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FAA says September 11 agency memo is wrong

Agency now says there was no gun on Flight 11

From Mike M. Ahlers

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that an internal memo written September 11 reported that a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 was shot to death. But the agency now says the memo was in error.

The Internet news organization WorldNetDaily posted a copy of the FAA memo on its Web site Wednesday night.

The FAA says there's no evidence that a gun was on Flight 11 -- the first plane to hit the World Trade Center -- or any of the other terrorist flights.

"The memo was prepared using information that was inaccurate and it was a draft memo," FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says. "As soon as it was reviewed, it was changed to reflect the facts."

Brown says it's still unclear how the information ended up in the memo.

"Reconstructing who said what to whom on September 11th is nearly impossible," she says.

The two-page memo posted on WorldNetDaily -- dated 5:30 p.m., September 11 -- states an "on-board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operations Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B at 9:20 a.m."

The memo identifies the shooter as Satam Al Suqami, who is believed to be one of the four alleged hijackers on the flight.

"One bullet was reported to have been fired," the memo says.

FAA spokeswoman Brown says other information in the memo, such as time references, are also inaccurate or incomplete. For example, the memo says the shooting took place at 9:20 a.m., but later FBI reports place the crash itself at 8:45 a.m.

The memo is titled "Executive Summary." It was received by FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, WorldNetDaily reports.

Brown has declined to release the final version of the memo. "The draft that is being circulated around is considered security information. The initial information should never have been released and I can't give you the final memo, which is also protected."

The errors in the draft memo were corrected the same day, she says.

"In all of the follow-up investigating that the FBI has done, there is nothing to indicate that there was a gun on any of the flights," she says.


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