These four assumptions about how terrorists would likely think and behave limited the areas of focus, because the shooting zones were assumed to require a concealed location with an entrance and an exit that was within missile range of a plane taking off. It turned out that among the best and most likely shooting zones for JFK International Airport were the many cemeteries in Queens, which tend to occupy high ground and have few visual obstructions between them and the runways. For LaGuardia, a high-performance speedboat sitting in the open waters of Flushing Bay might be an attractive option, as would be the Trump golf course then under construction at Ferry Point in the Bronx.

The team’s work was used to inform and refine the crisis-response plan that would be activated if intelligence reporting indicated an active terrorist plot. The presumption was that the air-traffic controllers in the airport’s control tower would be able to roughly identify the origin of a missile launch from the smoke trail it left behind. The responding law-enforcement officers would then know, based upon the initial work of the assessment team, where exactly, given the missile’s estimated origin, a shooting team was likely to be located. Moreover, given that the team of attackers would likely be well-armed and trying to get the shooter out of the area, the responding officers would also expect to receive gunfire and would focus on the previously identified getaway routes.