Pray For America At This Time Of
Attacks Rock New York, Washington,
On America Time Line Click Picture
U.S. Searches For Perpetrators,
NEW YORK--As the smoldering ashes
of the World Trade Center slowly
yielded unimaginable carnage, investigators
fanned out across the country Wendesday
to track the conspirators who orchest-
rated an unprecedented day of terror
from the air.
The few stories
that remained of the World Trade
Center's south tower collapsed Wednesday
afternoon in yet another plume of
thick smoke. No injuries were reported,
but rescuers were evacuated from
a portion of the area where the
1,350-foot titans stood.
Police and fire
officials said there were problems
with other "mini-collapses"
among some badly damaged buildings
nearby, and when the towers were
destroyed, the Marriott World Trade
Center hotel fell with them. But
the search and rescue mission continued
despite the problems.
The devastation turned the concrete
canyons of lower Manhattan into
a dust-covered ruin of girders and
boulders of broken concrete. A Brooks
Brothers clothing store became a
morgue, where workers brought any
body parts they could find.
The workers' grim
task was interrupted by brief epiphanies
of life, when a fortunate victim
was pulled alive from the wreckage
of the steel-and-glass buildings.
Four victims, three of them police
officers, had been pulled from the
the Bush administration disclosed
that the White House and Air Force
One may originally have been among
the targets of Tuesday's devastation.
swept from a Boston hotel to Florida
and points beyond--all in an attempt
to determine just who was behind
the attacks in which two hijacked
airliners blasted into the 110-story
towers, a third dove into the Pentagon
and a fourth crashed in western
condemned the onslaught as "acts
of war" and NATO gave the United
States its backing for a military
response if the attacks were directed
and diplomats moved forward in their
tasks, progress for rescuers in
New York was slow. Cranes and heavy
machinery were used, but only gingerly,
for fear of dislodging wreckage
and harming any survivors. Searchers
with picks and axes worked slowly,
too--sometimes when they opened
pockets in the debris, fires flared.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
said the best estimate is that "a
few thousand" victims would
be left in each building. There
were 55 confirmed fatalities--a
number that was sure to grow. Another
1,700 injuries were reported.
The four hijacked
planes carried 266 people, none
of whom survived. Defense Secretary
Donald H. Rumsfeld said an estimate
that as many as 800 people were
killed at the Pentagon may be far
"specific credible information"
that both Air Force One and the
White House were targets, and that
"the plane that hit the Pentagon
may have been headed for the White
House," said Sean McCormack,
spokesman for President Bush's National
There also was
speculation that, in the case of
the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania,
the hijackers intended to jet elsewhere
but were thwarted by the male passengers.
In a phone call
from the air, businessman Thomas
Burnett had told his wife, Deena:
"I know we're all going to
die--there (are) three of us who
are going to do something about
it." Then, Burnett told his
wife, "I love you, honey"
and the call ended, according to
the family's priest, the Rev. Frank
out across the nation, and beyond,
looking for information that would
pinpoint the culprits.
A Venice, Fla.,
man said FBI agents interviewed
him and said that two men who stayed
in his home last summer while training
at a local flight school were among
a car believed to belong to the
hijackers was confiscated in Boston,
where two of the hijacked planes
took off, and that it contained
an Arabic-language flight manual.
Investigators also raided two Boston
area hotels believed to be used
by the hijackers.
John Ashcroft said authorities had
reviewed "numerous credible
leads," and were checking whether
four separate cells of terrorists
were involved. One set of hijackers
is believed to have crossed from
Canada and have ties to Osama bin
Laden, the Saudi exile who authorities
say is the suspected mastermind
behind the attacks.
Bin Laden has been
given asylum in Afghanistan, where
international aid workers fled from
the capital city of Kabul on Wednesday
as residents worried about a possible
U.S. military strike.
rulers demanded to see evidence
backing allegations that bin Laden
runs a global terrorism network
responsible for the hijackings.
In New York, the
rubble at the trade center was taken
by boat to a former Staten Island
garbage dump, where the FBI and
other investigators searched for
Peter Coppola, said he had found
four dead bodies in his 24 hours
of searching. "The air down
there is totally toxic," he
to billow upward, as it did all
day Tuesday, and smaller fires still
burned. Twisted metal piled 50 feet
high filled the streets.
New Yorkers were
told to steer clear of lower Manhattan
and the financial markets were closed
and were to remain so at least until
Schools also were
closed and the New York Yankees'
game was postponed, along with the
rest of the major-league baseball
schedule, including Thursday's games.
Many other sporting events were
either being canceled or postponed.
partially lifted a ban on nationwide
air travel, allowing flights that
had been diverted on Tuesday to
finish their journeys and empty
planes to be moved around. All other
flights remained grounded.
2001 Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten,
NEW YORK--Mounting an audacious
attack against the United States
Tuesday morning, terrorists crashed
two hijacked airliners into the
World Trade Center and brought down
the twin 110-story towers. A jetliner
also slammed into the Pentagon as
the government itself came under
be dead or injured, a high-ranking
New York City police official said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
A fourth jetliner,
also apparently hijacked, crashed
ordered a full-scale investigation
to "hunt down the folks who
committed this act."
been trying to evacuate those who
work in the twin towers when the
glass-and-steel skyscrapers came
down in a thunderous roar within
about 90 minutes after the attacks,
which took place minutes apart around
9 a.m. But many people were thought
to have been trapped. About 50,000
people work at the Trade Center
and tens of thousands of others
visit each day.
said two of its planes, both hijacked,
crashed with a total of 156 people
aboard, but said it could not confirm
where they went down. Two United
airliners with a total of 110 aboard
also crashed--one outside Pittsburgh,
the other in a location not immediately
identified. Altogether, the planes
had 266 people aboard.
"This is perhaps
the most audacious terrorist attack
that's ever taken place in the world,"
said Chris Yates, an aviation expert
at Jane's Transport in London. "It
takes a logistics operation from
the terror group involved that is
second to none. Only a very small
handful of terror groups is on that
list...I would name at the top of
the list Osama bin Laden."
Within the hour,
the Pentagon took a direct, devastating
hit from a plane. The fiery crash
collapsed one side of the five-sided
The White House,
the Pentagon and the Capitol were
evacuated along with other federal
buildings in Washington and New
The president put
the military on its highest level
of alert. Authorities in Washington
immediately called out troops, including
an infantry regiment, and the Navy
sent aircraft carriers and guided
missile destroyers to New York and
Washington. The U.S. and Canadian
borders were sealed, security was
tightened at naval installations
and other strategic points, and
all commercial air traffic across
the country was halted until at
least noon on Wednesday.
"This is the
second Pearl Harbor. I don't think
that I overstate it," said
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. The Dec.
7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor killed nearly 2,400 people
and drew the United States into
World War II.
Sen. John McCain,
R-Ariz., said: "These attacks
clearly constitute an act of war."
In June, a U.S.
judge had set this Wednesday as
the sentencing date for a bin Laden
associate for his role in the 1998
bombing of a U.S. embassy in Tanzania
that killed 213 people. The sentencing
had been set for the federal courthouse
near the World Trade Center. No
one from the U.S. attorney's office
could be reached Tuesday to comment
on whether the sentencing was still
Taliban rulers condemned the attacks
and rejected suggestions that bin
Laden was behind them, saying he
does not have the means to carry
out such well-orchestrated attacks.
Bin Laden has been given asylum
editor of the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper,
said he received a warning from
Islamic fundamentalists close to
bin Laden, but did not take the
threat seriously. "They said
it would be a huge and unprecedented
attack but they did not specify,"
Atwan said in a telephone interview
In the West Bank
city of Nablus, thousands of Palestinians
celebrated the attacks, chanting
"God is Great" and handing
In New York, Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani said about 600
of the injured were taken to area
hospitals, 150 of them in critical
condition. It could take weeks to
dig through the rubble for victims.
initially identified the planes
that crashed into the Trade Center
as Flight 11, a Los Angeles-bound
jet hijacked after takeoff from
Boston with 92 people aboard, and
Flight 77, which was seized while
carrying 64 people from Washington
to Los Angeles.
officials, speaking on condition
of anonymity, said it was Flight
77 that hit the Pentagon.
United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing
757 en route from Newark, N.J.,
to San Francisco, crashed about
80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh
with 45 people aboard. United said
another of its planes, Flight 175,
a Boeing 767 bound from Boston to
Los Angeles with 65 people on board,
also crashed, but it did not say
where. The fate of those aboard
the two planes was not immediately
union said United Flight 175 crashed
into the Trade Center. But the airline
had no immediate comment.
An emergency dispatcher
in Westmoreland County, Pa., received
a cell phone call at 9:58 a.m. from
a man who said he was a passenger
locked in the bathroom of United
Flight 93, said dispatch supervisor
"We are being
hijacked, we are being hijacked!"
Cramer quoted the man as saying.
The man told dispatchers the plane
"was going down. He heard some
sort of explosion and saw white
smoke coming from the plane and
we lost contact with him,"
ordered at the United Nations in
New York and at the Sears Tower
in Chicago. Los Angeles mobilized
its anti-terrorism division. Walt
Disney World in Orlando, Fla., was
evacuated, and Hoover Dam on the
Arizona-Nevada line was closed to
In New York, hours
after the attacks, huge clouds of
smoke billowed from the ruins, obscuring
much of the skyline.
The two planes
blasted fiery, gaping holes in the
upper floors of one of New York's
most famous landmarks and rained
debris on the streets. About an
hour later, the southern tower collapsed
with a roar and a huge cloud of
smoke; the other tower fell about
a half-hour after that, covering
lower Manhattan in heaps of gray
rubble and broken glass. Firefighters
trapped in the rubble radioed for
stuff started falling and all this
smoke was coming through. People
were screaming, falling, and jumping
out of the windows," from high
in the sky, said Jennifer Brickhouse,
34, of Union, N.J., who was going
up the escalator into the World
On the street,
a crowd mobbed a man at a pay phone,
screaming at him to get off the
phone so that they could call relatives.
Dust and dirt flew everywhere. Ash
was 2 to 3 inches deep in places.
People wandered dazed and terrified.
"I have a
sense it's a horrendous number of
lives lost," Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani said. "Right now we
have to focus on saving as many
lives as possible."
The death toll
on the crashed planes alone could
surpass that of the Oklahoma City
bombing on April 19, 1995, which
claimed 168 lives in what was the
deadliest act of terrorism on U.S.
had a national tragedy," Bush
said in Sarasota, Fla. "Two
airplanes have crashed into the
World Trade Center in an apparent
terrorist attack on our country."
He said he would be returning immediately
to Washington, but on news of the
Pentagon attack, those plans were
cancelled and Bush was flown aboard
Air Force One to the safety of a
military installation at Barksdale
Air Force Base in Louisiana.
John Axisa, who
was getting off a commuter train
to the World Trade Center, said
he saw "bodies falling out"
of the building. He said he ran
outside, and watched people jump
out of the first building. Then
there was a second explosion, and
he felt heat on the back of neck.
People ran down
the stairs in panic and fled the
building. Thousands of pieces of
what appeared to be office paper
drifted over Brooklyn, about three
lines were immediately shut down.
Trading on Wall Street was suspended.
New York's mayoral primary election
Tuesday was postponed. All bridges
and tunnels into Manhattan were
David Reck was
handing out literature for a candidate
for public advocate a few blocks
away when he saw a jet come in "very
low, and then it made a slight twist
and dove into the building."
struck the World Trade Center in
February 1993, killing six people
and injuring more than 1,000 others.
sick. It just shows how vulnerable
we really are," Keith Meyers,
39, said in Columbus, Ohio. "It
kind of makes you want to go home
and spend time with your family.
It puts everything in perspective,"
Meyers said. He said he called to
check in with his wife. They have
two young children.
In 1945, an Army
Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber,
crashed into the 79th floor of the
Empire State Building in dense fog.
In Florida, Bush
was reading to children in a classroom
at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff,
Andrew Card, whispered into his
ear. The president briefly turned
somber before he resumed reading.
He addressed the tragedy about a
Hit By Plane, Capitol Evacuated
Pentagon took a direct, devast-
ating hit from an aircraft and the
enduring symbols of American power
were evacuated Tuesday as an apparent
terrorist attack quickly spread
fear and chaos in the nation's capital.
in Florida at the time of the attack,
canceled plans to return to Washington
and was flown aboard Air Force One
to the safety of a military installation
at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
The nerve center
of the nation's military burst into
flames and a portion of one side
of the five-sided structure collapsed
when the plane struck in midmorning.
Secondary explosions were reported
in the aftermath of the attack and
great billows of smoke drifted skyward
toward the Potomac River and the
Glenn Flood, a
Pentagon spokesman, said there were
"extensive casualties and an
unknown number of fatalities. "We
don't know the extent of the injuries,"
against our nation will not stand,"
Bush vowed on a morning when not
only Washington was struck, but
the twin towers of the World Trade
Center in New York were hit by planes
and later collapsed.
Bush was in Florida
when the strike occurred. Vice President
Dick Cheney was in Washington and
he and first lady Laura Bush were
taken to an undisclosed secure location,
officials said. Congressional leaders
were hustled away from the Capitol
of the Defense Department is OK.
The secretary (Donald H. Rumsfeld)
is OK," Flood told reporters.
began deploying troops, including
a regiment of light infantry.
of Justice, State, Treasury and
Defense and the Central Intelligence
Agency were evacuated--an estimated
20,000 at the Pentagon alone. Agents
with automatic weapons patrolled
the White House grounds.
And the FAA ordered
the entire nationwide air traffic
system shut down for the first time
There was no attempt
to minimize the impact.
"This is the
second Pearl Harbor. I don't think
that I overstate it," said
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., referring
to the attack 60 years ago that
surprised the nation's intelligence
apparatus and propelled the country
into World War II.
With Bush away
from the capital, his advisers were
preparing a list of options, including
closing the nation's borders, according
to a senior U.S. official.
The source, who
spoke on condition of anonymity,
said it was premature to discuss
military options because investigators
were still trying to determine who
was responsible for the attacks.
Away from the Pentagon,
unexplained explosions were reported
in the vicinity of the State Department
and the Capitol.
A torrent of people
rushed from their office buildings
throughout the nation's capital,
eager to leave a city under siege.
The cell phone networks were overloaded,
clusters of people sprayed on the
sidewalks and at least one suburban
school district announced plans
to close early.
The Pentagon was
hit a short while after the World
Trade Center was struck. a plane,
described by witnesses as a jetliner,
made impact in the portion of the
building on side opposite from where
Rumsfeld's office are located.
Paul Begala, a
Democratic consultant, said he witnessed
an explosion near the Pentagon,
saying it sent a huge, orange fireball
AP reporter Dave
Winslow also saw the crash. He said,
"I saw the tail of a large
airliner...It plowed right into
Gen. Richard Myers,
vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, said that prior to the
crash into the Pentagon, military
officials had been notified that
another hijacked plane had been
heading from the New York area to
Washington. He said he assumed that
hijacked plane was the one that
hit the Pentagon, though he couldn't
One of two planes
that crashed into the World Trade
Center was hijacked after takeoff
from Boston and headed to Los Angeles
with 92 aboard, American Airlines
The second plane
may have flown out of Newark, N.J.,
the official said, speaking on condition
Asked if there
was any possibility the crashes
were anything other than deliberate,
a government official said it appeared
not to be an accident.