The FAA maintains it had no foreknowledge of an attack by Al Qaeda within the U.S., but there is a continuing series of suggestions that the federal authorities, including the FAA, did in fact know something was about to happen.
One little noticed example concerned novelist Salman Rushdie, who told the London Times after 9-11 that he believed U.S. authorities had known of an imminent terrorist strike when they banned him from taking domestic flights in Canada and the U.S. shortly before the attacks. According to the Times account, the FAA made an emergency ruling on September 3, 2001, to prevent Rushdie from flying unless the airline adopted new and costly security measures. The airline refused. The author’s publisher said it was told by the FAA that U.S. intelligence had given a warning of “something out there,” but gave no details. The FAA confirmed it had stepped up security measures around Rushdie, but would not say why.
Additional reporting: Nicole Duarte and David Botti