Multi-Agency Terrorism Task Force Established At Logan

By Phillip Martin

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Aug. 31, 2011

An airplane departs Boston's Logan Airport. (Chris Devers/Flickr)


BOSTON — Boston's Logan Airport will be home to the nation's first airport-based office dedicated to fighting terrorism, 10 years after two planes left the airport with the al-Qaeda hijakers who would steer the planes into the towers of the World Trade Center.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force was created to prevent similar attacks, said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of Boston's FBI office. DesLauriers said the annex would help better link law enforcement officials with the airport, facilitating the agency's rapid-response capabilities.

He also said the JTTF is intended to better connect different agencies.

"The location of the annex will afford the JTTF a single location where members have access to multi-agency, classified and open-source databases, criminal history databases, secure communities abilities and the ability to coordinate seamlessly with Massport," DesLauriers said.

George Naccara, the federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration said the JTTF is also intended to better connect different airports with each other.

"We've had a few incidents in the last five years which required communications to be sent immediately to all airports in the country. They were intelligence bits of information regarding, perhaps, the secreting of explosives. This JTTF will now allow us to get that information immediately and then to share it with other airports as appropriate."

Naccara said that wouldn't have been possible before.

Naccara admitted that the Department of Homeland Security had weaknesses to address after Sept. 11, though he disagreed with a reporter who charectarized them as "security blunders."

"Rather than blunders, I would say vulnerabilities. I think there have been multiple vulnurabilities that have been addressed by the agencies you see in front of you today. The vulnurabilities range from the technologies we used to the people that we had screening passengers at that point. The protocols, the procedures, all of them have been improved dramatically over the past five years," Naccara said.

"we've had a few incidents in the last five years which required communications to be sent immediately to all airports in the country. they were intelligence bits of information regarding perhaps the secreting of explosives. This jttf will now allow us to get that info immediately and then to share it with other airports as appropriate. we could not have done that before.

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