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tv   91101 The First Night  MSNBC  September 10, 2021 9:00pm-2:00am PDT

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with our thanks for being with us. our hearts are with the families of those we lost. and we leave you with that sight of new york city. a reminder, perhaps, of the possibility of a country >> attack on america. a special edition of nbc nightly news. terrorist declare war on the united states, hijacking jetliners crashing them into new york's word trade tower. another airliner in the pentagon, threatening the seat of national power. thousands likely dead, downtown new york in chaos. america wondering, what's next? >> midtown manhattan, tonight americas at war with terrorists
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after a stunning series of attacks today against targets in new york and in washington d.c.. the world trade center and the pentagon. the terrorist used hijacks a billion airliners and their passengers as guided missiles in their attacks. the most serious attack on this country since pearl harbor. tonight, the dead still are being counted, an unknown number still of missing. at this hour, in this war, another development, there are reports out of kabul, the capital of afghanistan, of explosions, with the pentagon and the cia are flatly denying that the united states had anything to do with those explosions. this has been one of the darkest days in america, and it is not yet over. here at home now a quick look at the locations where the airliners hit, the twin towers of the world trade center, 20 minutes apart. then, within an hour this morning, the pentagon.
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and then, the final crash just minutes later about 80 miles southeast of pittsburgh, 266 people on the four airplanes alone all presumed to be dead. at the world trade center, even nine more than nine hours after this disaster began, officials do not know how many people were killed, how many still are trapped in all the rubble. we do know that on most days there would be at least 20,000 people at work in the world trade center at the time the airliners crashed into the twin towers, another 90,000 could be expected in the vicinity of those towers in the course of an average workday. of course, scores of police, fire fighters and other emergency personnel were in the area when the buildings came down. we're gonna get the view now from the white house and our correspondent there campbell brown, also from the pentagon and from -- and i am joined now by david
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bloom who's been my colleague all along. david, bring us up to date. >> more than nine and a half hour since the first attack, the smoke billowing from the hogs behind me is now more gray than black, indicating that the fires have diminished somewhat, but it's still an extremely dangerous situation. just within the last hour or so a third building, a 40 story building also collapsed 40 more stories of concrete steel and iron crashed into the ground. a makeshift more cash been set up near the world trade center, new york police still checking in their early estimates, the casualties may number in the thousands, nothing more precise than that. we put together a chronology of events as america's watched dumbfounded, and yes, outraged. >> the first attack, a hijacked american airlines flight out of boston slams into the north tower of new york's world trade center at approximately 8:42 am eastern time. the explosions and fireballs
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broadcast live by television helicopters which then horrifically spots the second attack plane, a united airlines hijacked from boston taking dead aim at the world traits tower second tower. it's approximately 90 3 am. >> where can i meet you? i'm across the street. a second airplane just ran into the building. >> emergency officials estimated 20,000 or more people may, have been inside the two buildings at the time of the attack. eyewitnesses report victims falling, and in some cases jumping from the two buildings. >> there were people falling out of the sky. >> at 9:29 am, president bush in florida addresses the nation for the first time. >> terrorism against our nation will not stand. >> but in the nation's capital, just 11 minutes later, 9:40 am, a third hijacked plane. an american flight out of
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washington crashes into the pentagon in a burst of flames. the planes wreckage tearing a hole into one side of the building. federal buildings are evacuated. government leaders taking into secure hideouts. 9:59 am, the until now unthinkable the south tower of the world trade center collapses, and unknown number of people still trapped inside, including the rescuers. firefighters and police who had gone in trying to save lives. then at 10 am, hundreds of miles away in pennsylvania, a third hijacked plane, a united flight out of new york crashes 80 miles southeast of pittsburgh. one hour and a half later, the north tower of the world trade center collapses. rubble, debris spreading four blocks. in all, two and 166 people were killed. untold others in washington were missing and presumed dead. >> and defiance mayor rudy
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giuliani -- >> we are much stronger than any group of barbaric terrorist. >> for the first-time in u.s. history, the federal aviation ministry closes all domestic airports, shutting down all u.s. air space until at least noon tomorrow. the u.s. military, placed on the highest alert. navy aircraft carriers and destroyers deployed along the eastern seaboard. the president is now in louisiana speaks for a second time. >> the resolve of our great nation is being tested. make no mistake, we will show the world that we will pass this test. >> the president isn't taken into a secure, strategic air commander in nebraska, meets with the security team via teleconference before boarding the plane to return to washington. but, in new york late this afternoon, a third damaged building, the 40 story world
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trade center number seven also crashes to the ground. emergency officials allow the first camera crew from nbc news inside the smoking hunks of the twin towers, ground zero, cars overturned, steel torn apart. glass shards, small fires still burning. the very picture america most feared, the image of terrorists most wanted. as to who might be responsible, they tell nbc news tonight that they are now 90% certain that of some of bin laden was responsible for today's attack. this official tells nbc news quote this is not just surmise, this is new information. the presidents plan to address the nation from washington d.c. tonight. tom? >> thank you very much david bloom, will go now to washington where nbc's campbell brown who covers the white house is on duty, but across the street from the white house the president is expected back there surely. campbell? >> tom, the president is on his way back to washington tonight,
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we're told that air force one is being escorted by a 15 fighter jets on each wing, as david said, he is planning to address the nation tonight, one eight says that his message will be one of resolve and reassurance. tom, we're reporting a block from the white house at a hotel, that's because those in the white house press corps, were rushed out of the white house this morning as the entire complex was evacuated. needless to say, this has been an extraordinary day for the president, one aide says that when he spoke with his national security team in live teleconference today he said quote, we will find these people and they will suffer the consequences. the president at a elementary school about to become a reading event, gets the first call from his national security adviser, one plane has crashed into the world trade center. minutes later, chief of staff leans over and whispered in the presidents year.
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the reaction on bush's face, the first sign of more horrifying news, a second plane has now hit the world trade center with all the indication that this is a terrorist attack. >> today we had a national tragedy. >> as bush speak, scales at the white house, staff and prayers are ordered to evacuate. people run from their offices across pennsylvania avenue, crowd pour into the streets as buildings nearby or evacuated. people gather car radios for any information. fire engines blaze towards the white house. shortly after 9:30 am, the presidents national security team is in the situation room, a secure communication center in the basement of the west wing. vice president dick cheney is there along with a national security adviser condoleezza rice. meanwhile, the president leaves florida, his destination to take off a secret, we later learned he has learned that louisiana airport space, there he pledges that the u.s. will retaliate. >> make no mistake, the united
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states will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. >> the president then flies to the airport base in omaha nebraska, where in a bunker there he convenes a national security meeting, joining his team alive by teleconference. back in washington, his top advisor karen hughes and says the white house has the situation under control. >> your federal government continues to function effectively. we have a federal emergency response plan and at president bush's direction, we are implementing it. >> by telephone, the president called new york mayor giuliani and pataki, he also speaks to first lady laura bush, the first lady and bush's two daughters are also rushed to secure, secret locations. mrs. bush on capitol hill when the attacks began, tries to offer words of reassurance. >> we need to reassure our
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children, everywhere in our country that they are safe. >> we have just learned that air force one has safely light ended, just outside of washington from our vantage point we can see sharp shooters on the roof of the white house tonight, secret service patrolling the ground, police cars driving up and down pennsylvania avenue, the white house in a lockdown as we wait to see what the president has to say to the nation. tom? >> thank you very much, nbc's campbell brown, and there are so many questions but a major question tonight, how could they hijack for civilian jetliners in such a precise fashion? how did they pull all of that off? our aviation expert robert hegar and he's standing by now in washington. >> four airliners turned into deadly weapons, there's a nationwide hold on all commercial flights. that's the first time that has ever happened in our nation's history, and it lasted at least until midday tomorrow and might last longer tonight. there are also some chilling first details about what may have been going on in those
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cockpits. first, the facts. the string of events that results in these four horrific crashes begins at boston's logan airport, 7:45 am. american flight 11, with 92 on board. supposed to fly boston to los angeles, but over new york state it's diverted, forced to fly south, directly into the north tavern of the world trade center. a long day of carnage is underway. back in boston, united flight one 75 another one 67 with 65 aboard is already in the air, also bound for los angeles 15 minutes behind the first plane when it to his hijacked. this is the actual plane as it hits the south tower of the world trade center. 8:10 am, american flight 77, a 7:57 with 64 aboard has taken off from washington's dallas airport, also bound for los angeles, it to taken over, and
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goes into the pentagon. it slices in at an angle leaving a deadly and ugly gash in the nation's military center. and finally 8 am out of new york airport, united's flight 93, a 7:57 with 45 aboard, new york to san francisco, hijacked as well. the crashes short, of whatever its intended target was. comes down in pennsylvania. eyewitnesses there -- >> i heard a loud noise, and i had to look up, there was a plane there, sounded like [inaudible] and i watched it dive into the ground. >> you can see where the plane made an impact in the ground. it was still on fire. it's probably 15 feet deep, and there's just debris scattered. >> they're only two ways terrorist can sneak themselves or their weapons aboard planes. either through passenger screening, or by going on
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screened through lock doors into off limits areas. periodic faa test have found plenty of flaws. when government agents tried to sneak into secure areas, they were successful more than two thirds of the time. found tester's also often able to sneak fake guns and explosives by x-ray screening. once aboard, many speculate the hijackers must-have disabled crews and taken over the plains controls. more likely that than forcing a pilot with a gun to his head to fly into the world trade center. former american airline pilot. >> it is inconceivable to me that any airline pilot would allow anyone to force them to fly into an inhabited building, i cannot imagine how any pilot could be conscious of capable of doing anything at the time that it was directed at one of these buildings. >> terrorism specialist, neil livingstone. >> i suspect that we're going to find is that the pilots were
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overwhelmed, or perhaps that already, and the train pilots from the hijacker camp, were in charge of those aircraft and were willing to die for their beliefs. >> if there was time, if there was, the crew may has been able to press a button and sent out a warning to controllers that there was a hijacking progress. controllers made that have radioed back, but if the crews were disabled, controllers would have been left in the dark for information. whatever else controllers must have been surprised in disbelief, there hadn't been a commercial plane hijacking the u.s. for ten years since 1991, and now this. there are several unconfirmed reports around what may have been happening in the cockpit, there's one from a controller in new hampshire who says that a microphone was left on in the first plane, that the pilot was picking up what was happening and that the controller then heard a terrorist say in
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english, don't do anything foolish, then the microphone went dead, the transponder went off that's a device that radios information out to the radar, so controls could only watch the blip, they could no longer tell but attitude the plane was out. there were so phone calls, one reported the terrorists had a knife like instruments and there was one unconfirmed report that american airlines, flight attendant reached her company to say that terrorist had killed the crew of her plane. whatever else we may know some more from the cockpit voice recordings which may have survived those crashes. and will give us a recording of what was going on for audio in the cockpits. tom? >> thanks very much. nbc's robert hager at the pentagon right now. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, henry schultz. let's hear what he has to say.
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>> our intense focus on recovery and helping the injured and the families of those who were killed, is matched only by our determination to prevent more attacks. and matched only by our unity to track down, route out and relentlessly pursue terrorists, states that support them and harbor them. they are the common enemy of the civilized world. our institutions are strong. and our unity is palpable. >> senator jon warner. >> thank you -- >> that is general schultz, who is the chairman of the joint chief of staff. talking about how our unity and institutions are strong.
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we are in a war footing in effect, even though there has been no official declaration of any kind. but from a military point of view, political point of view, and certainly from a psychological point of view, we are at war with these terrorists. the question is, who are they? within the intelligence community, all the fingers are pointing at osama bin laden, the bear very wealthy saudi dissidents who has been harbored by the taliban, it's widely believed in afghanistan. let's get more tonight on the continuing speculation about who is responsible from nbc's andrea mitchell now at her post in the nation's capital. andrea? >> tom, tonight u.s. intelligence officials are mobilizing worldwide to try to find the culprits and make sure that they don't strike again. >> culprits and make an attack a coordinated with military precision. four planes, split second timing, penetration of airports and airspace. no warning. >> they can destroy buildings. they can kill people. and we will be saddened by this
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tragedy, but they will never be allowed to kill the spirit of democracy. they cannot destroy our society. they cannot destroy our belief in the democratic way. >> the first question tonight, is it over? that terrible answer, despite billions spent on u.s. intelligence, the nation's top experts do not want to know where or when terrorists will strike next. >> the problem is that they are hard to penetrate. they are located in places that were very hard pressed to get any kind of information out of. and as hard as our agencies have tried, they've had some success, you don't hear about that. we will hear about the failures. >> who could have done this? before today, the worst failure, the attack on two u.s. embassies in africa three years ago. again, perfectly timed, no warning. 224 dead. the alleged mastermind, america's most wanted terrorists, some bin laden. bin laden also involved, u.s.
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officials say, in helping the man convicted of bombing the world trade center, runcie youssef, nine years ago. by protected him before and after that. last winter, cia director george tenet told congress that bin laden is capable of multiple attacks with little or no warning. >> osama and bin laden his global network of lieutenants remain the most immediate and serious threat. >> bin laden's are edged millennium plots, planned attacks on three tours areas in jordan frequented by americans. on lance angeles international airport, and on a u.s. destroyer in yemen, all foiled. but six months later, terrorists do strike successfully and round another destroyer, the uss cole, killing 17. in june, bin laden brags on this home video of killing u.s. sailors. a remarkable take to recruit more terrorist against america. and just three weeks ago, a warning to a landed newspaper allegedly from bin laden's
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group that he was targeting america again. >> i think this is a dilemma for the united states now. i think the only thing is they have to revise their policies to look at as what is happening. why for example, the anti-american sentiment is very high in the middle east and the muslim world. >> how could this happen? only from a massive intelligence failure. but in this case, at least there will be some evidence. >> the good news is that the hijacking for airplanes is a very complicated operation. even hijacking one is complicated. and they will have left some trail behind them. they will have had to have check-in and purchased tickets ye they're under their names or aliases names. >> if you ask cracks the case, how will it retaliate? current and former officials say massively, but carefully. >> if we're going to act, we need to be able to convince the world that we were justified in our actions. we had that evidence during the african embassy bombings, and i think it's critical that the intelligence community now begin to develop that with respect to these attacks.
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>> today, afghanistan's taliban leaders deny any involvement by osama bin laden. but have david bloom alluded to earlier, intelligence officials and others are telling nbc tonight, they are 90% sure that bin laden is involved. and tom, if that proves to be the case, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that the u.s. will retaliate. >> but the question is, how do they find osama bin laden? and who do the retaliate against? >> they cannot find osama bin laden. they have not been able to. he is number one on the most wanted list of the fbi. they have warned the taliban that they will respond against afghanistan's leaders. so, the attack would be against afghanistan. within the last three weeks, they have warned afghanistan that they will hold the taliban personally responsible if osama bin laden attacks the united states. le if osam >> andrea, already there's talk about a massive intelligence failure. it's not so much the blame game at so much as it is that this could happen again. there have been a number of red flags that have gone up for years now. but even in washington at the
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highly political levels, people have refused to take them as seriously as this day in a case they should've. >> exactly right. in their report, senator rodman, spoke to him earlier today, he and gary her another former senator had a panel commission -- they warned that the nation's defense, here at home, not overseas, is the greatest vulnerability. that was in february and march. not much has been done. the bureaucracy moved so slowly, and after the 1998 bombings, tom, americas embassies were not greatly enhanced in their security. partially, but congress rejected immense by two secretaries of state to beef up security to him a much greater level overseas. >> thank you very much. nbc's andrea mitchell. the united states, one so powerful and so innocent in its worldview, in so many ways. let's go to our pentagon correspondent now. jim lefty. jim, you have some information for us about why these
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particular targets might have been chosen? >> well, these particular targets -- for small, the world trade center for its very high profile. and the obvious trap that the terrorists set. after the first attack, they knew very well that all television cameras and one of the most media intensive centers of the world would be focused on those twin towers, so that when that second plane came in, with that horrific video of it striking the second tower. that would achieve a monumental victory for them. the target here, all these. the most powerful center military will in the world. tom? >> all right, nbc's jim. i'm told that marine one, the helicopter carrying the president from andrews air force base is back to the white house now. landing on the white house who lawn. we do expect to hear from the president before the end of this night. he has had a long and challenging day, beginning in
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florida and then going to louisiana. and then to another air force base for strategic air command. before returning here to his office at the white house, this evening. he'll be meeting with his national security advisers. by then, colin powell, the secretary of state, coming back from his trip from peru. also condoleezza rice who's been at the white house all day long and inform him of all of this. defense secretary donald run fell. vice president dick cheney, who managed to stay in the white house. these are the kinds of days that you know in the back of your mind may occur when you become the president of the united states and the commander-in-chief, when you're on the campaign trail. the cold, hard reality, has been visited on this president. one of the greatest national security crises this country has faced in many, many years, within his first year in office. so, let's just watch for a moment and see if we can see the president as he gets off the helicopter. and then under very heavy guard, there is extraordinary security
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now at the white house. sharp shooters on the roof. people have been cleared out. our correspondents are operating from across the street. we'll see whether we can see him as he moves from marine one into the oval office. nick, as we expected earlier today, the president had a fighter plane escort coming from omaha, back to washington. my guess is that he must have had one earlier in the day when he left florida. and also when he left from louisiana. >>a. an it was shortly after the attacks occurred on the world trade center that the pentagon went into a crisis mode. they were trying to establish exactly what additional threats there may be. and then it was just about 28 minutes after that that the airplane hit here. it was after the attack on the pentagon that the air force then decided to scramble death 16th out of the d.c. national
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guard, andrews air force base, to fly cover. a protective cover over washington d.c.. it was something straight out of a war zone, tom. one oaf air force officer looking up in the sky next to me said, my god, we are flying cover on the nation's capital. >> jim, let's continue to watch here. as the president who is on marine one we. do expect momentarily he will be exit in that helicopter and moving briskly into the oval office. laura bush, he had talked to earlier today. she has been moved to a secure location. his brother jeb bush declared a state of emergency in the city of florida, after the president left today. the contingency went out to governors around the country.
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secret service detail exiting first. there were secret service officers and a number of other government officers in the world trade center. there is the president now. walking to what will prove to be one of the longest and moore's important nights of his presidency. back into the white house oval office. we do expect him to address the nation later. his father obviously, was president during operation desert storm, the persian gulf war. his father had been ambassador to the united nations, director of this year, for eight years before he occupied the oval office. there is very little in your experience as governor of texas, or even as a senator of the
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united states, or almost any other job, that can prepare you for these kinds of occasions. let's go to nbc's camp-able brown. campbell? what can you tell us about the plans for tonight? >> well, tom, we're not sure as of yet exactly what time the president will be addressing the nation. but now that we do know that he is back at the white house, he will likely be joining the vice president and national security adviser, condoleezza rice, in what's referred to as the situation room in the white house. this is a wood paneled room, extremely secure, in the basement of the west wing. and in that room is a giant conference room around a big table. there are ten chairs. they're about 20 years chairs around the perimeter of the room. and there are two giant video screens that can open up when the president and his team can meet and essentially watch all of the communications coming in from around the country. around the world, rather. right next to that conference room is a special
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communications center where four people are on staff, 24 hours a day. military, state department, intelligence, who are sifting through all the cables, all the information, providing them instantly to the president and his team. that is where the vice president has been all day with the national security adviser and other key personnel. in all likelihood, the president is joining them there are now to get an update before he addresses the nation. tom? >> >> thank you very much. he will have veterans of other crises in the national security of this country. vice president dick cheney, was defense secretary during the gulf war, rumsfeld served during the -- and as white house chief of staff, condoleezza rice is the staff of the national security council, during a previous administration. back here in new york as you can see behind me, the billowing smoke, the continuing dust and debris from the
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collapse of the world trade center earlier today. and then trade center number seventh went down. the world trade center, one of the targets of the terrorist today is one of the most distinctive architectural edifices in the world. >> the world's largest commercial complex completed a 1976. an architectural marvel. it's details immense. a massive twinge structure, 110 stories tall, build of 610,000 feet of glass. 1350 feet tall. 43,000 windows. 99 elevators. and a home for 1200 businesses. businesses worth 50,000 people work. businesses that include commodities exchanges, investment firms, law firms, banks, restaurants, a hotel. government offices.
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at top an observation deck, the trade center could drop 90,000 additional visitors on a busy day. today, the twin towers, many of those inside gone. that's just one of the many reasons of course that today will be remembered as one of the worst days in the nearly 400-year history of the great city of new york. nbc's path dotson has been on the streets of new york, very near the world trade center during most of the day, he has witnessed the hurricane rescue efforts that were affected there today, and of course tonight, pat still an unknown number of dead trap there in the rubble. >> it's very true, tom. police, fire and emergency workers first on the scene this morning knew they had a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. what they did it realize is that after they arrived it would get worst, and how many of them would be victims as well. within minutes of the attack,
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new york rescue crews responded, dozens of emergency workers running headlong into the chaos, a swirling mass of fire and smoke more than 60 stories up. chief of the new york fire department was one of the first on the scene. >> financial reaction was that it was an absolute terrorist attack. >> his job, direct a rescue effort inside the trade center. his team, 205 firefighters fanned out into the burning towers to search for survivors. >> when that first tower fell, i was trying to evacuate everybody three blocks off away from every high rise building in the area. >> when the tower started crumbling, crashing all over them, the original rescue effort became an exercise in survival. the rescuers themselves running for their lives. >> i'm telling you right now, there wasn't time to evacuate everyone. >> most of those that did make it out of the trade center, covered in debris. coughing and vomiting from the smoke and dust. >> it was the most horrific scene i've ever seen in my
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life. we saw but the world trade center in flames, big gaping hole all the way in the top of it. we could see people jumping from the top of the building. >> at midday, the financial district of lower manhattan looks like a war zone, with no idea if another attack is imminent, hundreds of companies throughout new york sent their workers home, bridges and tunnels across the hudson river clothes, mass transit shut down. >> there are over thousand rescue workers, probably about 2000 deployed, trying to get into the building, trying to find people trying to search for people, the governor and i spoke a couple of hours ago, the governor has deployed the national guard to relieve meant, because people are going to need reinforcement pretty soon. but right now they don't want to leave because they are searching, they are searching for innocent citizens and they're searching for some of their brothers and sisters. >> one rescuers finally got inside the trade towers, the damage left many of them
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shocked at the near total devastation. there is no way to estimate casualties, thousands are believed dead, for those used to saving lives, the frustration is overwhelming. >> when you start talking to a new york police officer in the start crying, for what they've seen in the last couple of hours, you know the seriousness and the gravity of the situation. >> throughout the day, rescuers have faced a terrible choice with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people trapped in the rubble in their, when is it safe to go back in. tom, the most vivid example of that referred to by david bloom a while ago, that of course the loss of building seven of the world trade center just over my shoulder, which tumbled to the ground eight hours after this attack began. tom? >> nbc's path dawson, in lower manhattan, for many of the people who lived through that it will be one of the unforgettable moments of their lives. nbc's and thompson was in the vicinity of the world trade center when the buildings began to come down. and? >> tom, this is the view
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tonight, smokes filling the air where the two towers and building number seven stood in the last hour we have seen busloads of police, doctors, ambulance after ambulance go into that area to try to repair a city that has been mortally wounded by this attack. >> a direct hit that shattered new york city's confidence. >> as soon as the first building collapse, i just took cover. >> everybody started running. >> as soon as we got out of the train station people were screaming and crying, and yelling, it was just total chaos. the bottom of the building was brought out. >> for me, ground zero, fulton and broadway, about two blocks from the world trade center, just as the south tower crumbled. hollywood could never imagined something like this. a tidal wave of smoke and debris came roaring down broadway. i was standing at the corner of fulton and broadway, i ran into
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a building, ran between a column and a building at one 95 broadway and pushed my face and my body into that building, for what seemed like five minute i was pelted with all sorts of debris. i crouched down, was coughing, trying to breathe, couldn't get any air. the air was so full of smoke and dust. one is finally settled, i stood up, my classes were covered with dust, hours later, i am still covered with dust. the building that i was in front of one 95 broadway, the doors were gated shut, they opened the doors lettuce in and inside we were finally able to breathe. it wasn't easy. my eyes were filled with dust, my mouth was filled with dust, i was choking, the people i was with were choking, it was just absolutely horrific. all i could think of was, this is war. >> i just heard the rumble, and then i ran like hell, there was a large wind coming. >> down here, panic. survivors flee by whatever
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means they can, fearing more destruction at any moment. >> at 10:30 i try to leave the building but as soon as i got outside, i heard a second explosion, and another rumble, and more smoke and more dust. iran inside the building to the chandelier shook, and again black smoke filled the air. within another five minutes we recovered again was more soot and dust, and then a fire marshal came in and said we have to leave, because if there was a third explosion, this building might not last. >> everyone, -- >> palpable fear as people run through the streets, choking on dust and debris. >> come on, let's go, let's go. >> we saw the building come down and we ran, the walkway held up, we were right there, we were buried there, and cops shut our windows, the only thing that was in there was one window. >> the streets of the financial district covered with debris,
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in some cases ankle deep, cars on fire. cars just turned by the force of the explosions, it was like something no one had ever seen. panic like smoke heads of town, officials ordering evacuation of some of new york city's landmarks. >> this is an orderly evacuation of rockefeller plaza. >> on the street, anxious commuters trying to call home, cell phone service dead. at ground central station, travelers desperate to get out of the city. >> it's gonna take a long time. but you're gonna see mama and papa tonight. >> outside the station, a surreal scene, people buying postcards of the twin towers that no longer exist. as the days wears on, witnesses who survived the attack now face a new horror. searching for missing friends and coworkers. >> we can't account for all of our employees. but we're just in a state of shock. >> the biggest, busiest city in the world, the attacker revives fears of the 1993 bombing.
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suddenly nowhere in the financial district seems safe. did you ever think this could happen again? >> no, i really didn't. i lived through the first. one >> after a tragedy so great, tonight a city comes together, searching for safety and comfort. tom, this area is more than just a business district, it is also where people live, and within the last hour we have seen families bringing suitcases, crates carrying their family pets to leave and go elsewhere. they have no water, they have no gas and there is also the fear that more buildings will collapse. the area is covered by police from all over new york city and they tell us that they will be here through the night. tom? >> all right thank you very much nbc's anne thompson. let me tell you after you finally emerged from that building, what about other people who cannot get into a building, what kind of casualties did you see? >> tom, i would tell you that
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when i walked out of the building on broadway and headed down towards canal, it was as if there had been a blizzard of debris and dust, although for the street. i saw people running, i was walking, there were lots of rescue people there, but there were people injured. i saw a woman being carried by two men. it was like something i had never seen -- i've never seen anything like it. all i could think of was to get away from their, to get to safety. as i kept walking to canal street i could hear get another explosion behind me. it was truly one of the most frightening moments i have ever lived through. >> thank you very much and pcs anne thompson. any number of personnel was caught in all of that today. among them our producer mary beth tooling correspondent raheem a ellis, and they provided us to night with a video diary. we would like to share that with you now.
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>> will hope to get back to them, obviously we're having some difficulties with what has been going on with the audio part of our broadcast tonight, in that particular videotape. this is a live picture, looking across new york harbor and i'll ask her for patients here because we are doing the very best we can under, as you might expect, some trying circumstances. that's looking across from the other side of the new jersey side at the lower end of manhattan, that is a picture that has been going on all day, but when it began there were the two 110 story towers of the world trade center. they are now gone for the
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manhattan skyline. it's a stunning thought to realize that they have been brought down so coldly and efficiently in such a cold blooded fashion by these hijacked airliners in this terrorist attack. another colleague who captures some of the most horrifying moments today's christian martin, he's a native new yorker and a producer dateline, he had his own camera with when the buildings began to come down. >> i said, let me buy that from you. i took a shot of a huge wheel of a plane lying in the middle of the avenue. there were all these white sheets in the middle of the street, it took me a minute to figure out what those were. i mean, the collapse happened ten minutes after got the camera, i shot a couple of shots of the building burning. i was shooting the building in the building started to collapse, and that happens pretty slowly.
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[noise] everyone gets into the job for adventure. this turned sour pretty fast. we're down in oklahoma city, i got there for hours afterwards and that was pretty chaotic. this was 1000 times works. and the cops were like run, run. i had literally a mouthful of salt, and i couldn't see anything. and then people were just remarkable. everyone was just in a horrible place. you couldn't see, everybody was hurt, i was so lucky. so much luckier than so many other people. i just cannot overemphasize how many completely innocent, beautiful people we're just
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destroyed by this. >> one of our producers in his own words. he was there in the middle of it. christian martin is a producer for dateline. he managed to buy a camera from a taurus, and then almost lost his life as he was trying to record what was going on down there. we want to tell you that momentarily we do expect to hear from the attorney general of the united states, john ashcroft. who does have supervisory responsibility for the fbi. he's our chief law enforcement officer. and also from the secretary of health and human services, tommy thompson, the former governor of wisconsin. he will be dealing with a lot of the relief that is going on. behind me you can see the dust is now be able to being settled over the city of new york. and the billowing smoke is still emanating from the lower part of manhattan. the sight of what was wants to towers. each 110 stories high. 20,000 people we believe are in
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them, at that time when they were attacked today. and the 40 stories, seventh trade center, no meeting missing from the manhattan skyline. we're going to see if we can't get raheem ellis back. she was with mary beth o'toole. they have a kind of video diary really. we may have to come out of there as we go to attorney general ashcroft. >> new york city's brooklyn bridge. normally clogged with vehicles, today, an escape route. it's 11:45 in the morning and there is a mass exodus from downtown new york city. you can take a look at a you can see, hundreds of thousands of people leaving the area -- >> of these heinous acts of violence are an assault on the security of our nation. they're an assault on the security and the freedom of every american citizen. we will not tolerate such acts. we will expand every effort and devote all the necessary resources to bring the people
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responsible for these acts and these crimes to justice. now is the time for us to come together as a nation to offer our support, our prayers for victims and their families, for the rescue workers, the law enforcement officials. for every one of us that has been changed forever by this winnable to tragedy. the following is a summary of the unknown facts surrounding today's incidents. american airlines flight 11 departed boston for los angeles. hijacked by suspects armed with knives. this plane crashed into the world trade center. united airlines flight one 75 departed boston to los angeles. hi jacked and crashed into the world trade center. american airlines flight 77 departed washington dulles for los angeles. let's hijacked and crashed into the pentagon.
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united airlines flight 93 departed newark for san francisco, was hijacked and crashed in shanksville, pennsylvania. crime scenes have been established by the federal authorities in new york, in washington d.c. area, in pittsburgh, in boston, and in newark. the full resources of the department of justice, including the federal bureau of investigation, the immigration and naturalization service, the u.s. attorney's offices, the u.s. marshal service, the bureau of prisons, drug enforcement administration, the office of justice programs, are being deployed to investigate these crimes. and to assist survivors and victims families. thousands of fbi agents in all of the field offices across the
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country, and in the international offices, assisted by personnel from other department of justice agencies, are cooperating in this investigation. in thi the fbi has established a website where people can report any information about these crimes. that address is www. i fcc fbi.gov. that address again is www. i.s. cc fbi.gov. individuals can report any information they know about these crimes to that website. it takes courage for individuals to come forward in situations like this. and i urge anyone with information that may be useful and helpful to authorities, to
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use this opportunity. the office of victims of crime has established a toll free 800 number for families and friends of victims. they can call 803 three one zero zero seven five to leaf contact information for a future time when more information is available. to find out information about a victim. or to find out information about the rights of victims and the services available to victims survivors and victims families. the determination of that these terrorists will not deter the determination of the american people. we are survivors and freedom is a survivor. a free american people will not be intimidated, nor will we be defeated. we will find the people responsible for these cowardly acts and justice will be done.
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>> every single american lost something today. and every one of us at this time expresses our deepest sympathies to the victims of today's tragedies and their families. it is now our mission to begin the healing from this tragedy. from the moment that we learned of these attacks, the department of health and human services has begun readying teams and resources to be sent to new york city, and the washington area, to meet any needs of state and local officials. so far, we have sent for disaster medical teams to new york city. and three of these disaster medical teams to the washington, northern virginia, baltimore
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area. these medical teams each consists of about 35 physicians, nurses, and emergency medical technicians. they are all trained to deal with traumatic injuries and other emergency needs. we have also sent for disaster mortuary operational response teams to new york, and three to the greater washington area. we're also in the process of shipping a great deal of emergency medical supplies to new york city with the help of the centers for disease control. in short, we're making the full force of the department of health and human services, both 's resources and medical expertise, available to the areas that need our assistance. we've also this afternoon, activated united states public health service commission corps, which consists of approximately 6000 health professionals.
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we also are giving back up assistance to the 500 bed ship comfort from the united states navy. americans all over are calling up and asking what they can do. the best thing they can do is respond to this great call by volunteering to give blood. we need americans to continue to answer that call, no matter where you live. please, do your civic duty and assist us by donating blood. it our primary job is to make sure that americans in this tragedy get the help that they need. we will remain in constant contact with governors, mayors, public health officials another local officials, to make sure that all their needs are being met. it is a sad day, but america
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and all of its citizens certainly share tonight the grief that has been caused, and as the president and everybody in his administration have said, we and the government continue to operate and continue to provide the services to all americans. icans. >> secretary of health and human services, tommy thompson. john ashcroft, attorney general of the united states. talk about the role of the two federal government now in tracking down the people who are responsible for today's attacks. and then the process of healing physically and psychologically and politically, in this country. big part of this story today. medical response. witnesses kept saying the scene today was like a war zone. in fact, one of the rescue workers said i spent a year in combat, i never saw anything quite like all of this. new york area has frustrate medical facilities and many of them and nbc's robert basel was at one of them today. he joins us now.
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robert? >> tom, within minutes of the first explosion, thousands of doctors and nurses and hundreds of hospitals around the new york city area, responded with emergency plans to the biggest medical crisis the city has ever faced. at the scene of the explosions and building collapse, emergency workers set up triage sites, to put the date aside and move the most critically wounded to area hospitals. the closest from the center to the world trade center is st. vincent's in new york's greenwich village. a stretchy stream of ambulances began minutes after the explosion and continued through the day, with many kinds of injuries. >> several factors, several patients have already been to the operating room, and because of the intense fire and smoke, multiple patients with inhalation injuries. and they're being monitored in critical care units. >> medical staff stood prepared
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to meet each ambulance. some carrying many injured. this one hospital sent out a call for blood donors, and within minutes, so many volunteers appeared, that the hospital was swarmed and arranged for buses to take donors to other hospitals. >> well if you're not sure if you're negative or positive? >> more than 400 casualties were taken across the hudson river to hospitals in new jersey inside an islands. among the first casualties, about one in five were rescue workers. firefighters, police and ems technicians, involved in the rescue efforts. many of the rescuers, hardened by years of tragedies, said they had never seen anything as bad. >> the day turned into a night for about 2 to 3 minutes. took an inventory of myself and -- >> as the this evening, the total number of casualties taken to all area hospitals sense near 1000. and that number is very low because rescue workers expect that there are still thousands of people buried underneath all of that rubble. and all of the doctors and
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nurses expect that they are going to be treating casualties from the rubble for several days to come. tom? >> all right, thanks very much. nbc's robert bazell tonight. let's go back to washington and it was the scene of a direct hit on the emblem of american military power, the pentagon. the headquarters for our military services. an estimated 100 crowd will tease there on the ground. 64 were on the plane that hit it, including a prominent washington lawyer. nbc jim -- before we get to that, we're going to the congressional leadership. jim, i feel just standby at the pentagon. will be coming back to you momentarily. let's go now to the hill where tom daschle is the senate majority leader. >> to justice. we republicans and democrats. house and senate, stand strongly united behind the president, and will work
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together to ensure that the full resources of the government are brought to bear in these efforts. our heartfelt thoughts and our fervent prayers are with the injured and the families of those who have been lost. [applause] >> house speaker, dennis pastor, who's third in line in succession. >> as a nation, our thoughts and prayers are with those families in those injured. and those who were casualties of today's attack. we also remember those thousands of people who are rescue workers. we ask now that we all drop our heads in a moment of silence.
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thank you. >> a rare and welcome bipartisan gathering of the republican and democratic leadership of the united states senate and the house of representatives. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> this is wild. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> god bless america, my home sweet home. ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> on the steps of the u.s. capital, men and women, black, white and asian, conservatives and liberals and independents, from all corners of this country, a spontaneous demonstration of unity, a declaration of support for the president of the united states, and a very important symbolic message to be sending around the world after this country, tim russert is there, tim, washington has been riveted in recent years by petty divisions, but this is gonna have an impact on the ability of congress, senate and the house of representatives to say nothing of the other political parties in this country, to find common ground. >> tom, all of it disappeared immediately. such national unity has just
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demonstrated on the steps of the capital. remember 24 hours ago it was the bush tax cut, the bush economy, you don't hear any of that tonight. it's america's enemy. america is under attack. tomorrow, the congress will convene, almost an act of defiance say we are here standing strong. democrats, republicans arm in arm. it's a very important message, not only for the world and the terrorists, but for our own nation as well. it's quite welcomed frankly, by people who have been covering convert chris, constantly bickering with each other, tonight they have found in a very tragic way a common bond because out of the necessity of protecting our country and our values. >> thank you very much. every generation of politicians has in its own way a test of its steel and strength, and it's long view for this country. but i think it's worth pointing out that whatever happens in
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washington in the next couple of days, america ex going to be changed by the events of this day. it's good at nbc's reporter, who is at the pentagon across the river of course from the nation's capital. he was there in his office this morning when he heard an explosion and told us immediately he didn't know for sure when it was. we learned later, of course, jim, it was the unthinkable. a hijacked airliner that crashed into the building. >> back here, fresh flames are flickering from the roof of the building. rescue workers continue to search the bomb portion of the pentagon. it's believed that scores of dead are still buried beneath the rubble, no exact death toll has been yet released here, but a temporary morgue has been set up at the courtyard at the center of the pentagon complex.
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this was the second target in a well coordinated act of terrorism. at 9:15, after the second plane hits the world trade center, the pentagon puts together a crisis action team to assess any additional threats. 9:30, american airlines flight 77, a boeing 7:57 with 62 people on board takes off from dallas airport for los angeles. believed hijack it heads instead for the world trade center. 9:38, it slipped on its right side and slammed into the pentagon's lower two floors in the southwest side, exploding on impact as horrified commuters watch. >> i saw a plane going down, big plane, commercial liner type going down full speed and just inside the side of the pentagon. >> employees and evacuate by
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the thousands, the plane slices deep into the lower pentagon leaving a gaping black hole of destruction. the upper floors later collapsed, bearing hopes any survivors will be found alive. at the opposite end of the pentagon, well out of harm's way, donald rumsfeld was at his desk. >> secretary was at his office at the time the plane hit the pentagon and proceeded down towards the impact point in the building. actually he went outside the building and was helpful in getting several people that were injured on to structures. >> it was four hours before the fires was brought under control and rescuers entered the building in search of more dead or possible injury. in a scene straight out of the -- flag cover over the pentagon in washington d.c.. the attacks were over, the unspeakable deed done. a short time ago the chairman of the joint chief of staff expressed americas resolve with
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a firm pledge to retaliate against those responsible. the number one suspect, osama bin laden. the military has always had a contingency plan for attacks against a variety of bin laden targets. behind me in what's left of this building here tonight, the military is literally dusting off those plans. tom? >> nbc's reporter. jim, around the world, they are still on the high state of alert? >> the high state of alert. delta, a short term after military commanders all over the world took the responsibility, went to delta which puts those forces on a virtual war footing prepared for anything. >> all right thank you very much. as new york was a target and thrown into chaos, in los angeles, it was a city stunned by the attacks and three of the four hijacked airliners were bound for los angeles. the other first for san franciscan, california.
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george lewis is in los angeles airport tonight. some of the grieving families and the latest on some of the crash victims that we know about. george? >> yes, tom, a lot of grieving going on here in the west coast because all of the people who were lost on those planes were bound for california. ordinarily, los angeles international has 2100 flights daily, but tonight the airport is completely buttoned up. nothing taking off or landing. shocked and grief stricken the relatives of those on board the hijacked flights rushed to the airport where authorities quickly took them to private rooms. grief counselors from the salvation army joined airline personnel in trying to comfort the families of the passengers. >> it's just to be there and to say to them, we are here and we will do whatever we can to help you through this trauma and pain. >> the first plane to crash into the world trade center, american airline flight 11 was bound from boston to los angeles, piloted by 52 year old
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john hogan ounce key. this afternoon, his brother spoke to reporters. >> i ask all of you for, your prayers. i referred to him as brother john, and i ask you to pray for our whole country today. >> among the well known passengers on the hijacked planes, the producer of the tv series frazier, david angel. and cnn commentator barbara olson, wife of ted alston. she reportedly called her husband twice on a mobile phone to tell him where plane was being hijacked, that the crew and all the passengers were being herded to the back of the aircraft. on united flight 93 from washington to san francisco, one of the flight attendants, cc myers also used a cell phone to report that hijacking to her husband, a policeman in fort myers florida.
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by midday in los angeles, fbi personnel were swarming over the airport checking for possible bombs, but none were found. as a precaution, police and the fbi ordered the airport evacuated. >> we're vacuuming all terminals in stopping traffic. >> and erie scene at los angeles international tonight, the airport completely empty. and why we're all of the hijacked planes california bound? one theory is at the hijackers deliberately chose planes that would be fully loaded with fuel for a transcontinental flight. tom? >> thank you very much john lewis tonight, let's go to the reaction around the rest of the country. this day of terror rippling from coast to coast. nbc's jim is at the tower in downtown chicago. jim? >> tom chicago skyline intact but nearly empty tonight as america skyscrapers were evacuated through most of the day today, that includes chicago sears tower, the towers in los angeles, the bank of
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americans and francisco. all waiting for the all clear. the nation's landmarks, americas gathering spots, today abandoned as potential terrorist targets. from the seattle space needle, to disney world in the southeast, to the world's biggest shopping mall, the mall of america and minneapolis closed. and of course, at the countries tallest building, sears tower in michigan avenue in the midwest, the symbols of american life in fear. >> it's scary. your family, your way from home, the kids are at school. it's very scary. >> america hunkered down. chicago's financial district virtually empty. every police officer in the third largest city ordered to the streets. the nation's workforce turning around and heading home. larry hudson works at this year's tower. >> i got to the elevator and said where my going there for?
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>> they split up to go to work this morning, and quickly decided home in front of the television set was the safest spot today. >> this nation is turned upside down. emotionally, perhaps financially, who knows. it's one of those moments as you can't believe you saw played out. >> at america's 5000 airports, total shut down. and estimated 200 passengers stranded, at o'hare worlds busy as a line of jets held on the runway forever, no open gates. surprisingly, few complaints. >> being upset about missing my plane that's trivial compared to people that were on the plane and in the buildings. >> military planes like this one in san francisco escorting the last of the commercial jetliners safely to the ground. but a crippled air travel
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system is more than inconvenient. aviation expert mike ward. >> air transportation is part of our communications center. today it's shut down completely, people aren't moving a to be, mail isn't moving, good aren't moving. because of that we're probably going to have tens of billions of dollars hit on our economy for this. >> phone service strangled to, americas largest cell phone network with cell towers atop the world trade center destroyed, reports called nationally doubled. >> we can compare today's events to anything we have experienced before we've gone to earthquakes, significant floods but nothing like today's event. >> in chicago, karen davis frustrated at her attempts to work at home. >> i could not get a single signal on my way home, and then i couldn't get a signal on my home phone when i got here, really frustrating not to be able to get contact with anybody. >> among the events canceled tonight major league baseball
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postponing gains from coast to, coast. nbc's tonight show called off. and the emmy scheduled for sunday's cancel too. >> we all could see the gravity of the situation and realize that this is a true national nightmare come true. and a comedy show, a celebration would not be something that would be appropriate. >> we cannot let it happen again. >> most of the nation schools beto pin through the tragic day, students watching terrorism on their own shores for the first time. >> i just was asking myself over and over, why did that? >> teachers trying to make sense of it. >> there are other place in the world where this is commonplace, and for us it's a first. >> at this hospital in suburban chicago, americans responding by lighting up the donate blood. midday church services more crowded than normal. >> i guess i'm just looking for a place it in my heart, peace and other peoples hearts, from of the destruction. >> ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> older students sing the national anthem at an outdoor rally, mixing peers and patriotism. experts say americans should expect a jump in the national anxiety level. >> they're gonna be irritable, they may be really, very acutely aware of their environment around that and any kind of threat around them. >> also tonight some of the first effects of the fear in the economic fashion, already today, there has been problem with gas gouging, prices have gone up to as >> much as $5 a gallon. tom? nbc reporting on the length and breadth of this country from chicago. the heartland of america. now we have a tracking tape. it shows the pattern of the flight that went into the first of the tree towers. it took off from boston.
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that would be flight 11, american airlines. then you can see that sharp left turn as it heads for new york, well off course. and the second plane headed now, going from new york and then this is the second one that comes into new york. the second one goes from newark to pennsylvania, where it went down. there's still some uncertainty about whether that was going to be a direct hit by the hijackers into one of the other many government or financial buildings that could've been a target for either the washington d.c. or new york area. we don't know for sure. of course, for many americans tonight, the anger and reach that they feel is directed at one man that they have never seen, except on some vague videotape. osama bin laden. the wet worlds best known islamic extremists. he's almost on everyone's list of the most likely suspects for today's attacks. nbc's keith moore has more.
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keith? >> tom, he is one of the most dangerous terrorist on the planet. the u.s. government has put a 5 million-dollar bounty on his head. osama was bin laden last seen publicly this january at his son's wedding and afghanistan. we are pictures of a man who reportedly travels only at night, often in disguise. surrounded by bodyguards. he made his reputation in the 19 eighties fighting the subject of occupation of afghanistan. >> he was involved in some horrific battles, which he said later gave him's as sort of tranquility and sense of peace. and he basically made him a pretty fearless guy. >> today, the central intelligence agency calls him the most immediate and serious threat to a security. bin laden says the jihad against the united states and killing of americans is the core of his faith. he was born into a family of wealth, power and privilege in
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saudi arabia, 44 years ago. it was during his days as a student studying economics that he turned to radical islamic. he is linked to a series of global terrorist attacks. february, 1993. the bombing of the world trade center in new york. six dead, more than 1000 injured. august 7th, 1998. the simultaneous u.s. embassy bombings in kenya and tanzania. more than 200 killed. and last year, the suicide bomb attack on the uss cole, resulting in the death of 17 american serviceman. >> he alone probably within the islamic world, has a master and developed a terrorist network and an international network, which will be capable of carrying out such a trusted please. >> after the embassy bombing, the american government retaliated with missile strikes. the missiles damaged bin laden 's headquarters in afghanistan, but he escaped unharmed
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unharmed. the u.s. is demanding that the radical islamic government in afghanistan hand in latin over to american authorities. but the afghans have refused, despite bin laden's declaration that all u.s. citizens are legitimate targets. >> he starting the u.s. as because he sees america as the head of the snake, as he calls it. the body of the snake is the corrupt governments in the middle east that he has promised to overthrow, and also israel. >> meanwhile, his popularity in the region is reportedly increasing. recently, an estimated 25,000 followers scattered around the world, prepared to engage in a holy war against america. >> from afghanistan tonight, a statement from the government claiming bin laden didn't do it. meanwhile, u.s. intelligence officials say he was last seen near jalalabad in eastern afghanistan. but because he moves at least three times a week, he will remain difficult to catch.
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tom? >> thanks very much. nbc's keith north tonight. we want to give you an update now, the president of the united states will be addressing this nation on this difficult day at 8:30 eastern time tonight. and of course, we will bring that to you live. there are people around the world who do not wish america well. we know that as a result of today's attacks. but also on the basis of their reaction to what happened here tonight. some of them are even celebrating. that story, here is nbc's margaret martin fletcher in tel aviv. martin? ma>> tom, israel is declaring a day of mourning tomorrow in solidarity with the united states. but not all reaction has been so sympathetic. there is a sense here among some palestinians that america had it coming. >> these palestinians in east jerusalem today, delighted at the bombings and american loss of life. offering cakes and sweets. calling out god is great. thousands more celebrate near
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other west bank towns until palestinian police disperse them. the palestinian leader however, stand unsympathetic. >> completely shocked. completely shocked. unbelievable. >> but the voice of the street reflects anger at america's role, especially in israel and iraq. >> we should show america that they should learn and they should know what it is to a pack tax somebody like a rock. it should be more. [laughs] >> and memory many arabs fears that america's support for israel. this man holds up an american made bomb pile filed by american aircraft used by york thrill. america's support for israel, some believe, makes america a legitimate target for terrorism. many also angry at years of almost daily american bomb attacks against iraq, which didn't stop with the end of the gulf war a decade ago. and u.s. troops still in saudi arabia, osama bin laden, the prime suspect in today's terror
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attacks, angry at american support for what he calls a tyrannical government of saudi arabia, his homeland. and for america's close ties with israel. in almost a year of unrest, more than a dozen palestinian suicide bombers and other attackers were killed in 170 israelis. israel has killed more than 570 palestinians. a conflict that always threatens to suck neighboring countries into the fight. israel tonight, called for an international war against terrorism. >> we fight against terror with an international struggle of the free world against the forces of darkness. who seek to destroy our liberty and our way of life. >> today, the leader of hamas, the it's man islamic ministers who sent most suicide bombers against israel, called on america to change its policies. this shake said america is behind injustices in this part
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of the world. but then he says hamas doesn't support attacks against citizens. tonight, israel closed its airspace to foreign airlines and then close iselin borders to prevent any possible terrorist attacks. there's a sense here that palestinian militants may try to take advantage of the confusion to kill more israelis. tom? >> thank you very much. and missing bc's martin fletcher's. already a complex situation is even more so tonight. now to a different kind of problem. the world trade center towers were some of the most famous buildings in the world, of course. they have survived hurricanes, fires and even one previous terrorist bombing. nbc's roger o'neil talked to the architect of those buildings and how they were put up. and what brought them down. >> ayman brown was a project engineer of the twin towers. the man on the ground in charge of making sure the buildings were built right. the way it was designed >> we had pride in it and we were doing something that hadn't been done before.
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but no one ever considered any types of forces like. this brown, who spent six years building the towers from day one in 1966, says the planes didn't cause the towers to collapse. but rather, the fire and tremendous heat and exposed steel superstructure two could not withstand -- . >> structural steel is fireproof to last for more than two hours, which it did. and then steel melts. >> each tower was built around a central core, that core kept the building up supporting the towers so called deadweight. but when steele melts, according to burn, like dominoes, it falls. brown says the towers were built to withstand 200 mile an hour hurricanes, a 100-year storm. the worst nature kurdish out. but he says an airplane crash, never entered anyone's mind. still, it appears the outside collins made of prefabricated steel, absorbed most of the energy from the plains and they have kept the two towers from collapsing immediately. university of colorado
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engineering professor thinks the energy from those large planes would be equivalent to a five or six richter skill earthquake. >> as the airplanes came in and energy was absorbed, some of that core may have been damaged tremendously. and maybe this was part and course of this implosion. >> the way the towers collapsed seen similar to pictures we've become accustomed to watching. as all buildings like the kingdom in seattle are taking their with explosives. this control demolition company says once a building starts falling, it releases a law stored energy. >> we use explosives as a catalyst release that potential energy. it converts into kinetic energy. it gets the building moving -- >> nbc's roger o'neil tonight on the stunning destruction of the twin towers of the world trade center here in manhattan as a result of the terrorist attack. all hour long we've been trying to bring raheem alice and her
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dire of what she went through during the day. and we're going to do that for you right now. >> new york city's brooklyn bridge. normally clogged with vehicles. today, an ex-cape route. it's 11:45 in the morning and there is a mass exodus from downtown new york city. you can see hundreds of thousands of people leaving the area. police are evacuating this political this particular. we are? life >> completely hysterical. we were crying. we wanted to get out there are not having anywhere to go. which direction to run in? how far we can go? and i'm so worried for my life. yeah. it's horrifying. >> civilians, get on the bus if you want. >> another sign of how quickly people deserted the area. this is a fruit stand. only about 8 to 10 blocks away from the world trade center. normally, there would be people
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crowded in the streets trying to buy some fruit from the man who may have worked here. now, it's deserted. nothing is left but his fruit covered in ash. what went through your head when you saw this? >> can't believe it. devastation. people jumped out of the windows. >> i was watching the thing and all the sudden it starts crashing. tremendous noise. and instinct, tells you the to run. people getting trampled -- >> we're now just a block away from the world trade center and the closer we get to ground zero, the harder it is to breathe and to see. you have to wear a mask and you need to wear some sort of glasses. otherwise it is choking and blinding smoke. [noise] behind me ordinarily you'd be able to see the twin towers. but today, all you can see is the thick, black smoke, that is
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clouding the area. all on vest right there is this thick ash. it's at least an inch thick. there's paper strewn all over ever. and the area literally is deserted with the exception of the emergency workers who are continually trying to push people away from the area for their own safety. what do you think this is? >> i have no idea. >> but your guess is? >> concrete? >> concrete? >> these firefighters, just some of the hundreds, waiting for their turn to go into the world trade center area. already they are covered in soot, tired and worried about what they're going to see when they get to ground zero. what happened to you? >> i was in the building trying to get people out when the building collapse. >> what do you think we will be able to go in and start to really search for some of the victims? inside >> oh, they're searching right now. on a limited basis.
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as soon as they get organized, will be sending more and more people in. >> and why you downturn hospital has the only emergency room in the manhattan where the first victims from the blast were brought here. the cafeteria has been turned into a triage area. hospital officials say there are victims wall-to-wall. eight years ago this, hospital took in the first victims from the world trade center bombing. officials say they're trying to plan more disasters. two weeks ago, they went through an emergency drill. but no one ever imagined they'd be tested so soon. raheema ellis, nbc news, indoor manhattan. manhattan.>> nbc's raheema eliss in the middle of it all. we want to remind you will have continuing coverage of this. the president of the united states will have his speech at 8 pm eastern tonight. it is now been hours since the
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first attack on the twin tray towers and this stunning sequence of events that followed. it all happened so rapidly and in plain view that it somehow seems surreal. more a television image, then the cold blooded terrorism than it was. this is a day without, for we do not know yet the full price of lives lost. whether they are other targets to come. and most important, how we will respond to this terrorist attack. how we strike back militarily. how we defend ourselves at home. how we heal all the wounds of the state. america has been attacked and at his been changed. this is the first great test of the new century for this nation. for its new president. it's also a great test for us all. wherever we live, whatever our age, whatever our beliefs. tonight, we remind you will have continuing coverage. we want to share with you now,
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eight images and the sounds of this unforgettable dark day in america. [noise] [noise] [noise]
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>> it was the ultimate act of terrorism. two hijacked planes crashing into the world trade center, collapsing what was once one of the tallest buildings in the world. leaving a scene some described as a nuclear winter. good evening, everyone. it was one of the darkest days in america.
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through their day and into the night, and it is not over. new york and the nation will never be the same. what was once a symbol of america's might is tonight, a scene of utter devastation. piles of rubble, acres of great ash, a death toll that some estimate could reach into the thousands. hundreds of rescue workers, very little hope in the rubble of the world trade center. and this is the scene tonight at the pentagon, it by any other hijacked plane shortly after the attack on the world trade center. the pentagon says it does not yet know how many people were killed or injured. president bush facing the first and largest crisis of his presidency. one of the largest crises of any modern president. first got word of this attack while he was in florida today. he then flew to a secure underground bunker near omaha. the strategic air command headquarters, before returning tonight to the white house. and in an address to the nation at 8:30. in a brief statement earlier, president said, freedom itself
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was attacked this morning. and freedom will be defended. make no mistake, he said, the united states will hunt down and punish those responsible for what he called these cowardly acts. tonight, oh for the next three hours, will be looking for answers to some of the questions we all were asking today. how could this happen? what do we do now? how can we prevent it from happening again? how will it changes? we start tonight with nbc's can't bill brown, who joins us from near the white house. campbell? >> tom, that president is now preparing his speech to the nation. aides tell us that he will be a message of resolve and reassurance that our nation has been tested before, and has always prevailed. since bush arrived here at the white house about 7 pm eastern time, he has been huddled with his national security team. he did speak with them earlier today, when he was in nebraska, via life teleconference. and this is according to white house aides. he told his team quote, we will find these people and they will
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suffer the consequences of taking on this nation. we will do what it takes. no one is going to diminish the spirit of this country. we are also told by aides that a point he will make tonight is that he wants americans to return to their lives. to demonstrate that this is not affected the american spirit. this will not diminish the country. now tom, obviously the presidents security today was a top priority. and that's why he was shuttled across the country on air force one today. as you said, beginning in sarasota, florida, where he was first and then fly into clark's air force base in louisiana. from there going to nebraska, to the u.s. strategic command center, where he addressed his national security team. then back to the white house. aides tell us there is a plan in place when they believe there is a threat to the president. and today, they implemented that plan, moving him around on air force one and deliberately not telling us where he would be going at any point in time. they also say that gave the presidents national security
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team, not vice president cheney and national security adviser condoleezza rice, that gave them time to assess the threat, to gather information. and they say, it was the president who made the decision to return to washington to address the nation tonight. tom? w>> all right, thanks very. much nbc's campbell brown. there was an exceptional bipartisan appearance biased members of the congress tonight. members republican and democrat, house and senate, gathered to say that we stand fully behind the president. and then, as tim russert was witnessed all of this as well, tim, they broke into god bless america. >> tom, an extraordinary scene here in washington. 24 hours ago, rancor, bipartisanship. not tonight, national unity. indeed a new tone in washington. the notion of a lock boss seems so miniscule now to people across the country and even here in washington. they understand what this is meant. that is why all eyes on the president tonight. democrats and republicans have
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told him, mister president, wherever you see, we are behind you. >> all right, tim russert, we'll ask you to stand by their throughout the evening. we're going to go to the pentagon out and or pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski, who is on duty this morning. where he said there seemed to have been an explosion at the pentagon. we now know that it was a hijacked airliner crashing into that building. jim, do we have any sense tonight of the death toll or the casualty list from the pentagon? >> no, it's going to run into the scores. there were more than 60 people on the plane and an undetermined number of people still buried beneath the rubble here behind us. searchers have entered the building. they've been in there for about five hours now, tom. there is no exact casualty toll that has been released. they have set up a temporary morgue inside the center courtyard of the pentagon for tonight. but in the meantime, there was also an expression of resolve here at the pentagon from the chairman of the joint chiefs of
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staff, general shelton. who reaffirmed americas resolve and issued a firm pledge to retaliate against those responsible. and the pentagon has always had a contingency plan to attack a variety of targets of known terrorists, with some of bin laden. we've been told that the military planners are taking a close look at those contingencies tonight, tom. >> all right, thanks very. much nbc's jim miklaszewski. joining me now is former secretary of the treasury, former white house chief of staff, james baker. who is deeply involved, of course, where the administration of george herbert walker bush, the 41st president of the united states. during the persian gulf war. obviously the highest priority must be assigned to finding out who is responsible for this. but then, describe for us if you will, in diplomatic terms, what the first steps ought to be? what the>> well, i think their s
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steps, tom, that have to be taken. first of all, we need to look at our intelligence gathering take capability. we know we need to look at the security measures and standards at our airports. and then of course, we do have contingency plans for striking back. there really are not of easy answers in that regard, but we do have contingency plans. all of the administrations i've served have had those plans. this administration has them. and i'm sure they will implement them. and we are pretty good at that kind of operation, if we can pinpoint exactly who is responsible for this atrocious series of events. >> and do we dispatch special emissaries to the middle east? to tel aviv? also to riyadh, saudi arabia. jordan and the other arab states there, so that we can get everybody calm down? >> well, we will probably be doing that. whether it's through the use of special emissaries are not, i don't know. it doesn't have to be special emissaries. i think we ought not to rush
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too quickly to the judgment here that this happened because there was a lull in the peace process in the middle east. particularly if it's osama bin laden and that would be my number one suspect. he's been at this for quite some time. he took out our embassies in kenya and tanzania. he took -- so, i don't think we ought to draw that connection to quickly between the absence of progress in the peace process in the middle east and what happened to america today. i think these people that did this have been dead set for a long time on a terrorist attack against america. they've succeeded, unfortunately. it's really rather amazing that they were able to do what they did, with respect to the commercial airliners. we haven't had a hijack in this country, i don't think, of an airliner, for over ten years. so, we need to take some careful looks at what happened. exactly what happened and what we can do to prevent it in the
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future. let me just say one final thing, when i was in government at high levels and i was here for 12 years in washington d.c., we foreclosed a lot of similar type attacks that have been planned. maybe not as sophisticated as this one. but we rolled up a lot of operations. and generally speaking, the counter intelligence and counter-terrorism capabilities of the united states have functioned very effectively. we may however, now the entering into a new era. and we may have to see some significant new measures. >> but that's my very point. take it out of the context of what's going on between israel and the pla. a lot of the motor arab states have been targets for the same kind of fanatic activity as well. >> that's correct. and when there is violence in the middle east, when there's terrorism, the more moderate states, whether their arab states or the united states our
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our allies in europe, the tend to be diminished. because those who argue for peace, those who support peace, are hurt when the rejection and radicals succeed. and that's of course what this is. this is success by the radical elements at the very highest levels. >> right, thank you very much. james baker, former secretary of state. former secretary of the treasury. and of course, white house chief of staff during the reagan administration. who has seen more than a share of things. he looked out the window of his office and looked out in disbelief at the small saw smoke billowing out from the pentagon, not releasing of course, that i had been the target of a direct hit by a hijacked airliner. and on board that airline, barbara alston, a well-known washington lawyer. this is the scene in new york tonight. this is a city that is still hurting very deeply. the new york city firefighters union says tonight, these are
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unconfirmed numbers -- but from the firefighters union. that it has lost and the city has lost 200 of its finest. 200 firemen killed today in the world trade center attack. the buildings came down, of course. many of those firemen were at the base of those buildings, involved in firefighting and rescue efforts at the time. that's the first number that we had from a reliable source. he comes from the firefighters union tonight. earlier, mayor giuliani would only say that he expected the death toll to be horrendous. and at one point, they had 1500 people being treated at liberty hospital, which is that the tip of manhattan. this will be going on throughout the evening in new york. let's go to nbc's robert hager now and see what's the very latest on the hijacking of these four planes today. two from boston, one from newark, and one from washington, the. luis robert? e from washing>> tom, there aree
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glimmers coming out of what have may have gone on in the cockpits of some of these planes. attorney general john ashraf in his news conference this evening mentioned nights when he was talking about the first of these planes to be hijacked. the american airline out of boston, logan. that was the first to go into world trade center number one. there were several cellphones calls from planes. you mentioned barbara listen, the wife of solicitor general, theodore olson. she called her husband twice before the plane that she was on, which was the one that left dulles and was bound for los angeles, before that plane pack crashed into the pentagon. and she mentioned to people in the back of the plane with knife-like devices. there was another person who called in a relative from a plane and said that the passengers and the pilots of that plane had been herded into the back. and that the terrorists were at the controls of the aircraft. we haven't heard guns mentioned yet, but presuming those were weapons to. but no one has confirmed that all at this point. other cell phone calls
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monitored from people -- there was one unconfirmed report of a flight attendant on that first flight, the boston flight, called and said that the crew had been killed and she had been locked in a restroom. and then they didn't hear anymore from. her tom? >> thanks very much. nbc's robert hager. robert, let me just catch up with you quickly. tomorrow, we do expect that air travel will resume at noon eastern time. but what should travelers expect in terms of security? >> oh, it will be very, very strong. and i'm not sure they'll actually do it at noon eastern time. we simply said there was not going to be, and this is the faa, said and each more travel until noon tomorrow. and then they would reassess at that point. so, we don't know for sure that they'll resume. >> all right, thanks very much. nbc's robert hager. this day, the 11th of september, the year 2001. some people have said the ninth month, the 11th day, 9-1-1, is a day that will be in bold print in future history books.
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the day that is a dark mark for this country. the day that everyone will remember where they were where they heard the news. after all, our largest city and most vital financial market, immobilize. the country terrorize. politically and psychologically. datelines's john phillips tonight, takes us through this astonishing day, minute by minute. [noise] astonishing da >> today, the unimaginable happened. at the start of a busy work day, new yorkers heard an explosion, they looked up to see a symbol of america's economic power, one of the world trade centers, twin towers, the looming smoke and flames. >> the glass just flames exploded out the front of the world trade center. glass flew everywhere. [noise] >> minutes later, literally from out of the blue, and even more horrifying sight.
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a jetliner bearing down on the other tower. it was a direct hit. >>. >> was out, the symbol of american military power the pentagon was also in flames. it to the target of a new weapon, a passion juror jet hijack and turned into a guided missile. across the country, shock, sorrow, fear outraged and the realization that america was under attack. about 8:45 this morning, the sky over manhattan was clear following a night of violent thunderstorms. in the city's financial district, the very heart of american commerce, thousands of workers were already at their desks. moments later, in the upper regions of the north tower, sudden impact. >> apparently a plane has crashed into the world trade center here in new york city. >> one second after the sound
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started, there was gray smoke, and i thought it was confetti flowing all over the place. >> fire and death, confusion below as some 10,000 people screened out of the building. >> that was a lady that had a bit gash in her head. >> witnesses reported a horrifying scene. desperate people jumping from the burning skyscrapers. bloody clothing and body parts scattered on the streets below. as emergency crews rushed to the southern tip of manhattan, the median thought, could it really be happening again? >> step back okay. >> in 1993, the same building was hit by a truck bomb, islamic militants hoping to topple the one tower into the other. six people died in that attack, and 1500 were injured. full within the first minutes today, it was clear that the toll this time would be much higher. then, at 9:03, less than 20 minutes after the first strike,
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with police and rescue personnel still scrambling to respond, this -- >> there were many people in the building. >> something else just hit, a very large plane. there's been another collision. can you see it? >> yes. >> one camera trained on the first stricken tower captured another huge explosion. this one on the south tower. only this time, the attack was documented. this indelible image to be replayed again and again. seared into the american memory. an american airlines seven 67 with 92 people on board hijacked on its flight from boston to los angeles, becoming the emblem of mass murder. the impact was devastating. the airliner punching through the skin of the huge tower, another reign of glass, concrete. and terror. >> a ball of fire. the whole street -- everyone was crying, running.
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>> it was clear that this was no accident. the first tower had also been hit by a hijacked passenger jet, a united flight that had also taken off from boston bound for l.a.. the attacks left new york virtually paralyzed, tunnels and bridges linking the city shut down, subways closed, telephone lines jammed. cellphones overloaded, as frantic collars tried to contact loved ones. at 9:30, president bush in florida to talk about education address the nation reeling and in need of reassurance. >> today we've had a national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center. in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. >> even as the president pledged to hunted down and punish those responsible, another attack, this one even more audacious. the target? the pentagon. another american airlines jet
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bound for los angeles had been hijacked, this one taking off from washington's dulles airport. it was another direct hit. nbc's pentagon correspondent suddenly found himself on the front line of a war that had come home. >> i don't want to alarm anybody right now, but apparently, it felt, just a few moments ago, like there was an explosion of some kind here at the pentagon. >> 9:43 am, with concerned that the white house could be a target, president bush boarded air force one bound for a special secure command post at a military base. at 9:49, the federal aviation administration announced it was shutting down the nation's air traffic, in a world turned upside down, hundreds of passenger planes crisscrossing the country were not potential terrorist weapons. >> the federal aviation administration ordered every airport closed and all planes which were in the air were directed to land at the nearest airport. >> this morning, on a scale
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beyond belief, americans experienced what it's like to feel truly vulnerable, to realize when someone is willing to die for a cause, we are all potential targets. the number one suspect? this man. some of bin laden, a radical islamic terrorists linked to pass attacks on american interests. they said today that three weeks ago, followers of bin laden warned of a huge an unprecedented attack on the u.s.. was this it? >> somebody provided the logistical support for this operation. that clearly -- one of the only people that has built up such a network in the world today is a psalm of bin laden. >> there was no word from bin laden, but the taliban moved the government of afghanistan issued a statement this morning condemning the attack. saying that bin laden did not have the capability to carry out such acts. and there were plenty of other suspects, ranging from radical
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palestinian groups, two broke governments. >> president bush has committed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to identify and bring to swift justice those responsible for these despicable attacks. >> while the nation's intelligence community ran down possible suspects and try to assess whether more attacks were imminent, rescue workers in new york and washington confronted a disaster of immense proportions. in new york, hospitals began filling up, urgent calls going out to every available surgeon and nurse, long lines of people outside waiting to donate blood. >> it's a war zone. it's unbelievable. >> and still, there was worse to come. at 9:59 am, the trade centers south tower, the building that took the second hit began to crumble.
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it was almost incomprehensible. in a matter of seconds, the skyscraper collapsed and was gone. >> suddenly, we hear the security say everyone get out, noun, run, run for your lives. >> nbc producer was there with a home video camera. >> a bunch of women just standing there shocked, by then, the whole building started to implode, goes like this, and you see a side of the building and that it goes and there's a ball heading towards you, kind of in slow motion. you can't figure out what to doom, people are starting to run, like crazy. >> then, at 10 am, news of another passenger plane in trouble. someone on united airlines flight 93 traveling from new york new jersey to san francisco called 9-1-1 and
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reported a hijack. then an explosion and silence the plane crashed here some 80 miles outside of pittsburgh. there were 45 people on board. so far, three passenger jets used kamikaze style and a fourth that might have been. 266 people on board kill. the death toll on the ground, still unclear. then, at 10:30, another sickening sight. the tower still standing following its twin collapsing, vanishing in a cloud of smoke. i love 1:00, the sense of alarm had spread across the country. troops standing guard as national landmarks were shut down. fighter jets actually patrolling the skies as the last airborne passenger planes rushed to safety. 11:14, officials tried to manage the disaster struggling
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to describe it all. >> first of all, chief, do we have any idea of how many people are in their? >> we have no idea. as you know, it's pretty much rush hour time. the numbers we don't know yet. we're trying to get everybody out there as we could, early on. >> 10,000 people in each tower, typically on a normal business day. we get about another 5000 visitors during the course of the entire day. by 30, 9:00, the building was full. >> new yorkers were struggling to. >> now they both collapsed, there is no more world trade center. >> at 11:42, another plane from boston declared an emergency, fearing a bomb on board it landed in cleveland, soon, all planes in canada as well as the u.s. were grounded. the borders with mexico and canada were sealed, and major league baseball announced the cancellation of all games scheduled for today. at 1:12, president bush at marks dales air force in louisiana again spoke to the
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nation. >> freedom was attacked this morning by faceless cowards. and freedom will be defended. i want to reassure the american people that the full resources of the government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. make no mistakes, the united states will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. >> moments after his speech, the president reported air force one for a dozen undisclosed location. meanwhile in new york, an army of workers and other unions made their way to the wreckage of lower manhattan seeking the injured and the dead. >> you guys going back? >> yes.
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>> it's our job. >> you're read about another attack? >> personally, i am. i have fellow officers that might be trapped. i'm not trying to be a hero. i think if you were in this position you would do the same thing. >> those civilians that could make their way by foot across the brooklyn bridge, as new york mayor rudy giuliani call for calm in a city that was more shell-shocked than terrified. >> and i would as the people of new york city to do everything that they can to cooperate, not to be frightened, to go about their lives as normal. >> the mayor's news conference gave the first hint of how high the casualty count could be. >> there are over thousand rescue workers, probably 2000 that are deployed trying to get into the buildings. trying to find people, trying to search for people. the governor and i spoke a couple of hours ago, the governor has deployed the national guard to relieve, because our people are going to need reinforcement pretty soon.
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>> just before 3 pm, president bush landed at air force base outside of omaha from an underground bunker, he convened a national briefing. as for clock approached, the presidents spokesperson karen huge briefed reporters back in washington. >> the secretary of defense remains at the pentagon, and the secretary of state isn't route back to washington. >> 5:21 pm, even as people around the country struggled with the enormity of today's events, a third building at the world trade center damaged by this morning's attacks collapsed. >> they advised us to leave -- >> oh my god, look behind us, be careful of your baby. this is it. oh my god. oh my god. no. >> fortunately, the building with more than 40 floors had been evacuated, but once again, the concrete canyons of lower manhattan were filled with the sound of sirens and the sight of people fleeing for their
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lives. >> that stone phillips, with the account of all that happened today, what you see behind me is the scene in lower manhattan tonight, live as the rescue efforts to continue, so that is the fire and the smoke. three buildings now have been collapsed as a result of this terrorist attack today. let's go to nbc's path dawson who has been on duty there all day long as we await the president of the united states. pat, bring us up to date on recovery efforts. >> the recovery efforts at this point, tom, pretty much the bottom line is this is a chaotic situation here. new york city fire department lieutenant was just giving some information a few minutes ago, and said that there are still fires burning down there, still some underground fires, he told us that there was a significant fire in that building that stone was describing, number seven world trade center that collapsed late in the afternoon, as he said, there are still fires burning there, they are trying at this point to get to
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those fires and to extinguish them as well as the task, obviously, of looking for anyone who might possibly have survived. although, at this point, that is a very difficult thing to do in the darkness and the smoke, and rubble that this fire lieutenant said runs several stories high in there. just making a point, we're coming on to a point that you mentioned before, as the new york city firefighters union said, half of the firefighters originally responding to the events earlier this morning were killed, that would fit with information that we had gotten from one of the chief who was in charge of that operation saying that he knew, he had lost at least 50 to 60 men, and probably far fewer than he was not able to evacuate. tom? >> thank you pat dawson, bringing us up to date on the rescue efforts that continue underway as we look at the scenes that have been described all day long by so many people who were there. either as a war zone, or reminiscent of a nuclear
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winter. the president of the united states will address the nation presumably from the oval office tonight after certainly the most hectic day of his presidency, one of the most difficult days of any modern president, he began in florida earlier, when to address the nation from, there at barksdale air force base, then at the headquarters in nebraska, the very secure bunker with all the most sophisticated communication equipment in the world, at his disposal for a meeting. many felt strongly that he wanted to come back to the nation's capital to washington d.c., it was symbolically and politically important for him to address the nation from there tonight. that symbol of freedom and paid work, the oval office, of the president of the united states and the west wing of the white house will be sharing with you after we hear from the president, also the appearance tonight on the steps of the capital of the house and senate members who are still in town. republican and democratic alike,
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the leaders, there they are and after their statement by their leaders, they broke into the spontaneous rendition of god bless america. bless america. >> nbc's timorous are, standing by with me, tim, this is going to be a great test not just for the president but for this entire staff, and for the political leadership on both sides on capitol hill. let's go now, tim, will get to that later, here now is the president of the united states in the oval office. we expect to hear from him momentarily. >> good evening. today our fellow citizens, our way of life are very freedom came under attack, in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. the victims were in airplanes, or in their offices,
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secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. the pictures of airplanes flying in the buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing. they have filled with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. these acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. but they have failed, our country is strong. a great people has been moved to defend a great nation. terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of america. these act shattered steel, but they cannot dampen the shush steal of american resolve.
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america was targeted for attack because we're the brightest begin for freedom, an opportunity in the world. and nobody will keep that light from shining. today our nation saw evil. the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of america. with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring of strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way that they could. immediately following the first attack, i implemented our governments emergency response plan. our military is powerful and it is prepared, our emergency teams are working in new york city and washington d.c. to help with local rescue efforts. our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. the functions of our government
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continues without interruption, federal agencies in washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. our financial institutions remain strong, and the american economy will be open for businesses well. the search is underway for those who are behind those evil acts. i've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. i appreciate so very much the members of congress who have joined me and strongly condemning these attacks. and on behalf of the american people, i thank the many world leaders who have called off with their condolences and assistance. america and our friends and allies joined with all those who want peace and security in
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the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. tonight, i ask for your prayers for all those who grieve. for the children whose worlds have been shattered. for all who sense of safety and security has been threatened. and i pray there will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken to the ages in some 23, even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i fear no evil, for you are with me. this is the day when all americans from every walk of life reunite in our resolve for justice and peace. america has stood down enemies before, and we will do show this time. none of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom, and all that is good and just in our world. thank you. good night.
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and god bless america. >> president george w. bush and his second address in the nation, certainly the most grave speech he has made in his very young presidency as he talked tonight about the terrorists attempting to shatter, steel buildings but not being successful at shattering the steal of resolve in this country. a bright light of freedom will continue to shine. he was a sorrowful and sober president, but also one filled with resolve as he said, we will find the people who are responsible for this, and bring them to justice. this has been a long and difficult day for the president and it is just the beginning. there are many complex decisions that remain ahead of him now. nbc's tim joins us now from washington bureau where he is our pure washington chief, tim, the president tomorrow will obviously be sending out a lot of directives to his military,
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to his long enforcements. and to the people who are responsible for the nation's security at airports and other places. >> it's a battle between good and evil, using the word evil several time. law enforcement officials hope that with the recorders, airport record and perhaps some celebrations, or proclamations by those who did this, they could quickly determine just who must be retaliated against. the president also said something very important, tom, whoever harbors these terrorists, will be dealt with in the same way as those who committed the terrorism. that is a very important message to people all across the world. tom, there's a steely resolve in washington, a passionate determination to bring these people to justice, but there's also a realization that our way of life will change forever.
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>> nbc's tim russert, tim, we're gonna ask, you to stand by tonight. we're gonna go to another reporter who has been one of our most skilled negotiators and veteran diplomats. he was obviously deeply involved in the peace accords, he made it happen in trying to bring some kind of piece to the balkans. around the world, there seems to be this dividing line between islamic fundamentalists and the united states, not just in the middle east but of course in the central part of europe. the southeast parts of asia as well. >> first of all, i think it's very important to make clear that when you say islamic fundamentalists, you're not talking about all people who follow islamic as a religion. i know you and i share that, tom. i agree with what tim russert just said. the most important sentence in the presidents fine speech, which we've listened to and which i think the world should understand the president has spoken for the entire nation,
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regardless of party. the most important sentence in the presidents speech was the phrase, we make no distinction between those who committed the acts, and those who harbor the people committed it. it is absolutely critical now that the united states rally in coalition, so that we don't go at it alone and seeking out these people. if, as you have been reporting, it comes from osama bin laden, and if the taliban have left him in their country, they must suffer the consequences. we're gonna need the support of our european allies, the russians, the chinese, and of the arab, moderate states like egypt, jordan, who almost jordan us in the effort to eradicate this scorch that is upon us. as tim russert said, it's going to be difficult. it's something however that we need to ask other people to isolate the country that did. it >> no one knows better than you that that is a daunting
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diplomatic assignment. the last time that happened successfully, we had a highly conspicuous presence in saddam hussein who had moved to kuwait, and president george walker bush, this president's father, and his skill team managed to put together an extraordinary alliance, will it be more difficult this time? >> it will be more difficult, tom. for a reason that is quite clear, we know with the act of war was, and it is an act of war, but not only do we not know exactly who did it, although we have our suspicions, but finding them will be much more difficult and driving and over highly visible set out of kuwait. it took george bush senior seven long months from august 1st 1990 until the beginning of 1991 before he watched the military attack. the american public and the world will want some kind of action earlier than that, but will have to know who it must be directed against. still, the presidents critical statement just now, that we
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will make no distinction between those who did it and those who are harboring the man who did it, is i think a big first step towards changing the rules of the game so that people like this can no longer hide behind the kind of horrible behavior that the taliban have shown in this situation. >> richard, our former ambassador, leading state department off the authority and a principal architect, thank you very much for being with us tonight. >> tom. >> general knows a good deal about putting together an airline, striking back hard he, was the commander and the allied forces there. this is a far different situation that we face now. general? >> no questions about it. no question about it, but i just like everyone else was delighted to hear the statement about going after the people who harbor those terrorist to. that applies not only to the people abroad, but the people in our own country. >> general, we have the
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mightiest military in the world, but we are facing an entirely different kind of enemy now, it's very plain today, and the pain grief that this country is feeling. are we going to have to realign our military forces? >> i don't think we need to realign them, tom. we have the capability to strike, the question we're gonna have difficulty with his finding them. number one, identifying them, number two, finding them in being able to attack them where we find them. >> have you been surprised that despite all the warnings about the vulnerability of this country to terrorism that both among ordinary people and even in the highest echelons of congress, people have refused in some sense to take it all very seriously. >> we've always had those two great oceans on either side of us to protect us, they've always been a sanctuary for us, and with the world getting smaller, and smaller due to international transportation and that sort of think, those
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are no longer walls of protection. we need to come to the realize a shan that terrorism has been alive and well throughout the rest of the world for a very long time. you can point to it at many different places, it's come to our shores big time now, we need to understand. >> i know that you still have many contacts in the air world among the moderate arab states. do you think that they will be willing to stand beside the united states now in a conspicuous fashion against this kind of terrorism? >> that's going to be very tough for them to do, very tough. of course, in doing so, the terrorist have always justified their actions against the united states, because of what the united states support israel, and quite frankly, for them to stand up now and support the united states will hundred percent, it's gonna put them in a very difficult position, vis-à-vis israel, because most of those states are anti israel. >> all right, thank you very much general, ambassador richard did make a very appropriate point because the
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reaction in this country will be in many quarters to lash out at all people of as law mick faith, all practicing muslims, there are about 7 million in this country altogether, many of them in the detroit area, but also throughout the eastern seaboard as well. that would be a grievous error on the part of the united states. many of these as law mick countries have been the targets of the same kind of terrorism, egypt particularly and saudi arabia have not been happy with some of the attacks that have been made in that country as well. these are people operate like gorillas and have their own kind of demented view of what the islamic faith is all about and the attempt to gain their revenge of what they were described as satanic enemies like the united states and these kinds of cowardly acts of terrorism. the islamic faith is the fastest growing faith in the world, and it is one that
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cannot be ignored by this country in so many different dimensions. let's go to nbc jim now who is at the pentagon. jim, we know that american military forces are on >> worldwide allergic tonight. anything else for us tonight? well, officials here at the pentagon also at the highest state of alert. delta, which is essentially virtually at a war footing, where american military are supposed to be geared up, weapons locked and loaded, ready for absolutely everything. that it's been a full 11 hours since that american airlines 7:57 slammed into the pentagon. firefighters are having a very difficult time with the stubborn blaze. as you can see behind me now, we're just a couple of flickers on their roof or actually now a full blown inferno, apparently. flames bursting through the roof. even more so just in the last few minutes as we've been standing here watching.
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and much further away now than the original fires that we have watched several hours ago. so, it appears that the fires here at the pentagon are not only stubborn, but spreading. at the same time, television crews were permitted in the area just a short time ago. they recorded a very grisly scene, tom. well the first saw were some of the data that had been removed from the rubble, covered in sheets. there's a temporary morgue actually set up in the center courtyard of the pentagon here. the exact casualty toll still not known. but scores are believed to be dead and still buried underneath the rubble. there was also some shots of the damage to the exterior around the building itself. as you can see from the pictures, it's eerily reminiscent of the bombing of
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the federal building in oklahoma city. the wide gash in the building and the slanted floors that had just collapsed under the pressure. it appears that these rescue workers are a long way from not only containing the blaze, but recovering the victims. tom? >> i find that stunning. jim miklaszewski, they've had all day to work on that police and it tells you about the very grievous nature of this attack on that building. that they still have flames at this hour, burning through the military headquarters of the united states. >> actually, tom, some considered the location where this plane went in rather fortunate, because exactly where the plane went in was an area that had recently been re-developed. and redesigned with very heavy blast walls and fire walls in
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that new area. there are of course, can't withstand the kind of impact of a 757. as you look at the building, the fire did not spread very much to the right. the new portion of the building. the old portion, where the pie fire continues to spread, much of that had already been vacated. those offices vacated in preparations of the remodeling effort that was to be undertaken in that section of the building. even though the death toll here is likely to still rise significantly, the number of dead is probably considerably less than it would have been if this part of the pentagon had been up to full staff. tom? >> jim, a lot of people are going to be looking at all of that destruction and wondering whether our military capability is in anyway compromised to the by the damage to the building here? >> well, fortunately, this is exactly the opposite side of all the critical command centers in the pentagon.
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the secretary of defense's office, the chairman of the joint chiefs office, the national military command, the tank -- you've been there tom. where some of the most critical military decisions are made. fortunately, they were all on the other side of the building. and secretary rumsfeld never left the building today. after serving some of the damage, actually helping some of the injured out on stretchers. he returned, not to his office, but the national military command center, to coordinate any kind of military assessments and operations that may be underway. tom, one indication that some plans are already being considered, two aircraft carriers were recently in the persian gulf -- the enterprise, the carl vincent. the carl vincent had left the persian gulf, was scheduled to leave the area and head home. and the navy has told the pentagon, the pentagon has told the enterprise, stay right where you are. the enterprise, stay right>> jir force one had a fighter played escort when it returned today from omaha to washington like.
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you think that might be routine for the foreseeable future? >> i would guess that probably will be routine. we saw the extraordinary scene over here earlier today, of american fighter draft jets, f16s flying low level cover over the capitol and the pentagon. and i think there will be extraordinary security measures. not only implemented around this building. and they have been stiffened just recently, tom. all the outside windows had been equipped with kevlar coating to guard against blasts. this portion of the building that had been remodelled, heavy blast walls put in. so, they were in the process of trying to make this building terror proof. it was proven today, that that may never be possible. >> all right, thank you very much. nbc's jim miklaszewski who is at the pentagon tonight. now let's go to nbc's andrea mitchell who covers the diplomatic front and national security matters for us, as well. cool impel, is he back in the
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nation's capital tonight, andrea? >> yes, he is back. he had cut short his trip to south america. flew directly from lima, peru, back to washington, and is now at the state department. he went to meetings with his top team. they were waiting there on the seventh floor of the state department for him. so, he came back without going to bogota, columbia. but intelligence officials and others are all mobilizing to try to find the culprits. this officials have briefed some members of congress. what we're learning now from senator orrin hatch, who's a key member of the judiciary committee, is that they did have intelligence intercepts. so, after the attack, they did pick up some intercepts. and you know the sophistication of the national security agency and their ability to intercept communications worldwide. and the zero and target bin laden's operation routinely. they picked up intercepts with some members of his organization apparently referring to these targets haven't been hit. they've been successful in the past, building cases against bin laden, by picking up this kind of information.
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these kinds of communications. they also believe that at least one person on one of the four deemed flights may have been a member of his organization. so, as disastrous as this is, they will have leads from people checking into airports, checking on those flights. they know some of the students, the allies, the freak identifications that are used by some of these people. they've probably got a pretty good head start tonight. george ten and his officials are all gathered at the sea i.e. in secure areas, and are having meetings as we speak. having m>> andrea mitchell, areu picking up anything about sending emissaries around the world in an effort to build what has been described as an extraordinary coalition of people to try to build an alliance against the idea of terrorism? because it's not just western democracies that are being threatened by all of this. but as you well know, many of the modern arab states have been targets as well. >> and as dick colbert and general schwarzkopf were
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talking to you earlier, very clear that we are at a very weak moment diplomatically, in the arab world and gulf regions. our best allies, including saudi arabia, top leaders have been blunt in telling president bush and communicating privately with his father, who is of course very popular in that area. and talking to other u.s. officials about how displeased they are about the situation with the u.s., israel and the palestinians. so, there is very little support. bin laden is a hero and is in many ways an idol to many people on the street and palestinian areas. so, while we have to be very careful to make those distinctions with islamic fundamentalists who have nothing at all to do with osama bin laden. to radicals in the region, he is a hero. and he will of course we need more of that hero if and when the u.s. retaliates. and as both of your other guests were saying earlier, there is no question in anyone's mind the u.s. is going to retaliate. not only gets bin laden, and they don't know exactly where he is, most assuredly against
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the taliban, if they can nail down the evidence that he was responsible. because there's no question, the taliban have been warned, u.s. is going to retaliate against afghanistan itself. >> nbc's andrea mitchell. thank you very much. let's go to nbc's robert hager now who covers the aviation beat. of course today we did have the unexpected gun and shocking development. these high terrorists hijacked four airline simultaneously. to american airlines, two united airlines. jetliners bound for california from boston, newark and washington, dulles. two of them going into the world trade center. one going into the pentagon. and another crash landing and killing everyone on board outside of pittsburgh. this was a well-planned, very cold blooded, extremely well executed terrorist attack. robert, and we have been talking tonight about whether he will have a resumption of air flight in this country
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anytime tomorrow. this is one more of the exceptional developments. nor planes were flying after about noon today. >> they were talking about resuming flights at noon, tomorrow. they say they'll recess it at that point. meantime, there's also some new information now that may be the weapon of choice here seems to have been knives. we know now that there were knives involved on at least three of the four aircraft that were hijacked and run down. and there's been no mention yet of anything about guns being used. but first, let's look at the facts of these actions today. facts of the>> the string of evt results in these four horrific crashes begin at boston's logan airport, 7:45 am. american flight 11, seven 67, with 92 on board. a flight interludes angeles. over new york city, diverted, forced to fly staff directly into the north tower of the world trade center. a long day of carnage is
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underway. back in boston, united flight one 75, another 767 with 65 abort, is already in the air, also bound for los angeles. 15 minutes behind the first one, when it too is hijacked. this the actual plane as it hits the south tower of the world trade center. 8:10 am. american flight 77, a 757 little 64 aboard, has taken off from washington's dulles airport. also bound for los angeles. it to taken over and loops back into the pentagon. eight slices in at an angle, leaving a deadly and ugly gash in the nation's military nerve center. and finally, 8 am out of newark airport. united's flight 93, a seven 757 with 45 aboard. bound newark to san francisco. hijacked as well. that crushes short of whatever its intended target is. comes down in rural western pennsylvania. eyewitnesses there -- >> i heard a loud noise, and
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happened to look up, and there's a plane. i just kept watching go straight into the ground. >> you see where the plane made the initial impact and the ground. it was still on fire. it made a crater probably 30 feet by 30 feet. and it's probably 15 or 20 feet deep. and there's just debris scattered with him probably half a mile radius. >> there are only two ways terrorist can sneak themselves or the weapons aboard planes. either through passenger screening, or by going on screened through locked doors into off limits areas or on to the tarmac. periodic faa test have found plenty of flaws. some when government agents try to sneak into secure areas, they were successful more than two thirds of the time. found test was also often able to sneak fake guns and explosives by ex re-screening. once aboard, many speculate the hijackers must-have disabled crews and taken over the plains
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controls. more likely that van forcing a pilot with a gun in his hand to flight right into the world trade center, for instance. former american airlines pilots jim. >> it is inconceivable to me that any airline pilot would allow any one to force him to fly into uninhabited building. i cannot imagine how any pilot could be conscious are capable of doing anything to control that airplane at the time that it was directed at one of these buildings. >> terrorism specialists, leah livingston -- >> i suspect what we're going to find is that the pilots were overwhelmed. perhaps not already. and that train to pilots from the hijacker camp were in charge of those aircraft and were willing to die for their beliefs. >> if there was time, if there was, the crews may have been able to press a button in the cockpit and sent out according warning to controllers that there was a hijack in progress. controllers may then have radioed back inquiries. but if it controls were
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disabled, they would've been left in the dark without information. whatever else, controllers must have been surprise. in disbelief. there hadn't been a commercial plane hijacked in the u.s. for ten years. since 1991. and now this. tonight, we're getting reports of self-phone calls from at least three of those four flights. one from a flight attendant and two from passengers that were on board the flights. and they all talk about knives, and again, no mention of guns. in the first case, it was that flight that came out of boston. that was the american airlines flight and it was a flight attendant apparently got a second salon call off. as for adversely is to american airlines operations, or maybe somewhere else. but she reported that her fellow attendance had been stabbed in the back of the plane and that the cabin had been taken over. and up front, that the crew of the plane had been taken over and that the plane was going down in new york. was the quote that we. herd then on the second flight that came out of boston, that was the second flight of the day 17 minutes behind that
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first flight. and also went into one of the twin towers. there was a businessman who got off to sell phone calls to his father. in the first call, he told his father that a flight attendant had been stopped and the plane had been hijacked. then the phone went dead. then he got another call off to his father and said that the plane was going down. so that again is the plane that went into the second twin towers of the world trade center. on the third flight of the day to be hijacked, the one that left from dulles airport, was supposed to go to san francisco, instead was taken over, looked around, brought back to the pentagon. it was barbara alston a, cnn commentator and washington lawyer and wife of solicitor general, theodore olson, called her husband twice from the plane before it went down. i'm sorry, i think she called once. she talked about a knife like instruments being used by the hijackers in the back of the plane. and said that passengers had been forced to that back of the plane.
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anyhow, all this talk about knives might suggest something managed to get through x-rays. maybe it was thought by the terrorists that it would be easier to get knives to the x-ray machines are not be caught at it. at any rate, we may hear differently later. but so far, there's been no mention of. guns? tom >> thank you very much. nbc's robert here tonight with a complete wrap up of the aviation component of all of this. no one could've anticipated that hijacked planes would be used in effect, as a guided missiles. although tom clancy in one of his very popular books did have a hijacked plane crash into the u.s. capital. there have been other attempts in the past by other terrorists. we remember that there was an attempt to take some planes out of the philippines amble been up over the pacific after the capture of the terrorists who was responsible for the original bombing of the world trade center. there have been other planes, and air india flight was blown up in the meat here.
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and to say nothing of pan am which was blown over -- why they believe they were from libya and they have gone on trial. that killed a great many of americans on that flight as well. so, it's not the first time that this is happened. but it's never been used quite in this fashion before. and if you have been impatient with airline and airplane security in the pass, wait until there's a resumption of flights. there is going to be a great change in this country. if you fly in the middle east are through many parts of europe, you're often several times question before you can get on the flight. as well as all of the electronic security that you have to go through. you have to get to the airport well in advance of the schedule departure time of the plane. and those will be some of the new procedures that are bound to be put into effect in this country. l al in fact has undercover people on board, armed, trained sharpshooters who fly on all of
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their international flights. it could come to that in america. a former state department officials say we may even have to have some form of air cover in america. as hard as that is to believe. but as you look at the scenes, you know the consequences of not having very tight security at our airports. let's go to pat dawson now who has been keeping track for us of the rescue efforts downtown and of the fires as they continue to burn in lower manhattan. pat? ntinue to burn in lowe >> tom, we are getting to the point as i guess others what is described as a unofficial shift change. we've seen for the past half hours, our number of new york city firefighters leaving here, leaving the scene, along with their vehicles. in many cases, those vehicles in total disarray. seriously damaged. we were able to grab one of them to speak to. this is firefighter anthony. and i get it right? from engine number 204. can you tell us for civil, when
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you got here? >> approximately 12:00. i'd like i said, there's no words to describe what happened. numerous company companies are still in there. >> have you heard the reports -- we've heard the reports from the new york city firefighters union that perhaps as many as half of the original firefighters who responded, as many as ten or 11 companies, perhaps 200 men have been lost? >> i mean, we operate inside the building. so, it's a possibility. nobody wants -- i'm hoping everybody pulls through. hopefully god is with us. >> is that word making its way through amongst the rescue workers through the afternoon? >> no. nobody is going to say anything until they have a definite answer. like i said, everybody hopes that everyone pulls through. nobody wants to come up with a number yet. we're still hopeful. >> tell me what is going on in there over the last two or
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three hours? are you still fighting fires in? there >> yes. there's numerous high rises there are still on fire, that we're trying to battle. and we can't get close to it because of the pileup as much as 100 feet. so, it's just a tremendous effort with all the agencies in the city. >> how many firefighters would you say, and other rescue workers are in there working on these fires? >> like i said, it's hard to see. it's probably three quarters of the city here. they were pulling people off vacation, whoever wasn't working. so -- >> the fires still burning in there, have you heard of any buildings that may still be in danger? >> no. not at this time. the last one i believe was seven world trade over here. nothing at this time though. >> you said the rubble, to give us some idea of the rubble. how big it is? how much there is? >> blocks. blocks.
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a 40 story building and both world trade center's. and all the little buildings that were surrounding. it's just blocks of rubble. there's no way to describe it unless you actually are at up there looking at it. they're sending everybody back to get rest. because like i said, the city is hurting for members. and they're going to need every one for the rest of the city, a case of thing happens anywhere else. so, the returning companies to get rest. what about the firehouse. but we have to stay at the firehouse in case anything happens. >> firefighter anthony, thank you very much. we know it's been a very difficult day. angina 204. who is a set, has been here since about noon this afternoon. he released the information that it's not terribly optimistic, and the fact that they are still fighting fires in there and they are having a very, very difficult time getting to them because of the enormous amount of debris as, he described.
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to skyscrapers and to 110 story coming down, the debris obviously extraordinarily difficult to work your way through. tom? >> all right thank you very much. pat still on the scene. we want to share with you just some of the president's speech that he made in the nation tonight at 8:31 from the oval office, after a date which he flew from florida, louisiana, then on to the strategic air command headquarters in omaha. we're in a secure bunker he conducted a national security meeting. then flew back to washington because he felt was important to address this nation on this night from the oval office. the symbol of power and presidential authority. here's some of what the president had to say. 's some of what th president ha>> this is a day whl americans from all walks of life we unite in our resolve for justice and peace. america has to do many enemies before, and we will do so this time. none of us will ever forget this state. yet we go forward to defend
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freedom and all that is good and just in our world. >> and the president also said that we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. i've asked former un ambassador richard holbrooke to join us once again. he was a principal architect of the peace accords in dayton. and i think richard, for a lot of americans, there must be a great deal of confusion tonight about the islamic radicals around the world and it's not like fundamentalists and other people who have the fastest-growing faith in the world, after all. and do you feel, if not strongly aligned that this act of terrorism that is intolerable and unacceptable. >> that's right, tom. and as you said earlier in this program, as the overwhelming majority of people of islamic faith, and crew loading the 7
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million islamic americans, do not share this philosophies philosophy or advocate these acts. and it's vitally important to recognize that to be a member of that faith is not to be associated with this horrible deed. to your point, there has been a growing fundamentalism in the world for many years, which you have covered. now we face its consequences at home a level that is without precedent in american history. i have no doubt that the united states government will, when it decides how to respond, respond. and i think it is very important, as you just pointed out, that president bush tonight said that they would make no distinction between the people who committed the act, and those who harbor it. and i think for your viewers, it is important to underscore that if in fact, it's to some of belated, as use reported, it seems likely, then the taliban and other governments in
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afghanistan and the region who have harbored these people are going to face the same consequences. i think the rules of the game are going to shift because of this. one last point on this, tom, and that is the international side of it. we cannot do this alone. we need the support of our allies. we need the support of russia, which is often played both sides. of china, which has stayed much too much to the sidelines. and finally, we need to work with moderate our of states, who must be other as upset as we are, in some ways, at what happened. but don't like to show any break in the solidarity at times with a fundamentalist. and this is going to be very tricky, particularly for countries like jordan and egypt. >> and richard, the president has a fairly full agenda this fall. he is after all scheduled to go to china. we do expect that will keep that agenda in place? >> i have no doubt he'll continue his trip to china. that is a summit of all pacific
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nations. presidential leadership requires rallying other countries. he's got a very important first appearance at the united nations coming up in 15 days. i assume he will go ahead without, although having spoken to secretary general coffee on a few hours ago, we can tell you that he is already concerned about both the security and political aspects of the big meetings coming up in new york. but i assume he'll go ahead to china and it's a good place to continue to rally international opinion, in order to take concerted action so that this kind of think this is not permitted to succeed. >> all right, richard holbrooke, our former ambassador to the united nations. former at bested or to germany. during that jimmy carter administration, as well, as i said earlier principal architect of the dayton peace accord. let's go now to general norman schwarzkopf who is going to
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join me now in a video tour that is going to be painful for him and for all americans. we're going to look at the military headquarters of the united states that was attacked today. general, we're going to take you inside by a video camera to show you the extent of the damage that was done there. fires continue to burn in the pentagon, tonight. these are the outer rings of the pentagon, across that very large and substantial building. where the secretary of defense donald rumsfeld had his office. when you look at that, general schwarzkopf, as a career military man to man, we'll go through your mind? >> tom, i spent three tours in the pentagon and i know exactly where that spot is. the interesting part about that, it's right across from an arlington national cemetery cemetery, where a lot of great
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americans serve their country and are laid to rest. hearing about the rings and the fact that it went in -- there five rings there and the fact that it on the outside -- first of all, it's amazing that the pilot could have come in at the level he did without hitting something ahead of time. he was obviously a very experienced pilot. but then the fact that the fires continue to go in through five different layers. you have five layers of offices that have just been taken on both sides and down the middle. just blows your mind. >> general, the military around the world is on highest possible alert. how long can we can stay sustain that kind of alert? >> well, we can ask sustain it for a good deal of time. they're used to being on the high state of alert. it just means that they take a lot more security precautions. a lot of the aircraft, for instance, are loaded up with weapons, so they can be responding and mediately. but it's not something that wears you out right away. you can stay at that state of alert for quite some time. >> the president tonight
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promised that we would seek out an attack not just the terrorists, but any nations that harbors them as well. that is, and i'm not belittling what he had to say here, but that is easier said than done. there has still been not brought to justice, the terrorists who are responsible for the attack on the uss cole. there was a pretty big fingerprint on that one. >> you're absolutely right. as i said earlier, finding them is part of the problem. you can identify the organization clearly, but it's an awful big world out there and an awful lot of places to hide. and you've got to know exactly where they are before you going to be able to hit them. so, it's a really, really tough intelligence problem. those terrorist operations cannot survive without a support base. there is no doubt in my mind there someplace within our country, that people who supported those terrorists by the time they got in the airplane. and those are the people to that you have to find. that you h>> was there anythingu were commander of southern
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command and policed in florida that made you anxious about the possibility of a terrorist attack. even though you're responsible from military forces in other parts of the world? >> i think i was more concerned for the military forces in other parts of the world. at that time, again, we all had the mentality that nobody was going to come over here and hit whatever major headquarters in this country. there were a lot of targets -- kobach towers is a typical example of the type of target that was over there that could've been hit by terrorists, was hit by terrorists. and you really concerned yourself more with those forces over their eye. never worried about my own headquarters. it was just something that wasn't going to happen. >> general, we have train generations of military leaders, but after the changing times we now have military leaders who are coming out of our academies who are so familiar with modern warfare that is conducted by computer technology and laser guided missiles and that kind
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of things. who are going to have to develop new courses in disciplines at this academies for this kind of terrorism. >> tom, we've got outstanding military units out there that are fully prepared to take on the terrorists on the ground, in any kind of fighting they want to fight the battle. yes, there's an awful lot of technology involved in the business of what we're fighting. but there's also a lot of warrior spirit and what we're fighting to. we've got special operations forces, ranger forces in all of our services, that are very, very capable of taking on the terrorists. by their rules or hours. so, once we find them, will be ready to deal with them. there's absolutely no question in my mind about. that >> if you are back in the pentagon and someone said we're going after a military component in to commercial airline security in this country, either in the skies are on the ground, would you be for or against that? >> it's rubs me the wrong way.
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a lot of people said that about the drug war. we ought to have a soldier with a van standing on every street corner of america and, i'm very unconcealed uncomfortable with that from a constitutional standpoint. on the other hand, we do have some people, highly trained people, that can perform that role very well if indeed we decide to put somebody like that in each of our hair aircraft. >> all right, thank you very much -- >> tom, can i give you one more observation with i think is very pertinent? >> absolutely. >> in the gulf war, some of the people today are criticize what we did in iraq. we went to extraordinary ends in the gulf war, even endangering our own forces more so, to avoid attacking innocent civilians. and yet, what these men have done is deliberately attack innocent civilians, and that's the difference between them and us. >> we'll put, general scorched off. as usual, and of course a lot of people have been talking today about the comparison
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between pearl harbor and this attack. it is the most serious attack since pearl harbor. that was a military attack on a military installation. we knew exactly who was responsible for it at that time. so, this is a whole different order of magnitude, and i'm afraid that this is going to be a very dark day in america for a long, long time. and the consequences are yet to be resolved for all of us. we want to share with you know just what kind of a surreal day this was over manhattan. there is the plane that comes in for the second attack on the south tower. it appears to have gone all the way through. we don't know whether it was just the fireball that did that. it was fully loaded with feel for a transcontinental flight. and that plane which also had its origins in boston, flew right into the south tower of the world trade center, about 20 minutes after the first plane flew into the tower that
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you see just before you. and then of course, what was unexpected to many of us in, terms of how swiftly happened. they came down. [noise] [noise] >> there are some haunting and poignant stories of people on cellphones calling to friends our loved ones at the world trade center, when all of that was going on. one woman, a nurse that robert top two at the hospital, was online with her husband who was in the first building on the top floor when it was hit. and they had an exchange and then the line went dead. there were other indications of people saying i love you and the line going dead.
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and perhaps for me at least, the most unsettling thought of the day, was one man who described going down through the darkened and very wet stairwell because the sprinklers had gone off. and seeing people who are trapped in their wheelchairs, the large mobilize wheelchairs, that couldn't fit into the stairwell. and certainly the avalanches were not working. he got out and shortly after that, that building came down. it was that kind of a day and they're going to be so many more of the stories and untold number at this hour. hundreds, perhaps thousands. datelines jane poly takes us through some of the horror of this day and what happened at the world trade center. [noise] >> the mighty world trade center tumbling down.
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[noise] >> oh no! oh my god! >> every day new yorkers had to run for their lives. how fragile the city seen today. we deployed a team of dateline staffers to bring us images of a city under siege. on hand held digital cameras. >> what i saw today on the streets of manhattan really where the extremes of new york. it's the best of the worst of people. >> i got 20 blocks away when the smell and the taste really hit me, way in the distance. the huge cloud on the horizon. but i could taste and smell something that was like the worst of electrical fire. >> they brought us a startling glimpse of what it was like to be at ground zero of a major terrorist attack. >> what's it like down there? >> i tried my best to save everybody.
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>> first, get away. then you get home. businesses were closed and buildings evacuated. thousands upon thousands were left to negotiate a maze of closed streets, and suspended services. [inaudible] >> there's a real sense of panic on the streets. hundreds of thousands of pedestrians. and it was easy to see why. look to the rise in on the south, you see a narrow an enormous degree, black cloud from the explosion. >> as they move toward safety uptown, people try to keep up a flurry of events anywhere they could. even though wounded walked. this woman was on the 19th floor of the world trade center when the first explosion happened. her but lucky to get out before
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the building collapsed. we found her 30 blocks north, heading to bellevue medical center. >> a huge cloud of gray -- sorry. everyone started running and stampeding. and everyone was falling on the ground. i don't know what knocked me off a, person or a force of the crash. but i fell down, i covered my head. i played the building didn't fall on me. and i really thought i wouldn't die. >> doctors and medical students lined up like extras on the set of a disaster movie. almost immediately after the attack, along with all three major airports, the city subways, bridges, tunnels and major highways, were all closed. the fdr drive, normally a winding swirl of congested traffic, empty. thousands of commuters from new york's outer bowers were left stranded in manhattan.
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by mid afternoon, a police officer on the scene estimated more than 20,000 people had crossed 59th street bridge. meanwhile, grand central station was jammed. but their trains were running. until noon. >> i remember standing at grand central and watching a man and woman just scream and embrace each other. and feel relief. i felt the relief to see each other again. all of a sudden they announced that they were evacuating the building. and people were ordered to get out immediately. and workers in their orange vests were running for the exits and we didn't know what was going on. we just ran with them. >> confuse passengers poured out of the building after a bomb threat. >> it hit me, this building
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really could blow up. and i was scared. i was afraid that the building literally could blow up underneath my feet. liteall around the city, it wasa mass migration of hundreds of thousands of people. but uncannily quite. perhaps it was the unspeakable horrors many had seen. >> it was orderly, but it was chaotic. people were shocked. everyone was days. they don't really want to look at each other in the eye. the question everybody slips, what is going on? is there more that is going to come? >> this was supposed to be election day in new york. as if anyone took no, it was officially closed. everything was. what was open was tightly locked down. >> it's nbc news. >> i don't care who it is. >> security and all buildings that might be targets was extremely tight. our own building, a famous tourist destination of rockefeller plaza, was evacuated.
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but for nbc's news operations to bring you this story. and all over manhattan, there was this strange sort of gridlock. >> the uptown avenues in manhattan have been turned into virtual parking lots. as everyone tries to flee northward. meanwhile, the downtown avenues have all been sealed off but for emergency vehicles. >> cellphones service came and went. anxious people called their loved ones the old-fashioned way. sometimes that didn't work either. >> people were forced to use payphones, which is kind of a joke in manhattan, because it's hard to find a peaceful networks. >> the only thing that was easy today was getting lost in the scramble. >> she does it have a cell phone. they don't work anyway. she is not mobile, because she's got emphysema and she can't walk very fast. >> david douglas is 64 year old mother lives in an apartment building just four blocks from the world trade center. soon after the attack, she had
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chest pains. so, he flagged a passing car and the driver headed for the nurse hospital. >> i said look, lady, please my, mom can't walk. please, just take her north as much as you can. >> he tried to follow on his rollerblades. a lost track of the car. and spent the rest of the day searching hospitals. >> i just want to know is there any system of finding people? >> well, they're doing their best we are doing the best we can. it is pretty chaotic. >> he searched family reunion centers. >> lucille -- ? >> how do you spell? >> and even public schools, desperate to find his mother. >> are there any people -- >> finally, after four hours a futile searching, he called whom. there was a message on his answering machine. >> it's my mom. >> she was safe. staying with a friend in his very own apartment. >> she's in my building.
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>> for two new yorkers, a small moment of comfort. in a day when so many others would find none. >> we could all use a little good news and that is so typical of new york. the tough guy city in terms of reputation. but of course, it's got a tender heart. chris, one of my colleagues told me tonight that there are reports as well, very long lines outside outside all the blood banks. because the line has gone out that they do need blood. there's been a call that has gone out for medical personnel, particularly for physicians, doctors in and near new york city. please contact this number. if you can offer assistance. medical personnel are needed. the number will see if we can get on the screen later.
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as you might expect with all the medical facilities in new york city, the doctors and medical personnel are overtaxed, to say the very least. so, they're looking for physicians in the city. many of them who are not urgency room physicians and have their own private practices are actually responding to the hospital. msnbc's e.d. magnets is in pennsylvania now maya. about 80 miles from pittsburgh, where one of the plains went into the ground today. she has the latest for us. e.d.? >> tom, i'm on a country road that goes between the town of lambert and shanksville in pennsylvania. and beyond all of these lights you see the glare of the media satellite trucks, it's a very dark night here in the country. but it is very busy. about a half a mile or so beyond, over my shoulder, where you see all those trucks headed
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down, and an open feel of an old strip mine is were lies the wreckage of united flight 93, which of course as you will have been reported -- destined for san francisco, never got there. 30 passengers, seven crew, no survivors. the debris here is spread over 3 to 4 mile radius, which has now been completely sealed off and is being treated, according to the fbi, as a crime scene. governor tom rich made some remarks earlier in the press conference. he had flown over this site. he said the emergency response here with immediate. he also said, and i don't know whether or not you all are able to see pictures of this, but this is one of those cases where the pictures really do tell the story. the most horrifying aspect of this particular crash scene is how little debris is visible. there is a large crater in the ground, that i'm hoping that you all are seeing as i'm talking about it.
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but that's really all you see. a large crater in the ground, and is tiny, tiny bits of debris. the investigators out there, and they're hundreds as i said tonight, have found nothing larger that a phone. you spoke a little bit ago, tom, about the haunting cell phone conversations. the most tantalizing story to emerge from this particular crash is coming, not from here, but from elsewhere. and it is a story of a cell phone conversation and passenger on united flight 93. apparently locked himself in the bathroom and called 9-1-1 and got an emergency dispatch operator, and told him the plane had been hijacked. the fbi here is not talking about it at all. they merely are saying they are aware of that conversation and they are trying to gather evidence about it. which presumably means that there may well be a tape and somebody hopefully is listening to it. what else is happening here tonight? forensic archaeologists,
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according to the fbi, are getting out the scene. their main thrust of course is to protect it. and they're trying to secure buildings in the area, near where tomorrow they can begin to remove evidence and look at it. and of course, remove the bodies. tom? >> all right, thanks very. much datelines edie magnus who's in pennsylvania tonight. outside the site of the crash of that plane that went into the ground. united had simply lost track of it for a time. left from new york, bound for san francisco as edie reported to us. at one point, one of the passengers on board locked in the bathroom and said we're being hijacked, were being hijacked. this is not a joke. and the plane disappears shortly after that. financial markets have opened in asia and they're taking a hammering, as you might expect. we are already in a very difficult global economy.
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japan had not been doing well. now america's financial markets will have been close and will remain closed tomorrow. and the nikkei index is getting, as i said, hammered again in the opening hours. see nbc's ron, who had a perilous day today, just barely escaping from the collapse of that building in lower and hadn't, is with us now. and he's wearing his financial reporters have. can we expect this around the world for the next couple of days, or on? world >> well, certainly for tht hours, tom. after half hour delay in tokyo, the nikki has followed in excess of 100 points. at one juncture, the nikkei was below the dow. that's the first time that's happened since 1957. roughly six dissent percent decline. markets from australia to tokyo, to shanghai, all down roughly 6%. monetary officials and other economic officials throughout the region saying they will do what is necessary to restore stability to the markets. that usually means pumping cash into the economy, to make sure
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this decline doesn't get fully out of control. >> what about tomorrow? the markets will be closed here as well. but what about other financial institutions? most of them were open today. >> i suspect so, tom. with respect to the financial markets, there is this one day closure. something we've not seen actually since the end of world war ii. but it would appear the federal reserve officials would like to see banks fully functioning. it's not the type of event where you want necessarily to think a bank holiday and create a sense of panic among consumers, who are already clearly uncertain about the economic outlook in the week of today's tragedy. so, the banks, we understand, will likely be open, but the financial markets will be close. now the financial markets do in europe will also be a key test for what happens here when they do reopen on wall street, one, two, or three days from now. >> one of your colleagues -- big problem in this country, as
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you know better than i do, is consumer confidence. a lot of ceos night and their principal officers and a lot of reports are having emergency meetings about how they're going to deal with this dislocation of the american economy? >> there is no doubt about that, tom. in fact, there's a lot of concern overall about corporate confidence and consumer confidence. some think we've all been focused on in terms of where this economy stands right now. as we pointed out many times, consumers have kept us out of recession potentially. the question is what will be the reaction to this tragedy today? on the consumer front. and of course, the confidence of ceos and corporations is also going to be sorely tested. i've spoken to a number of the senior executive of a few big investment banks, commercial banks, and they're certainly worried. they are concerned about the financial system suffering over the long term. they do admit that there are going to be some fairly significant short term disruptions in the financial system. things such as just check processing. the fact that a lot that went down in lower manhattan.
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people want their money and other parts of the country may have to wait. securities processing, things of that nature. settlement of trades. all of these things the, guts of our financial system in a way, were involved in this area. many of them, unfortunately, in the very buildings that collapsed and others around them as well. >> we don't know yet, do we for sure, how much damage may have gotten to some of the circuitry of the market? >> we don't, tom. and that's a good point. we simply won't know, as we've heard from so many of the reports from people on site. they can't get that close to many of the structures that are still burning. there is a concern about the telecommunications network in the area and whether that in fact could be impacted to a large extent. many institutions, both foreign and domestic, rely on the ability to transfer funds in and out of that area as well. hard to say at this point where that stands. as well, the back office. keeping track of all the processing that goes on.
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a lot of firms had that in the world trade centers. other firms that were even headquartered there also. questions about all of those kinds of things. certainly they pale in comparison to the human tragedy here. but there will be things that have to be dealt with in the days and weeks. ahead be dealt with in the da>> david faber, of cnbc, and run in santa, our colleague as well. that was very well put at the end. the economy at some point will come back. money can be replaced, human loss today, however, and we still do not know the full proportions of that human loss, that's a tragedy that will be with us for some time. the new york city firefighters union still saying that at least 200 members of that union -- 200 of you new york's finest who are down there for our urgency and rescue details, right after the initial planes went into the world trade center. they are missing and presumed to be dead tonight. we do not know how many people are still trapped in the rubble
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of those to 110 stories buildings. nor do we know the death toll for that matter in the pentagon, where the fires continue to burn. just want to repeat, in new york city, for those of you are listening to us here, or in new jersey, please contact this number if you can offer assistance. this is the health care association of new york state trade group. appreciate that if you four to emergency officials. information that they collect into the city's department of health. that one 800 number, you'll probably get a busy signal. so the number to call is this one. if you can be of some assistance there as a physician or as a trained medical technician. or trained in the area of medical assistance of some kind. let's go to tel aviv now, to
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donna friesen. that is an area of course, that has gotten a lot of attention today. palestinian youngsters were in the streets in the west bank celebrating this attack on america. while you are a fat list condemning it. it's a late there obviously. tell us what the evening looked like in the middle east, donna? looke like in the middle>> well, tom,n israel and the palestinian territories have been glued to their television sets sets, tv stations with wall-to-wall coverage. this is sadly, a place that is accustomed to almost daily terror attacks. but nothing of course, on the scale and magnitude of what we saw today in the united states. leaders from three of the region -- egyptian president hosni mubarak, libyan leader muammar coffee have condemned the attacks. among the first voices was palestinian leader yasir are a fat. however, as you said, there was a great deal of anti-american sentiment in this part of the world. and some of that was expressed here within hours of the attack.
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[noise] >> they are helping to kill the palestinian people. [noise] >> how do you comment on the bombings in united states? >> we are completely shocked. completely shocked. [noise] [noise] >> osama bin laden's homeland. bin laden, now prime suspect in the attacks, has called on his followers to fight until all americans are driven out of his
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islamic countries. there's long been fear that conflict in israel could drag neighboring arab countries into a wider war. now this attack may further embolden enemies as it is real. >> the ambitions of terrorist groups that fight against israel will rise. >> the leaders of hamas, the islamic extremist group responsible for many suicide bombings inside israel, says he doesn't support attacks against innocent people. and says the u.s. must reassess its position. it's the cause of injustice in many parts of the world, he says. tonight, israel's prime minister calling for an international war on terrorism. >> i believe that together we can defeat these forces of evil. >> and the american nvc in tel aviv, flowers of sympathy. >> i think very few americans will understand how israelis feel. >> and it's really airspace closed tonight, as are the
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borders with lebanon, with egypt and with jordan. all the checks points in and out of the west bank and gaza strip are closed, as well. as a precaution in case a terrorist tries to take advantage of the situation. several u.s. embassies in the middle east have been closed indefinitely. and yemen and kuwait, woman, and the united arab era through emirates. israel has also declared tomorrow a day of mourning in solidarity with the united states. one more note, tom, israel has sent rescue teams, experts in extricate-ing people from rubble and buildings to new york to assist in the research or recovery efforts. tom? >> thank you very much. dawna who is in tel aviv tonight with a wrap up of what's going on in that volatile part of the world. it goes without saying that the terrorists were not just a ragtag group of people who acted in some kind of spontaneous or ad hoc fashion. it is very carefully planned and very efficient operation from their point of view. they must be thinking tonight, wherever they are, that they
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have succeeded in this first stage of this terrorist war against the united states. but it is far, far from over. the price has been very heavy for united states. in so many ways. and we still do not know the full cost of this terrorist attack today. but the president of the united states tonight, pledged the american people that in fact, there will be justice decided upon the terrorists and any nation that may harbor them. and he then also praise the american people as they came together to help heal the wounds of this long and difficult they. we'll go back to robert hegar now and talk about where we go with the national transportation safety board and the on investigations that are already underway. i will guess that one of the first order of business will be to recover the black boxes, a coptic voice recording devices
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to find out what in fact happen. not only, the national transportation safety board does not get involved in incidents that are obvious acts of terrorism like this, because they investigate the things that more often our cause crashes, pilot error and mechanical errors, things like that. so usually, they just turned over to the fbi. but in this case, those black boxes could be crucial, particularly the cockpit voice recorder. because of that picks up all the sounds in the cockpit. so we are told that ntsb experts are already on scene now, working very much in cooperation with the fbi. in search of those back boxes, particularly the cockpit voice recorders. those boxes are designed to withstand tremendous forces. these were indeed tremendous forces, the way these planes went in. sometimes a plane goes in prior to hitting an airport runway and goes in that kind of an angle, and the forces are nearly with these. our but smacking right into that trade center building like that, or in the case of,
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pittsburgh nosing in at a steep into the ground, that is a lot to expect of that box. but it may very well be that the peacock voice recorders have survived. that so now, we have been told that mtfs the investigators are on site in pennsylvania and in new york city, around the world trade center. and right here in their backyard in washington, around the pentagon, to see if they can find that cockpit voice recorder. >> and robert, i think you are the one who told us earlier today that in air traffic controller in new hampshire did pick up a fragment of a rideau transmission, from the first flight. the americans the marion airline flight 11, from. boston >> it is an unconfirmed report, but that report says that the pilot had his microphone keyed, it is called, in other words he left his thumb down on the microphone so it was on and pick up the voice of a terrorist in english, saying, do this and you won't get hurt, don't expect any trouble, or something like that. and then the microphone went dead. and then, the transponders, i think the transponders in all these planes were turned off.
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so obviously, these people know up a lot about what they are doing. and the transponder sends a signal to the radar in the far off track air traffic control centers, and tells them one plane in particular blip represents and would altitudes it is that. so without that transponder, the primary transponder, the controllers wouldn't been able to see a blip. but they would no longer been able to know what altitude the plans. right so they are watching this blip, they are seeing the planes off course, they have an idea that it has been hijacked, but there is nothing they can do about it. >> thanks very much, and we and nbc's robert hegar. well, security officials at logan airport in boston will be getting a thorough shake down tomorrow, because two of the plains originated from there. those are the plane that went into the world trade center and the, apparently he, the terrorists were able to board those planes with whatever weapons they had. there was one report that some of the may have been armed with knives. but two of the flights did originate in boston, they were able to divert those california
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bound flights, turning left shortly after takeoff and coming directly down to the world trade center. one left from newark, that one into the ground outside of pittsburgh, and of course the other, one left from dulles airport in washington d.c., was headed for los angeles as well. it was turned around, it flew low over the capital city, and then it went like a bullet into the side of the pentagon, about 40 minutes after the original attack on the world trade center. we have asked eight lines, lee thompson to take us through the current state of airline and airport security, and where it may go from here. >> for years now, one of the primary focus of aviation security has been to prevent terrorists from smuggling bombs on to our planes. but wet with never fully anticipated was that the planes themselves would become the bombs. guided missiles in the hands of
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the terrorists. >> it was a jet. i couldn't believe my. eyes >> the agency charged with spearheading airport security and safeguarding the skies, the federal aviation administration, now after the most devastating terrorist attack in u.s. history, the faa, often criticize for lax enforcement and bureaucratic bungling, is itself, under siege. the faa has blood on its hands because it is not doing its job, and has not been. michael boyd is an independent aviation consultant with commercial airlines among his agents. >> we have a major security problem, obviously, and the faa is at the middle of it. we have known this for years, i have said it for years, that to trip to a trained terrorists our airports look like a laundromat. you can get in and get out. >> along with each commercial airline disaster have come new revelations of serious failures by the faa. perhaps none more frightening than the multitude of security lapses. >> asking grandma whether she has packed her own bag is not
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security when the whole perimeters of airports look like sivs. >> 1980, eight locker be scotland, the terrorists bombed booster pan am 1:03 blown out of the sky. the aftermath brought both recriminations and recommendations. our government assured us airport security would be beefed up. additional security personnel were hired, metal detectors, extreme machines, and most recently, bomb detection technology, all were deployed to combat the threat of terrorism. but time and time again, in the 12 years since locker be, gaping holes in security have been exposed. holds the faa pledged to fix. holes that government reports warn still remain. holes that were likely exploited by these terrorists today. there appears to have been a total breakdown in at least three airports in this country. give us the scenario of what
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might have happened. >> well, there are two possible scenarios. either someone was able to get through the security side at those airports or, maybe even more likely, people working on the ground crews had been compromised. >> how easy is it, and tell us the plain truth, to get a gun or a bomb onto an airplane? >> there are always some airports that fail when we tried to get a gun or knife on an aircraft. >> how easy is it to get a job as a security screener? >> it is as easy as falling off the proverbial -- to get a job as a security screener. we have people that would be flipping hamburgers if they weren't working in the security function. they are not very were skilled, there is very high turnover, and i'm not sure they're up to the job. >> but inadequate screening of passengers and baggage is not the only threat to security. >> we do not screen the people who work at airports properly. at tests that have been done at
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airports around the united states, we found a large percentage of, or certainly a large number of illegal immigrants, people whose background we really could not check out. >> in fact, as dateline reported in 1996, our producers applied for and were given jobs at two of the biggest airports in the country. at newark airport, in new jersey, where one of the hijacked plane departed this morning, our undercover producer was hired on the spot, no questions asked, and no job references checked, to drive this electric car. but within two days, he was working security, check and carry on bags. he was given no training. and watch as our undercover producer wanders along tarmac and throughout airplanes, without the idea to be there. and he passes some ten other airport employees, without being stopped. at hearts field airport, and atlanta, our producer was hired as a baggage handler, without the required background check. again, he was free to roam on
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airliners like this one. after datelines broadcasts, the faa did change policy to try to prevent these types of security breaches, but reach some government reports revealed problems persist. this, year the general accounting office warn security screeners at u.s. airports continued to miss as many as 20% of weapons smuggled in carry on luggage. during faa sponsored tests. and that faa plans to improve hiring, training, and supervision of security screeners, including the companies that provide them, are woefully behind in some cases, up to two years. it is too early to say whether the terrorists gained access to the plains today because of poor security checks or someone working on the inside. but this much is clear. the hijackings were well-planned and the terrorists, highly trained. once on board, they knew exactly what to do. experts say, once airborne, there was little to crew
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could've done to fend off the attackers. >> once on board the aircraft, it would not at all be difficult to gain access to the cockpit. cockpit door is not likely abled door in a bank, for example. you can kick them in a few had to. >> gary schiff is a retired commercial pilot for a major airline, who flew both boeing 7:50 sevens and boeing seven 67's, the same kinds of jets involved in today's attack. >> pilots go in and out of the cockpit, as they need to go to the restrooms, as coffee is brought to them, so the door is opening every once in a while, anywhere. and even if the cockpit door were locked and nobody were going in or out, it would not be difficult to threaten a flight attendant such that she would get the pilots open the door because of fear for her life. >> though pilots are trained to handle hijackings, schiff says historically, they do not usually result in fatalities. much less the downing of an airliner. >> in most cases, a hijacking
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is not a dangerous situation. most hijackings are easily resolved. there is very little a pilot could do, if unarmed hijacker comes into the cockpit. in most cases, he will believe that a hijacking is going to end peacefully, in most cases, they normally do. he would have no idea that this aircraft was going to be used as a missile. >> commercial pilots who have the ability to push a button, to communicate to air traffic controllers that their plane has been hijacked. but apparently, none of the pilots this morning even had a chance to send the signal. >> if one had to speculate, i would say that terrorists were flying the aircraft, not the airline pilots who should have been flying the airplane. mainly because i don't believe air any airline pilot would intentionally fly into the world trade center, even with the gun at its head. >> we may never know what exactly happened in the cockpits, but both the faa and the airlines had to have known that something was terribly amiss, as each of the flames
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veered inexplicably off their flight paths. what you are looking at is the actual radar tracking of the two flights that left boston's logan airport, this morning. american flight number 11, shown here, is the blue plane, takes off first. united flight one 75 takes off next. both proceed west, towards los angeles. they are fully fueled for a transcontinental trip. then, somewhere new york state, the planes abruptly change direction. now flying southeast, to ground zero, the tip of manhattan. american flight 11 finds its target first. tower number one. 21 minutes later, american flight one 75, in red, flies south of manhattan, then makes a sharp turn to the north, where its final chilling moments aloft, were captured on videotape. meanwhile, the united airlines flight leave newark airport in new jersey, for san francisco.
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the radar shows that somewhere new cleveland, the plane makes a sudden you turn, then disappears. it crashed in this field, near pittsburgh. its final destination unknown, but experts suspect that it was likely headed to a target in washington d.c.. >> since the airplane crashed in a rural area, that there might have been a struggle on board that aircraft between the crew and the hijackers, and that the crew somehow managed to thwart the hijackers intent of crashing that airplane into something else. >> if that is true, the crew probably saved hundreds, maybe thousands of lives on the ground. unfortunately, even their heroics will not be enough to save the aviation system upon which america relies so heavily. >> a linchpin of our economy is on air transportation system, we can't do without, it is not accessory. as of today, that linchpin has been shut down. in the coming months, what we are going to find is an air transportation system that is
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totally different than we have known. it is going to be one where airports are going to be basically armed camps. >> providing safe and secure passage for the 640 million passengers passing through 1000 screening checkpoints, traveling with more than 200 -- pieces of carry on and checked luggage, flying on 97 air carriers, is a monumental task that will likely take years to manage. >> that's datelines lee thompson tonight on the state of airport security in this country and airline security. some very sharp critics in there, it will get much tougher in the days immediately following this terrorist attack and for months and probably for years to come, as well. the mayor of new york city, really giuliani, has appeared to give us an update on the toll of casualties in the world trade center attack, and the collapse of those 110 story
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skyscrapers, and also seven world trade center, of the 40 story building that came out later. here is some of what he had to say this evening. >> the scene, is a horrific sight. but there are thousands and thousands of emergency workers down there. we have gotten a tremendous amount of help and assistance, in fact, we actually probably have more equipment then we need, at this point. we are very grateful for it and it will be stored in areas and probably over the next two or three days, we will need. it and we will do everything we can to support the efforts of the people who are trying to recover. people from the debris and the horror that has taken place in there. the number to call, if you have questions, i am not sure we can answer all of your questions, but at least we can try to answer them. is one to 1 to 5 six zero two seven three zero.
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that is one to 1 to 5 six zero two seven three zero. if you have questions, throughout the night and tomorrow, that is the number to call, rather than 9-1-1, which you should just call if there is an emergency. we had over 1100 emergency room visits today, that we know of. so far, we had six fatalities that we know, of five in st. vincent's. on via sly, and tragically, there are going to be a lot more than that. that is what we know of at this point. we had over 300 patients trade at st. vincent, over 116 bellevue, 250 a beacon, downtown hospital. and the hospital, these hospitals, we're the ones probably under the most rest but they were able to get through. we want to thank all the people that helped save vincent's, getting the water that they needed, and the support that
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they needed. also, i would like to say to people that might consider doing this, that services should be made available in new york city tomorrow in a fair and equitable equitable basis. anyone thinks that they are going to back gouge consumers or ask for extra amounts of money for food or anything else, we are going to have the police and consumer affairs department out there, so just be careful. this is a time in which we all have to cooperate and help each other. -- parking is suspended, sanitation services will take place in most of the city, except, obviously, in the lower part of manhattan, where the sanitation department will be working to remove debris, which has already started. and the schools, again, will be closed tomorrow. and hopefully we will get them open as soon as possible. tomorrow, the effort will be trying to recover as many people as possible, and trying to clean up the horrible mess
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that was created by all of this. and i would ask people to cooperate as much as possible in that effort. if you have to come into manhattan because your business is essential, then obviously, do it. but the upper part of manhattan will be. open but if tomorrow is a day in which you want to stay home and stay with your family, give comfort and support maybe to other people that have been affected by, this it would be a good day to do that. >> mayor rudy giuliani, ironically, this was to be the day in which there is going to be a mayoral primary to try to determine the candidates who would be replacing him. his term limits are up. he has been at once, an extraordinary popular and effective and controversial mayor in new york city. and obviously, he is on top of the job here tonight. and he is saying, exceptional statements, stay home tomorrow, stay out of new york city, the busiest city in the world. but it is a day that the city is going to need to be directing all of its efforts on
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rescue efforts that are downtown, in the world cinch drool trade center area and a lot of the services simply will not be available. all schools are closed here tomorrow. the financial the financial markets are close as well. nbc's dan abrams is down near where that search and rescue effort is underway. he is with the new york city police official. dan. >> that's right, tom. where i'm standing is the gateway to the rescue effort. literally lines of police cars, fire trucks, ambulances going down the road here, to the trade center, which is about half a mile away. i am joined by detective ron bryant, who's been down there for the past 11 hours. detective, what have you've been doing there and what have you seen? >> since i first got, here originally we mobilize here and just trying to help out and get people off the streets. and just helping wherever we can. >> for the last five hours, six hours, what have you, what has the rescue effort been? how is that? been >> just trying to get to see if there are people around and just trying to call out on the subways and trying to see
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if there is anybody that we can help out. >> how would you characterize the scene back there? >> words can't describe it. i haven't seen anything like this in my 14 years, nothing quite like, it i hope i never see anything like it again. >> tom am them captain, thank you for taking the time. tell us what you have been doing there, you seem to be covered in soot. >> well, i have never seen such carnage. right now, we have seen some heavy cranes, pay loaders, lifting heavy still beams and all, and doing search and rescue operations, quite a bit of devastation over there. >> when you say search and rescue operations, what exactly is that involving? >> well looking if there are any survivors, trying to i.d. what we can, and basically lift some of the heavy building off. as you know, two buildings came down, there are 60 building 60
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story building collapses. nothing you could ever imagine. so we have some big hail orders and cranes and going into operation. commissioners over there. we just walked out now after about ten hours. we will go we will be going back in a little while. we are working very hard and doing the best we can. >> have you found survivors? i mean a lot of the firefighters are coming out that are saying this is a recovery effort, have you found? any >> no. no survivor so far. so, sad to say, quite a few victims, but no survivors so far. >> and again, when you see quite a few, can you give us a little bit more specifics about what you have been seeing back there? >> you have to ask the command post, they have an overall view. we were in small pockets in certain areas doing our searches. so knowing what we found, i would really rather not say. but i know the commandoes would have the overall figures. >> finally, what is the state, finally of the building right now, how would you characterize? it >> nonexistent, gone. both towers and a 60 story
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building next to it. totally collapse indeed. >> thank you very much captain, can we appreciated. tom, back to you. >> they don't call them new york's finest for nothing. those are really heroic efforts that are underway tonight. in the lower end of manhattan and they were there will go on long throughout the night as the -- the firefighters union saying they have lost at least 200 firemen, when those buildings came down. the toll, as we have been seeing repeatedly, i know you might have be tired of hearing, it we don't know how high may go. at one point today, the president used the phrase, thousands dead. it could very well go into the thousands. 2400 people were killed when the japanese attacked pearl harbor, six years ago this year. this attack on america, this terrorist war in america, could be more consequential, in terms of lives lost. and it could be as well consequential in other ways, in terms of getting this country involved around the world. pearl harbor of course,
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triggered world war ii. where the epic events in the history of mankind. this is not expected to do just that, but it will change this country in so many ways. let's go to robert basel. now who has been at st. vincent hospital for most of the. day is one of the hospitals that are very near the world trade center. four straight medical facility and they have been taxed beyond their belief, i would guess, robert. >> yes tom, in the last hour or two, the number of ambulances coming in here has gone down to a trickle. we understand from hospital officials, that's because rescue workers have hit kind of a hot spot, possibly a gas line or something like that, may have to stop the search and rescue operations. but to get the latest numbers from the hospital, i'm going to bring in mark ackerman, who is a deputy administrator of st. vincent's hospital. he has been here all day. mr. ackerman, you have had an emergency plan here in place. you are the lead hospital for the 1993 world trade center
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explosion. how well were your people prepared today? >> i think we were very well prepared. unfortunately, st. vincent's has been as the epicenter of a number of these types of incidents. we have preparedness drills throughout the year, so we are quite ready. >> one of the latest numbers of casualties that you have here now, st. vincent's here in manhattan, >> same vigils here not rose received -- thus far, 62 of them are in critical condition. one of those individuals are firefighters and police officers, three of our patients have had so. a >> that's a lot of casualties, but it's not prepared compared to a lot when we got here this. morning >> it is very upsetting to our entire staff. we really, in the beginning, had been told to expect up to 1000 patients. and i think the realization is coming to all of our physicians and nurses that we were the hospital that receive the most patience. and that really only means that there are still many, many people down under that rubble.
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>> now, you have some personal tragedies here as well, as the people that are coming in. you had a nurse that was communicating with her husband, tell me that story. >> one of our nurses and our comprehensive -- center, husband was on an upper floor, she heard at about the airplane, she emailed her husband. they were talking back and forth, and then the email stop and she found out that the building had collapse. and realized that her husband had gone down with it. and so, it is a real tragedy from that perspective. a number of our nurses are married to firefighters and police officers, and they have been working hard all day, knowing in the back of their minds that their loved ones maybe in one of the consequences. >> some terrible stories here, tom. i think we are going to find out this is going to continue on in the next few days, although certainly not at the rate we saw today. and i think from talking to the dna brooms, talking to the firefighter facials, talking about the magnitude of the rescue efforts, huge steel beams, it is the bodies and the
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victims, the injured will continue to come in, -- tom. >> as mr. ackerman for us quickly, if you could, whether they have enough medical personnel doctors and trainers, and so on? >> mr. ackerman, are there enough doctors? you have the staff you need to deal with whatever contingencies come up? >> we do. we have over 500 physicians and nurses on duty, or people who came in from their days off. there was a convention of physicians in town here, as a matter of fact, we had people from europe come in, offer their assistance. and even in fact ultimately, wind up turning people away, because so many wonderful new yorkers and people from around the world volunteer their services. >> and there was also an amazing sight here today, at one point the hospital had asked for blood. the number of donors who were splitting on to the street here was so great, within just minutes of the first announcement, that you had to turn them. way >> we did. actually we had over 800 people online, at one point. the mayor had to happen to come at that moment. and he said what do you need,? i'm --
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we had ten city buses here in a matter of moments. 800 people were brought around the city to donate blood around other places in. city >> and you have enough beds to handle all the people who are coming in the next hours? >> we do, we have 2600 beds in the oh -- we were able to send many of our patients to other hospitals and they will be ready now with beds, here in manhattan, in the event we have many patients overnight. >> thank you very much and great job here, by many many doctors and nurses, tom. >> thanks very much, bob. same vincent is one of new york's premier hospitals in lower manhattan, not far from the world trade center, or what used to be the world trade center. you can only imagine what it was like in the nation's capital today, first the news of the world trade center had been hit by a plane, then a second plane and hit the other tower, that of course conjured up immediate visions that this was some kind of a terrorist attack. then, the pentagon was hit by a hijacked airliner. donald rumsfeld, the secretary
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of defense, was in his office at the time and. -- two of the rings of that fortress like building, the fires continue to burn their tonight. there was a code red on capitol hill, that meant that house speaker dennis has stretch, who is third in line in succession, had to be taken to a secure location. condoleezza rice, the national security adviser to the president, was on the phone with. him he was at a literacy event in florida, and she told his staff they than suspected terrorism as a result of the second attack. she went to the operations room in the white house. vice president dick cheney, colin powell turned around on a trip to lima, and started back for the united states. what kind of day was it for the rest of the day and the nation's capital? here is nbc's norah o'donnell, with a report on this day that will be remembered for so long, for so many, for terrible reasons. >> [noise] moments after the
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attack on new york, the chaos spread to the nation's capital. >> -- maybe a 20 passer corporate jet, no markings on the side, coming in at a shallow angle like it was landing, right into the side of the pentagon. and then a huge fireball, perhaps, five times the height of the pentagon. >> the terrorist target was the nerve center of the united states military. an explosion ripped through the building that, since world war ii, has symbolized americas power. >> we heard this boom, the building shook, the ceiling tiles fell out of the ceiling, and we ran out. grab our hats, right out, and there was just smoke. people were screaming run, what is? it what is it? >> as firefighters rushed to put out the flames, america learned that the pentagon had indeed taken a direct hit. not from a corporate jet, but
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from another hijacked plane. american airlines flight 77. on route from washington's dulles airport to los angeles. 58 passengers and six crew members were on board. there may have been as many as 100 more people killed or injured, inside the building. dozens were rushed to area hospitals, yet to be accounted for, others that may still be left in the smoldering rubble. >> here in washington d.c., we are at threat condition delta. >> washington d.c., now in the crosshairs of terrorism. the military was ordered to its highest state of alert. and at the white house, the secret service received a credible threat of a terrorist act. [noise] >> a fourth hijacked plane that crashed 80 miles outside pittsburgh, is believed to be headed for an attack on camp david, the presidential retreat in the mountains of maryland. the president was not in town. vice president cheney was. he and key aides were wrists
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whisked out of the west wing and into a secure location, while other white house staffers were evacuated. under the watch of secret service agents, armed with machine guns. >> we have had some reports of exclusions of airspace, which causes to be a concern enough to reset the house representatives, subject to the call of the chair. >> at the end of pennsylvania avenue, at the u.s. capitol and supreme court, lawmakers and justices were forced from the seat of american democracy. >> i think, in a sense, it is unfortunately a unique experience in american history. >> i can characterize it as a man who lived through world war ii, and was a young sailor at the end of the, wore another pearl harbor for this country. >> by 10 am, all federal offices were closed. something the government's entire workforce into the clogged streets, to try to make their way home. for tourists, museums and monuments were shut down, as well. washington was in a frenzy. hospitals and emergency rooms
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shut down, bridges close, fighter jets patrolling the skies. the mayor declared a state of emergency. >> all of our emergency agencies are fully deployed, should any emergencies that might arise. >> the pentagon's functioning, it will be in business tomorrow. >> later, donald rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, stepped up to the pentagon podium to state the truth everyone already knew. there is no >> there is no question about the attack against the united states of america today was a vicious, well coordinated, massive attack against the united states of america. >> what kind of world do we live? and this is terrible. it is just awful. >> tonight, washington is a ghost town. this is the memorial bridge, normally crowded with traffic. yet the -- the capital of the united states, and left americans wondering how could it have happened at this, of all cities. ? >> the white house, the capital, and the pentagon are symbols of
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america. >> counter-terrorism forecaster marvin citron report -- for the department of defense warning of washington's vulnerability to terrorist attack. we >> we predicted a plane could've crashed into the pentagon, that is about a specific as you can be. if you made a right turn at the washington monument, you would hit depending on, a left turn you could, hit the white house. >> he advised, back in 1994, that air traffic be controlled over and around all federal buildings. but he says this recommendation was not implemented. >> people are wondering today how the pentagon, which is the symbol of america's military power, could be hit by a plane? how could that happen? >> because we are a free society. the balance you have got in the united states is access and freedom, to complete security. >> despite heightened security after the oklahoma city bombing, and barriers at the white house, citron says washington became complacent about protecting itself. >> we have let down. we strengthen ourselves during
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oklahoma, because the crisis was there, we were in a crisis mode. once we get rid of that mode, we go back to lousy affair. >> but is it even possible to protect washington? a symbol of democracy, but also the nucleus of the country's power. >> you cannot defend against this kind of attack. the pentagon is just one more washington office building. that's all it, is it is not a fortress. >> noel koch is a former pentagon counter-terrorism chief. just this june, he offered a report, warning that an attack of this kind was imminent. now he says the nation has to face the reality of terrorism, in our own backyard. >> it is emotionally gripping, these things come home to roost -- we are vulnerable in ways that we never would admit to ourselves. and we are going to have to cope with that. >> marvin citron concurs. he predicts a city under siege. >> i think people are going to
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be more looking around, it will look more like israel. where the people there are accustomed to attacks from terrorists, and they are prepared. and they look for things. we will do more of the same thing. >> the first step for now, a show of determination from president bush, who returned to the white house at the end of a tragic day. hoping to allay the fears of a stunned and terrified nation. >> that's norah o'donnell, who covers congress for nbc news and washington in general. the d.c. police chief, charles ramsey said tonight, nothing in washington d.c. or the nation's capital is likely to be the same again. that is the police chief of that. city as far as security is concerned, there is no longer any such thing, he said, as business as usual. already, pennsylvania avenue, in front of the white house had been close. down there had been some talk about reopening that, that top will disappear in a heartbeat, as a result of this attack over the pentagon today and the
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terrorist attack up here in new york city. what goes on in a cockpit when there is this kind of chaos that we witness here today? will someone who knows a lot about cockpit chaos and a flight that is any distress mode is hallow haynes, he was the man who was at the controls of that united airlines flight in july, 1989, that made that heroic controlled crash landing in sioux city, iowa. that save so many lives with his heroic action. let's talk to you, mr. haines. you are not being hijacked at the time, obviously. but what's it must of been like in that cockpit, you must have been thinking about that today, as we watch all these images. >> yeah, tom. i can't imagine what that crew went through. i have to believe, like everybody else has been single, day that the crew only had control of the airplane from the very beginning and after, that it had to be someone else. no crew would do with those people did. and what they went through had to be. terrible >> and they were obviously very sophisticated, the hijackers, because they knew enough to turn off the
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transponders so no one could track their flight. >> well, i had not heard. that they had turned the transponders off, yes. well that would be excuse, me, they could track them by the blip, but they would just have a blip to follow, it would be very difficult for the controllers, i think to follow. >> one of the procedures in the cockpit, if you are being hijacked? how are you trained, as a pilot? >> well you have several different things you can. do one, is you send out a transponder cone, but obviously they knew better than that but. that is about it, there's not much else you can. do you set up the transponder, code if they won't let you transmit out on the, radio than you were just there. and all that is all there is to. it >> is there any way to send a secret signal to air traffic controllers that, you are being hijacked? >> not unless he was a transponder. other than that, there is no way to contact them, other than radio. and if they know enough to turn a transporter transponder, off i'm sure they won't let you talk. >> once you get airborne in a 7:57 or whatever these planes were today, how difficult would it be for someone to remove the
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pilot from the chair and take the controls and flight as precisely as they did, into the pentagon or into the world trade center? >> i would just guess, here is speculation, that once they are in the cockpit, they probably know enough to put it on autopilot. they put on autopilot, then they pull the crew out of the seats by either executing them or making them unconscious, then they can get back in in-flight. but, as you would on autopilot so the airplane would be under control weather doing. this they probably know enough to do that. evidently, if they know enough to turn off the transponder. that would be a gets anyway. >> yeah, but they made a hard left turn when they left boston, according to a blip that we had followed on the tracking tape. and they were able to make a couple banking turns at low altitude, here over manhattan. and i think there was one report that they did the same thing over washington d.c., perhaps over laugh at port. so it does appear that the people who are at the controls were still pilots. and if they were the tears, they were obviously highly trained. well, it is also possible that
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they hijack the plane after they took off. again, a wild. yes so they were actually at the cockpit at takeoff and, if you know that the one out of the caribbean that, crashed the hijacker was in the right seat, while the hijacker was and left. see it is possible, if he thinks they are going to hijacked airplane, he will do whatever they say. and if he, says i'm going to sit in this rights, you take off, that is what you do because you assume he's just going to go somewhere and land and refuel. that type of thing. >> how difficult has this day been for you, watching these planes being flown into buildings into the pentagon? >> it was difficult at first. especially when i found out that there were crews involved. and when i found out that it was united, it was even more so. but the whole thing has been very difficult. i have been busy most day and have not seen a lot of, it but what i have seen is just the word everybody uses, horrific. and it is a very emotional thing for anyone. >> i'll haynes, thank you so much for being with us, so was a marvel of a pilot that you did when you land that plane in
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sioux city, iowa. that united airlines plane that lost most of its control, it was able to bring it in any controlled crash landing. they did lose some of the passengers, obviously, but any number of them that were saved as of words altered his great scale. and we want to show you some remarkable scenes from inside air force one. this is the fighter jet escort, that air force had, air force one had, as it flew back to washington, today. the strategic air command corridors, -- that may become a routine procedure for the president, as he flies domestically in this country, as well as internationally. it is not always a conspicuous presence, you generally have plans when you're flying with the president over disputed areas that were in the vicinity, but you don't see any flying that closely off the wing of air force one. they are on their approach now to -- air force base. that is an f 16, i think, i can only see one tail signup, so i think it is an emphasis scene that will escort them back to
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andrew's air force space. let's go to date keith morrison, as he has been taking the pulse of this country. america, and all of its complexity, and all of its parts, becomes a family in a day like. today here is datelines steve morrison. >> in a moment everyone knew things cannot be the same anymore. and all across the country, as shock gave way to fear or anger or some other emotion, officials in charge of places and events shut them down. suddenly, this is a country in which security means everything. airports, almost everywhere, closed. >> no airplanes will be leaving any of the airports in the united states, until the
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lockdown is lifted. >> hundreds of people in airports all around the country crowd around tv sets. stunned. >> it is unbelievable to me that people can crash plays in the world trade center. and collapse on thousands of people, all the rescue workers outside there, it is absolutely devastating. >> i didn't think anybody in this nation is going to be able to sit down at dinner this evening, or and any evening from now, on and consider ourselves to be completely safe. >> it is just crazy. >> the order to close for the first time, the entire national air traffic system came early, from the federal aviation administration. many of those airports were evacuated. for how long? who knows? at least until tomorrow afternoon, perhaps longer. no one's ever done such a thing before, ever. >> i think our security is going to be so tight tomorrow that you are not going to believe. it is going to take a long time to get everybody clear.
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i mean, they're going to be known hansard, is all kinds of stuff, it is going to be the top level security that we have tomorrow. >> markets, of course, just stop. how could they operate here? already, the financial loss has been in the billions. and, said ucla professor brad cornell, it will work for sometime. >> -- that will lead to a dramatic problem in stock prices. >> and now, says -- many institutions and companies will try to be more careful about security, we will keep paying. >> that throw sand into the years in which our economy. runs it is going to make the cost of doing business greater, corporate profits lower, and that will depress stock prices and economic activity, even the long run. >> but that is for some other day. today, nationwide, flags were lowered to half staff. many states closed their public buildings. courthouse is shuttered, trials postponed. popular landmarks locked up.
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>> seattle's space needle, the disney parks on both coasts, even the u.s. mint, shut down. the national pastime, with the way of the national mood. baseball commissioners announced that the schedule is off, indefinitely. and for the emmys, postponed, indefinitely. who felt like celebrating? >> this weekend is not the weekend to put on this telecast. >> in texas, thousands of people flocked to a prayer vigil at southern methodist university. >> help us to make sense of a senseless act. >> psychiatrist doctor steven king's bree says he expects a lot of people, to be overcautious for a while. >> i sense that we live in a safe society where we have good protections against external threats, has been taken from us. >> and the terrorism expert, peter chalk, has spoken to us
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over the phone, because security kept him out of downside downtown. washington are we -- might be a good idea for. while >> that symbolic message has been transmitted across the, world the word has finally been affected by the image of the united states, of invulnerability and that the u.s. can be brought into the very frontline of this sort of attack. >> and what wasn't shutdown -- will be much more careful about. guarding the border with mexico and with canada, closed for a while. security around military installations like this, one is that extraordinary levels, of course, also at atomic plants, and the other sensitive places in american infrastructure. which in the past, it seems impervious. no longer. the terrorism expert worries that in their fear and anger, americans may decide it is time to end this country's famous openness. that would be a mistake.
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>> without a doubt, i mean one of the prize -- living in a democratic society is that you have to live with a certain -- the only way you could realistically count for a lot of these dangers is -- too but that is not what we are. about >> america maybe a little different after today, a little more conscious and its threat. as a psychiatrist said, we might have some new routines. now >> does that mean that there will never be another hijacking or terrorist attack? probably not. does it mean the vast majority of us will feel safer? definitely. eventually. >> but not today. today, we interviewed the doctor in a park, because security at his university office kept our cameras outside. we >> that is datelines keith morrison on the mood of this country, on this stunning day that is so brought together
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america in grief and shock, frustration, and anger, and determination to go forward, as well. we do have some additional information for you, top security police -- officials said at the end of the news conference by mayor heavy construction equipment to move a lot of the big blocks of concrete that have come down and the steel beams as well, and he says that they have recovered some victims who were still alive when they found them this evening, so that's the most heartening news that we've had from the site of this carnage in lower manhattan so far tonight. the work will go on through the night and for several more days. john hansen, the assistant fire chief in oklahoma city reminded us earlier that in oklahoma city the rescue units were going on
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for seven days before they were called to a halt and they had a full accounting of all the people that were missing, and as horrendous as oklahoma city was, it will pale in comparison probably in terms of the number of people who were in the world trade center when those two buildings came down, to say nothing of that 40-story building that came down later, although, that area had been evacuated by that time. nbc's maria shriver has been looking at those on the flights, most for los angeles, although one for san francisco. maria, what can you tell us? >> as you mentioned, all four of the hijacked planes were headed to california, one to san francisco and three to los angeles. the news that came to california when people heard those flights were coming here, brought this city almost 3,000 miles away from the world trade center to almost a complete standstill. los angeles was one of the first
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airports in the country to get the early "morning call" to close down. >> los angeles international is one of the airports, i believe, that asked to be evacuated early on. >> that unprecedented move spread fear throughout this city that terrorism might be heading west. the city went into high alert. federal buildings, city buildings and all went on high alert. the chief attended an emergency council meeting and went on television to try to calm people's fears. >> we want to reassure the public, all the people in l.a., we certainly have no guarantees, but we're certainly looking at all of the precaution air measures to make sure the community is as safe as possible. >> businesses came to a standstill. disneyland closed its doors not just in california but all throughout the world. virtually all studios closed down including jay leno who
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suspended the rest of production for the rest of the week. so were sporting events for the near future. even the emmys canceled sunday's award ceremony. >> a celebration and comedy show would not be something that would be appropriate for this country this weekend. >> by midafternoon the state's governor felt it necessary to go on television and reassure all californians that their state was, indeed, secure. >> first of all, all emergency services an and operations are and running. secondly, all fire personnel are fully deployed. >> this was a state in fear and shock. >> it's like a movie. i can't believe that it could happen in this country. >> and while thousands of loss angelenos were frightened, so were new yorkers and those who had loved ones on those planes.
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american and united asked the salvation army and american red cross to be available today. >> it's just to be there and to say to them we are here and we'll do whatever we can do to help you through this trauma and this pain. >> tom, it's important to note that neither american airlines or united airlines have officially released the names of those passengers on those four flights, however, some family members have released some niangs including david angel and his wife lynn who were on their way to los angeles. lynn is well known for the hit show "frazier." he was called a kind and gentle man, a man of personal faith as well. he perished. barbara olson was the solicitor of ted olson, on the flight from
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washington to los angeles. she was one of the few passengers on several of these flights who managed to make a cellphone call to her husband where she told him they were being hijacked moments latter. her plane crashed into the pentagon several minutes later. other names have trickled out. we don't want to go out and tell you who they are. american and united have asked us to publicize 800 numbers they've put together for family and friends who have questions or want to know whether their loved ones actually did get on the flights. the number is 1-800-932-8555. and the american airlines number is 1-800-245-0999. they're quick to point out people who have no real perm connection should not tie up the lines. these phone numbers are for
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families, loved ones concerned who might have loved ones on the flights. if you flew over the expressways, you would hardly recognized it. the freeways are usually clogged. people have been keeping their kids home. the city has been asked to return to normal, but the city was very much in shock throughout this morning. they thought terrorism might be headed this way. we'll continue to keep you updated on this situation. tom? >> thank you very much. i would suspect that's the case across the country as well, even for cities and small towns not the destinations of these things, that things did come to a stop because it was one of those events in which america coalesces around a sense of national identity and share as television set as well, trying to keep abreast of what has been going on. we're joined now by new york governor takai who has been down at the scene of this carnage all
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day long. governor, we've heard a top police official say there are still people alive, that they do expect to recover some people tonight. is that true as well? >> we certainly hope so. we have the city of new york who has the finest police and rescue teams in the world. they've been augmented by our state and national guard and federal help, and everything that can be done is being done, and we're just praying that we can recover some people who might be in the rebel right now. >> is there any confirmation of over 200 lost. >> we don't have any confirmation of particular numbers, but we know this is one of the darkest days in american history, and our prayers are with those who have lost their lives with the brave famiies of
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the firefighters and police who risked their lives to save others and were victimized by this terrorist attack, and our prayers are with those who are afraid their parents will not come home tonight. we're going continue to have hope. we're going to continue to get through this and make sure that everything gets done to recover who might still be alive downtown. >> that is the highest priority, obviously, to treat those who have been injured, recover those who have been killed. do you have any sense at all as to when that financial district can return to some semblance of normality? >> tom, as you know, we've closed new york city south of 14th street for tomorrow. the point right now is to make sure the entire focus is on the rescue and search efforts and that the emergency crews can get in and out as easily and as readily as possible. we'll make a determination tomorrow, probably at the end of the day, what additional parts of the city may be open tomorrow afternoon, but right now the entire focus has to be on the
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rescue and search efforts. >> you used to have an office in the world trade center, didn't you? >> yes. i had my office in the world trade center, and the state today had many, many offices and employees in the world trade center. i had friends there this morning. >> do you know what happened to them? >> we don't know. we're praying and we're trying to rescue them. >> is there anything citizens around this area and the state know what they need and what they can do? >> the citizens have been great. i was down at cabrini hospital a couple of hours ago. we had people lined up around the blocks to donate blood. they're not let terrorists drive them from the streets. we are as we move forward going to need additional support as the front line forces downtown now go through this and need
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relief. we've set up state hotlines for nurses, doctors, emts, and others. we're also organizing additional fire and police report so we can rotate services in and out, but the spirit has been enormous. this is a very dark day, but out of this death and destruction, you can see hope. we're not going to let these terrorists, barbarians taking a way our freedom and our hope. >> tough question, governor pataki. what are officials telling you about the people in the buildings when they came down? >> we don't know. we know a number came out and were evacuated before the buildings came down. at this point, we don't know. >> there's an unconfirmed number that two men in a truck with explosives were arrested at the george washington bridge. do you know anything about that? >> we've had all sorts of reports and rumors, and we've
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been in constant contact with fbi officials. i also spoke with the president and the vice president earlier today, and they have no information that additional terrorist threats have been targetted at new york or anywhere else at this point. obviously no one knew or anticipated the attacks at this point. at this point, i'm unaware of any direct security threats that the federal government is aware of. >> governor george pataki, the governor of the state of new york. it's been a long and difficult day for you. it will not end at midnight. we wish you the very best. >> thank you very much, tom. >> governor pataki of new york. barbara olson, we have a picture of her. she's a well known cnn commentator. her husband, theodore olson, a solicitor argued successfully
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before president judge w. bush and the contention out of florida. this is a personal loss. barbara and ted olson were two of the most popular figures especially in the social circles in washington. they loved to entertain. they loved the opera. they were well known for their keen wit and intelligence. she did get a phone call off to her husband on her cellphone before her plane crashed into the pentagon today. so there's a personal loss at the white house with the death of barbara olson. we're going to go now to ashleigh banfield who's in downtown new york, not far from the world trade center who had a very perilous moment at one
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point. >> reporter: tom, when the second tower came down, unfortunately my producers and myself found ourselves too close. we had to break into a nearby building just to breathe. we were followed by a new york police officer and a security guard from the world trade center. we count recognize either of them because we were covered in so much white dust. i want to get you up to speed. we've been watching a number of emergency vehicles filing into this area and semitrucks that have rolled in as well. they've been lined up and ready to go in to move away some of the large debris. there's a reason they have to remove this before they can search. most of the searching on these two stumps of what were the world trade center towers didn't provide much to anybody. there wasn't much to be found at all, certainly no one alive. and what's strange is very few cadavers as well. i'm joined by one of the
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firefighters who was one of the first on the scene. lieutenant pat clancey has come out from 12 hours in sort of the ground zero area. i want you to describe to me what happened when you first arrived on the scene and ended up going up on the rebel heaps. >> myself and five firefighters from my company were ordered to go to -- we were at a command post. we were ordered to go to where one of the towers was. i believe it was tower 1. there was nothing really there, but maybe five or six stories of debris, and we were -- we slowly climbed over as much as we could and started searching for people that might have been on the surface and trying to crawl into some of the crevices, crawling out, hitting tools, looking for
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possible firefighters or civilians. >> you knew at the time there would be firefighter casualties. did you have any idea at the time that the number that would stand was about 200 of your colleagues? >> we were assuming it would be a large amount. firefighters, civilians, police officers, emergency workers, even a block away there are fire trucks and police cruisers, ambulances that are flipped over, burned out a block away. >> reporter: just quickly. you were allowed to call your wife. she had no idea you were alive. what was her response? >> she was hysterical as i can imagine so were hundreds of firefighters' wives. >> reporter: thank you. firefighters have emerged from this, many of them covered in the white dust. it's been a tragic story all
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around, many of them knowing full well they've lost a lot of friends, colleagues as well. >> you may not have heard am top new york city official is now saying there are, in fact, some people who are alive in the rubble, and they do hope to get them out before the end of the night. he also said they have recovered some people who were still alive when they got them out of the rubble. so there is some faint hope at least for people who have been trapped in there. we don't know the number by any means or how severely they are trapped at this time. but thank you very much. it's been a long and difficult and dajs day for you, and we do appreciate your reporting. let's go to nbc's robert hagger now who has additional information from the united airlines flight bound for san francisco and was headed back
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toward pittsburgh. >> something john ashcroft has completed for members down near the capitol. first, before that pennsylvania plane, he did tell the members of congress knives were the weapons used in these attacks we had inklings of that before. as far as we know, knives are the weaponed used. there are no reports that guns have been used in any of these four planes that were hijacked. it was a united airliner that had taken off from newark. it got out to the edge of cleveland and suddenly diverts back east. there was some suspecting it was headed for camp darchld but it's believed to have been headed back to washington, d.c. they don't know what target they had in mind, but they believe they had washington in mind as their destination and they might have filed some flight plan from
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the air saying that. he also said one other thing, that that plane was not shot down. now, there had been no evidence that it was, but there were rumors earlier that day. many wondered if anyone could have dared to order it to be shot down even with all of those people on it because of national security, but attorney general ashcroft put an end to that. he said the plane was not shot down, not shot down from the air, not shot down by any missile. tom? >> thank you very much. any additional word on when flights may be resumed? >> they're still saying noon tomorrow eastern time is when they're going to consider it, but they're not certain that's when it's going to come. it's clear there will be a lot more security checks. no more curbside baggage, and there are going to be scattered checks for identification and personal checks and that kind of thing. it's going to be time-consuming.
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wow. we just heard a stunning number from the pentagon. we've been trying to get a fix on the casuals there. jim evashevski. tom? >> reporter: an estimated 800 killed inside the pentagon, many of them still buried in the rubble that you see behind us. they brought in heavy earth movers, cadaver dogs in an effort to find those who are still buried in the rubble. very little hope, really, of finding anyone alive, giving the intenity of the fire and the collapse of all five floors. again, the latest estimate, 800 dead in the pentagon. >> we should assume a majority are military personnel or would it be a mix?
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>> reporter: given the portion of the building, it's probably mill tai, navy, marines, some army, and, of course, some civilians mixed in. >> thank you very much. jim miklaszewski. more than 266 were killed on the airplanes. an untold number still unaccounted for in manhattan. this has been as we've been saying a day unlike any other in american history. there's never been an attack like this ever. people are compared it to pearl harbor, but at that time we did know who the enemy was. it did get the united states involved in world war ii. this, a shad owing attack, using civilians against civilians, using the airliners as guided missiles. we want to share with you now just first-person accounts of people who have gone through this long, unending, an difficult day.
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>> reporter: on any given day, new york is a city with its own sounds, with its own rhythm. today you could feel a collective shudder as it all came crashing down and the voices of those at ground zero are still shaking. fathers -- >> all of a sudden, we felt the second one go. >> reporter: mothers -- >> we all heard this just really loud explosion. >> reporter: daughters -- >> a huge explosion and a shudder. >> reporter: and our own colleagues at nbc. >> i never thought that it would happen here. >> reporter: tom at work at a trading firm on the 80th floor of world trade tower 2 when the first plane hit. >> all you could see was smoke and papers flying around through the plaza. we looked 10 or 15 floors up and the whole wall was blown out and filled with flames and everybody was like in awe. we did not -- we had no idea what it could be, and suddenly our two managers in the office,
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they came screaming in with an urgency that i've never, ever heard before in anybody's voice saying get out, get out, get out, get out. we had gotten down to the 50th floor from the 80th floor and a p.a. announcement said, there's a fire in world trade center number 1. world trade center is secure. you can return to your offices. repeated it and repeated it. everybody stood in disbelief. >> reporter: tom didn't go back. seconds later, the second crash right into his office. >> if i went back up to my office, i would be dead. and if i didn't leave the minute i left, i would be dead. god bless the people at the 150th. i was at 50th. they were at the 80th. >> reporter: it took 15 minutes to get out. >> people left their shoes to
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get away. there were piles of blood in the street from people who had been hidden by shrapnel from the buildings. >> your wife, you know, she said to me that she thought she was a widow. >> i bet. >> reporter: kim white was stuck on the 74th floor of tower 1. >> the doors were locked. >> why? >> i have no clue. we sat around for about five, almost ten minutes trying to find a door or get somebody with a key to come open the doors so we could get downstairs. we had those precious five or ten minutes would have made that much of a different. >> reporter: a difference because she barely escaped as the building was collapsing. >> glass was flying all over the place. we didn't know which way to go because we didn't know which way the building fell. on the ground, all you see was
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blackness. i thought, kim, breathe in properly, don't take in too much, or you're going to collapse and nobody will find you. >> reporter: to make things worse, kim suffers from asthma and suffered an attack. >> was there a time today you thought you were going to die? >> oh, definitely. on three or four occasions. the initial explosion, going to the reception area and seeing the ceiling collapsed, being stuck in a stairwell and not being able to get back in. we couldn't go up or down. my life didn't flash before my eyes. it was trying to get down far enough where, you know, i would be safe. >> and to the safest place and person. >> i just want to see my mother. that's all. i'll probably be 32 years old, sleeping with my mom tonight. >> reporter: someone else's mom,
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maggy cusack, her mother was battling her way down. >> the building shook. you could see stuff flying down. it was big. you could tell it was a large event. i believe all of my co-workers got out at least into the stairwells. i guess it was about the 27th floor. the firemen started coming up into the building, and i just felt that they were very brave, and we were kind of clapping for them and wishing them luck on their way in. >> are you thinking of the firemen because you fear they were perhaps trapped in the building when it collapsed? >> i think they probably were. i think there were a lot of them that did get trapped in there. and i think that was very sad. they were all nice, healthy, young, good-looking guys. i'm just grateful i got out before the buildings collapsed. >> this day, you'll remember
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forever, no matter your age, wherever you live in this country. there are those days for people who are alived in america have forever etched, pearl harbor, 1942, victory over japan, victory of fdr. 1963, the assassination of john f. kennedy. the age of innocence came to an the age of innocence came to an end. gordon m. aamoth jr. p brother an 1968, the a p luther king. rp1974, the resignationd nixon. p 1989, the death of com p 1993, the release of p mandela, and, of course, p 1989 asrp p that meant .
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rtr and the millennium. rpa new ca thousand ye p this world and forp september, the ninth month, p 9/that is tan mount t rpmost serious attack pwithin the united states ey pa foreign force of some r more than 100 years. p this is an nbc new report. here is tom brokaw. p >> good eveit's 11:. pthe long nighas been su p has continued well in
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rp e did see some earth-movipsome of the rubblen p that that the any survivors underneath. cadaver dogs are going through rp rebel in search of p offi be as many as 800 dead. tom? p >> nbc's jim m. pthey're operating on two , r aren't they, jim? p they're trying with r p efforts, but at the sa p america militar forces around th9araround t high alert. alert. r s9so militar buil and they're contincontinpace, tom. rp it was almospthis y p rumsfeld of the news confe t at the opposite building, at the opposite h in the in the p pentagon e pork pentag to burn. news conference.
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p chairman of the joint c t hhugh sheldon e r retaliation for those responsible. rp for a long time, the rp for a long time, the rp always lac9 placplace terroris targets. rpin this case, the pr, osama bin laden. p officials have confirmed pentagon, white house, nationa p securityclose look at als tonight. op has just left the p ran not so fast, r stastay the may ne p >> jim miklaszewski pentawe'll get back rp a co things
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rp the rest state of p r this poi thisthi hp let's listen to p giuliani had to say just j news confep >> we have been able t people, two port authority r people who are alived. rp we do not know what they're but we hope rescue more people. rp i havbut at least t rpwe'll be able to getp prpeople out who have bee identified as port authority police offi don't have rpr and i don't have th condition. that's the good news. rp all night we'll keep extricate people through p tomorrowand emergency woe right now. r it could be 2,000. the new york police department p and fire department, em p services, the assistan
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p we've goguard, and if yo, you'll seepguard, and if you, fire departments from rp east meadow and bell northern new jersey. p we really appreciate rp answer or try to an r p number is 1-212. r that's r 1-212-560-. r i know that -- i k there's great people lost ar. rp w the dimension wa couple of hundred firefighters p and police ! which is a
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p they're trying desperat p they're trying desperat p through tonig ome to9 come to may be alive. rp so we have at this p over a thousand sp thapentagon, 266 wh airplanes pentagon, 266 who airplan passengers and crew rp 1,300, and it is rp 1,3 expected to go much higher. p 2,400 people altogether killed in p 2,400 harbor. they wer9 they personnelr theit was a military o military installations. r did it. this th kin of a r psowho's been on d p from the worldp who% center on his talking to p emergency r personnel. p>> reporter: tom, over th rp few hours we've se p rescue personnel, r fep coming out,
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amounts to their shift. trpthey'll be brought bacw after some rest. r i would sayp i would rp dozen people we sp reported on the devastation, d reported on the devastation, d p th same p basedi t the extr saw in rehema ellis' p earlier, they don't see p anyone could have survi. rp midst of all t devastation. rp yocourse, the p fafact t been alli calling fromrp inside th p rescuedwe're going to tat right now. r this istr this is tn rp the past couple of.
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>> yes. rp p in the area on l rpand there was a noisem that particular area by american service who did identify they did identify themselves as port thornlt police personnel, but after an extensive effort to extract them from that area, both were taken from the rubble and are on their way to area hospitals and are being treated at this time. we heard there was a report on the george washington bridge, a report that there had been a van stopped there that had explosiving. have you -- have the port authority police heard anything about that? >> i have received no reports on that particular incident and there's nothing that has been brought to our attention to that effect. >> at this point, you're basically looking to continue the rescue operation through the overnight period. i assume you're sending more people in there, is that correct? >> we'll continue the search and rescue operation through the night into tomorrow. we have new troops coming in in the morning and we'll continue to stay here all night until we
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have to do what we can to retrieve anybody that's still in that area. >> inspector jean -- gene chicarielli of the port authority police. a lot of firefighters coming out of there, although not terribly happy about the duty -- they're saying the scenes are scenes of devastation, but they'll keep going back in in the hopes that they find, as they did earlier, people who are still alive. >> thank you very much. pat dawson. a city of brotherhood with those rescue operations especially at a time like this. pat alluded to a report there had been a van loaded with explosives stopped near the george washington bridge, which which is the northern end of manhattan island. it turns out the van had no explosives. they did detain the drivers for a time. there have been any number of reports all day long about bombs in schools, planes setting down because there was a rumor of a bomb onboard. we are told tonight, however,
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that fbi officials think they have gotten a name out of one of the passenger manifests. it triggered an alarm when they entered it into their database at fbi headquarters. they have obtained a warrant to search the former home of this man. it's believed to be in broward county. it's for possible evidence. that's all we know at this point about it. the fbi obtained the name of the passenger, as i say, from one of the flight manifests, but we don't know the man's name. the fbi think he could be, could be one of the terrorists. it is in broward county, which is just north of miami. these terrorists entered these planes, two of them in logan airport in boston and one at dulles and one at newark. the chairman of the intelligence committee is the senator from florida. he is bob graham. he joins us now on the telephone. senator, i don't know if you
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heard what i was just saying, but we do have a report that the fbi is looking for some evidence in broward county because a name on one of the passenger manifests when it was entered into the databank of the fbi set off some alarms. do you know anything about that? >> tom, i do not. this was the first i had heard of that possibility. >> everyone continues to say that all the suspicion centers primarily on osama bin laden, the saudi dissident, who's widely believed to be harbored by the taliban in afghanistan. is that what you're hearing as well from intelligence agencies? >> i have not had a specific briefing from the cia or fbi. we will do that tomorrow. my feeling is that prudence would be to withhold premature judgments. it's important that we determine who the perpetrator was, but it's also important that we get it right. you may remember after oklahoma city, the first assumption was
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that it was an islamic group. it turned out to be a united states militia group. we're going to respond as the president said tonight, very forcefully against whoever we determine to have committed this horrendous act. so we need to be sure that we are responding against the right person or the right supporting state. >> senator, there have been any number of terrorism experts on the air tonight and throughout this day who are saying, well, we shouldn't be surprised by the fact there was a terrorist attack. we've all been expecting that, although, most of them were stunned by the complexity and the magnitude of it all. but have we turned a deaf ear to all these warnings about how vulnerable america is to terrorism? >> i don't think we've turned a deaf ear, but we've been allowing our front line of protection against terrorism,
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which is our intelligence services, to gradually degrade. we have not been maintaining our capacity to eavesdrop on terrorist groups in the same way that we did for 30 or 40 years against the soviet union. we have not made the investment in human intelligence, particularly people with the diverty of background, language skills, technical skills to get inside these terrorists cells to determine what their capabilities and motivations might be. and we are collecting substantially greater volume of information than we are able to adequately analyze and therefore use for intelligence purposes. we need to shore up all those areas of weakness in our intelligence system. >> and, finally, senator, this is a terrible wakeup call for
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this country. will there be a redistribution of resources in your judgment to beef up the war against terrorists around the world in terms of military personnel and political efforts that will be made? >> yes. for some time, people who have made these assessments have almost universally established that our two major threats to national security were the 7,000 nuclear warheads in possession of the russians and terrorism. this will be a wakeup call i.'s terrible thing it took such a loss of life and a shock to the american people to do so.
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but as we look back on american history, september 11, 2001, will be a turning of the page in the history of america and in this new chapters that we're about to write, we'll be putting the kind of resources behind the challenge of terrorism that the threat deserves. >> thank you very much, senator bob graham, who is chairman of the senate intelligence committee. democrat from the state of florida. we're joined now. i was in combat for a year. as you look at these scenes, is there any doubt in your mind you are in a war? >> i don't think there's any question about it. the scale is unprecedented in the annuls of terrorism, and, indeed, we have to go back.
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i think even -- i'm not even sure the met for of pearl harbor, which has been used frequently todaying is adequate. at pearl harbor, there were approximately 2,400 casualties. it's entirely possible we will see. i hope not. it's possible we will see those figures surpass today. this brings to mind the images people saw of the blimp in london, the cities in europe during world war ii. >> but in those cases, both pearl harbor and the blitz, we knew who the enemy was. in this case, they hijacked civilian airlines, used innocent civilians, as weapons against other innocent civilians, and we don't know who they are, so it is a whole new form of warfare for a new century. >> it is completely different,
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and we're not going to have in this type of warfare, the satisfaction of landings at normandy beach, where anyone coming out on the decks of the battleship to ultimately sign a surrender, and that is going to create inevitably some frustration between on the one hand, the anger that this incident will create. right now the american people are stunned, frightened, alarmed. that's understandable. it will very quickly congeal to anger as we fully comprehend the cost, the carnage of today's attacks. there's going to be frustration between that and our ability to achieve what will be seen as victories in this war against terrorism. you know, tom, i think people don't understand. the war goes on constantly. there are constant reports,
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intelligence reports of threats, warnings, that we react to. we react to them by issuing alerts, in some cases by increasing security at a particular location, in some cases by evacuating an embassy. and those actions in some cases thwart the terrorists' plans, but those victories are invisible. we can't count things that don't occur. what we see are the failures of intelligence, the failures of security as we see here today. >> brian jenkins, thanks very much for joining us tonight. we now have details of what was going on on these airlines. cellphones are ubiquitous including on the planes that were being hijacked. there are instructive and poignant stories that we're hearing. one man and his wife and his child were on a flight. they called his father twice to
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say that the stewardess had been stabbed and called a second time to say the plane was going down. the man was identified as a former easton, connecticut. easton is a small town near bridgeport on the coast. he called to his parents' home, and so in that way they were together at that moment, according to a reverend as she was describing what transpired between this young man and his family on the plane before it went down. another flight attendant on one of the american airlines flights managed to call an emergency number as the flight had -- as the flight was being hijacked, and she said one of her fellow attendants had been stabbed. a san francisco woman told ku tv, her son mark bingham called her from united flight 893 that crashed in shanksville,
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pennsylvania, saying they were taken over and three men have a bomb. that was her son calling, quoting from a flight. >> this is what happened mid-morning today after the towers had been hit by the plane. they simply began to collapse, first tower number two, which took the most severe hit. that's the one that had the huge fireball. the architect who designed these buildings told george lewis the heat was so intense that the structural steel in a building like that would melt within three or four hours. the heat was so intense, it melted in a shorter time than that. the second one went down. these are 110 stories high. many people were working in the building at the time. some of them were trapped above what you see there. others were below, still trying to get out. and, of course, it's very hard to imagine that there could have
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been very many survivors in that kind of collapse of steeling concrete, electrical circuitry, and glass. it created a kind of tornado effect in the canyons of manhattan and a number of nbc news correspondents were trapped, many of them in grave danger, as well as emergency rescue in that area, and there are reports that 200 or 300 firemen are missing who were in there at the time trying to rescue personnel. we heard earlier from dawn fratangelo. she said the firemen were going up in the building and she knows they were lost. let's go to the white house where campbell brown is in washington, if not at the white house, and tomorrow morning the presidents' day will begin earlier after this long and arduous day in which he addressed the nation tonight, campbell. >> reporter: well, tom, he convened a national security meeting after his remarks. meeting has now ended, but i can
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tell you there are many, many lights still burning here at the white house tonight, and aides do tell us he is expected to begin the day early tomorrow, again, meaning first thing in the morning with his national security team, the focus now shifting, number one, to getting federal aid to thousands who have been touched by these attacks, and number two, finding out who is responsible. the president in his remarks tonight having strong words regarding punishment for the terrorists as well as any country in his words who harbors them, the president also talking tonight about how the country has the strength to overcome this. here was the president from earlier this evening. >> this is a day when all americans unite for justice and peace. america has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. none of us will every forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is
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good and just in our world. thank you. good night. >> reporter: now, tom, aides who spent the day traveling with the president described his demeanor throughout the day as somber but very even-keeled, that he was never overly emotional. his security was obviously a top priority today, which is why we saw air force one hopscotching around the country. he began the day at an education event. that was the one time we did see a sort of emotional reaction from the president when he was informed by his chief of staff, andy card, who whispered in his ear about the second plane crashing into the world trade center. we did see a strong reaction from the president at that time when it was confirmed these were, in fact, terrorist attacks. he went to barksdale, louisiana, and from there to the strategic center in nebraska. in each of these teams as air
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force one took off landing, we were not told where they were landing. this is a deliberate plan where they send the plane around the country without informing anyone exactly where it is going. the entire time, the president having f-15 escorts on his wings, and air force one essentially turning into a flying white house. the president had communication with anyone from around the world. he was fielding calls from world leaders. spoke first with vice president cheney, spoke twice with his wife laura bush who was also rushed to an undisclosed location, and cheney. he was here in the white house in the situation room. we're told tomorrow morning we'll likely get briefings from secretary of state colin powell and the fema director. >> campbell, i'm going to share with you some information. we heard from andrea mitchell
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and orrin hatch. he said he has been told that u.s. intelligence officials -- we presume it's the national security agency who runs intercepts around the world -- picked up some information with people associated with bin lad whon acknowledged a couple of targets were hit, but he would not be more specific. also said law enforcement has data linking one person on one of the four ill-fated flights to the bin laden organization. we were telling you earlier fbi agents were on their way to what they thought was the former home of this man when they entered his name in the fbi databank. it triggered some alarms from them. the home is either in broward county or daytona beach, which is just north of miami. of course, you know where daytona beach is. it is now 12:02 eastern time. it is a new day, the 12th day of september, but an old day that will linger with us for hours
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and perhaps days and weeks for that matter, the 11th of september, a day that will have a dark, dark mark in american history. good morning. it is saturday, september 11th. i'm lindsay riser. >> i'm alex witt. thank you for joining us, we mark 20 years since 9/11. >> and i'm

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