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Eyewitness Account of WTC Attack...
W Wants Osama Dead or Alive
 

Thousands back at work downtown

 

By DAVE SALTONSTALL
Daily News Staff Writer

As Wall Street rumbled nervously back to life amid more signs of a wounded economy, President Bush stepped up his hard-line rhetoric yesterday with a vow to nab terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden any way he can.

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Patrolling police officers watch workers hurry about outside the New York Stock Exchange, which reopened yesterday, as did as many businesses that could in lower Manhattan after World Trade Center attacks one week ago.

"There's an old poster out West, as I recall," said the former Texas governor, "that said: 'Wanted! Dead or Alive!'"

Bush's edict was another sign that the United States will use a broad campaign of military force to seek justice in Tuesday's terrorist attacks, which used hijacked, fuel-laden jetliners to flatten the World Trade Center and incinerate portions of the Pentagon. The President made clear that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia which is thought to be harboring Bin Laden had reached a dangerous crossroads. "The people who house him, encourage him, provide food, comfort or money are on notice," Bush promised. "We're going to find those ... evildoers, those barbaric people who attacked our country, and we're going to hold them accountable." Moments after he spoke, the FBI said it had detained a total of 49 people, nearly twice as many as previously announced, for questioning in the jetliner attacks that left more than 5,000 dead or missing.

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Early morning commuters aboard a ferry to lower Manhattan look upon an unfamiliar skyline in their return to work yesterday.

Back to Work

As the investigation pressed ahead, thousands of edgy but resolute workers, from CEOs to street sweepers, returned to the city's fabled Financial District for the first time since the attacks. They endured harrowing commutes as the city's torn infrastructure groaned to accommodate the morning rush. "I just wanted to get back to work, it's that simple," said Jose Abrerro-Valiante of the Bronx, a street sweeper for the Downtown Business Alliance, as he worked his way along a dusty Water St. "Working hard is what built this country, and it is what will win this war."

While not unexpected, the stock market was less surefooted. Led by heavy losses in the airline industry, frightened investors drove the Dow industrials down 684 points, or 7.1%, to a close of 8,920, its biggest one-day point loss ever and its first dip below 9,000 since December 1998. The technology-heavy Nasdaq plummeted by 115 points, or 6.1%. Before trading began, the usually frenetic New York Stock Exchange observed two minutes of silence, followed by the singing of "God Bless America." The opening bell was rung by members of the city's Police and Fire departments, along with representatives of other agencies involved in the rescue and recovery efforts. And while there was much anxiety on the floor, there was also pride and no small measure of hope.

"We're going to rebuild and we're going to be stronger," said trading specialist James Maguire Jr., who lost three friends in the World Trade Center. "Once the market has a couple of days, I think things will settle down."

The Federal Reserve, concerned that the attacks could tip the economy into recession, tried to limit the damage by lowering its overnight bank lending rate half a percentage point to 3% the lowest since February 1994. But by day's end, it was apparent that restoring Wall Street's confidence, like rebuilding the surrounding neighborhood, would be a long-term project.

Mayor Giuliani tried to do his part, reopening the nearby City Hall for the first time. Bounding up the stairs shortly after 7:30 a.m., the mayor gave custodian Johnny Zissel, a City Hall fixture since 1966, a warm hug as he headed into his usual 8 a.m. staff meeting. "This building has withstood all kinds of attacks and it's here," he said, referring to its near-destruction during the War of 1812. "It's wonderful to be back, to see it open."

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President Bush stands with Muslim religious leaders during visit to Washington's Islamic Center.

Traffic Looms

It was a measure of can-do spirit that could be found all over the city yesterday, although often in the face of enormous inconvenience.

Aboveground, it was bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout the city, as the Holland Tunnel remained closed and backups stretched to 90 minutes or more at the Lincoln Tunnel, where authorities stopped and checked all trucks and random vehicles. The subways, while better, were not without delays or service interruptions, especially on the numbered trains in Manhattan. A bomb scare also closed down the busy Atlantic Ave. station in Brooklyn during the morning rush.

For Michael Tripoldi, 32, a stockbroker who usually commutes 20 minutes by car into Manhattan from his Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, home, that meant a two-hour commute and a long walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. "It's a small inconvenience compared to what other people are going through," he said. "Every time it pops in my head that it is an inconvenience, it flies right out of my head. I think of others." As he spoke, thousands of weary rescue workers continued to pick away at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center disaster. But with only five survivors found since the attack — and none since Wednesday — expectations were butting up against reality.

"They are not going to be able to find any substantial number of people alive," said Giuliani, paraphrasing his experts at the scene. "But there is still a possibility that some might have survived. ... We have to leave that hope open."

Yet the numbers remained unbearably grim: As of late yesterday, there were still 5,422 people unaccounted for and 201 confirmed dead, of which only 135 had been identified. Round-the-clock crews had removed more than 39,416 tons of twisted steel, metal and rock, most of it passed hand to hand, one bucketful at a time, across huge snaking lines of workers. But in an indication that the effort may be moving beyond a painstaking search for survivors, three huge new cranes were brought to the scene, while the Hudson River near Stuyvesant High School was dredged in order to get debris away faster.

Search for Clues

FBI agents were still combing through every barge load, looking for clues, at the reopened Fresh Kills landfill, the final resting spot of the 1.25 million-ton twin towers. "We have teams over there that are literally raking through the debris," said New York FBI chief Barry Mawn. In a sobering update, Attorney General John Ashcroft suggested that danger may still be afoot, saying that "associates of the hijackers that have ties to terrorist organizations may be a continuing presence in the United States."

Federal officials are thought to be cultivating a small group of informants, including several already imprisoned in New York, who may have direct knowledge of Bin Laden's tactics and bases of operation, sources told the Daily News. To counteract any potential threat, Ashcroft yesterday directed the U.S. Marshals Service to assign more than 300 deputies to assist FBI field offices in the probe, which has received 7,700 phone calls and 47,000 tips on the Internet. Ashcroft added that a growing number of federal law enforcement agents from the Justice Department would be boarding commercial flights as air marshals.

"Each day as flights increase we will be adding additional enforcement officials," said Ashcroft.

The attorney general also told Congress he will be seeking expanded wiretap authority and stiffer penalties for those who harbor terrorists.

Briefing Troops

While Bush continued to brace the nation's military — and citizens — for a prolonged assault, there were few signs yesterday of unusual preparations beyond reminders to some troops to get their personal affairs in order, officials said. For security reasons, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been unwilling to publicly discuss the specifics of a U.S. military campaign. But authorities have said the nation's elite, special operations troops — Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Green Berets and other "special ops" trained in clandestine commando raids — would be in the thick of it.

Agence France-Presse has reported that there were already as many as 50 agents and special forces operatives in Pakistan, mostly there to do liaison work and assess the feasibility of military strikes in or against Afghanistan. "They are a hammer in the kisser," said Andy Messing, a retired major from the Army special forces. "They're directed like light coming out of the magnifying glass."

Amid reports from the Justice Department about a rise in hate crimes against Arab- and Muslim-Americans — including two possible murders — Bush also went out of his way to reject such vigilantism. Late yesterday, he visited the Washington Islamic Center, located about 2 miles from the White House, and decried prejudice against Muslim- and Arab-Americans. In stockinged feet, he stood with his back to an ornately tiled prayer alcove and read a passage from the Koran: "In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil." Added Bush: "Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace."

Trying Diplomacy

As he spoke, halfway around the globe Pakistani diplomats were in Afghanistan at the urging of the United States, seeking to have Bin Laden turned over to American authorities. Taliban-run radio reported that a council of Islamic clerics would meet today to decide whether to hand Bin Laden over to the West, but no sign emerged that they were ready to surrender him. "The talks were positive, but I cannot go into the specifics," said Taliban spokesman Abdul Hai Mutmaen. "Both sides totally agreed on the need to end the current misunderstanding between Afghanistan and the United States."

Closer to home, economic fallout from the attack was spreading.

Bush met with top domestic advisers to consider a temporary bailout of the airline industry, which lost $1 billion in the past week, and a broader new economic stimulus package. US Airways announced it will lay off 11,000 employees, or 24% of its workforce. That followed announcements over the weekend that Continental Airlines would furlough 12,000 employees, or 20% of its workforce. Industry analysts expect thousands of other layoffs at other major carriers. Separately, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said he would try to move airline legislation through the House as soon as possible. House leadership aides said the industry had presented members with a wish list of some $20 billion to $24 billion in assistance. "We need to make sure that America keeps flying because that's important," Hastert said.

Let's Play Ball

Despite disarray in the skies, Major League Baseball returned last night for the first time since the attacks. But in a sign of things to come, virtually all stadium events are expected to proceed under much tighter security.

No coolers will be allowed at NASCAR races. Backpacks and briefcases will be searched at hockey games. Football fans will be asked to arrive early. Even the Goodyear blimp might not fly.

"We're waiting at the moment for clearance," Goodyear spokeswoman Jennifer Arnold said. "As always, we will cooperate with aviation authorities."

 

U.S. Demands Arab Countries 'Choose Sides'

By JANE PERLEZ

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 — Moving swiftly in America's new war on terrorists, a senior State Department official today met with 15 Arab representatives and gave them a stark choice: either declare their nations members of an international coalition against terrorism, or risk being isolated in a growing global conflict. Unusually, the meeting included the ambassador of Syria, a country long on the State Department's list of those that foster terrorism. It followed a 98-to-0 vote in the Senate to give President Bush the power to use "all necessary and appropriate force" to respond to the terror attacks on the United States this week.

The House approved the use of force resolution late today by a vote of 420-1.

President Bush said after the House voted: "I am gratified that the Congress has united so powerfully by taking this action. It sends a clear message — our people are together and we will prevail."

The lone member of Congress to vote against the measure, Rep. Barbara J. Lee, Democrat of California, said the nation risked entering an open-ended war without a clear target. She said in a statement, "I am convinced that military action will not prevent further acts of international terrorism against the United States."

Mr. Bush took the first concrete step toward a military response to Tuesday's acts of terror, giving the Pentagon authority to activate as many as 50,000 reserve troops to maintain aerial patrols over American cities and to strengthen security at crucial military and civilian installations. Some of the reservists could also be deployed overseas to provide security at American bases or perform other support missions, Pentagon officials said.

As Congress was also voting today to authorize $40 billion for increased military preparedness and disaster relief, William J. Burns, assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, met with the Arab envoys and delivered what a senior administration official called a simple message: "The time has come to choose sides."

The State Department described the nascent antiterror coalition as embracing "all civilizations," not just the West. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said at a news conference today, "This has become a new benchmark, a new way of measuring the relationship and what we can do together."

Mr. Burns read to the Arab envoys — who included a representative of the Palestinians, whose leader, Yasir Arafat, has yet to meet with the president — a list of actions their nations were expected to take against terrorism, including the arrest and prosecution of terrorists on a country's soil.

In addition, the State Department sent a cable to all its embassies and posts around the world today listing the conditions that nations were expected to meet in order to qualify for membership in the antiterror coalition.

Quoting from the cable, a State Department official said it included a demand that each country must "wrap up and prosecute terrorists on your own soil."

The Arab representatives were not given a deadline for deciding whether to sign on to the antiterror cause. Nor was there any discussion of possible military contributions by the Arab nations represented at the meeting.

Whether the Arab governments, which must often contend with significant segments of their populations who sympathize with the goals of militants like Osama bin Laden, will agree to the administration's request is an open question. Hints that Mr. Bush may have trouble holding together the coalition he envisions were not long in coming.

One of the envoys who met with Mr. Powell, Nabil Fahmy, the ambassador from Egypt, warned the administration that it must focus on finding and punishing those responsible for this week's attacks, and not broaden the effort to include other geopolitical goals.

He said the international coalition that waged the Persian Gulf war in 1991 — which included Egypt and Syria — worked because it kept to the clear objective of pushing the Iraqis out of Kuwait.

Hours before the session with the Arab diplomats, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel spoke to Mr. Bush, and according to officials, expressed skepticism about the United States' enlisting the aid of Israel's foes, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

"If there is an attempt to bring Syria and Arafat into the coalition, then that is a problem," an Israeli official said.

Having spent a day attending a national prayer service in Washington and visiting rescue workers at the remains of the destroyed buildings in lower Manhattan, Mr. Bush was planning to meet with members of his cabinet and his national security advisers during the weekend at Camp David. The White House, taking extraordinary security measures, disclosed few details about the president's schedule over the next several days.

Unity was the theme on Capitol Hill as Congress moved with exceptional speed to express support for the president and provide funds for retaliation and reconstruction. Congress was appropriating twice as much as the $20 billion that the administration had asked for to start the antiterror campaign.

"These are different times," said the Senate minority leader, Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi. "And we have got to act decisively. The American people expect it of us, and they will accept nothing less."

But some members of Congress also injected a note of caution into the administration's rapid-fire military and diplomatic campaign. The resolution authorizing military action was intended to give the president political support, but not unfettered power to wage war.

The joint resolution fell short of a full declaration of war, which lawmakers said would have been inappropriate in military action against a shadowy enemy.

The resolution states: "That the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Congress was not ceding its constitutional authority to declare war or intending to write a measure like the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which President Lyndon B. Johnson used in 1964 to justify escalation of the war in Vietnam.

The resolution specifically states that it does not supersede the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which requires the president to seek Congressional approval for any extended use of American forces in combat.

Pakistan to fully aid USA, sources say

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan has agreed to the full list of U.S. demands for a possible attack on neighboring Afghanistan, including a multinational force to be based within its borders, Pakistani military and diplomatic sources said Saturday. Pakistan's agreement was conveyed by President Pervez Musharraf in a meeting Friday with U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Besides the ground force, Pakistan also agreed to close its border with Afghanistan, allow its airspace to be used for possible strikes and cooperate in intelligence gathering.

Officials from both countries have been in intensive talks since shortly after Tuesday's terrorist attack on the United States. U.S. embassy officials were not immediately available to comment Saturday, and there was no formal announcement in Washington or Islamabad. A Pakistani spokesman would not confirm the agreement. "We have received the U.S. demands but I am not authorized to give the details," said the spokesman, Rashid Qureshi.

Pakistan's Cabinet and the National Security Council were to meet Saturday to work on a formal response to the United States, the sources said.

Afghanistan, which shares a 1,560-mile border with Pakistan, is believed to be harboring Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, the key suspect in the airborne strikes on New York and Washington. The Taliban, Afghanistan's hard-line Islamic militia, have refused to surrender bin Laden to U.S. authorities. Concerned about tension in the orthodox Islamic community at home and elsewhere, Pakistan sought assurances that the ground troops would be multinational, not only American, the source said.

Musharraf, a military leader who seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999, met twice with his senior commanders since Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the United States. The military and diplomatic sources said the United States was seeking a "comprehensive strike" to wipe out the Taliban and a network of suspected terrorist bases in Afghanistan. Pakistan has told the Taliban that a massive U.S. strike is in the making, Pakistani military sources said Friday. They said that despite the warnings, the Taliban were unwilling to change their stance on bin Laden, whom they have sheltered since 1996.

Bin Laden uses Afghanistan as a base of operations. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said he is a prime suspect in this week's terror attacks that leveled the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon and killed thousands. Powell said Friday the United States will measure its relations with other countries on the stand they take on terrorism.

In a radio address on Friday, the Taliban's reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, warned Afghans that they faced a military strike from the United States, but called on them to stand steadfast "against the enemy."

"Death comes to everyone. We must stand proud as Afghans in the defense of Islam," Omar said. "Believe in God, for with the grace of God the American rockets will go astray and we will be saved," he said.

In Pakistan, military sources said that Omar had been moved to a secret hideout ahead of a possible military strike. Omar usually lives in secret locations in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar.

Taleban warns U.S. of revenge

It says the United States should be wary of attacking Afghanistan.

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 15, 2001

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The ruling Taleban threatened revenge Friday if the United States attacks Afghanistan for shielding suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"If a country or group violates our country, we will not forget our revenge," Taleban spokesman Abdul Hai Muttmain said in telephone interview with the Associated Press.

There are fears in Afghanistan that the United States is planning a military attack to force the Taleban to hand over the exiled Saudi millionaire, who is suspected in the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. In a radio address Friday, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taleban's reclusive leader, urged Afghans to prepare for a U.S. assault and stand steadfast "against the enemy."

"Death comes to everyone. We must stand proud as Afghans in the defense of Islam," Omar said. "Believe in God, for with the grace of God, the American rockets will go astray and we will be saved."

Bin Laden has been living in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taleban since 1996. The hard-line Islamic militia refuses to hand him over until Washington provides convincing evidence of guilt.

In a written statement Friday, Omar said U.S. investigators were trying to link bin Laden to this week's attacks "without any reason." He said the attacks point to bin Laden's innocence "because Osama has no pilots" and because there is no pilot training in Afghanistan.  U.S. officials have said the some of the hijackers aboard the jets that struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were trained as pilots in the United States. Muttmain, meanwhile, said a U.S. strike would fail to flush out bin Laden.  "Their missiles cannot find an individual," he said.

"The Soviet Union destroyed this country, but they could never accomplish their goals. The United States will also fail," said Muttmain, referring to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1991.

Meanwhile, Pakistani military sources said Friday that Omar had been moved to a new hide-out in Afghanistan. He normally is thought to live in secret locations in Kandahar, where Pakistani reports said the militants have reinforced security. Pakistan, which has been Taleban's closest ally, is thought to have the best intelligence on Afghanistan and the Taleban.

In his radio address, Omar said he would die rather than back down.

"I am not afraid of death or of losing power. I am willing to give up power and my seat, but I'm not willing to give up Islam," he said. "We shall be victorious."

This week's terrorist attacks have put the Taleban in a difficult position: if they hand over bin Laden, they risk alienating thousands of foreign radicals who are indispensable in their war against a northern-based alliance. The United Nations and many international aid organizations have withdrawn their foreign workers from Afghanistan, fearing an attack. Foreigners have been ordered to leave, and the Taleban have stopped issuing new visas.  As the foreigners left, war-weary Afghans resigned themselves Friday to the possibility of more bloodshed. Since the 1970s, the country has been wracked by successive disasters: a Soviet invasion, civil war, the rise of the radical Taleban, a devastating drought and famine.

BRACING FOR WAR

War will be Long, Focused on Goals

By SARA FRITZ and PAUL DE LA GARZA

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 14, 2001

WASHINGTON -- President Bush and his advisers laid the groundwork Thursday for a broad, full-fledged U.S. military campaign against terrorism, possibly beginning with a strike against the Islamic militant Osama bin Laden.

Emphasizing that Bush has judged Tuesday's attacks as a declaration of war against the United States, Secretary of State Colin Powell said the president intends to respond in kind.

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[Photo: AP]

His emotions unhidden, President Bush finishes his remarks to reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday after a telephone conversation with New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New York Gov. George Pataki.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz described action that would put the U.S. military on a war footing for some time, saying that the administration's retaliation would be "sustained and broad and effective" and that the United States "will use all our resources."

"It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism," Wolfowitz said.  "It will be a campaign," he said, "not a single action. And we're going to keep after these people and the people who support them until it stops." 

The obvious military options available to Bush include covert attacks, air raids or the deployment of ground troops -- all intended to capture the terrorists and destroy their operations and hideouts. The United States will begin by going after the specific terrorist group that investigators say is responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Powell said. But even if the military succeeds in destorying that terrorist network, the president will not be satisfied until he has obliterated all terrorists at work in the world. "When we are through with that network, we'll begin with a global assault against terrorism in general," Powell explained.

Powell confirmed that bin Laden is a prime suspect in Tuesday's attacks, and thus the likely target of the first strike.

Referring to bin Laden and Afghanistan, he said: "We are looking at those terrorist organizations who have the kind of capacity that would have been necessary to conduct the kind of attack that we saw. When you look at the list of candidates, one resides in the region." 

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[Photo: AP]

Secretary of State Colin Powell said the president wants all terrorists obliterated.

Powell added that Bush does not intend to limit himself to a military response.

"War in some cases may be military action, but it can also be economic action, political action, diplomatic action and financial actions," Powell said. "All sorts of things can be used to prosecute a campaign, to prosecute a war."

Both Bush and Powell indicated that the administration is looking to Pakistan to assist them in targeting bin Laden. The president told reporters that he was encouraged by favorable statements issued by the Pakistani government. "We will give the Pakistani government a chance to cooperate and to participate as we hunt down those people who committed this unbelievable, despicable act on America," he said.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the United States has urged Pakistan to close its border with Afghanistan, to cut off funding for terrorist groups and to grant permission for American planes to fly over Pakistani territory in the event of military action.

Powell, who has spoken directly by telephone with Pakistani ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf, described Pakistan as a "friendly country" that had pledged "unstinted cooperation" with the United States. At the same time, the secretary of state acknowledged that U.S.-Pakistani relations have had their "ups and downs." Pakistan has diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, while the United States does not. At the same time, Pakistan is recognized as a haven for terrorists.

Asad Hayauddin, spokesman at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, said Pakistan "probably" was acting as a go-between between the United States and Afghanistan, where bin Laden supposedly is based. Asked what else his country was willing to do, he replied: "It depends on what the offer is."  If bin Laden were in Pakistani territory, extraditing him to the United States would not be a problem, Hayauddin said. But he declined to say whether Pakistan would support a U.S. attack of Afghanistan.

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[Photo: AP]

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, said the Bush administrations's response would be "sustained and broad and effective."

To lay the groundwork for a broad, sustained attack on terrorism, Bush has been trying to build an international coalition of support, much as his father did before sending American troops into the Persian Gulf in 1991. Ideally, his coalition would include NATO allies, Russia, China, the Arab states and perhaps even Pakistan.  These countries will certainly be asked to support economic and political sanctions against any countries harboring terrorists, but it is not known if any of them would be called upon by Bush to participate in military action.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage scheduled a trip to Moscow next Wednesday to follow-up on a Russian offer to help in the investigation. Russia fought a 10-year war with Muslim fundamentalists after invading Afghanistan in 1979. The United States opposed the Soviet invasion and provided weapons to the insurgents through Pakistan.

The Pentagon is looking forward to receiving a sizable portion of the $40-billion that Congress has promised to make available to the administration to respond to the terrorist attacks, Wolfowitz said.  In addition to the $40-billion, the president is asking congressional leaders to enact a broad statement of support, perhaps something like a declaration of war that Bush's father obtained before the 1991 Gulf War.

Bush Gets Strong Support from
Congress, NATO

September 12, 2001 Posted: 10:50 p.m. EDT (0250 GMT)

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Firefighters raise a flag late in the afternoon on Tuesday in the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The shape of the U.S. response to the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks will be defined by President Bush's declaration Wednesday that "they were acts of war" against the United States.

The president won bipartisan support Wednesday from both houses of Congress, which passed a resolution declaring the nation was "entitled to respond under international law."

The lawmakers, meeting at the Capitol for the first time since the attacks, also expressed solidarity with the president in his efforts to track down and punish those responsible.

NATO has taken an unprecedented step by invoking Article Five of its charter, which states that any armed attack against one of its members is considered an attack against all of them. (Full story)

As one official put it: "A hit for one is a hit for all."

By invoking Article Five, NATO members agreed to aid the United States in any response it may make to the attacks.

The United States would have to go back to NATO to ask for specific kinds of support, but officials said invoking Article Five provides an "expedited basis" for use of airspace by the allies and makes other kinds of assistance available, such as military and intelligence sharing.

Congressional leaders and White House agreed to set aside $20 billion for rescue efforts, repairs and counterterrorism work. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young said lawmakers hoped to have the spending bill on Bush's desk by Thursday.

Latest developments

  • In New York, the Empire State building and Penn Station were evacuated late Wednesday night but the all clear was given about 20 minutes later at both locations.

  • A partial transcript of cockpit comments heard from United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania suggests a scuffle as intruders were taking over and warning, "There is a bomb on board."

  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld taped a message to U.S. troops, and the reference to an upcoming conflict was almost explicit. "More -- much more -- will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead. This is especially true of those who are in the field."

  • Police in Hamburg, Germany, search an apartment at the request of the FBI, seeking a connection to terrorism attacks in the United States. Although the apartment was empty, a police spokesman said five people of "apparently Arab descent" had been using it until February.

  • Top U.S. officials say they know the identities of many of the hijackers on each of the four flights that crashed in attacks. Identifications made through passenger manifests.

  • New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will remain closed through Thursday. It could reopen Friday, but will reopen no later than Monday, officials said.

  • Major League Baseball canceled all games for a second day Wednesday. The National Football League said it would decide Thursday whether to go ahead with games scheduled for Sunday. The PGA Tour canceled two events Wednesday.

  • Relatives of a passenger on the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania said he related during a phone call that men on board voted to try to overpower the three hijackers. Shortly after that call, the plane went down, as it appeared headed for Washington.

  • Police in Coral Springs, Florida, say they accompanied FBI agents to the home of a man authorities believe may have been one of the hijackers involved in Tuesday's attacks.

  • The search for survivors continues in the rubble at New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

  • The White House and Air Force One may have been targets of the terrorists responsible for the Pentagon attack, according to White House officials. That is why President Bush was flown from Florida to several military bases until his security in Washington could be guaranteed. Officials say the jet that slammed into the Pentagon may have been originally destined for the White House. (Full story)

  • Maine's Department of Public Safety says officials seized a rental car at the Portland jetport, believing two of the hijackers may have used the car to travel between Portland and Boston.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration has given clearance for flights diverted after Tuesday's terrorist attacks to continue on to their final destination Wednesday, but ordered all other commercial air traffic to remain grounded. (Full story)

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An F-16 escorts Air Force One on Tuesday
  • Rumsfeld admonished U.S. government officials for revealing classified data because it could "reduce the chances that the U.S. has to track down and deal with the people...who have killed so many Americans."

  • A car is seized in Daytona Beach, Florida, with information relating to Osama bin Laden.

  • The owners of a flight school in Venice, Florida, say that the FBI is investigating whether two former students were involved in the attacks.

  • New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said 82 bodies had been recovered by Wednesday night. He said the number of dead is expected to be in the thousands, but would not say how many thousands. The mayor confirmed that the city has requested 5,000 additional body bags from FEMA. (Full story)

  • Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley reports the "vast majority" of its 3,500 employees at the World Trade Center got out safely.

  • The Taliban, who control 90 percent of Afghanistan, appeal to the United States to refrain from attacking their country.

  • Intelligence sources tell CNN that at least two phone calls were intercepted between members of an organization connected with suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. Phone calls mentioned that two targets had been hit. (Full story)

  • Secretary of State Colin Powell says the coalition being formed will not stop at getting the people responsible for the attack, but will go after terrorists wherever they are found.

  • World Trade Center
    Crowds gather after police converged on the Westin Hotel in Boston.  

  • The aircraft carrier USS George Washington has moved into New York Harbor

  • New York rescuers are searching for two other people who have been in contact with authorities; six firefighters and three policemen were rescued early Wednesday, two other police officers were rescued Tuesday night. (Full story)

  • Boston's Logan International Airport announces tightening of security. Among them: the airport will discontinue curbside baggage check-in and remove vehicles standing within 300 feet of front entrance. Car found at the airport, where two of the hijacked planes originated, contained a flight manual written in Arabic. Police and FBI investigators are examing the car. (Full story)

  • New York City is closed to the public south of 14th Street.


 

 


 

HOW TO HELP

  • Blood and platelet donors will be needed over the next several weeks to help replenish the nation's supply. Call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or America's Blood Centers at 1-888-BLOOD-88 to schedule an appointment.
  • To donate money to the Red Cross for assisting victims of the attacks, call 1-800-HELP-NOW.
  • The United Way of New York and The New York Community Trust have established a fund to help the victims of Tuesday's attacks and their families. Anyone wishing to contribute may call
    (212) 251-4035.
  • To make donations to the Salvation Army for helping the victims, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
  • For more information on helping victims of the U.S. attacks, visit Helping.org.

TIPS

The FBI set up a Web site where people could report any tips or other information: www.ifccfbi.gov. Intelligence officials told NBC News they were especially eager to recover any video that tourists may have been shooting before and during the attacks. Call 212-577-TIPS if you have any live video of World Trade Center crowds or damage.

SURVIVORS

  • If you are in one of the attack areas and in need of assistance, contact FEMA at 1-800-426-9029
  • The Justice Department’s Office of Victims of Crime established a hotline for families seeking information about victims and survivors. The number is 1-800-331-0075.
  • Families of American Airlines passengers can contact the airline at 1-800-245-0999.
  • Families of United Airlines passengers can contact the airline at 1-800-932-8555.
  • Navy and Marine personnel who were in the building at the time of the attack can call 1-877-663-6772 number so that the services can put together a roster. Army personnel assigned to the Pentagon should call 1-800-984-8523.
  • Family members of military personnel seeking information should call 1-800-984-8523 (Army), 1-877-663-6772 (Navy and Marine Corps.), 1-800-253-9276 (Air Force).
  • Morgan Stanley has an emergency contact phone number. Employees and their families can call 1-888-883-4391.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald Inc. has an emergency contact phone number. Employees and their families can call 203-662-3600.
  • Aon encourages all families of its 1100 employees who worked in World Trade Center Tower 2 to call 1-866-256-4154.
  • FirstGov has a comprehensive list of U.S. government resources and information at http://www.firstgov.gov/featured/usgresponse.html
  • Web sites are available for people who still haven't been able to contact their family members: http://okay.prodigy.net/, http://www.viexpo.com/dmstest/america.html, http://safe.millennium.berkeley.edu/find.php, http://www.bostoncoop.net:8080/SeptEleven?
    PersonalStatus
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U.S. Under Siege
photo
Smoke billows from the World Trade Center Towers. The second tower was leveled by a third explosion.
  • World Trade center, Pentagon hit by planes
  • Domestic air traffic grounded
    Two Jet 767, 757 American & United passenger planes have crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The airline said 164 passengers and crew members were killed. Both WTC towers have collapsed. The planes were hijacked before the crashes. President Bush said the crashes were apparent terrorist attacks. A plane has also crashed into the Pentagon, collapsing part of the building and another plane has crashed in Western Pennsylvania. The FBI is investigating reports of a plane hijacking before the crashes. One of the airlines was said to be an American Airlines 767 from Boston. Later an aircraft crashed near the Pentagon. The West Wing of the White House was evacuated amid threats of terrorism. The FAA has halted all air traffic and has ordered all aircraft aloft to land at the nearest airport. President Bush, in Sarasota to discuss reading initiatives, described the incidents as "acts of terrorism." He was changing plans to return to Washington. Story

    Timeline Of Today's Events:

  • Plane crashes into tower of World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, shortly before 9 a.m. Eastern.

  • Second plane crashes into the second tower of the World Trade Center, shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern.

  • President Bush, in Sarasota, Florida, calls the crashes "an apparent terrorist attack" and a "national tragedy."

  • An aircraft crashes near Pentagon, just outside of Washington D.C., in Northern Virginia, about an hour after the attacks in New York.

  • Government buildings in Washington, including the Capitol and the White House, are evacuated with officials citing a credible threat of a terrorist attack.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration shuts down all aircraft takeoffs nationwide.

  • Shortly after 10 a.m. Eastern, one World Trade Center tower in New York collapses, about an hour after being hit by plane.

  • American Airlines says one of the planes that crashed into the Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked after takeoff from Boston en route to Los Angeles.

  • Senior law enforcement officials say car bomb explodes outside of State Department in Washington, D.C.. Federal protective services later denies car bomb attack occurred.

  • Financial markets suspend trading in the wake of the attacks.

  • Officials at Somerset County Airport say a large plane crashes in western Pennsylvania, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, at about 10:00 a-m.

  • The second tower of the World Trade Center collapses at 10:28 a.m. Eastern.

  • Fourth explosion rocks the collapsed remains of the World Trade Center, at about 10:38 a.m.

  • Authorities across the country go on alert, tightening security at strategic facilities and evacuating high-profile buildings. U.S. monuments and museums in Washington D.C. are closed.

  • Securities and Exchange Commission says all financial markets are closed for the day.

    American Airlines customers who wish to receive information about relatives should call American's response number at (800) 245-0999. Others can call a Massport number (617) 568-3100. People with concerns for United Airlines can call (800) 932-8555.

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    Plane hits World Trade Center

    • AMERICA UNDER ATTACK

    • Both World Trade Center towers collapse after plane crashes
    • Plane crashes into Pentagon, part of the Pentagon collapses
    • Bush calls trade center crashes terrorist act
    • Major federal buildings, United Nations evacuated
    • FAA grounds all domestic flights, sends trans-Atlantic flights to Canada
    • Israel evacuates embassies

     

    Smoke billows from the World Trade Center Towers. Both towers eventually collapsed from the explosions.

    photo

    [AP/ABC photo]
    People run from the collapse of World Trade Center.
Left: Rescue workers amid debris on streets of New York.
Right: Fireball erupts from the second crash into World Trade Center.

[AP photos]

Terror attacks hit U.S.

September 11, 2001 Posted: 1457 GMT

attack

People walk away from the World Trade Center as ash rains down.

 

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Terrorists struck the United States Tuesday morning in harrowing, widespread attacks that included at least three commercial jet crashes into significant buildings. In the first attack, a plane smashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan shortly before 9 a.m., followed by another plane into the second tower about 20 minutes later. Both towers later collapsed. Sources told CNN that one of the planes was an American Airlines Boeing 767 that had been hijacked after take-off from Boston.

  • About an hour later, a plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, part of which later collapsed.

  • Sources say a second plane was heading toward the Pentagon; F-16 jets were in the air monitoring it.

  • The Pentagon, the White House, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Capitol and all other government buildings in Washington evacuated.

  • In the first ever national ground stop of aircraft, all flights nationwide have been stopped at their departure airports.

  • All international flights were diverted to Canada.

  • Israel has evacuated all its missions around the world.

  • President Bush cancelled an appearance in Florida to return to Washington, calling the crashes "apparent terrorist attacks" and "a national tragedy."

  • In Chicago, the Sears Tower was evacuated; United Nations in New York evacuated.

  • The New York Port Authority said it had closed all bridges and tunnels into the city.

  • New York's Bellevue Hospital was designated command central for handling the catastrophe. Several hospitals have already reported receiving victims with burns and head injuries.

  • Large plane crashed 80 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but it was unknown if this crash was connected to terrorist attacks.

  • U.S. stock markets were closed after the New York attacks.

 

attack
Flames and smoke erupt from the World Trade Center after a second plane crashes into the New York City landmark.

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HIJACKED TERRORIST JET PLANES CRASH INTO WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWERS

NEW YORK (AP) — Two planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers minutes apart Tuesday in a horrific scene of explosions and fires that left gaping holes in the 110-story building. MSNBC is reporting that one plane was a hijacked United Airlines airplane flying from Boston to Los Angeles. President Bush calling the incident"an act of terrorism" said, "I've ordered that the full resources of the federal government will go to help the victims and their families." Tunnels, airports and bridges in New York City are closed. Many subway lines are also closed. The New York markets have also been closed. CNN reports at least 1,000 injuries from the twin disasters, which happened shortly before 9 a.m. and then right around 9 a.m.

  • In Washington, officials said the FBI was investigating reports of a plane hijacking before the crashes. President Bush is returning from Florida.

  • The towers were struck by bombers in February 1993.

  • "The plane was coming in low and ... it looked like it hit at a slight angle," said Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice president, the network reported.

  • Large holes were visible in sides of the 110-story buildings, landmark twin towers.

  • "I was watching TV. and heard a sonic boom ...," witness Jeanne Yurman told CNN. "The side of the world trade center exploded. Debris is falling like leaflets. I hear ambulances. The northern tower seems to be on fire."

  • The tops of the twin towers were obscured by the smoke.

  • Thousands of pieces of what appeared to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles from the tower, one witness said.

  • The center bombing on Feb. 26, 1993, killing six people and injured more than 1,000 others.

  • 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.

Planes crash into World Trade Center and Pentagon

Bush calls tragedy 'apparent terrorist attack' - White House evacuated

"Vicious, Grisly Attack Parallels Pearl Harbor But is Far More Deadly" ...rfm

photo
[AP photo]
Smoke and fire surrounds the upper floors of the World Trade Center in this image from television after a second plane crashed into the building.

Associated Press and staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times Online, Sept. 11, 2001

In a horrific sequence of destruction, terrorists crashed two planes into the World Trade Center and knocked down the twin 110-story towers this morning. Explosions also rocked the Pentagon and the State Department and spread fear across the nation. The fate of those in the buildings was not immediately known. Authorities had been trying to evacuate people from the towers, but many were thought to be trapped.

President Bush ordered a full-scale investigation to "hunt down the folks who committed this act."

One of the planes that crashed into the Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11, hijacked after takeoff from Boston en route to Los Angeles, American Airlines said. The planes blasted fiery, gaping holes in the upper floors of the twin towers. A witness said he saw bodies falling from the twin towers and people jumping out. About an hour later, the southern tower collapsed with a roar a huge cloud of smoke; the other tower fell about a half-hour after that.

"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."

One of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked after takeoff from Boston, a U.S. official said, citing a transmission from the plane. The planes that slammed into the Trade Center blasted fiery, gaping holes in the upper floors of the twin towers. The southern tower collapsed with a roar about an hour later. "This is perhaps the most audacious terrorist attack that's ever taken place in the world," said Chris Yates, an avaiation expert at Jane's Transpoet in London. "It takes a logistics operation from the terror group involved that is second to none. Only a very small hndful of terror groups is on that list. ... I would name at the top of the list Osama Bin Laden."

All planes were grounded across the country by the Federal Aviation Administration. All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan were closed down.

The twin disaster at the World Trade Center happened shortly before 9 a.m. and then right around 9 a.m.

Heavy black smoke billowed into the sky above the gaping holes in the side of the twin towers, one of New York City's most famous landmarks, and debris rained down upon the street, one of the city's busiest work areas. When the second plane hit, a fireball of flame and smoke erupted, leaving a huge hole in the glass and steel tower.

John Axisa, who was getting off a PATH 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, and then there was a second explosion, and he felt heat on the back of neck. WCBS-TV, citing an FBI agent, said five or six people jumped out of the windows. People screamed every time another person leaped. 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."

People ran down the stairs in panic and fled the building. Thousands of pieces of what appeared to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three miles away. Within the hour, an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the Pentagon, and the West Wing of the White House was evacuated amid threats of terrorism. And another explosion rocked New York about an hour after the crash. "Today we've 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.

Terrorist bombers struck the World Trade Center in February 1993, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

"A second occurrence is just beyond belief," said Ira Furber, former National Transportation Safety Board spokesman.

Several subway lines were immediately shut down Tuesday. Trading on Wall Street was suspended.

"We heard a large boom and then we saw all this debris just falling," said Harriet Grimm, who was inside a bookstore on the World Trade Center's first floor when the first explosion rocked the building. "The plane was coming in low and ... it looked like it hit at a slight angle," said Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice president, the network reported.

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 half-hour later.

photo

[AP photo]
Smoke pours from the twin towers.

The center bombing on Feb. 26, 1993, killing six people and injured more than 1,000 others.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.  The source stressed that the reports are preliminary and officials do not know the cause of the crashes. "It certainly doesn't look like an accident," said a second government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

In Sarasota, President 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.

Asked what he knew about the planes, Bush replied, "I'll talk about it later."

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