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Profile: Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain was a participant or observer in the following events:

Security at the World Trade Center complex is suddenly increased shortly before 9/11. Measures, which are introduced around late August 2001, include the use of “sniffer dogs and systematic checks on trucks bringing in deliveries,” according to the London Independent. (Gumbel 9/17/2001) Security at the checkpoint leading to the garage below the complex, through which “the deliveries and everything” have to pass, is “markedly increased about two weeks before” 9/11, firefighter Timothy Brown, a supervisor at New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, will later recall. There are “a lot more Port Authority police officers” at the checkpoint, and there are “dogs running around and checking all the trucks,” he will say. (Brown 6/30/2002 pdf file) Additionally, in the two weeks prior to 9/11, security personnel at the WTC are required to work extra-long shifts, according to Daria Coard, a guard in the North Tower. (Taylor and Gardiner 9/12/2001) And Ben Fountain, who works for Fireman’s Fund insurance company on the 47th floor of the South Tower, will say that in the “few weeks” before 9/11, he and his colleagues are evacuated from the building “a number of times, which is unusual.” “I think they had an inkling something was going on,” he will comment. (People 9/24/2001) The increase in security is “unusual,” Brown will similarly remark. “We had wondered if something was up,” he will say. (Brown 6/30/2002 pdf file) However, security at the WTC is apparently lowered back to its usual level just before 9/11. The bomb-sniffing dogs are “abruptly removed” on September 6 and September 11 will in fact be “the first day there was not the extra security” at the complex, according to Coard. The reason for the increased security at the WTC is unclear. Coard will say that security personnel have to work longer shifts due to “numerous phone threats.” (Taylor and Gardiner 9/12/2001) But when Brown and his colleagues ask people “in the intelligence area” if something is going on, they are told, “No.” (Brown 6/30/2002 pdf file) “No explanation has been given” for the increased security measures, The Independent will state. (Gumbel 9/17/2001)


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