Unknown number of FBI agents to protect airports

Bay City News Service
Saturday September 15, 2001

The San Francisco division of the FBI said today that agents will be placed at all three major Bay Area airports as a precaution. 

Spokeswoman Patti Hansen said an undisclosed number of agents will be present at San Francisco International Airport, San Jose International Airport and Oakland International Airport as commercial air traffic resumes following Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the East Coast. 

“They are just going to be there, just in case there's a need,” she said. “The FBI is there to assist in investigation of any suspicious activity that might occur.” 

She said the decision to post agents was not triggered by any particular incident at the airports. “We just want to be prepared,” she said. 

Hansen said the Federal Bureau of Investigation will work with officers from the San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland police departments, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines. 

Hansen would not disclose how many agents will be posted at the airport, whether they will be identifiable through uniforms or badges, or what exactly they will be looking for. 

“The are trained to handle any kind of federal violation,”she said. “If there were an incident at the airport, they are right there, if there is a suspicious activity, they will be right there.” 

If a suspicious package were to be found inside someone's luggage, for example, FBI agents could respond immediately instead of making a 20-minute or longer trip to the airport from their downtown offices in San Francisco and Oakland, she said. 

Hansen said she was not aware of any plans for agents to board planes. 

“They are just going to be at the airport,”she said.