The following is a statement by the Section Chief of the Record/lnformation Dissemination Section ("RlDS") of the FBI regarding the unsuccessful search for records or facsimiles of records, pertaining the 4 aircraft identified by the FBI and NTSB as being used during terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 or wreckage generated by them, including 2 flight data recorders. This statement is a defense exhibit for use in an upcoming oral arguments hearing pertaining to a federal court case for records for the 4 aircraft used during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
SEARCH FOR RECORDS RESPONSlVE
TO PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST
Plaintiff's original FOIA request sought "documentation pertaining to any formally and positively identified debris" from the aircraft used in the September 11th attacks. In response to this request, RIDS personnel at FBIHQ understood that any potentially responsive records would have been compiled for law enforcement purposes and would be located in a pending file because of an ongoing law enforcement investigation. RIDS personnel therefore determined that any records would be withheld in their entirety pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A). The FBI then received a copy of plaintiff's complaint for injunctive relief, later amended, wherein plaintiff requested the FBI to "produce agency records, concerning documentation revealing the process by which wreckage recovered by defendant, from the aircraft used during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, was positively identified by defendant (with the aid of the National Transportation Safety Board) as belonging to the said aircraft, presumably through the use of unique serial number identifying information contained by the said aircraft wreckage, that was collected by defendant and which defendant has improperly withheld from plaintiff." In response to this request, RlDS conducted a search for potentially responsive records at FBIHQ on February 11, 2008. A search of the CRS was conducted using the following subjects: "Airline Debris," "Debris Identification," "Commercial Aircraft," "Aircraft Identification," "Aircraft Debris," "Aircraft Wreckage," "Aircraft," "Recovered Debris," "National Transportation and Safety Bureau," "National Transportation Safety Board," "NTSB," "American Airlines," "American Airlines Flight," "American Airlines Flight Eleven," "American Airlines Flight Number 11," "American Airlines Flight 77," "N334AA," "N612UA," "N644AA," "N591UA," "Flight 175," "Flight 11," "Flight 77," "Flight 93," "Identifying Aircraft Parts," "Factual Report Aviation," "Federal Aviation Administration," "Pentbomb," "Ground Zero," "Freshkills Landfill," and "Fresh Kills Landfill."
Despite this extensive and detailed search effort, RlDS has been unable to locate any FBI records responsive to plaintiffs request. RIDS' search efforts included a verification by the case agent for the investigation. The case agent stated that since the identities of the four hijacked aircraft have never been in question by the FBI, NTSB or FAA (evidence collected after September 11, 2001 has corroborated the fact that American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Flight 93 were the aircraft hijacked), no records would have been generated responsive to plaintiffs request for documents.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct, and that Exhibits A-J attached hereto are true and correct copies.
Executed this 8th day of August, 2008
David M. HARDY
Records/Information Dissemination Section
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of lnvestigation Washington, D.C.