Say Logan tips ignored by cops
By Joe Dwinell
Saturday, July 2, 2011 - Updated 1 day ago
Months before the horrific 9/11 attacks, lackadaisical state troopers specially assigned to protect Logan International Airport failed to act on tips that Middle Eastern men were casing security checkpoints armed with cameras, explosive new court documents allege.
One of the suspected terrorists whom troopers could have cornered was later identified as al- Qaeda 9/11 leader Mohammed Atta, according to lawyers for a Boston woman who is suing over the loss of her son. The lawyers took depositions from an airline employee and other witnesses.
Troopers were told the Middle Eastern men were “acting suspiciously” and videotaping airport security in May 2001, according to the filing in a New York court.
“When Mohammad Atta went through the security checkpoint after being reported to F Troop that he was photographing, videotaping and surveilling the checkpoints, Massport F Troop did nothing,” the documents state.
The explosive allegations of state police incompetency are part of the nation’s last wrongful-death lawsuit linked to the 9/11 attacks.
Roslindale mom Mary Bavis is suing Massport, the airlines and a security company for not thwarting the 9/11 hijackers at Logan.
She blames the airport and airlines for the death of her son Mark Bavis, 31, a former Boston University hockey player who was working as a National Hockey League scout at the time of his death. His jet, United Airlines Flight 175, slammed into the World Trade Center in New York.
Nearly 3,000 people were murdered in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. All other victims’ families have settled their cases. Bavis family members have told the Herald they want their day in court to expose what went terribly wrong on 9/11.
This week, Mary Bavis appealed to a federal judge in Manhattan to reject Massport’s attempt to be removed from the case. The appeal claims state troopers were slow to move on tips — even though they had been warned terrorist groups were targeting Logan.
“While September 11, 2001, is the saddest day in aviation security history, May 11, 2001, is a close second,” the family’s attorneys wrote. The family argues that troopers missed the opportunity that day to possibly intercept the men or at least capture Atta on surveillance camera footage.
“Atta’s picture and name could have been known and posted at every checkpoint. He could have been placed on no-fly lists and watchlists. He could have been stopped from flying by Massport,” the documents state.
Massport and state police spokesmen declined to comment yesterday, citing pending litigation.
Massport has argued there is “no evidence to show that Massport breached any duty owed by the airport operator to Mark Bavis.”
Brian Sullivan, a retired Federal Aviations Administration special agent, said yesterday Massport does share blame for sloppy security on 9/11.
“What a zoo,” Sullivan said of Massport. “It’s incredible. Rampant cronyism just doesn’t get the job done.
“We had a chance to intercept Atta if F Troop had responded to reports. Their failure to react to information borders on criminal negligence.”