Skip to comments.Hijackers 'booked tickets at library'
Posted on 04/29/2005 10:21:18 AM PDT by Calpernia
THE Bush administration revealed today that some of the September 11, 2001, hijackers booked their tickets on the internet using a computer in a college library in New Jersey.
The disclosure by Ken Wainstein, US attorney for the District of Columbia in testimony to the House of Representatives subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security, was intended to bolster the government's argument that Congress should renew a law allowing it to seize library and bookstore records.
"Investigators tracing the activities of the hijackers determined that, on four occasions in August of 2001, individuals using internet accounts registered to Nawaf Al Hazmi and Khalid Al Mihdar - 9/11 hijackers - used public access computers in the library of a state college in New Jersey," Mr Wainstein said.
He testified that computers in the library were used to review and order airline tickets on an internet travel reservations site.
Al Hazmi and Al Mihdar were hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon on September 11. Their last documented visit to the library occurred 12 days before the attack when a person using Al Hazmi's account used the library's computer to review the reservations, Mr Wainstein said.
Terrorists used public libraries for Internet access to check airline reservations prior to the September 11 attacks, a federal attorney yesterday told the House panel looking into renewing the USA Patriot Act.
Kenneth L. Wainstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security oversight that investigators traced some of the hijackers' activities on four separate occasions in August 2001.
Internet accounts registered to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar were accessed from a state college library in New Jersey. The two men were on the American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.
"The computers in the library were used to review and order airline tickets on an Internet travel reservations site," Mr. Wainstein said. "The last documented visit to the library occurred on August 30, 2001. On that occasion, records indicate that a person using Alhazmi's account used the library's computer to review September 11 reservations that had been previously booked."
Investigators also discovered that three hijackers on the planes that hit the World Trade Center visited the Delray Beach, Fla., public library in July 2001 and asked to use the library's computers to access the Internet.
Mr. Wainstein said witnesses identified the men as Wail M. Alshehri and Waleed M. Alshehri, who were aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed into the North Tower, and Marwan Al-Shehhi, the man who took control of United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower.
The news surprised lawmakers, who warned that eliminating the government's ability to investigate activities of suspected terrorists at libraries will leave the nation vulnerable to another attack.
"We put Americans' lives at risk if we foolishly provide sanctuaries -- even in our public libraries -- for terrorists to operate," said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican and Judiciary Committee chairman.
Yesterday's oversight hearing to review Section 215 of the Patriot Act -- which allows the seizure of business and library records to investigate terrorists -- is one of several being held throughout April and May by Judiciary Committee subcommittees on provisions of the act that expire Dec. 31.
Privacy advocates and civil libertarians say Section 215 is the most contentious aspect of the law passed by Congress in the aftermath of September 11.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told the committee that Section 215 has been used 35 times, but that it has not been used to obtain library records because they have been volunteered without the special subpoenas.
Gregory Nojeim, chief legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, told the panel that the provision is overly broad and needs congressional checks and judicial oversight to ensure it is not being abused to spy on Americans.
"With these broad new powers, the government can easily obtain records pertaining to Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism, so long as the records are sought for, or are allegedly relevant to one of these investigations," Mr. Nojeim said.
Curious though, what college library in NJ did they use to book their tickets?
Which state college? Rutgers? Newark campus?
I'm guessing Rutgers too Sam.
Remember, the copy machines they tested there during the anthrax investigation.
And most of the hijackers got their IDs in New Brunswick.
I'm sure the libraries would voluntarily cooperate in such cases. I don't however like the idea of giving goverment the power to force their way in.
Fine. Let's just close all the Public Libraries down. Security measure, don'tcha know?
I am back in school at a leading Lib science program.
In addition to faculty and most students blaming the President for everything you can possibly think of, including 9/11, they all are against the Patriot Act and any other law they think impacts our First Amendment rights.
I think I'll copy this article and post it next to the 'Bush or chimp?' poster that one of the faculty members has posted in the hallway.
To use this as justification for seizing library records now is spurious.
Are citizens reading habits REALLY the key element to determining if a presumed 'terror cell' is going to strike. I would find it highly unlikely Abdul would be checking out 'How to Blow Up Stuff' from his local library.
On the other hand, if a Hillary administration thinks my conservative ideas are dangerous, and cross checks my reading habits, they could effectively witch hunt.
Never give a friendly government tools you would fear from an unfriendly one.
It boosts the Patriot Act how?
There are many other places where tickets could be booked on-line.
Welcome to FR.
Just as I would find it highly unlikely Abdul would be telling his flight school instructor that he didn't need to learn how to land.
But it happened.
You see, Abdul doesn't think like you or I.
Oh - my guess would be quite the opposite. Internet access is free to anyone who can walk in and produce an ID (fake ones included).
If you're not being sarcastic, you're being clueless!
And Newark was the home of the blind sheik.
I thought that was Jersey City.
Exactly. For example many copy centers provide internet access.
Perhaps the records of any user at wireless internet cafes should also be seized too.
Oh wait, they already are...
Why not? Easier to welcome all his buddies.
We can deduce that this is the only explaination for why they were there. They certainly weren't there to curl up with a good book.
Two words for those who think protecting civil liberties is a waste of time:
Or, we could DEPORT the moon-worshipping FREAKS and keep our freedom.
Or do you like defending your own cage?
That's a strong argument......
Well, just heck and darn that!
Some of these guys had Virginia driver's licenses. Why was New Jersey issuing VA documents?
Have to prove they broke the law first. Then there is malicious intent.
>>>Some of these guys had Virginia driver's licenses. Why was New Jersey issuing VA documents?
I don't know what the breakdown is. The New Brunswick officer said most of the hijackers got their fake IDs in New Brunswick.
If that statement meant the ones that 'didn't' have have VA IDs or if that meant that New Brunswick issued various fake IDs from other states....I don't know.
In the context of this specific event (terrorist booking flights at a library) what temporary steps do you see fit?
God save us from those politicians still opposing the toughening of driver's license requirements.
Two of the terrorist resided on William Patterson College.
Two of the terrorist resided on William Patterson College.
Were they the same ones that had an apartment in Patterson?
I can not be sure, but I believe they are the ones that had the apartment in Patterson.
smart bastards..... Now everybody will have to suffer:
"Congress should renew a law allowing it to seize library and bookstore records "
We need to protect our right to national security. You can get help in fighting for your national security rights at Americans for National Security Rights.
I'd bet you are right.
Between all the corrupt political busts and all these stories dribbling out again...
I bet we are going to find out!
We will need lotsa popcorn :)