- 1997, 11 June - Boston, Logan airport

Logan airport departure gate:
I alerted the airline's flight crew to the complete absence of security

airports

On Wednesday 11th June I arrived at Logan airport, Boston for a short flight to Toronto. From exiting the taxi on a public road to taking my seat in the aircraft I had not under-gone a single security check, not one. No questions, no pat down, no metal detector, no bagage inspection - nothing. 

At the check-in desk I had only been asked to show a credit card in exchange for a boarding pass. There was no passport control that I recall. There was a security desk with a metal detector and baggage inspection machine but they were unmanned and the machines unplugged.

As I handed my boarding pass to the air-steward on the aircraft door I told her of my concerns. I stressed that there had been no security checks within the airport whatsoever. I remember she told me not to worry, and said that was normal. 

As the aircraft climbed and circled I looked towards the unsecured cockpit door just a few metres away and perceived with horror how easily an aircraft could be hijacked and turned in to a missile.

My Reasoning
(added 16 Sept 2018)

Intent:
In 1993 an international group came within metres of collapsing the World Trade Centre with a bomb placed in the basement, just a little too far from a critical support column to succeed. Citing greivences with US policy in the Middle East they stated they had hoped to murder 100,000 people. 

To the casual observer the American nation appeared to just shrug its collective shoulders at this failed attempt.


Will:

Between 1993 and 1997 there were 18-suicide attacks against Israel, mostly targeting civilians and mostly carried out by Hamas. 

February 1994 an extremist Zionist American immigrant to Israel murdered 29-worshippers at a Mosque.

November 1995 Israeli Prime Minister & peace advocate Yitzak Rabin was murdered by an extremist Zionist, a Yemeni immigrant.

April 1996 Israel lauched a 'Grapes of Wrath’ military operation in Lebanon, carpet bombing entire neighbourhoods. This was lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamad Atta stated motivation to attack the USA.

August 1996 Osama bin Laden issues a religious decree, authorizing attacks on Western military targets in the Arabian Peninsula.

In May 1997 Benjamin Netenyahu’s extreme right wing Likud party was voted in to power.


Opportunity:

I'd seen the Manhattan skyline from flights arriving in the US before and so I was aware of both the WTC prominence and vulnerability to an air attack. I had taken many internal US flights and although security was lax hand lugage was always x-rayed. A hijack on a smaller plane would be far harder to carry our and with far less impact and so the fear of such a hijacking did not cross my mind, until I got to Logan airport that is.

My flight from Logan was an international flight, crossing the border to Canada, and on a much larger jet. As I walked to my seat I thought that I could have had ANY weapon in my hand lugage and no one would know. I then saw the cockpit door casually left open for much of the flight. I thought one or two men could simply kill the few passengers & crew with Uzi machine guns before crashing the plane into their chosen target. 


Conclusion:

The intent and will had been demonstrated 
A rise of violence and extremism on all sides
The opportunity was literally an open door

I concluded that this was a viable and very likely attack method


© Anthony C Heaford 2016