Teen Roams Undetected on Top Floors of Freedom Tower

The 16-year-old was observed by a number of workers who did nothing to stop him.


The Freedom Tower, America’s top terror target, doesn’t have a single working surveillance camera inside — a stunning security lapse that let a New Jersey teen roam the top floors undetected for two hours, The Post has learned.

The video system for 1 World Trade Center “won’t be operational until the building opens later this year,” said a source familiar with the security plan.

That means there is no footage of Justin Casquejo, 16, as he slipped by a sleeping guard to the antenna of the 1,776-foot-tall building Sunday morning.

“This place has a big bull’s-eye on it, and I don’t even want to think what could have happened if it was somebody with bad intentions,” said a hardhat at the site Thursday.

Asked about the lack of working cameras, a Port Authority spokesman said only, “The deployment of the hardware is confidential.”

The lanky Casquejo breached several layers of protection at the site after three visits, said his best friends who helped plan the adventure.

“We went a total of two times together, and Justin went one other time alone,” said Steven Peralta, 16, of North Bergen, NJ.

“He left my house at 9:30 Saturday night, and I wished him good luck. He looked confident.”

The other friend, Trevor Gidden, 16, said, “We all knew he was going to get in.”

“We planned everything. We searched and circled the location,” he added.

Peralta said the plan all along was for Casquejo to go in alone.

“We’re all crazy, but he’s the one with the balls,” he said.

Casquejo was captured on a perimeter camera entering the site through a small hole in a fence along Church Street at around 4:10 a.m., sources said.

The PA, which owns the site, wouldn’t say who was supposed to be monitoring the camera, but a source said that duty is shared by the agency’s cops and the private Summit Security firm that guards Ground Zero.

Casquejo, of Weehawken, told cops he first climbed scaffolding to the sixth floor, then conned an elevator operator into giving him a lift to the 88th.

From there, he hiked up the stairs to the 104th, slipped past a snoozing security guard and made his way to the antenna.

Several construction workers in the tower saw and ignored the obviously underage boy — until he was finally stopped by a supervisor who called the cops.

He was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and released pending an April 2 court date.