standing outside the doors.”
Compare this video recording with an entry in an FBI timeline of the alleged hijackers’ activities before 9/11, which indicates the precise time, to the second. There we read: On September 5, 2001, “Atta and Alomari [were] filmed entering a bank lobby and at bank counter (Bank Atlantic, 10 Fairway Drive, Deerfield, Florida). Surveillance video shows these same two individuals entering the branch at 12:36:35 and existing at about 12:37:50.”6 Ironically, this video recording was never shown in public.
A strange story about the Dulles security video, which appears to confirm the suspicion that it was fabricated before 9/11, was told by airport security manager Ed Nelson of Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C. to authors Susan and Joseph Trento. Ed Nelson said that shortly after arriving at the airport on the morning of 9/11, FBI agents confiscated a security tape from a checkpoint through which he believed the alleged hijackers had passed before boarding the plane. He then said about the FBI agents:
They pulled the tape right away.… They brought me to look at it. They went right to the first hijacker on the tape and identified him. They knew who the hijackers were out of hundreds of people going through the checkpoints. They would go ‘roll and stop it’ and showed me each of the hijackers.… It boggles my mind that they had already had the hijackers identified.… Both metal detectors were open at that time, and lots of traffic was moving through. So picking people out is hard.… I wanted to know how they had that kind of information. So fast. It didn’t make sense to me.”7
Apparently, the agents did not explain to Ed Nelson how they were able to identify the suspects on the tape „so fast“. We do not know what went on in Ed Nelson’s mind. But it wouldn’t be unreasonable of him to suspect that the recording had been made prior to 9/11. He was, however, careful not to mention this sinister thought.
1 Nick Grimm, ‘Commission report finalized as 9/11 airport video released’, ABC.net.au, 22 July 2004. Available at http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2004/s1159804.htm
(last visited January 9, 2011), or the version issued by Associated Press: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYPS-h8mYDc (last visited May 25, 2011)
5 Joe Vialls, Clueless 9-11 Commission Cheats American Public, July 23, 2004.
6 Working Draft Chronology of Events for Hijackers and Associates, Part C, FBI, November 14, 2003 , at http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/sourcedocuments/2001/pdfs/fbi911timeline210-2…
7 Susan B. Trento and Joseph J. Trento, Unsafe at any Altitude: Failed Terrorism Investigations, Scapegoating 9/11, and the Shocking Truth about Aviation Security Today, Steerforth Press, October 2006, p. 37