Port security and treatment of Muslims have changed in the past two decades since 9/11 in Cowlitz County, Nation | Local


Prior to September 11, Director of Marine Terminals and Director of the Marine Project, Larry Landgraver, said two night watchmen were guarding the facility to prevent break-ins. The first set of federal regulations came into effect in 2004, according to the port.

The Port of Longview is a deep-water port along the Columbia River where hundreds of ships import and export up to millions of metric tons of bulk items like grain, lumber, and paper per year. Helenberg said the port provides “direct access to the United States” and that the security measures “protect the gateway to the country.”

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Neither U.S. nor foreign ship crews can roam the harbor unattended, Landgraver said. The crews disconnect and return to the facility if they leave the property. Signs along the facility rate the regional terrorist threat from one to three as part of the U.S. Coast Guard’s maritime security system. Landgraver said the threat has not been raised since the system was implemented.

In a nod to pre-9/11 regulations, Helenberg said the port offers summer bus tours of the facility and took over the county’s Willow Grove in 2016 to allow the public to use the land in the Harbor.

“It is important that the community always has access to it,” she said.


The president of the Islamic community of Kelso Longview, Brian Shaheed, had only been a Muslim convert for about five years before Islamic extremist Al Qaeda launched the September 11 attacks. About a month later, Shaheed, who was living in Port Angeles at the time, said “everything had changed.”


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