T H E M O R R O C K N E W S D I G E S T
WEDNESDAY :: September 12, 2001 :: EMAIL EDITION
PASSENGERS CALLED HOME
FROM DOOMED AIRLINERS
Several passengers aboard at least two of the four airliners hijacked by
terrorists on Tuesday managed to call home on their cell phones before
crashing, telling families of their love and giving brief but horrific
descriptions of what was happening in the air.
One woman, aboard the plane that was about to strike the second World Trade
Center tower in New York, learned via cellphone that a hijacked plane had
plowed into the first tower, and she was apparently able to relay that
information to other passengers before they, too, struck one of the twin
SYMPATHY FROM CHINA: Xiaochun Li, our correspondent
in China, sent this email message Wednesday morning:
"I am very sorry to have heard about the attack on
the USA. I offer my deepest sympathy! Could I
contribute my blood to the needy? Why human beings?
-- from a most, most, most common Chinese."
Two men -- Mark Bingham of California and Jeremy Glick of New Jersey -- who
were passengers on the plane that eventually crashed near Pittsburgh called
out on their cell phones, and both indicated that a group of passengers was
going to take action against the hijackers, The Washington Post reported.
Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha said he believes a struggle took place in the
cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 as the plane headed for a significant
target in Washington, D.C.
"There had to have been a struggle and someone heroically kept the plane
from heading to Washington," crashing it instead in rural Pennsylvania,
One caller said the hijackers began killing stewardesses in the rear of the
plane to lure the pilots out of the cabin. Information from callers
indicated that the hijackers were armed with knives and box-cutters and
made bomb threats.
The Bush administration said Wednesday that "credible" security information
had indicated that the White House and Air Force One were both targets of
the well-planned attack -- explaining why President Bush delayed returning
to the White House on Tuesday. The plane that struck the Pentagon may have
been aimed at the White House, officials said.
A LESSON RELEARNED: Pearl Harbor taught us the same
lesson fifty years ago that the World Trade Center
taught us today -- when you fail to bring the fight
to the enemy, he will bring the fight to you.
-- TMND Correspondent Jim Skoog
Armed cops and FBI agents stormed the 36-story Westin Hotel in Boston on
Wednesday and arrested three people, after federal authorities linked them
to the credit card allegedly used to purchase tickets on the hijacked
flights, The Boston Globe said. However, FBI Director Robert Mueller later
said that no arrests in connection with the hijackings had yet been made.
Also searched was the Park Inn at Chestnut Hill, in a Boston suburb.
Boston newspapers said authorities had identified five Arab men as
suspects, and had found a rental car containing Arabic-language flight
training manuals at Boston's Logan International Airport, from which two of
the hijacked planes took off. According to the Boston Globe, investigators
found two bags, intended for one of the flights, containing a training
videotape for commercial airline pilots, a copy of the Koran, and a fuel
The FBI said Wednesday that four separate terrorist cells working together
had carried out the attack plans.
The Boston Herald said two of the suspects, brothers, entered the U.S. from
Canada. One was a trained pilot; both held passports from the United Arab
Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden was most often mentioned as the suspected
head of the organization that carried out the attacks. A Pakistani
newspaper, however, reported Wednesday that bin Laden denied involvement,
saying, "The terrorist act is the action of some American group. I have
nothing to do with it."
In Afghanistan, where bin Laden is known to have stayed for lengthy
periods, the ruling Islamic fundamentalist Taliban party reportedly
disavowed any knowledge of the terrorist plan and asked the U.S. not to
retaliate against the country.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the U.S. continued to search for survivors amid
the rubble -- in Manhattan, a five-story-high pile of concrete and twisted
metal -- and to try to absorb what had happened.
In a speech to the nation on Wednesday, President Bush said "the deliberate
and deadly attacks, which were carried out yesterday against our country,
were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war."
Casualty figures continued to grow. Some Officials estimated that as many
as 800 people may have died at the Pentagon crash site, but others put the
total at under 200. Though some Pentagon offices were open for business
early Wednesday morning, the complex was later evacuated as smoke from
burning embers continued to rise into the air.
In New York City, at least nine persons were rescued alive from the World
Trade Center rubble, and officials said a few more such rescues were still
likely. One man made repeated calls on his cell phone from beneath the
RED CROSS SEEKS HELP: The Red Cross has several Web
sites and tollfree phone numbers with information
about how individuals can help:
* For blood donors:
* To donate funds via credit card:
* Main Red Cross Web site (includes a search engine
for local Red Cross addresses):
The sites may be overloaded, unreachable at times.
Hundreds were known dead, including at least 200 firefighters. New York
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani predicted the final death toll will be "a few
thousand people" in each building of the World Trade Center.
Commercial air traffic continued to be grounded for the second day in a
row, leaving thousands of travelers stranded. The Federal Aviation
Administration announced stringent new security procedures that must be
implemented at all airports before flights can be resumed. Curbside luggage
checking will be discontinued. No knives of any size, including tiny
pocketknives and the cutlery distributed with airline meals, will be
permitted. Boarding areas will be restricted to ticketed passengers only.
Major League Baseball canceled its full schedule of games for the second
day in a row.
The New York Stock Exchange was closed again Wednesday. The last two-day
closure of the NYSE followed the assassination of President Kennedy in
Bush asked Congress for emergency funding for the rescue and cleanup
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings,
fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have
filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and
a quiet, unyielding anger.
-- U.S. President George W. Bush,
Sept. 11, 2001