Jailed Brit recalls ‘frantic’ terror of jail lockdown as 9/11 attacks happened

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Everyone can remember where they were on September 11, 2001.

The World Trade Centre was attacked after two planes were hijacked, with the twin towers collapsing as a result.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the terror attacks, with panic setting in across the US as fears of further attacks grew.

Thankfully, that didn't materialise – but now we have a first-hand account of what the attack looked like from one of the most secure locations: a US prison.

Jamie Morgan Kane was imprisoned in 1984 after pleading guilty to first degree murder in the US.

In his new book, Behind the Granite Walls, we learn exactly what happened when the 9/11 attacks took place.

Jamie, who was stationed in Sacramento at the time, writes: "One of the more dramatic lockdowns I experienced, though not the longest, was when four planes were hijacked in the US on September 11, 2001.

"I had just turned on my TV moments after the first plane hit of the World Trade Centre towers, and then watched as the second plane came in as well.

"My first thought was that none of this was some kind of fluke accident. The alarm went off throughout my housing unit, followed by the frantic announcement that ‘the prison is now on lockdown; all inmates report back to their cells immediately’."

And lockdown meant lockdown: the porters who had been out cleaning the yard were inside, guards who were in full gear were lined up along the doors and walls.

But that was nothing compared to some of the measures that were on standby.

Jamie continues: "The most distressing sight was that those who did not have shields were carrying large canisters of pepper spray.

"As we had little in the way of ventilation, if they had fired any of that spray into a cell, it would have caused serious breathing problems for those inside.

"It was also discovered that they had turned off the water to all the cells, which meant you would have had no way in which to get the relief from the burning and suffocating spray.

"Inmates were calling out to each other that America had been attacked, and it had been by Muslims."

This, Jamie notes, surprisingly led to Muslim prisoners not being fed, not being allowed to roam in the yard or work in the prison kitchen until lockdown was over – three weeks later.

But in a grim reality, Jamie tells us that it could've been an awful lot worse.

"At Folsom and San Quentin, the standing orders were, if necessary, that during times of national security dealing with disasters, unrest or war, the guards were to be issued with rifles and go down to each tier, killing the inmates in each cell." he writes.

Behind The Granite Walls, published by Mirror Books £8.99, is on sale now and can be bought on Amazon.

Jamie is also the author of 34 Years In Hell, another Mirror Books publication that goes into greater detail about his interactions with Charles Manson.

  • Crime
  • Prison News
  • September 11
  • Terror

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