Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States

World Trade Towers and Pentagon Attacked 1215

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up dept.
The World Trade Towers in new york were crashed into by 2 planes, one on each tower, 18 minutes apart. Nobody really knows who did it, but the planes were big ones. Normally I wouldn't consider posting this on Slashdot, but I'm making an exception this time because I can't get news through any of the conventional websites, and I assume I'm not alone. Update We're having server problems. Sorry. Updated info, both towers havecollapsed, pentagon hit by 3rd plane. Part of it has collapsed.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

World Trade Towers and Pentagon Attacked

Comments Filter:
  • by Uttles (324447) <uttles AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:17AM (#2277124) Homepage Journal
    Yahoo has an article [yahoo.com] but right now it's only about 1 sentence long and just says that a plane hit the world trade center. I'm sure they'll post some good links though. I can't get to any of the other sites, all too busy.
    • by takochan (470955) <takochan42NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:37AM (#2277494)
      They hit tower one of the WTC and *now toppled both over*. And got the pentagon too..

      Now, a couple things.. this is bad, this is really bad..

      Apparently it was Palestinian terrorists that
      did it (so TV is reporting)..

      If it really was Palestinians, as much as I hate to say this.. I sort of understand..

      before I start, I am a normal American white guy, am open minded, and think every race in the world has a right to their own safety and piece (including Americans).. I have absolutely nothing to do with the Arab israeli conflict (I am not arab, or Jewish, or anything like that), nor do I know any of either side closely at all..

      But I was in Isreal once on business, and I saw what the Israelies do to the Palestinians, and what I saw made me sick to be an American because of how our government supports what the Israelis do to those people..

      Basically, the isrealis take palestinian land bit by bit to make settlements for Israelis only, and shoot/run over/kill Palestinians with the guns, helicopters and bullets that we, America give the Israelis.

      We dont report these travesties on American news (though you can get it on the BBC, CBC and other foreign outlets, and watch Israelis shoot with machine guns, 12 year old arab kids throwing rocks).

      It is worse than south Africa, and I go as far to say, that the Israelis have put the Palestinians in concentration camp like conditions for the last 20 years or so, bulldozing their houses for their land, shooting their kids, controlling their land, their economy and choking them off one by one..

      And when other countries like the Africans try to tell the truth (yes, the Israelis are racists..absolutely, they have dual licence plates for Palestine cars, dont let them drive on the same roads as Israelis, and occupy their country).

      And we, the United states government, give more money, bombs, guns and weapons to Israel than to any other country in the world in foreign aid.., knowing (and allowing0 the Israelis to shoot, maim and rob more palestians of there property, lives and freedom.

      And we have been doing that for 20 years now at least..

      What else should we have expected really?

      This terrorism really sucks, .. but we should
      also look at what we have been doing too the last 20 years.. and why a people felt so driven to do this to us..

      • by zeus_tfc (222250) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:38AM (#2277817) Homepage Journal
        I'm sorry, but I must disagree. A group of Jewish people sitting on a stretch of land so small you can spit across, and surrounded by enemies, and you blame them for being brutal for protecting thier land? They are not trying to take over the area, merely trying to SURVIVE. The Israeli motto is "NEVER AGAIN"... Never again will they sit by and let a group try to eradicate them. Never again will they be victimized.

        With regard to your words about atrocities, both sides are equally guilty of brutality. Don't lay all the blame on Israel. The main reason why we side with the Israel, aside from the Holocaust, is the fact that SEVERAL leaders of Middle eastern nations have vowed to ELIMINATE the Jews. Not "get our land back," or "defend ourselves and our way of life," but ERADICATE the jewish people. All Jews everywhere. By aiding Israel we are not participating in a mass extinction, we are trying to prevent one from happening.

        Zeus_tfc
        • The problem with the "Never Again" defense is that no sooner had they suffered their own attrocities then they started INFLICTING THE SAME ATTROCITIES in the land they unilaterally decided was theirs and theirs alone.

          Israel COULD have had credibility as an idea if they'd tried to create a Switzerland of sorts, a promised land flowing with milk and honey where people were free to worship as they pleased and proudly declare their heritage without fear of persecution.

          But instead, they decided to found the nation on principles of xenophobia and entitlement and death and suffering to anyone who opposed them. That's the main reason why the arabs detest them.

          It's sad, because I am sure that not all Israelis are like the guy who killed Yitzak Rabin, or Ariel Sharon. They are most likely human beings who would like to live out their lives as best they can and let their neighbors do the same. Most palestinians are probably like that, too.

          Frankly, I don't think any power in that region is capable of fairly governing it.
      • by fanatic (86657) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:40AM (#2277837)
        This isn't the way to address this. We (the US) are now COMPELLED to go totally hardline. If we roll over for this in ANY we, we guarantee ourselves a steady diet of this in the future.

        If Palestinins did this, they have killed any chance for poeace in this generation - and the real killing is probably just beginning.

        As a side note, if our airline security is so good these days, how come they were abler to use 3 (or is it 4 - just heard Camp David got hit, don't know if this is true or not) airplanes as weapons?
        • by imipak (254310) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @12:21PM (#2278366) Journal
          We (the US) are now COMPELLED to go totally hardline

          That won't solve anything. I have family in Ireland, and we well know the result of that kind of an attitude. The right way forward is much harder than just bombing the crap out of a random Islamic country. It's down to GWB to do the right thing.

          Regarding airline security: this is the result of the US having had it so EASY for the last 40 years. As a friend said, none of us (Euros) would have been surprised for something like this to have happened at any time, virtually, since the 1982 massacres in Beirut at least. Not to mention the many, many, many other countries around the war that the US has picked on to protect their trade interests, or to prop up some dictatorship.

  • cnn report (Score:5, Informative)

    by schmack (32384) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:18AM (#2277131)
    apologies to cnn for ripping this off their site:

    NEW YORK (CNN) -- What appeared to be two passenger planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan on Tuesday, leaving both towers in flames.

    About 18 minutes after the first plane hit the northern tower, a second plane slammed into the southern tower, erupting into a huge fireball. The harrowing images were caught in live video.

    Live pictures showed a gaping hole on the side of the northern building, several stories down from the top. Black smoke was billowing from at least two sides.

    The second crash hit the second tower several stories lower than the first in a huge burst of flame.

    Sean Murtagh, a CNN vice president, was in an office near the World Trade Center towers at the time of the first crash. He witnessed the crash.

    "It was a jet, looked like a two-engine jet," Murtagh said. "It looked like maybe a 737."

    Murtagh said he saw the plane "teetering back and forth, wingtip to wingtip" before the plane smashed into the side of the building.

    Jeanne Yurman witnessed the explosion that followed the crash.

    "At first it was like leaflets," she said, describing the debris that fell to the ground. "There was tons of debris and it continues to fall out."

    Yurman said she did not see the plane.
  • ABC's down too (Score:2, Informative)

    by evenprime (324363)
    I can't get to www.abcnews.com, either
  • Hijacked (Score:2, Informative)

    by J.C.B. (141141)
    MSNBC has been saying that the FBI thinks one or both of the planes were hijacked.
  • News so far (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mondrames (242558) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:18AM (#2277139)
    Ok this is what I know:
    8:55 one Plane or missile hits tower
    9:05 secone 727 Passanger plane hits tower

    Eye witnessess are pretty sure the first one was a plane, but some believe they saw a missile.

    2nd crash caught on tape because news crews came to cover 1st crash.

    Not sure if it is navigational error or deliberate attacks.

    All I know, and could be erronous - everything is the first hour into an event like this

    • Re:News so far (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zachary Kessin (1372)
      No way its a Navigation Error. Its a bright sunny day. Any flight crew that could pass a Class 1 medical could see the building. And While I don't have a chart here I don't think that the WTC is near any of the routes in or out of any of the major NY/NJ Airports. (JFK,LGA,EWK,TEB etc)

    • Re:News so far (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jhoffoss (73895)
      Not sure if it is navigational error or deliberate attacks.

      ------

      Are you BRAIN-DEAD?
    • BREAKING NEWS! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Surak (18578)
      According to CNN, The Pentagon and the Washington Mall were also hit!

      This is definitely a carefully planned deliberate attack by some large terrorist organization!
  • photo (Score:4, Informative)

    by Staciebeth (40574) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:18AM (#2277140) Homepage
    the washington post [washingtonpost.com] has a photo

    • MIRROR (Score:5, Informative)

      by macdaddy (38372) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:30AM (#2277275) Homepage Journal
      Here's [sktc.net] a mirror of the Washington Post picture before it gets /.ed. It shows a big hole in one tower ad billowing black smoke from both. Also, here's a rip off of the Washington Post story. (sorry WP):

      Planes Crash Into World Trade Center

      NEW YORK - An aircraft crashed into the upper floors of one of the World Trade Center towers Tuesday morning, and black smoke poured out of two gaping holes, witnesses said. Shortly afterward a second explosion rocked the other tower.

      There was no immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the disaster, which happened shortly before 9 a.m.

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

      Large holes were visible in two sides of the 110-story building, one of landmark twin towers.

      There was no immediate word on injuries or fatalities in the twin disasters, which happened shortly before 9 a.m. and then right around 9 a.m.

      The towers were struck by bombers in February 1993.

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

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

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

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

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

      In 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber, crashed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in dense fog.

    • More pictures (Score:3, Informative)

      by gimbo (91234)
      Here are some more pictures [gimbo.co.uk], obtained from Sky News [sky.com] - scary stuff...
  • alternative link (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DkY (444692) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:19AM (#2277144)
    http://www.sky.com/skynews/storytemplate/storytopp ic/0,,30000-1029102,00.html

    This is the stopry on sky news
  • by DragonPup (302885) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:19AM (#2277147)
    An unconfirmed report from a anonymous American Airlines employee said a AA plane was involved, possibly hijacked. Why do terrorists seem to go after the World Trade Center, anyways?

    -Henry
    • "Why do terrorists seem to go after the World Trade Center, anyways?"

      My guess is they see it as a link to US, Big Money, whatever they think is keeping Elbonia down, so they need to attack it. As if they think their attack has any chance of killing the board of the I.M.F. Sorry, go back to Elbonia, you are NOT a winner...

      This just makes me sick, but there is no other explanation that fits.

      -Kasreyn
    • Why do terrorists seem to go after the World Trade Center, anyways?

      Because terrorists are primitive and think in a sort of 19th-century way about "symbols" and the like. To them, the World Trade Center is the symbol of America's economic success, and they think that Americans will be devastated if it is successfully attacked.

      The truth is, if anything, it shows how limited and weak the terrorists really are - their one and only target has been standing there for decades and they've just finally figured out how to seriously damage it.

      If they had managed to simultaneously do the same thing in multiple cities, one might be impressed at their capabilities - as it stands, woop-de-do, they can hijack two planes at the same time.

      America doesn't have anything real to worry about, not that it shouldn't go after the perpetrators with everything it's got.

  • Today Show (Score:3, Informative)

    by Erasei (315737) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:19AM (#2277151) Homepage
    Well, take it for what it is worth, but the Today Show is claiming that both planes were hijacked. Like Taco said, the only size of the planes being reported is 'big'. But if they really were hijacked, that usually implies they were pretty good sized planes.
  • Apparently... (Score:2, Informative)

    by !ramirez (106823)
    It was 2 737-800's, possibly Delta Express. No word on hijacking, etc.
  • lots of people lost their lives today... this is one of the most unfortunate things to happen in a long time
  • BBC Coverage (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrEp (89884) <crb002@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:20AM (#2277161) Homepage Journal
    This is the story at BBC. [bbc.co.uk]

    I hope you all enjoy. The BBC ususaly is better at reporting anyway.
  • I saw it... (Score:4, Informative)

    by EEEthan (41747) <emh26.columbia@edu> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:20AM (#2277165) Homepage
    I was going over the Williamsburg bridge this morning...at that time, I saw that the first tower was on fire. I saw the clock at the Essex/Delancey station, it was about 3 of 9.
    When I got to work in DUMBO, I saw that the other tower was on fire.

    This is insanity.
  • url (Score:4, Informative)

    by magoo (17934) <legare@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:20AM (#2277168)
    see http://www.canoe.ca [canoe.ca] to see the hole in the WTA!
  • The Running Man (Score:2, Informative)

    by gughunter (188183)
    Damn... now Stephen King is going to have to deal with ANOTHER round of people blaming popular culture for inspiration to perform violent acts.
  • Try the BBC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mkarpinski (409464)
    Here's two pictures and a brief write-up. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/ne wsid_1537000/1537469.stm
  • by Trinity-Infinity (91335) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:22AM (#2277180) Homepage
    They've got some footage at the BBC... Its the only thing I can access so far

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/ne wsid_1537000/1537469.stm">http://news.bbc.co.uk /hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1537000/1537469. stm
  • Sites (Score:2, Informative)

    by Runt-Abu (471363)
    BBC is being slow but does load with
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/ ne wsid_1537000/1537469.stm

    The fastest loading thus far is http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_395669.html

    Woah.
  • by nmg196 (184961)
    Sky news has an article with pictures:

    http://www.sky.com/skynews/storytemplate/storytopp ic/0,,30000-1029102,00.html [sky.com]

    ..until I post this that is!

    Nick...
  • Another site... (Score:2, Informative)

    by dylan_- (1661)


    Since so many appear to be slashdotted This is London [thisislondon.co.uk] also has it.

    Avoiding the filter, etc, etc

  • by Hobbex (41473)

    It could just be the sheer amount of people clicking in in shock - but there have been news stories in the past without the news sites going down.

    Is there cyber attack being run together with the terrorist one?
  • God help them (Score:3, Redundant)

    by alta (1263) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:29AM (#2277255) Homepage Journal
    Pray for those who have died and those that are trapped.
  • I was watching CNN as I got ready for work when the the planes piled in - saw the second one happen live. I'm sure the news folks will have some better info out there shortly, but it looked like a 737 to me. Grey paint, so maybee Continental. It hit fast and they were too busy to show a re-run of the impact.

    Man, I was just in that plaza last week. Tons of people on the street in that area. My heart goes out to those people.
  • oh man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Redking (89329) <stevenw&redking,com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:29AM (#2277258) Homepage Journal
    i used to work at a company in the world trade center, in the tower that was bombed in 1993. everybody used to remember the bombing in the back of their minds, but security was pretty tight everyday. however, there were hundreds of thousands of people who commute to the financial district everyday and the place is ripe for terrorism.

    that said, i hope everyone is ok. the two towers make a great target for anyone. i didn't work that high up, but i can't imagine walking the stairs. they're plain concrete stairs without windows or anything. in a time of panic like this, it would be easy to get hurt simply trying to evacuate.

    i really hope everyone is ok.
    • Well, there's bound to be plenty of casualties in the north tower (the first one hit), but there was then 20 minutes in which both towers were ordered to evacuate, so that should hopefully keep the body count down.

      *sigh*
  • by RasputinAXP (12807) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:29AM (#2277270) Homepage Journal
    First of all, all NYC news stations cannot broadcast locally, their antennae are on the WTC.

    The second plane was shown crashing in. From the outline of the plane in the video, it was a Boeing 737 or 727. Midsized twin-engine jet, full of fuel.

    Reports are confirmed of one hijacking; they are also sure that they were both planes.

    I'm thanking God that my father didn't have any business in NY today. I'm also praying that none of my family were around there.

  • Accident...? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pathwayX (453746) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:30AM (#2277277)

    I really don't see how this could be an accident. The rule is that any airplane accident is a combination of at least three different errors/factors.

    However. Any urban area, especially one with such a dense traffic, is at all times under radar surveillance and Air Traffic Control. Unless a number of people simultaneously had their braincells commit mass suicide, this could (or should) not have happened.

    I fear that this is the result of terrorism. And if the news say different, I'll be very skeptical. After all, if it were terrorism, what does this show to the US public? That they're vulnerable at any time. Not exactly a sentiment the Powers That Be would like to instill to their voters...

    And one last thing. Whatever this turns out to be, and as much as people all over the world are glued to their PCs or TV sets for news, there's one thing to remember here. It's not 'exciting', it's not 'fun'. It's tragic. These were real, live people...and the news channels are having a field day.

    • And what exactly would ATC do? All ATC has is a Radar and a Radio. The folks in the cockpit of the airliners who are doing this can very simply turn off their radio (Or ignore it). In the time it would take to get from any of the 3 New York airports to the World Trade Center (Probably about 3-4 Minutes) there is not a damn thing anyone can do.

      I imagine a bunch of folks at New York Aproach Control watched this in total horor in the radar, but there was not anything they could actualy do about it.
  • I am watching TV News on my local ABC News, and saw the second aircraft go into the building. Analysts on ABC saw the second aircraft loooks similar to a Boeing 767, or some form of Airbus. Currently both towers are burning in the top 20 or so floors of one building. The second aircraft appears to have hit within the top 30 or 40 floors, at 9:03 by my watch. The Northern Tower was hit about 8:40 - 8:45 eastern time. New York City has shut down all Airports, and the airspace, and are evacuating major public building

    There are also unconfirmed reports of an aircraft being hi-jacked shortly before the incidents.

    - - -
    Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.com]
    an alternate news site using Slash Code
    "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
    - - -

    • From Local News in Boston: CNN is reporting that one of the planes that hit the towers is a Boeing 767 that was hijacked from Boston's Logan Airport.

      This is very bad

      - - -
      Radio Free Nation [radiofreenation.com]
      an alternate news site using Slash Code
      "If You have a Story, We have a Soap Box"
      - - -

  • You may want to try this site. As it's not a US site, it's probably receiving a lot less traffic than CNN or MSNBC.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/ ne wsid_1537000/1537469.stm
  • One of the planes... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CokeBear (16811) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:32AM (#2277296) Journal
    was an American Airlines 767 from Boston.
    My guess (at 9:33am EDT) is that both planes were hijacked.
  • what's next? sears tower? space needle?

  • The site is loading relatively fast. www.boston.com has a picture and a one page story.
  • hijacking (Score:2, Informative)

    by jamesbrown1000 (39200)
    the FBI is reporting at least one of the two planes was hijacked -- an american airlines flight from boston to los angeles. nobody knows yet where the plane was in its travels when it was hijacked.
  • Those people that actually can extract the text, please copy and paste the info, DON'T LINK!!

    (sorry for yelling)
  • Air Traffic Logs? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jameshowison (162886)
    Has anyone heard the air traffic logs from around the time of the crash?

    They are available live on

    http://www.atlascomm.net/faaflyer/live.html

    Maybe they have recorded logs.

    James
  • NSA and CIA SIGINT ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jerdenn (86993) <jerdenn@dennany.org> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @09:37AM (#2277356)
    As an interesting aside, days like this are something that our NSA and CIA are here to prevent. They monitor communications traffic (SIGINT) and attempt to forcast terrorist like events. My question is:

    How many slashdotters will rethink their views on the necessity of CIA and NSA covert SIGINT after today's tragedy?

    -jerdenn

    • Given that they seem to have had absolutely no clue at all, I would say they don't seem very necessary at all. In fact, they probably give us a false sense of security. Perhaps it's time for Americans to realize that the worlds largets military and largest spy organizations don't allow us to screw with the rest of the world with impunity.
  • by ZeroVerteX (196791)
    Check USA Today's site. It still seems to be up.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/msnbc/ ms091101-2v.htm [washingtonpost.com] is the link to a video from the washington post. It shows the second plane hitting the building.

    D

  • President Bush just spoke for two minutes. He confirmed that it was, indeed, a terrorist attack.
  • FL Today Story #1 (Score:3, Informative)

    by JCMay (158033) <JeffMayNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:17AM (#2277473) Homepage
    N.Y., D.C. attacked

    Associated Press

    NEW YORK (AP) - Two planes crashed into the upper floors of both World
    Trade Center towers minutes apart Tuesday in what the President Bush said
    was an apparent terrorist attack, blasting fiery, gaping holes in the 110-story
    buildings. There was no immediate word on deaths or injuries.

    Within the hour, an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the
    Pentagon, and the West Wing of the White House was evacuated amid threats
    of terrorism.

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

    One of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked
    after takeoff from Boston, a U.S. official said, citing a transmission from the
    plane.

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

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

    Heavy black smoke billowed into the sky above the gaping holes in the side of
    the 110-story twin towers, one of New York City's most famous landmarks, and
    debris rained down upon the street, one of the city's busiest work areas. When
    the second plane hit, a fireball of flame and smoke erupted, leaving a huge
    hole in the glass and steel tower.

    People ran down the stairs in panic and fled the building. Thousands of pieces
    of what appeared to be office paper came drifting over Brooklyn, about three
    miles away.

    "Today we've had a national tragedy," Bush said in Sarasota, Fla. "Two
    airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist
    attack on our country." He said he would be returning immediately to
    Washington.

    Ira Furber, former National Transportation Safety Board spokesman,
    discounted the likelihood of accident.

    "I don't think this is an accident," he said on CNN. "You've got incredibly good
    visibility. No pilot is going to be relying on navigational equipment."

    "It's just not possible in the daytime," he added. "A second occurrence is just
    beyond belief."

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

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

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

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

    A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the
    agency is pursuing reports that one or both of the planes were hijacked and
    that the crashes may have been the result of a suicide mission.

    "It certainly doesn't look like an accident," said a second government official,
    also speaking on condition of anonymity.

    In 1945, an Army Air Corps B-25, a twin-engine bomber, crashed into the 79th
    floor of the Empire State Building in dense fog.

    In Florida, Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his
    chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear. The president briefly turned
    somber before he resumed reading. He addressed the tragedy about a
    half-hour later.

  • by bluGill (862) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:28AM (#2277493)

    Congress typically feels the need to respond after some high profile incident like this. There is no way at this time to know what accually happened, or how to prevent this. (Much less how to prevent this without trampeling your rights). Still congress wants to do something, so they appear to have the ebst attentions. Odds are this will be used to trample on your rights.

  • by EyesOfNostradamus (75825) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:47AM (#2277515) Homepage
    The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude,
    Fire approaches the great new city [New York]
    Immediately a huge, scattered flame leaps up
    When they want to have verification from the Normans [French].
  • by goliard (46585) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:55AM (#2277549)
    NPR is reporting another hijacked plane is still in the air; flying along the east coast; being shaddowed by a F-16.
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre AT geekbiker DOT net> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:57AM (#2277566) Homepage Journal
    The biggest casualty will probably be our

    Constitution. Whenever a tragedy likes this occurs, the government always announces a get tough on terrorists policy that will have no effect on the psychopaths who do this, but will severely limit our rights.

    The huge loss of life is bad enough. The subsequent loss of what truly represents what this country stands for will be intolerable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @10:58AM (#2277576)
    From KFWB News (AM, Los Angeles)

    http://kfwb.com/news/nat/n091101.html

    Car bomb explodes near State Department building
    Unconfirmed report: part of Pentagon building collapses after explosion
    Large plane crashes in western Pennsylvania, unconfirmed report
    Unconfirmed reports: Another hijacked plane in the air in the East Coast
    New York: both World Trade Center towers collapsed after attacks
    All emergency operation centers activated in California
    All international flights headed to Washington and New York have been diverted to Canada
    All federal buildings in Washington D.C. are closed down -- Capitol Hill, Justice Department, State Department, White House, and other buildings
    Military planes patrolling airspace above Manhattan -- told to shoot down any planes that don't leave area, unconfirmed report
    Nationally, all takeoffs have been suspended
    LAPD on tactical alert
    Explosion at Old Executive Office Building next to White House
    George W. Bush: "An apparent terrorist attack."
    One of the planes was American Airlines Flight 11, 767 jetliner headed from Boston to Los Angeles, unconfirmed reports

    (KFWB) 9.11.01, 7:44a -- In what the federal government is considering a terrorist attack, a number of apparent terrorist attacks took place in Washington, D.C. and in New York.

    Two planes crashed into the upper floors of both World Trade Center towers in New York this morning at 6am Pacific time. Black smoke is pouring out of gaping holes which were blown into the two towers from the impact and subsequent explosions.

    One of the two towers at the World Trade Center collapsed about an hour after the attack. There were eyewitness reports of people jumping and falling out of the upper floors of the towers.

    Meantime in Washington D.C., the White House and the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and all other federal buildings have been evacuated and closed down. There are reports that an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the Pentagon within an hour after the first attack in New York. There is also a fire at the State Department building.

    The Federal Aviation Administration has shut down all aircraft takeoffs nationwide amid reports that at least one plane was hijacked for the attack.

    Military planes are patrolling a no-fly zone above Manhattan, where there are orders to divert or shoot down any plane above downtown New York.

    President George W. Bush said that the crashes were "an apparent terrorist attack on our country." The president has cleared his day's schedule and is heading back to Washington D.C. to meet with advisors. Bush says there will be a "full scale investigation to hunt down and find those folks who have committed this act."

    In New York, two planes crashed about 18 minutes apart -- one crashed around the 80th floor of one tower, the other crashed at around the 60th floor of another tower.

    The planes are described as jet airliners.

    CNN and the AP are reporting that one of the planes may have been a hijacked American Airlines flight, a Boeing 767 jetliner, from Boston.

    A large amount of dark smoke is billowing out of the remaining tower. Debris is falling out of the upper floors of the tower and onto the streets below.

    There are major evacuations in the area. KFWB's Erin Kotecki reports that a friend in one of the towers told her by phone that the World Trade Center is being evacuated, and described the scene as "chaos."

    "Flood of folks escaping downtown Manhattan," an eyewitness reports. Emergency crews are having trouble reaching the disaster area.

    The New York stock exchange was evacuated and trading is not expected to take place. A number of financial businesses are located in the towers.

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

    More to come on this breaking story.

  • by kryzx (178628) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:00AM (#2277588) Homepage Journal
    Can see it billowing smoke from the office
    windows. We heard a second large explosion around 10:30. Don't know what it was yet.
    One guy here was outside when the plane hit
    the Pentagon, he heard the plane's engine, saw
    the fireball. We had debris coming down in the
    courtyard here from the explosion. Have a couple
    people from the company over at the Pentagon, but
    everyone's accounted for now.
  • Latest from Sky news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ian@FI (161096) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:01AM (#2277596)
    Two planes have smashed into the World Trade Centre towers in New York and a third into the Pentagon in what is being described as the worst terrorist attack in history.

    Both the 1,360-ft towers have now collapsed. More than 50,000 people work in the complex.

    There are also reports of an explosion at Capitol Hill and of a fourth hijacked aircraft heading towards Washington.

    A separate fire forced the evacuation of the White House.

    Reports are coming in that another large plane has crashed south of Pittsburgh.

    Hijack

    It is reported two United Airlines passenger planes were hijacked shortly before the first plane struck the Trade Centre in Manhattan.

    One was thought to be a 737 capable of carrying more than 100 passengers. The other was confirmed as an American flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles. A Boeing 767 can carry up to 269 people.

    A third plane has slammed into the Pentagon just outside Washington DC parts of the complex collapsed after fire engulfed the building. Much of the complex is in flames.

    Gaping hole

    The first plane smashed into the top stories of one of the Trade Centre's towers, leaving two gaping holes in the side.

    Minutes later another aircraft approached, turned in the air and crashed into the lower storeys of the second tower - the footage was seen live on TV stations around the world.

    The second explosion engulfed several floors.

    A person who answered the phone on the trading floor at interdealer-broker Cantor Fitzgerald, located near the top of the World Trade Center, said: "We're f***ing dying," then hung up. There was screaming and yelling in the background. A follow up call was not answered.

    "This has got to be one of the most horrendous terrorist attacks perhaps ever perpetrated," terrorism expert Chris Yates told Sky News.

    Flights grounded

    At least 1,000 people have been reported injured. The 110-storey towers are in lower Manhattan.

    All flights to the US have been diverted to Canada. All flights in the US have been grounded. Telephone lines to New York are all down.

    President Bush was in Florida at the time of the attacks but is now returning to Washington.

    More follows .

    Last Modified: 15:44 UK, Tuesday September 11, 2001
  • DONATE BLOOD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marshall Rosenstein (520633) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:09AM (#2277658)
    If you are wondering what you can do to help.
  • by omoore (520635) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:09AM (#2277659)
    http://www.krmg.com/features/091101worldtradeattac k.html
  • More reports (Score:5, Informative)

    by rabtech (223758) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:09AM (#2277664) Homepage
    All major downtown cities are being evacuated. All federal buildings across the country are also being cleared. The president is heading toward a secret destination with a squadron of fighter jets as an escort.

    Both Trade Center buildings have totally collapsed. A plan has hit the pentagon building.

    The FAA is reporting that SEVERAL planes are unaccounted for. No word on how many of those might be hijacked or their destination, although one Trans-atlantic flight is reportedly headed for Washington,DC. As a result, fighter jets are currently flying cover over the city as everyone evacuates.

    No other word so far.
  • by UnBlinking (520203) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:20AM (#2277713) Homepage
    Although FAA has grounded all flights, many (**) are past the point of no return coming from Europe (Schiphol, DeGaulle, Heathrow, et al), South America, or Asia... while others (=) have turned back.

    Trackable here, with maps, direction, and air speed:

    http://www.flightexplorer.com/FastTrack.asp

    Track a random flight, or select one of particular interest.

    Reports just gathered on random flights:

    Continental express #4804 from GWB Intercon to Jackson Inter ETA 14:42 UTC
    ** American #14 from Brussels to JFK, ETA 18:28 UTC
    American Airlines #2401 Dallas to Phoenix ETA 14:40 UTC
    ** United #26 Schiphol to Newark ETA 18:22 UTC
    Delta #368 Seattle to Seattle ETA 14:34 UTC, turned back
    ** Air France #378 De Gaulle to Philadelphia ETA 16:17 UTC
    ** American #936 Simon Bolivar to Miami ETA 15:38 UTC
    Northwest #1019 George Bush to Memphis ETA 14:54 UTC
    Southwest airlines Kansas city to Will Rogers ETA 14:18 UTC
    Southwest airlines Indianapolis to Albuquerque ETA 14:44 UTC
    ** Telford Aviation #106 Heathrow to General Edward Lawrence ETA 17:42 UTC
    ** Continental #37 Dusseldorf to Newark ETA 18:08 UTC
    = Chataqua #4758 Gatwick to Orlando, has turned back
    ** Northwest Airlines #12 Tokyo Intl to Detroit ETA 19:14 UTC
    Northwest Airlines #1843 Buffalo to Minneapolis ETA 15:13 UTC
    ** American #83 Frankfurt to Chicago ETA 18:33
    = Delta #127 Barajas to JFK at 16:32 , has turned north
    ** Virgin Atlantic #27 Gatwick to Orlando ETA 18:32
    = Delta #11 Gatwick to Atlanta ETA 19:33 UTC, now turned west
    Flight International Jacksonville, Jacksonville circling.
    ** Delta #1852 Schiphol to GWBush ETA 18:14 UTC
    ** American Eagle #622 Frankfurt to Dallas ETA 19:53 UTC
    Air Canada #993 from Toronto, turned back to Toronto
    = Delta #1581 Heathrow to ? now turned north to Toronto ETA 14:17 UTC
    = Unknown #LU Gatwick to BWI at 19:33 UTC, now turned back Northeast
    = US Air #2296 Luis Munoz to Philadelphia ETA 16:06 UTC, now turned back south

    Note that some flights may not have sufficient fuel to turn back or divert -- perhaps those from the Far East, Africa, or the Middle East are the most likely to need to land in the US.

    Other options:
    http://www.trip.com/trs/trip/flighttracker/flight_ tracker_home.xsl

    GS http://www.unblinking.com/
  • by nwetters (93281) <ngourlay@gma i l .com> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:23AM (#2277727) Homepage
    By FT.com staff - Sep 11 2001 15:35:23

    US President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that the full resources of the US would be used to "hunt down" the perpetrators of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

    The immediate assumption was that a Middle Eastern group must be responsible for an attack of this magitude and complexity. Palestinian militants made an immediate claim of responsibility. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestinian, a militant splinter group, issued a statement of responsibility to a TV station in Abu Dhabai.

    Analysts said the claim should be treated with caution. The DFLP has no history of terrorist attacks outside Israel and the occupied territories. The group was founded in 1969 when it split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and opposes the Middle East peace process.

    The group conducted numerous small bombings and minor assaults, and some more spectacular operations in Israel during the 1970s, concentrating on Israeli targets. Since 1988 it has been limited to border raids around Israel.

    Phil Butterworth-Hayes, the civil aviation editor with the Janes information group, said that aircraft attacks such as those on the WTC were very difficult to stop.

    "The whole civil aviation system works on trust. In America,security systems are the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration. The first thing the FAA are going to have to do is completely rethink some of the security systems they have in place at the moment," Mr Butterworth-Hayes said.

    "Terrorists are always one step ahead of the institutions that really need protection. Once you defeat one aspect of terrorism, you have to battle against something else," he said.

    © Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2001.

  • by austad (22163) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:26AM (#2277743) Homepage
    They have video of the planes hitting and the towers falling.

    marketwatch.com [marketwatch.com]
  • by Voline (207517) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:30AM (#2277762)
    I'm listening to National Public Radio. The host of Morning Edition, Bob Edwards, just interviewed Dr. Alice Cronin professor of Counter-Terrorism at Georgetown University. She said (I'm paraphrasing),

    "We have liberties in the US that we cherish, but there may need to be some trade-offs of those for greater security. And those trade-offs will be on the table."

    Look for those in government who always seek an opportunity to restrict civil liberties to attempt to use this as a pretext for that.

    We have to be ready to counter that immediately!
  • by stonewolf (234392) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:33AM (#2277785) Homepage
    The TV is reporting that a Palestinian group conducted these attacks. No matter who did it many Americans will believe that it was done by Palestinians. Over the last 5 years public opinion in the US has been turning toward the Palestinians and away from the Israelis.

    But now, this attack will rate up their with the loss of the Battleship Maine and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Who ever has done this has doomed themselves, and they have destroyed Palestine as well.

    If you are religious this would be a good time to pray that no nukes are used in retaliation. There will be retatliation. Even God can't stop that.

    Stonewolf
  • by therhyn (164972) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:35AM (#2277799)
    Pittsburgh flight is confirmed as United flight 93, 757 plane. 911 cellphone call from the plane points at hijacking.

    United's site just has a press release, but I think they said flight 93 was from Newark to San Fransisco.

    I know the area where it crashed, and it's just where the allegheny mountains begin, _nothing but trees_, so obviously they didn't acheive what they were aiming for.

    There are still planes unaccounted for by airlines.

    What a mess.
  • by JCMay (158033) <JeffMayNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:36AM (#2277802) Homepage
    First plane had 81 passengers and 11 crewmembers. Second plane had 58 passengers and a crew of 6.
  • I saw it happen. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arkham6 (24514) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:36AM (#2277807)
    I work right across the river from NYC, and around 9 someone told me that a plane had hit the WTC. I ran down to the conference room and saw a huge cloud of smoke. There was a giant hole in the building, and i could see the flames licking out. A few minutes later, the second airplane hit in a huge explosion. I went back to my office to talk to co-workers, and about 20 minutes later, went back to the conference room. I just got there when there was this huge puff of dust and smoke, and I saw the building fall.

    Please, if anyone wants to help, go see your local red cross, and donate a few pints of blood. We are going to need it.
  • by crashnbur (127738) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:40AM (#2277830)
    CNS News [cnsnews.com]

    NewsMax [newsmax.com]

    World Net Daily [worldnetdaily.com]

    Chicago Sun Times [suntimes.com]

    Druge Report [drudgereport.com]

    I don't feel like making any comments... None are necessary. Here are the last few news sites I can find that aren't flooded offline.

  • summary (Score:3, Informative)

    by abde (136025) <.apoonawa-blog. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:40AM (#2277836) Homepage
    All news outlets on the Internet are shut down due to massive surge in traffic, so I am summarizing from reports collected via television, as well as friends in CNN , New York, and Boston. The best source for news is probably television broadcast, or your local city's newspaper website.

    Around 8:00 AM, two planes smashed into one each of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, not more than twenty minutes apart. One of the airplanes was confirmed to be an American Airlines flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, which was hijacked and diverted. The other was also a hijacked American Airlines flight, this has not been confirmed.

    Around 9:00 AM, the south tower of the WTC collapsed. People were seen jumping out of the 101-story building's topmost floors. At about 9:30, the second tower also collapsed. Both towers of the World Trade Center have been utterly destroyed.

    At about the same time, a plane also crashed into the Pentagon building in Washington DC. That plane was also a hijacked passenger airliner. Another passenger airliner (United Airlines flight 93, enroute to San Francisco) has crashed in Pennsylvania, which may also have been hijacked. Car bombs have been reported at the US Capitol and the State Department.

    The White House, State Department, Treasury, and Pentagon have all been evacuated. Manhattan island has been quarantined and Wall Street has suspended trading. Canary Wharf in London, The Sears Tower, Chicago Board of Trade, and John Hancock Center in Chicago, the John Hancock and Prudential Towers in Boston, and CNN Center in Atlanta have all been evacuated/locked down. Major downtown centers in cities across the United States are also being evacuated. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has grounded *all* flights in the USA.
  • by don_carnage (145494) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:42AM (#2277849) Homepage

    You know, through all of this, I have been unable to find any solid news source besides Slashdot.

    Thanks to all of you out there posting links and getting the news through to those of us without televisions or radios!

  • by zulux (112259) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:44AM (#2277863) Homepage Journal
    99.9999 of Arabic people in the US are here because they love the US. They may express it differently, and sometimes have odd viewpoints, but at the end of the day, they are here and love the USA.

  • CNN.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by DarkEdgeX (212110) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:45AM (#2277870) Journal
    CNN.com has dropped all of their advertising and replaced their main webpage with a short bulletted listing of the incidents and status so far under the headline "AMERICA UNDER ATTACK", and the single link on their main page takes you to another advertisement free page with the fully info so far (http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/worldtrade.crash /index.html).

    It's absolutely amazing that these attacks managed to get pulled off, and it really redefines the word "terrorism".
  • Donate Blood (Score:4, Informative)

    by MousePotato (124958) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:51AM (#2277926) Homepage Journal
    We are turning our business into an emergency blood donation center for the red cross. I ask that anyone who has a business that has a large amount of free space to donate it as an emergency center for the ARC to setup at.

    If you cannot do that please just go and donate blood. It is desperately needed.

  • by ender- (42944) <doubletwistNO@SPAMfearthepenguin.net> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @11:55AM (#2277975) Homepage Journal
    http://www.spack.nu/wtc/ [spack.nu]



    here is a mirror with pics that seem to have been taken from a digital camera.


    As well as video of a plane hitting a tower and one of the towers collapsing.


    I wish my server luck...


    ender-

  • by firewort (180062) on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @12:27PM (#2278437)
    Haaretzdaily.com ( a newspaper in Israel, so you know)

    IS reporting that [haaretzdaily.com] " The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine initially took responsibility, but later an official from the organization denied any involvement. Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat condemned the attacks.

    A U.S. official said there had been no advance warning of an attack. "It's clear that this is terrorist-related, we're not sure who is responsible," the official said.

    Israel evacuated all its missions around the world. Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer hinted that the attack was carried out by Islamic terrorists, saying that "the threat of radical Islam is the central threat to the free world because its goal is to destroy everything connected to the values of western democracies."

    Ben-Eliezer, who cancelled a scheduled trip to the U.S. which was to begin Wednesday, confirmed that an Israeli rescue team was being sent to the U.S. to help with the rescue operation.

    Three weeks ago, arch-terrorist Osama Ben Laden warned that he would carry out an unprecedented attack on American interests because of their support for Israel. "

    and that palestinians on the west bank are celebrating our tragedy: palestinians celebrate [haaretzdaily.com]

    Palestinians in West Bank celebrate attacks on U.S.

    By Amos Harel, Ha'aretz Correspondent and Agencies

    Palestinians across the West Bank on Tuesday celebrated the series of aircraft attacks on New York and Washington. There were scenes of celebration in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tul Karm, Bethlehem and the Balata refugee camp.

    While Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat condemned the attacks which levelled the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and struck the Pentagon in Washington, hundreds of Palestinians distributed sweets in Nablus.

    "I feel I am in a dream. I never believed that one day the United States would come to pay a price for its support to Israel," said Mustafa, a 24-year-old Palestinian gunman.

    Several dozen Palestinian youths gathered in East Jerusalem to celebrate as well, honking out wedding tunes on their car horns. "We are so happy that America was hit. America is against us in supporting Israel," Suleiman, one of the demonstrators, said.

    In Nablus, motorists honked their horns and gunmen fired into the air from assault rifles to cheer on the attacks which unfolded in the space of a few hours.

  • Plea for peace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m2 (5408) <{gro.busk.maps} {ta} {gro.todhsals}> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @12:41PM (#2278605) Homepage Journal

    FWIW, I'm not a citizen of the U.S. nor do I live there.

    Violence induces more violence. Retaliation will only lead to more deaths. If you are a citizen of the U.S. of America, please write your representative right now and ask him to join a plea for peace. Historically the U.S. reaction to this kind of attack is to counter strike. It's highly probably that it's already being planned or even carried on. That will solve nothing. You might get even, but that achieves nothing. The death will not come back and the attack has been already recorded on the books of history. At this point in time, counter attacking is irrational and puts not only the lives of U.S. citizens at risk, but those of lots of people all arround the world, too.

  • by plimsoll (247070) <.moc.liamekaens. .ta. .100c7yj28jd5.> on Tuesday September 11, 2001 @02:27PM (#2279905) Homepage
    I saw both towers go down in person this morning.

    I live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn; just a few blocks from both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. The lower Manhattan skyline is visible from the end of my block and most of the route to Manhattan.

    This morning a little after 9 am I heard a bang. I later learned that this was the second plane hitting the South tower.

    I got a call from my mother in Chicago who wanted to warn me that 'the World Trade Center is under attack by planes.' I turned on the radio as President Bush acknowledged an 'apparent terrorist attack.' Immediately, I got off the line, grabbed my camera and my girlfriend's Walkman, and hopped on my bicycle.

    The plume of smoke, an immense black ribbon stretching toward Manhattan, was visible the entire route down Flatbush Avenue, which terminates at the Manhattan Bridge. This same roadway then becomes Canal Street after reaching Manhattan.

    I tried to take the pedestrian walkway over the Manhattan Bridge, but it seemed at the time that the police weren't going to allow me to pass. So I went to the next best vantage point.

    So I rode into DUMBO; Down Underneath the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, to the park in between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Buildings obstructed the World Trade Center itself until I reached that point.

    Link to map of my vantage point (my spot between the bridges marked with a red +):
    http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=40.7042&lon=-7 3.9943&size=m&s=25 [topozone.com]

    As I came out from under the Manhattan Bridge, I was moved to revulsion at the sight of the gutted twin behemoths. Several floors of the buildings seemed to have been reduced to black girders, consumed by flame as gouts of black smoke spouted from their interiors. Still too large to fall, or so I thought.

    There were fewer than 50 people watching with me, similarly aghast. They opened their car doors and played their radios as loud as they could.

    I watched and shot video from this vantage point as the reports came in: Another plane hit the Pentagon. A plane was missing in Pennsylvania. Another DC Police plane was unaccounted for. I watched reviling at the horror as objects fell from the cracked and fuming edifice.

    The city seemed uncharacteristically quiet. Sirens could be heard over the East River in Manhattan, and occasionally an escorted emergency vehicle or two would cross the Bridges toward Manhattan.

    And then the South tower collapsed.

    It started at the break about 3/4 of the way up the building, the black smoke overcome by white, milky dust. I thought merely the top of the building would fall off, but the entire length of the building splintered open, shattering and unfolding like an explosion at a crystal chandelier factory.

    A solid, white pea-soup fog enveloped downtown. I could only see the very tip of the North Tower's antenna.

    Incredulously, I tried to imagine New York with only one World Trade Tower. Skylines would have to be revised. The remaining tower would be an icon of American resolve and determination over adversity. Musing this kept me from considering the real losses.

    And then the North tower vaporized, unfolding in a shattering parasol of black, then white dust.

    I felt growing dread about my proximity to a remaining landmark, the Brooklyn Bridge, so I unlocked my bike and started home. Nothing more to see.

    It was then I noticed the refugees- throngs of people pouring over the walkways of the bridges above me. Streams of pedestrians walking FDR Drive, the highway running along Manhattan's East side. I even spot a few police trucks headed North on FDR, trailing eddies of debris and dust behind them.

    F-16 fighter jets prowl the sky on high, while Police helicopters and boats trawl the lower strata. All powerless; unable to change the condition of the city; only manage the aftermath.

    I deftly ride my bicycle home, streets gridlocked in car traffic. The police on the streets in Brooklyn are evidently reserves; I spot several uniformed *school* policewomen standing on corners, directing traffic.

    The city is closed south of Canal street. The bridges and tunnels are closed. The subways are closed. Every payphone I can see is in use. Storefronts are shuttering. Now I am safe at home, but I fear for my girlfriend.

    She works in Times Square in a relatively high-profile building. I had several messages from her on my return. Amazingly, I am able to get through to her in the office and she informs me that her office has closed. She is walking to a coworker's apartment 29 blocks away. I don't know when we can... er, UPDATE: She's made it to her coworker's apartment without incident. No word yet on when she can cross over the East River to our home in Brooklyn, but she's safe for now. So friends and family- we're OK!

    I still don't know what to make of all this- it seems like a movie.

"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." -- Mark Twain

Working...