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Sept. 14, Breaking News Archive, Thomas Crosbie Media .

TCM Archives > TCM Breaking News > 2001/09/14 > World

Friday, September 14, 2001 :


MAIN TOPIC: War on Terrorism

9:54 PM Bush recieves rousing welcome at disaster site » LATEST
9:31 PM Two detained in Chicago airport
9:19 PM President Bush visits disaster scene
9:18 PM Some Big Brother contestants in dark about outrage
8:20 PM BA flights to US resume
7:35 PM Bush sees shattered New York
7:15 PM FBI has suspect list with 100 names
7:07 PM President Bush bound for New York
6:17 PM US remembrance service warned over revenge
5:05 PM New York Mayor believes trapped people can still be found alive
4:51 PM Russia sharing terrorist intelligence with US
4:08 PM Use of force resolution is passed in US
3:21 PM World's silent tribute to USA
3:16 PM Hijackers names released
3:00 PM New York Mayor warns of bogus telemarketeers
2:58 PM 12 held at airport are innocent - US Senator
2:42 PM Terrorist attacks, another man released
2:27 PM Bush may call up 50,000 reserve troops
2:15 PM Irish President speaks for country on day of mourning
1:58 PM Attacks have changed the world - Ahern
1:50 PM Best friend of Irish woman killed in New York feared dead
1:03 PM $100m gold buried beneath New York rubble
1:01 PM US intelligence was warned about 'spectacular' attack
12:37 PM NY Muslim cab drivers 'too scared to work'
12:18 PM Pentagon crash black boxes recovered
12:12 PM EU leaders pledge to crack down on terrorism
12:09 PM Millions observe three-minute silence
12:08 PM Aer Rianta says all transatlantic flights will stay grounded
11:26 AM Flight data equipment recovered from Pentagon site
11:16 AM German police confirm Iranian deportee phoned warnings
11:11 AM President McAleese makes special address
10:41 AM Final calls from a loved wife
10:39 AM Applause as first transatlantic jet takes off
10:24 AM Terrorists 'may have been planning more attacks'
10:13 AM Bush lays groundwork for retaliation
10:02 AM Omani citizen questioned in Manila
10:01 AM Airlines seek to cap compensation claims after US terror attacks
9:58 AM Insurers face bn ceiling on World Trade Centre losses
9:35 AM 'No need to evacuate tower,' staff told
9:29 AM Giuliani: New Yorkers must have patience
9:01 AM Police make eight airport arrests
8:38 AM Hopes dashed for 10 policemen surviving carnage
8:30 AM Taliban leader defends bin Laden
8:18 AM US airspace still closed to international flights
8:16 AM Storm hampers New York rescue operation
8:03 AM Families of the missing clutch photos -- and hope
7:16 AM 10 policemen found alive under rubble
7:02 AM Senior US officials name Osama bin Laden
6:52 AM $40bn OK'd to fight terrorism
6:42 AM European Union to observe three-minute silence
6:30 AM Man arrested at JFK airport posing as pilot
5:34 AM Black box found in Pennsylvania
5:12 AM US ask Pakistan for 'use of air-space'
5:03 AM US carried out raid on hotel in the Philippines
4:55 AM Pataki suspends statue of limitations in New York
4:03 AM 'The US is preparing for war' - US Defence Secretary
3:39 AM 6,000 tonnes of debris removed from WTC
3:12 AM Robotic vehicle, bomb squad brought into White House
3:08 AM No survivors found yesterday - rescue workers
3:04 AM Storm heads towards New York City
2:59 AM Four-year-old girl reunited with parents
2:54 AM Fire rages at the Pentagon
2:49 AM New York - 4,700 may still be missing
2:46 AM US stock markets closed until Monday
2:44 AM 'It may not be prudent to fly today' - Northwest Airlines
2:34 AM US Congress close to passing '$40bn Emergency Funding Bill'
2:01 AM Bush asks Americans to visit 'places of worship'
1:54 AM 'Bin Laden better say his prayers' US Senate house speaker
1:31 AM US ask Pakistan to 'provide information'
1:16 AM US Government urge Pakistan to close it's border with Afghanistan
12:38 AM FBI clear Adnan Bukari of 'any involvement'
12:34 AM Pentagon consider reserves 'call up' » NEWSFLASH
12:16 AM Man arrested at JFK airport with 'fake pilot credentials'
12:02 AM Secret Service separate Bush and Cheney
12:02 AM Bush to visit New York today

Bush recieves rousing welcome at disaster site

9:54:47 PM

President George W Bush received a rousing welcome in New York tonight from rescue workers and firefighters searching through the carnage of Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Centre.

President Bush looked gaunt but smiled as he met and shook hands with rescue services staff. He was wearing a raincoat but did not wear a hard hat like the emergency workers.

He was accompanied by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, wearing a blue jacket and baseball cap, and several US Senators.

Former First Lady Hillary Clinton - whose daughter Chelsea was just 12 blocks away on Tuesday when the jets slammed into the twin towers - was greeted with an embrace by the Mayor.

The President mounted a pile of rubble holding a loudspeaker to make a short speech and the group of rescue workers broke into chants of "USA, USA, USA" and "Don't let them get away!"

Mr Bush said: "As we mourn our loss I would like you all to know that America today is on bended knee in prayer for the people who lost their lives here, to the workers who worked here, for the families who mourn."

The nation stands with the good people of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens."

One of the workers interrupted: "We can't hear you."

President Bush replied to cheers and chants: "Well I can hear you. The whole world can hear you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon."

He continued: "The nation shares its love. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud and may God bless America.

Two detained in Chicago airport

9:31:47 PM

Airport authorities at the Midway airport in Chicago have reported that two people have been detained there in connection with the World Trade Centre disaster.

The airport has also been closed while police carry out their investigation.

President Bush visits disaster scene

9:19:10 PM

A long presidential motorcade comprising dozens of cars snaked through Manhattan towards the site of the disaster.

President Bush emerged to shake hands with rescue workers and gave a thumbs-up to firefighters who were clearing rubble from the smoking remains of the north tower.

Bulldozers and cranes were clearing away the wreckage as rescue workers struggled over the wet, slippery rubble made treacherous by heavy rain that finally abated in the afternoon.

The President said earlier that he was determined to do everything in his power during his tenure at the White House to fight terrorism, as a national state of emergency was declared.

Vice President Dick Cheney remained at the presidential retreat at Camp David as part of the increased security measures put in place after the attacks.

President Bush said he had been reluctant to come sooner because he was concerned he might get in the way of the rescue effort.

But Mayor Giuliani assured the President that his visit would be an important morale booster and invited him.

The President said he wanted to talk to those involved in the emergency rescue effort.

Mayor Giuliani and former First Lady Hillary Clinton were among the small group who surveyed the carnage in Manhattan tonight.

The group was ring-fenced by secret service agents and FBI helicopters buzzed overhead as the country remains on high alert.

The President was said to have been saddened and angered by the devastation at the Pentagon and in Manhattan. But he said the attacks has strengthened his resolve to launch a global crusade to crush terrorism.

Congress today agreed 40 billion to help the emergency rescue operation and for the fight against terrorism.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell tonight warned Afghanistan that Washington would punish not just the perpetrators of the atrocity but "those who provided a haven, support, inspiration or financial assets" to them.

Some Big Brother contestants in dark about outrage

9:18:06 PM

Contestants locked in Big Brother houses in several countries have not been told about the attacks in the United States on Tuesday.

But an exception was made in the Netherlands, where the show originated, and the United States, where one of the three remaining contestants has been directly affected: her sister was on the 90th floor of the World Trade Centre’s south tower and has not been heard from since Tuesday’s attack.

Producers of versions of the reality-TV show running in Belgium, Denmark and South Africa have decided to stick to their rule forbidding participants from learning about anything outside the house.

"This is such a great disaster, it has so much influence on society, that we decided to break the rules and tell people," said Endemol Netherlands spokeswoman Sammy Saal. ‘‘They have a right to know what happened.’’

But in Belgium, a psychologist for the "Big Brother" producers advised against letting the 12 people in the house know, said Kristina Vanhaute, spokeswoman for Belgium’s Kanaal 2.

"It's one of the basic themes in 'Big Brother' that they have no contact with what is happening outside of the house," she said. "If you show them these images, you immediately create a panic situation because they won’t know how things will evolve."

She said the producers checked with contestants' families to make sure that no one inside the house had ties to victims of the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

As contestants are voted off the show, which began September 3 in Belgium and runs until mid-December, they will be informed about the attacks by a psychologist, she said.

"Big Brother" in South Africa also checked with families before deciding not to tell their contestants. However, producers said they would probably inform the house if the aftermath were to turn into a war during the 87 days the contestants have left.

Eric Engesgaard, spokesman for the Danish show, said the producers there also had concern about crossing a line, given the emotional impact of the images.

"There could be some sensationalism in breaking our promise and informing the people inside the house to see how they react," he said.

Ms Saal said an episode showing how the Dutch residents, who have been in the house for a week, reacted to the news would be edited and broadcast "in the coming days."

No one decided to leave because of the news, she said, although one did drop out for other "personal reasons," she said.

No updates on the events in the United States are planned.

"They now know what happened and that's it," she said. "If they really want to know what happens next, they will have to leave the house."

The show, versions of which have been produced around the world, involves locking participants in a large house and recording their activities. Viewers vote on which candidate must leave the house each week. The last one to leave the house wins a cash prize.

BA flights to US resume

8:20:26 PM

British Airways resumed flights to the United States tonight after the Federal Aviation Administration said it was satisfied with the airline's security.

The first flights from Britain to the US since the terror attacks on New York and Washington, departed earlier today. Until then, only American and United airlines had permission to fly into the US.

Tonight, the first of two Boeing 747 aircraft left London Heathrow ready to bring back passengers who have been stranded at JFK Airport in New York.

The second aircraft, which will carry some passengers, is also due to leave Heathrow shortly, while another positioning flight will leave to collect passengers from Philadelphia.

The BA positional flight to New York, which left Heathrow just after 8pm, is believed to be the first plane to leave the UK for the city since flights were suspended after the bomb outrage.

BA ALSO plans to operate services out of the UK tomorrow to repatriate passengers to the US.

The airline said: "British Airways is very pleased to be able to return to the United States this evening. Our thoughts remain with all those people affected by this week's atrocities in the United States and with our colleagues at American and United Airlines."

The airline's reservation number, 0845 779 9977, is open for customer inquiries.

BA flights to Tel Aviv are also operating normally although flights to Islamabad are suspended until further notice.

Bush sees shattered New York

7:35:48 PM

President George W Bush arrived in New York tonight to survey the carnage of Tuesday抯 attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Security was tight as the President met rescue and emergency workers at the scene of the disaster where the twin towers of the World Trade Centre once stood.

He was flown to a New Jersey air base in the presidential plane Air Force One this evening.

Three days after the attacks, just a handful of survivors have been found in the twisted rubble of the collapsed buildings and fewer than 100 bodies have been recovered, of which only 30 had been identified.

Hopes were receding that any other survivors would be recovered from the wreckage.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said there was still hope of finding many more survivors, and President Bush said he was calling up 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reservists to help with recovery and security efforts.

FBI has suspect list with 100 names

7:15:30 PM

John Ashcroft, the US Attorney General, has said the FBI has a list of 100 names, which are possibly linked to their investigation.

He added the list has been circulated to a number of policing organisations including the Federal Aviation Administration, FBI field offices, 18,000 police offices, US border patrol and custom offices.

4000 special FBI agents working on the case and over 3000 support officers.

President Bush bound for New York

7:07:36 PM

President Bush is on board Air Force One ready to leave Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, bound for New York.

The President, had earlier attended a service of remembrance in the state capital and plans to visit the rescue operation at the World Trade Centre in New York.

Addressing the congregation President Bush said: "This nation is peaceful but fierce when stirred."

The US Senate has already backed retaliatory action.

US remembrance service warned over revenge

6:17:53 PM

The Dean of Washington Cathedral has told the US service of remembrance that the Bush administration must guard against becoming the evil it deplores.

He said US leaders considering necessary actions to protect national security need divine wisdom to ensure they do not commit un-Christian acts.

Reverend Nathan Baxter was addressing the congregation at Washington National Cathedral which includes President Bush and Bill Clinton.

Rev Baxter also praised the courage of flight crews and passengers on board the hijacked planes and the efforts of volunteers and emergency services.

The Bishop of Washington, who also addressed the televised service, said love is stronger than hate and love lived out in justice will prevail.

Rev Jane Holmes-Dixon said the Cathedral was a house of prayer for all people and she said she hoped people would let it be a container for their grief.

"We want to say to this nation and the world, love is stronger than hate, love lived out in justice will in the end prevail.

"This is indeed a house of prayer for all people."

New York Mayor believes trapped people can still be found alive

5:05:59 PM

The New York mayor believes people trapped in the collapse of the World Trade Centre can still be found alive.

He is hopeful they can find more victims and pull them out from the ruins.

Heavy rain in the city is making rescue attempts more dangerous though.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said: "There is still a strong hope we will be able to find people and save them."

He said recovery teams will continue working in the hope they can still save lives - despite heavy rain and strong winds.

The Mayor acknowledges the weather was disrupting the recovery work.

"We will try very hard to continue operations. It is more dangerous than it otherwise would be, but we will go on trying to find more people."

The Mayor also appealed to the press to check their reports before making information public. It came after a false report 10 policemen had been discovered still alive in the rubble.

He said: "It leads to families becoming very hopeful and then finding out its not true at all."

So far 10,400 tons of debris have been removed from the World Trade Centre area.

Russia sharing terrorist intelligence with US

4:51:30 PM

A senior member of the Russian government today said his country had supplied the US with intelligence in an attempt to find those responsible for this week抯 terrorist attacks.

Sergei Kirienko told a press conference at the Russian embassy that his government had had "a frank exchange of information" with the US

He reiterated Russia's support for the US, which he said was "a matter of principle".

The deaths in New York and Washington had shown that the two countries and the western world should bury their differences.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Kirienko said: "All the sore points we have had in the past, the expansion of Nato, the anti-rocket initiative has paled into insignificance after what has happened.

"We are now on the same side."

But he cautioned that the US must act justly and responsibly in any retribution towards those responsible.

"Before we have a retaliatory blow you have to prove to yourself and to the rest of the world that the party you are fighting is the culprit. It's important to remember that."

Mr Kirienko, 39, has been in London in his capacity as head of the Russian Federation State Committee for Chemical Demilitarisation.

He told the press conference that this morning he met Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence officials to agree in principle a m aid package from the UK to help the Russians dispose of their vast arsenal of chemical weapons.

Mr Kirienko said the deal should be signed in Moscow when MoD officials visit at a later date.

Use of force resolution is passed in US

4:08:02 PM

White House officials and congressional leaders have passed a $40bn package to combat terrorism and recover from attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

They have also passed a "use of force" resolution enabling President Bush to use force in retaliation for the attacks.

World's silent tribute to USA

3:21:30 PM

Millions fell silent today in a public act of mourning for the victims of the US terror attacks.

Across the UK and Europe life came to a standstill for three minutes as people reflected on Tuesday抯 tragic events.

In America, as President George Bush prepared to visit the wreckage of New York抯 World Trade Centre, fears that terrorists had planned further attacks receded, but so did hopes that any survivors may still be found.

Police swooped last night at two New York airports on several men reported to armed with knives and fake pilot identification.

But Senator Joseph Biden, a member of the Senate's intelligence committee, said today that none of the men were terrorists attempting a repeat of Tuesday's hijackings.

"One was actually a pilot," he said. "Ten were people who had Boeing stickers on their baggage and were on their way to a Boeing conference. They were either Boeing staff or people invited to the conference," he said, adding that one was simply a "screwball".

After the 11am silence, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh joined Prime Minister Tony Blair for a service of remembrance at St Paul抯 Cathedral. Thousands more stood silently outside.

Earlier, Mr Blair told a special sitting of Parliament that Britain would join America in hunting down those responsible for the "hideous and foul" terror strikes.

He said the murder of at least 100 Britons caught up in the attacks should be treated as if they were killed "in the heart of Britain itself".

Mr Blair said action "will be determined, it will take time, it will continue over time until this menace is properly dealt with and its machinery of terror destroyed."

In New York heavy rain and electric storms hampered rescue efforts.

In Minnesota, the possibility emerged that the FBI knew before Tuesday's attack of at least one Arab man seeking the type of flight training the hijackers received.

US officials confirmed that a few weeks ago the FBI detained an Arab man in Minnesota when he tried to seek flight simulator training for a large jetliner.

Those who hijacked the four airliners received similar training.

There were also claims US intelligence was warned of a terrorist "spectacular" on the country last June.

Intelligence officials are thought to have had "an inkling" about an attack but details were too vague at the time to indicate the scale of the horror which unfolded on Tuesday morning, a special edition of Time Magazine reported.

In Washington, the most explicit description yet of the Bush administration抯 intentions was revealed by Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who said the military retaliation would continue until the roots of terrorism were destroyed.

"It's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism," he told a news conference in a Pentagon briefing room that still smelled of smoke and soot.

But veteran Labour MP Tam Dalyell, Father of the House as the longest serving MP, urged Britain not to kill innocent civilians in revenge attacks.

"If we do so, we simply recruit more terrorists," said Mr Dalyell.

Labour left winger Dennis Skinner was more outspoken, bringing cries of "shame" from fellow MPs when he said there was "a world of difference" between standing shoulder to shoulder with the American people and "clinging to the coat tails of an American President ... whose first act when those firefighters were standing ten feet tall among the rubble of the World Trade Centre was to scurry off to his bunker".

At St Paul's inLondon, the Archbishop of Canterbury urged people to pray for the leaders of America as they considered how to respond to the terror attacks.

He said those responsible for Tuesday's "barbaric acts" must be held to account, but he added: "We must be guided by higher goals than mere revenge."

Nato chief Lord Robertson declared that the alliance would not lash out blindly in revenge for terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

Describing the carnage as "an attack on all of us, on our values, on our open societies," Lord Robertson pledged that the 19 countries of the alliance would not stoop to the level of the terrorists.

"The mad creatures who committed these terrible crimes this week may have hoped to provoke us into mindless revenge in order to create even more devastation," he said. "They are wrong."

And European leaders sought today to quell any moves toward warmongering in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, with several figures saying that "we are not at war."

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, after leading his Cabinet in the Europe-wide three-minute silent commemoration for victims, reiterated the need for an "implacable and long fight against terrorism."

However, he also said, "We are not at war against Islam or the Arab-Muslim world."

Hours earlier, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, said that the EU is "on watch" and "mobilised," but he added, "We are not at war."

President Bush's New York visit comes after a day of shattered hope in the smouldering ruins of the two collapsed towers, as the belief that five firefighters had survived in the rubble since Tuesday turned out to be a misunderstanding.

Reports earlier today that ten police officers had been located in the rubble also proved unfounded.

Three days into the rescue effort, just a handful of survivors have been found and fewer than 100 bodies have been recovered, of which only 30 had been identified.

Hijackers names released

3:16:17 PM [10:16 a.m. EDT]

A list of names of 19 suspected hijackers has been compiled by the US
Justice Department.

It is believed that two of the crashed planes had five hijackers on board while the other two were taken over by four hijackers each.

It has been reported that all 19 have links with Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden.

One of the named hijackers had both Saudi and US driving licences and had recently lived in Florida and attended flight school there.

Another of the men had US and Egyptian driving licences. He rented a car which was found at Boston's Logan Airport.

A full list of the hijackers names is available on the CNN website (

New York Mayor warns of bogus telemarketeers

3:00:33 PM

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has warned the public to be on their guard of bogus telemarketeers 'phoning up and asking for donations.

He said: "Nobody should be phoning up and asking for donations. If anybody rings up and requests money, then call the police and FBI immediately and they will arrest them.

The bogus firm have been targetting senior citizens in particular.

12 held at airport are innocent - US Senator

2:58:04 PM

None of the men arrested at a New York airport were terrorists attempting a repeat of Tuesday 4 hijackings, it was revealed today.

A total of 12 men were arrested by police at John F Kennedy Airport last night, one on suspicion of having a false pilot抯 licence and others who had been thought to be impersonating airline staff.

But today Senator Joseph Biden, a member of the Senate抯 intelligence committee, said all had been released without charge.

"One was actually a pilot," he said. "Ten were people who had Boeing stickers on their baggage and were on their way to a Boeing conference. They were either Boeing staff or people invited to the conference, I'm not sure which.

"The staff thought, wait a minute, this is suspicious."

And he described another man detained as a "screwball".

"He was saying all sorts of things, making wild claims," said the senator, who added he had spoken to the directors of the FBI and the CIA early this morning.

"We are all in a high state of alert and this is inevitable," he said.

Terrorist attacks, another man released

2:42:46 PM

Senator Biden said a further man who had been initially linked to the terrorists and had been detained in the Boston area had also been released.

"His brother, totally coincidentally, lived in one of the apartment blocks that was searched," said the senator.

"By chance, he had his brother's identification with him when he was stopped and he was detained. He helped the FBI and he was released."

The senator said he could not go into the details of secret briefings he had received but added: "People should not fear that there have been attempts at a repeat of the hijackings."

He revealed American legislators may pass a motion backing the use of force against the perpetrators as early as today.

"I am putting the case just now," he said.

"You may see it passed as early as today."

Some kind of motion had been expected to have been passed in a special session tomorrow giving President Bush full authority to use force.

Although he already has such powers under the American constitution, the motion from Congress would be a show of unprecedented unity.

Bush may call up 50,000 reserve troops

2:27:39 PM

President Bush, pouring over options for war, may call up 30,000 to 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve to active duty in the next few days, a defence official said.

He said those called up would be used for defence duties in the United States.
The last such partial mobilisation by a president was in January 1991, when 265,322 reservists were called up for the Gulf War.

A full mobilisation of all 1.2 million reservists requires a declaration of war.
The military strike options go far beyond the short-term cruise missile assaults of years past in Afghanistan and Sudan and isolated air strikes against sites in Iraq.

Instead, they involve the potential lengthy use of military forces on the land, at sea and in the air.

Options include the covert insertion of elite special forces and long-range bomb strikes from manned aircraft, said senior military and administration officials.

In the most explicit description yet of the Bush administration's intentions, Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the retaliation would be continued until the roots of terrorism are destroyed.

"These people try to hide. They won't be able to hide forever" Wolfowitz said.

"They think their harbours are safe, but they won's be safe forever. One has to say it抯 not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism."

Navy Secretary Gordon England said: "This is not going to be a short programme."

The huge number of dead and the vast destruction wrought by Tuesday抯 strikes has caused a different mindset to take hold among senior Defence Department officials, a ranking military official said.

"If you are really going to do war, you do it with all assets political, economic and military, and that's what they want to do," the officer said.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said combat planes will continue to fly over the New York-Washington corridor.

Appearing with England in a Pentagon briefing room still reeking of smoke, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark pointed out that the Navy already has two aircraft carrier battle groups, each with 75 warplanes, near the Arabian Sea.

That is twice the usual number for that part of the world. The USS Enterprise had been due to return home after being relieved this month by the USS Carl Vinson, but it was ordered to remain in the area indefinitely.

Such battle groups normally include cruisers and submarines, which can be launch pads for long-range cruise missile strikes, perhaps a prelude to attacks by manned aircraft such as B-2 stealth bombers or B-1 Lancers.

There were no other indications of a buildup of American forces in the Middle East or elsewhere.

Neither Wolfowitz nor other defence officials hinted at when the United States might begin military strikes. Bush said he would be patient.

Irish President speaks for country on day of mourning

2:15:17 PM

President Mary McAleese today spoke for the country on the national day of mourning.

"We are sad, shocked, sickened, grieving, disbelieving, outraged, frightened all at once," she said.

The president was clearly moved by the tragedy which claimed the lives of Irish people, including a Cork mother and her four-year-old daughter.

She said: "We only have to look at the photograph of the beautiful faces of Ruth Clifford McCourt and her gorgeous little girl, Juliana, to see with our own eyes the loss which Ireland too has experienced."

She added: "God bless those in the United States, those in Ireland and all those men, women and little children throughout the world who have been personally, profoundly affected by this tragedy.

"May God guide us safely through these troubled days."

Attacks have changed the world - Ahern

1:58:46 PM

The Taoiseach has said he believes the attacks on the US have changed the world.

Following an ecumenical service in the pro-Cathedral in Dublin, Bertie Ahern thanked the people of Ireland for observing and respecting the National Day of Mourning.

He said Ireland has a key role to play as president of the UN Security Council in the weeks ahead.

The Tanaiste echoed his remarks, calling for Irish citizens to stand 'shoulder to shoulder' against evil with right-minded people all over the world.

Best friend of Irish woman killed in New York feared dead

1:50:54 PM

It has emerged that the best friend of an Irish woman killed in one of the hijacked planes had suffered a similar fate 18 minutes earlier in the first crash.

Paige Hackel, 46, had been a passenger on American Airlines flight AA11 that smashed into the north tower of the centre.

Her best friend Ruth McCourt and her daughter, Juliana, died when their United Airlines flight smashed into the south tower.

Minutes earlier, her brother, Ronnie Clifford, had fled from the damaged World Trade Centre.

Mr Clifford said he knew his sister had been due to fly to Los Angeles that day, but it was only when he telephoned Ms Hackel抯 family that the grim truth began to sink in.

He immediately asked a relative to sit at Logan airport until the list of passengers was released.

When it did, it confirmed that Ms McCourt and Juliana had been on the second flight, while Ms Hackel had been a passenger on the first.

$100m gold buried beneath New York rubble

1:03:38 PM

More than $100m worth of gold is buried under the rubble of the World Trade Centre.

Around 12 tonnes of gold were in the vaults of ScotiaMocatta, the world's oldest bullion dealers.

It was held in the firm's vaults deep beneath the 110-storey skyscrapers. All the vault's staff survived.

The gold was being held by the dealers for market traders on the COMEX metals exchange.

Neither COMEX or ScotiaMocatta will discuss the gold's status or whereaboouts for safety reasons. The bullion is not thought to be in danger.

The COMEX, which also trades futures and options in silver, copper and aluminum, has been closed since Tuesday.

Gold prices surged higher immediatley after the terrorist attack. Gold is now trading at around 8 per ounce.

US intelligence was warned about 'spectacular' attack

1:01:46 PM

US intelligence was warned in June about a "spectacular" attack on the country, according to a special edition of Time magazine published today.

Intelligence officials are believed to have known about an impending attack, but details were too vague for them to prevent what happened in New York and Washington on Tuesday.

The special edition of Time claims all four hijack teams involved in the attacks contained at least one trained pilot, while two of those suspected of involvement were on an FBI border watch list, but still managed to enter the US.

Last June, US Embassies - especially those in the Middle East - were put on heightened alert after the CIA received warnings of "some kind of spectacular happenings" by terrorists.

In the months that followed, two men associated with the Islamic Jihad group were put on the FBI抯 border watch list.

However, the pair are believed to have been aboard American Airlines flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon on Tuesday morning.

NY Muslim cab drivers 'too scared to work'

12:37:52 PM

Many of New York's Muslim yellow cab drivers aren't going to work, fearing attack.

One company which operates around 500 cabs out of Queens and Manhattan, says half its drivers were absent on Thursday.

Members of the city's Sikh community are also fearful, saying New Yorkers don't know the difference between them and Muslims.

Some Muslim cab drivers have had rocks thrown at them and been spat at. "They're all afraid they'll be hit by angry people," taxi driver Luis Almonte said.

"We're all afraid, because New Yorkers don't know the difference," Sikh driver Rajinder Uppal says. "They think if you have a turban on, you're Muslim."

Pentagon crash black boxes recovered

12:18:11 PM

The black box flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon have been recovered.

The two black boxes are crucial to uncovering details about the doomed flight's last moments.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel George Rhynedance says the recorders are in the possession of the FBI.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board are providing technical assistance in reading any data they contain.

Rescuers have worked to shore up unsteady parts of the building but flames crept up what had been the roof at the crash site. The flare-up sent black smoke billowing hundreds of feet into the air over Washington.

Firefighters put out the blaze within 20 minutes. Authorities safely evacuated rescue workers who were clearing away debris inside the building, said Captain Scott Graham, head of the Montgomery County, Md., search and rescue squad.

Human remains pulled from the Pentagon are being taken to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be identified.

Members of Congress at the military office complex to watch the recovery effort say they were told by rescue officials that some of the fuselage of the airplane that slammed into the building remains intact in the wreckage.

"It hits you right in the pit of your stomach," Rep Ken Lucas said of the gaping hole in the building's side.

EU leaders pledge to crack down on terrorism

12:12:18 PM

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his compatriots in the other 14 EU member states have issued a joint statement effectively declaring war on terrorism.

The EU leaders described Tuesday抯 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington as "an assault on humanity" and pledged to implement a range of measures to ensure it never happens again.

In a statement released shortly after this morning抯 EU-wide three-minute silence, the leaders pledged to make the European security and defence policy operational as soon as possible.

In addition, each member state has pledged to make every effort to strengthen intelligence against terrorists and terrorist organisations. The European Union will accelerate the implementation of a genuine European judicial area, a move that paves the way for the establishment of European arrest and extradition warrants. The European leaders insisted that their citizens will not be intimidated and that their political institutions will continue to function undeterred.

Millions observe three-minute silence

12:09:17 PM

Millions of people throughout Ireland and the rest of the European Union observed a three-minute silence at 11am today as a mark of respect for the thousands of people killed in Tuesday's attacks on America.

Radio and television stations went silent across the country, while Dublin Airport also came to a standstill.

Outside the US Embassy in Ballsbridge, a large crowd that had gathered to sign the book of condolences also observed the silence.

Some passing motorists even stopped their cars to join the crowds.

Aer Rianta says all transatlantic flights will stay grounded

12:08:33 PM

Aer Rianta has warned that all transatlantic flights out of Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports will remain grounded until further notice.

However, three flights diverted into Dublin in the hours following Tuesday抯 attacks on New York and Washington will be allowed to leave.

They include flights from Moscow and Frankfurt which were travelling to the United States.

Another flight is due to arrive in Dublin from Toronto, Canada at lunchtime.

Flight data equipment recovered from Pentagon site

11:26:23 AM

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have both been recovered from the Pentagon crash site and are now in federal authorities' hands.

"They are damaged but may still yield useful information," a Pentagon spokesman said.

German police confirm Iranian deportee phoned warnings

11:16:39 AM

German police have confirmed an Iranian man phoned US police from his deportation cell to warn of the planned attack on the World Trade Centre.

The Lower Saxony Justice Ministry has confirmed the man warned of the impending series of terrorist attacks but had not been believed.

Spokesman Frank Woesthoff said the man phoned America "several times" but refused to give further details.

He said the US Secret Service had not told the ministry about the calls received from the Langenhagen prison until after the attacks.

"I cannot say anything about the man and the ministry does not know the content of the conversations," he added.

The Hanover daily newspaper Neue Presse reported the 29-year-old was dismissed as mentally unstable when he gave the warning of a terrorist attack to occur this week.

The ministry would not reveal when the calls had been made.

President McAleese makes special address

11:11:23 AM

President Mary McAleese has made a special address to the Irish population as the country mourns the thousands of people who died in Tuesday抯 attacks on the United States.

Mrs McAleese said that today抯 national day of mourning is a chance for Ireland to show its solidarity with the US.

So far, three Irish people have been confirmed dead. They are Dubliner Patrick Currivan, Cork woman Ruth McCourt and her four-year-old daughter Julianna.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said more than 10 Irish people may have been killed.

35-year-old Ann-Marie McHugh, from Co Galway, 53-year-old Martin Coughlan, from Co Tipperary and 35-year-old Kieran Gorman, from Co Sligo, are all feared to be among the dead.

Final calls from a loved wife

10:41:34 AM

He heard a simple, heartbreaking message from his wife, who was trapped on the 101st floor of the North Tower.

"Sean, it's me. I just wanted to let you know I love you and I'm stuck in this building in New York. A plane hit the building, or a bomb went off. We don't know, but there's a lot of smoke and we just wanted you to know that I love you always."

And that was it. Hughes has not heard from her since, and he has been desperately looking for a way to get to New York from his San Francisco Bay Area home. Because commercial air traffic has been stopped since the attack, he has had no way to get to the disaster scene.

"The toughest thing for me right now is that I can't be there," he said today.

This morning, Jet Blue Airlines offered to fly him and his brother Shannon to New York's John F Kennedy International Airport on its next available flight and they hope to arrive tonight.

In the meantime, however, friends and family have been calling hospitals and passing out fliers with Melissa Hughes' picture on it. They have not heard anything about her whereabouts or condition.

In lower Manhattan, there is a line of human grief - person after person, clutching photos and fliers, waiting to report their loved ones missing.

With little information and diminishing hope, they are assembling at a National Guard Armory, anxious for any news about survivors of Tuesday's attacks on the World Trade Center towers.

As they wait, fliers on walls and lamp posts around them plead for information about one young missing man. "Sean Lugano, 2 WTC. KBW 88th Fl.," it reads, referring to the missing man's employer and office location.

The family of Christopher Clarke has been e-mailing media outlets, asking for any information. Clarke was near the top of World Trade Center when the attacks occurred.

Brian Murphy was on the 105th floor. His wife received an e-mail from him just 20 minutes before the first plane hit, she has heard nothing since:

"He has two beautiful little children, 4 and 5, waiting to hear something about Daddy," his sister Cynthia said. "They are so scared."

Elizabeth Rothstein, Murphy's sister-in-law, said: "We hope that we find him and we love him and we miss him - and my sister wants her husband back."

Thomas Dunbar was waiting for news of his 31-year-old daughter, Lorisa Taylor. She worked on 94th floor.

"I just hope somebody finds her," he said simply. "She has three daughters at home and they miss her."

Sean Bitner clutched a flier with a picture of his wife, Angela Susan Perez. She worked on the 103rd floor.

Even bad news would be better than not knowing, the father-of-three said. "It's better than making the kids wonder and everyone else not knowing - not knowing is driving us insane."

As he waited and cried, Bitner urged those around the nation watching the disaster not to take their loved ones for granted. "Appreciate them - what else can you say? Appreciate them. Appreciate what you have."

Paul Biatini had wanted to take one of his two daughters to her first day of preschool, but he had to go to a meeting on the 102nd floor.

"He would help anybody," his brother Mark said, with tears from his eyes as he waited in line. "I hope he thought about getting out, but he wouldn't leave anybody there if he could help somebody."

Applause as first transatlantic jet takes off

10:39:23 AM

Passengers on the first transatlantic flight from the US since the terror attacks on New York and Washington applauded as it took off.

The American Airlines service from Chicago arrived at London Heathrow just after 8am.

Passengers say security had been visibly stepped up and spoke of their relief finally to arrive in the UK.

Most looked composed and relaxed on arrival, although the emotion soon became evident when they spoke about the effects of the terrorist atrocities.

Robert Buhrow, an estate agent from Chicago, says: " People clapped when we finally took off. It's a good feeling to be here. It's a miracle we're here considering the way the flights have been disrupted.

"There was a lot more security at Chicago. It was kind of eerie. There was a lot more police around.

"After they had scanned my bag, they opened it up as well to have a look. It made me feel somewhat safe."

Dentist Deborah Overoyen, 46, who is American but lives in Qatar, says she is not worried about travelling on to the Middle East.

"I feel safe there. There was a sense of relief to be finally moving and leaving. People started clapping when we took off but on the flight itself the atmosphere was quite subdued".

American Airlines says it hopes to have a limited number of flights leaving Heathrow and Gatwick for the US throughout the day. Several US airports have opened to American-owned airlines' non-stop international flights from high security airports.

However, flights into America by non-American airlines remain banned

Terrorists 'may have been planning more attacks'

10:24:33 AM

US authorities are investigating whether two groups trying to board planes in New York may have been planning more terrorist attacks.

Officials say the US authorities are investigating the possibility that some terrorists involved with the plots are still at large.

As many as 10 people of Middle Eastern descent are being detained in New York.

At least one of the men was caught with a fake pilot's licence while some of the people detained were carrying knives, according to published reports.

Several others had attempted to board airlines around the time of the hijackings but were turned away and fled.

The effort to detain the subjects prompted the closure of all three of New York's airports.

Authorities are investigating whether the incidents were new attempted hijackings or just individuals trying to flee the New York area.

One of those being detained is believed to have had flight training similar to that obtained by Tuesday's hijackers. Five men who tried to board a plane in New York are being questioned, officials said. One of the men had a false pilot's identification.

The five were identified as the same men who had tried to board a plane around the time of Tuesday's hijackings, but were turned away.

Bush lays groundwork for retaliation

10:13:12 AM

A White House official has confirmed that US President George W Bush has asked Pakistan for permission to use its airspace if airstrikes are ordered against targets in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The official said the Bush administration wants Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to close its 1,560-mile border with Afghanistan, presumably to prevent Osama bin Laden's operatives from leaving Afghan territory.

He also said the US will be pressing Pakistan to stop funding Islamic terrorist organisations.

These disclosures came after Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly acknowledged for the first time yesterday that bin Laden's al-Quaeda network is the prime suspect in Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington.

The Taliban militia, which harbours bin Laden as its guest in Afghanistan, has again insisted that he had nothing to do with the attacks.

The Taliban said they have taken all of the Saudi dissident's funds, weapons, telephones and computers so he could not possibly have had the means to orchestrate such a complex strike.

Omani citizen questioned in Manila

10:02:44 AM

An Omani citizen, who filmed the U.S. embassy in Manila earlier this week, was on one of the hijacked planes used for attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, officials said today.

The suspect was among three Omanis questioned by the police in Manila after they were seen filming the embassy on September 8, Presidential Spokesman Rigoberto Tigalo said.

They were apparently released after interrogation.

Tigalo did not disclose the suspect's name but said, "It appeared in the flight manifest of one of the hijacked planes in the United States."

Airlines seek to cap compensation claims after US terror attacks

10:01:20 AM

United Airlines and American Airlines are asking Congress to limit compensation lawsuits after the US terrorist attacks.

It's thought the airlines will be deluged with negligence and wrongful death suits for victims on the ground and in the air.

The airlines are asking the Senate and house commerce committees to limit their financial liability.

Potential payments could run into hundreds of millions of dollars, according to reports.

The idea behind the proposal is that the planes were being used as a weapon," said one Democratic Senate aide who saw and discussed the proposal.

"They feel this was not something that could be prevented and that they should be protected from liability."

John Hotard, a spokesman for American Airlines, would not say if his airline was seeking protection.

The International Air Transport Association said airlines had lost 8bn in extra expenses and lost sales during the grounding of commercial air traffic in the US.

One regional carrier, Midway Airlines, went out of business on Thursday, saying a drop in reservations and an increase in refund requests after the attacks had made it too hard to recover from a bankruptcy reorganisation it began last month.

Insurers face bn ceiling on World Trade Centre losses

9:58:09 AM

Standard & Poor says the insurance system will be able to absorb up to bn in losses from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Insurable losses of over n - bn will dent individual insurers' balance sheets, it said.

It emerged that only one of the World Trade Centre's towers was insured, because the possibility of a double accident was thought too improbable.

Steve Dreyer, managing director for US insurance industry ratings at S&P, said: "While we cannot yet endorse a specific estimate, companies so far have acknowledged around 7bn in losses, a figure which will likely go much higher.

"Once insurable losses exceed n or bn, we would expect to see a significant impact on balance sheets of individual insurers. However, the totals would have to exceed bn before we would begin to worry about the insurance system."

Analysts point out that the insurance system is heavily capitalised and can sustain significant damage without threatening the overall stability of the system.

By comparison, Hurricane Andrew cost the industry approximately .6bn and the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing cost under 0m.

'No need to evacuate tower,' staff told

9:35:51 AM

A Briton who worked in the World Trade Centre in New York has said that staff were told there was no need to evacuate the building after the first plane smashed into the north tower of the complex on Tuesday morning.

Mike Shillaker said he was on the 72nd floor of the south tower when the first hijacked plane struck.

"We started walking down the stairs," he said. "A message came out of the Tannoy when we were on about floor 50 that there was an isolated fire in the first building and there was actually no need to proceed down the stairs any further if we didn抰 want to. There was no need to evacuate."

Mr Shillaker said he ignored this message and continued to descend the stairs: "We got down to about floor 40 and I think that is when the second plane hit, but even at that stage we were completely oblivious to actually what was going on.

"The rumours were that a small plane had maybe hit the first building and that the second bang was an aftershock or something like that. It was only when we got downstairs that there was some sort of sense of panic."

Giuliani: New Yorkers must have patience

9:29:05 AM

Mayor Rudy Giuliani urged residents to have patience as recovery and rescue personnel painstakingly work to sift through thousands of tons of rubble caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center's two towers and three other nearby buildings.

"Every effort is being made to try to recover as many people as possible," Giuliani said. "Unfortunately, it's going to take a very long time to be able to get the information that they want."

Officials at the city armory near Gramercy Park, converted into a center for possible victims' family members, are compiling two lists: one of identified bodies, the other of missing people.

"Of the 184 sets of human remains collected, 47 are entire bodies and 35 have been identified," Mayor Giuliani said on Thursday night.

A spokesman for the Greater New York Hospital Association said more than 4,000 people have been treated at area hospitals since Tuesday's attack -- for everything from respiratory difficulties to crushed limbs.

Rescue workers themselves suffered several setbacks Thursday as hopes faded that more survivors would be found in the debris.

Reports that five firefighters had been rescued from a vehicle buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center towers are not true, a fire department spokeswoman said.

It was unclear how the report began circulating but both police and rescue workers had said it was true.

The news had given search teams a temporary morale boost and cheers were heard around the search area.

Emergency workers were also pulled back Thursday afternoon from around one nearby building -- Three World Financial Center, just north of where the World Trade Center once stood -- when it appeared that it was shifting. Smoke was coming from the windows of the 51-story structure, also called the American Express Building.

Officials later said that only the facade of the building -- not the entire structure -- was falling.

The building has been used as a morgue and as a headquarters for triage since Tuesday's attacks.

"You can clearly see the anxiety" on the faces of rescue workers, said a reporter on the scene.

The anguish was even more evident at the Armory, at 26th Street and Lexington Avenue, where families and friends could report if any loved ones are missing.

A Canadian said that he received a voice message Wednesday night from someone who claimed to be trapped in the rubble. Pat Probert played a tape of the message for CNN in which a man says "we are trapped but alive."

Probert said he did not think he knew the person.

Giuliani said more than 6,000 tons of debris have been removed from the scene so far. It was being transported to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where FBI and police officials plan to sort through and analyze it.

Meanwhile at the Pentagon, officials said the death toll has reached an estimated 190, including an Army three-star general.

The figure includes the 64 people on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon. The Defense Department is estimating that a total of 126 Pentagon workers are still unaccounted for and believed dead in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

Arlington County, Virginia, emergency officials said they are assuming they would find no more survivors in the wreckage

"We are officially in a recovery mode at this particular time. The rescue workers obviously are still very hopeful. And we continue to want them to be hopeful," said Arlington County Fire Chief Ed Plaugher.

Nearly 24,000 military and civilian employees were back on the job Thursday at the Arlington building, damaged heavily in the attack, with Metro trains resuming regular service and buses continuing to operate from Pentagon City.

As employees returned to work, bomb-sniffing dogs were sweeping through the Pentagon.

Half the building remains closed because of smoke and structural damage, and many workers will have to double up in offices.

Police make eight airport arrests

9:01:20 AM

Eight people were today arrested at airports in New York, one of them for posing as a pilot.

Police in New York detained a series of people at John F Kennedy airport, America抯 busiest international terminal, and La Guardia airport, which deals with domestic departures.

One of them was found to be in a possession of a false pilot's identification, while there was no confirmation of what the other people were arrested for, it was reported.

The men were taken into custody after all three of New York's airports were closed just hours after they had opened again for business following Tuesday抯 complete shutdown of air travel.

They were detained by Justice Department officials and local police and a spokesman said they "met the profile" of those suspected to have been involved in the attacks.

It was unclear whether they were trying to board a flight at the airport.

They are the latest to be taken into custody for questioning by federal agents as part of the massive probe into the attacks, which so far is looking into 2,000 leads given by the public and which involves more than 5,000 FBI agents alone.

It is the first time detentions made in the course of the probe have been described as "arrests" by police, a crucial legal difference and a sign that there is a belief they were engaged in some kind of crime.

The arrests came as flights in the country resumed on a severely restricted basis.

Most of the planes in the air were those which had been grounded on Tuesday morning as a complete ban on flights was put in place following the suicide attacks on New York and Washington.

Beefed-up security measures had been put into place across the country, including bans on passengers without luggage going straight to departure gates, off-airport check-ins and the carrying of knives, even plastic ones.

Flights into America by non-American airlines remain banned and armed air marshals have been placed in airports

Hopes dashed for 10 policemen surviving carnage

8:38:46 AM

Hope is fading for 10 policemen thought trapped but alive in the rubble of New York's World Trade Centre.

Firefighters and rescue workers are now playing down reports the officers survived the catastrophe.

Earlier reports suggested the officers were still alive within the wreckage after one trapped policemen reportedly phoned his wife on his mobile phone.

The reports suggested the men were trapped in the wreckage of the shopping mall under number one tower.

It raised the hopes of rescue workers but it appears those hopes have now been dashed.

Officials say they are not hopeful of finding the officers alive.

Five of the men were New York city police officers and the other five Port Authority workers.

The rescue operation is now being hampered by a downpour and fears that two 50-storey buildings are dangerously unstable.

Taliban leader defends bin Laden

8:30:29 AM

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers today rejected the U.S. claim that alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was the prime suspect in Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

"It is not possible for Osama bin Laden to do so. He is a victim of his own reputation," declared Supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

Described as "a hardening of position" by Western diplomats based in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, Mullah Omar's statement indicates his willingness to resist U.S. efforts to bring bin Laden to justice.

Bin Laden has been hiding in Afghanistan since 1996 when U.S. pressure forced him to leave his refuge in Sudan. Mullah Omar and his colleagues have resisted all external pressure to expel the Saudi dissident, suspected of carrying out several attacks on U.S. installations around the world.

Bin Laden is also the chief suspect in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa that killed more than 220 people.

U.S. sponsored tough U.N. sanctions against the Taliban rulers last year after they refused to extradite bin Laden to face charges for his alleged involvement in the 1998 bombings.

The U.S. administration, however, made it clear that it will not let him hide in Afghanistan anymore after initial investigations showed that he was also involved in Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

In a message read out by his ambassador in Pakistan, the Taliban leader urged the United States to "capture those responsible for the attacks" rather than concentrating on bin Laden."

His new position also places Pakistan in a difficult position. One of the only three countries to have recognized the Taliban regime as the legitimate Afghan government, Pakistan has maintained close contacts with the Taliban leaders ever since they first appeared on the scene in 1994.

Pakistan came under tremendous external pressure to abandon its Taliban allies after the 1998 bombings as well.

But after this week's attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States asked Pakistan to decide on whose side it was: the Taliban or the rest of the world.

The new pressure forced Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to declare Thursday that he was with the United States in its fight against terrorism.

But the toughening of attitudes in Washington and other world capitals appears to have had little impact on Taliban's supreme leader.

"We have no planes, no pilots in Afghanistan. It is not possible for bin Laden to carry out such an attack from Afghanistan," said Omar. "He has no fax, no telephone, no computers."

He said the Taliban Government "strongly condemns this act of terrorism but also urges the United States to capture the real culprits and not be misled by bin Laden's reputation."

US airspace still closed to international flights

8:18:05 AM

US airspace opened yesterday for domestic flights only. It is still closed to all new international flights today.

Therefore all Aer Lingus flights to America today are cancelled.

For Aer Lingus passengers seeking information, the number is: 1800 222 221, while for Delta passengers, it is 1800 768 080.

Storm hampers New York rescue operation

8:16:03 AM

A storm in New York has been hampering the search for survivors amid the rubble of the World Trade Centre towers.

The search was halted at one point, but has now resumed.

A reporter at the scene said conditions were very windy and heavy rain is falling.

Three buildings in the immediate area are said to be in danger of collapse.

Families of the missing clutch photos -- and hope

8:03:06 AM

They stand by the hundreds outside the armory in Manhattan, holding pictures and hoping for word of their relatives and friends who were in or near the twin towers of the World Trade Center that crumbled under a terrorist attack.

Many of them, bleary-eyed from grief and worry, told stories of how they last heard from their loved ones, many making last-minute calls from within the burning 107-story buildings.

One woman said her friend, Sadie Ette, was on the 106th floor of the north tower, the first building that was struck by a hijacked jetliner shortly before 9am Tuesday.

"She said, 'Oh, God, please save me,'" her friend said, clinging to a picture of her friend. "She was screaming that she was trapped and couldn't get out. She said, 'I don't know what to do, I'm coughing, the heat is coming. I need water. I need water.' And the phone dropped."

Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the list of missing had grown to 4,763 people.

Families have been trapped in limbo since Tuesday's attack -- not certain whether to mourn the missing person or continue hoping that their wives, husbands, sisters, brothers or other relatives are alive.

Most carried homemade fliers with pictures and phone numbers. The posters were taped to police barricades, windows and telephone poles.

"We just have to find her. We know we will," said one woman holding a photo of her sister, Margaret Echtermann. "We covered all the hospitals."

Thousands have lined up to go inside the armory that has been converted into a center for family members near Gramercy Park.

There, they fill out the more than half-dozen pages of questions about their missing loved one. Questions such as color of eyes, hair, height, weight. And questions about the size and inscriptions of wedding bands, the colour and length of fingernails. All aimed at identifying any recovered remains.

Once they tell everything they know about the person, they are allowed to examine two lists, one of the victims that have been hospitalised and another list of the remains that have been identified.

"I think everybody has hope," said one man searching for his brother-in-law. "But I think everybody is prepared to face what they have to face."

Many are haunted by the last words from their family members and friends in the moments during and after two hijacked planes slammed into the landmark twin towers, setting off an inferno that caused the buildings to collapse into a mountain of twisted metal and debris.

Michael Rodriguez said his sister, Lisa, called crying hysterically as she tried to leave the second tower as it burned.

"We don't know if she took the stairs or the elevator," he said. "She was in tower two on the 89th floor. When I got over there the building started collapsing so I had to run away."

The stories of others were similar -- a man looking for his brother who had just bought a new house for his wife and 7-month-old daughter; a woman who talked to her sister who was on the 94th floor of the first tower minutes before it exploded into flames -- all now frantically searching for any shred of evidence that might give them hope of finding their loved ones alive.

The anguish of the families is so great that it draws tears from reporters trying to cover the scene.

"I'm trying to keep the faith and I'm trying to search for him -- I want him to come home," said Milsa Riveras of her missing husband, Isaias.

It was her second trip through this type of nightmare because Isaias had also been working in the World Trade Center during the 1993 bombing.

10 policemen found alive under rubble

7:16:25 AM

Ten policemen have reportedly been found alive under the rubble of the World Trade Centre in New York.

Emergency workers are scrambling to find the five New York City officers and the five Port Authority officers who are believed to have been buried since Tuesday抯 attacks.

One officer's wife has spoken to her husband via mobile phone.

Senior US officials name Osama bin Laden

7:02:04 AM

Senior US officials have said publicly for the first time that Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is the prime suspect in the attacks.

This effectively means that the US army is preparing to attack Afghanistan unless the country抯 Taliban rulers agree to hand bin Laden over for trial.

George W Bush has warned that any country which harbours those responsible for Tuesday抯 attack will be considered an enemy of America.

According to reports, the Pentagon is currently working on a plan to call up several thousand military reservists to back up crews supporting fighter jets.

This would mean that planes on so-called strip alert could take to the air within 15 minutes once the President gives the order.

$40bn OK'd to fight terrorism

6:52:30 AM

White House officials and congressional leaders agreed early Friday to final details of a $40bn package to combat terrorism and recover from attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The figure was double what President Bush requested.

Determined to show a united front, lawmakers also seemed to be nearing agreement on a separate measure that would back the use of "necessary and appropriate force" by President Bush against the people responsible for Tuesday's attacks. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said the House could consider that bill as early as Friday.

Hastert said the two sides agreed to drop earlier language opposed by some lawmakers that would also have approved use of force by Bush to "deter and pre-empt any related future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States." Opponents said that would have gone too far in eliminating Congress' role in future incidents.

Leaders hoped to push the spending measure through the House as early as Friday, with the Senate to follow. A Saturday session of Congress was looking increasingly likely.

At a Capitol meeting that ran past midnight Thursday, top lawmakers and White House officials agreed that half the package would be available virtually immediately, and half after details are spelled out in subsequent legislation. Administration officials had hoped Congress would approve the measure in time for Bush to tout it when he visits New York on Friday.

Even so, approval of such a vast sum just days after Tuesday's calamitous events would be lightning speed for a Congress that usually takes weeks or months to approve money for anything.

"We are shoulder to shoulder. We are in complete agreement that we will act together as one," said House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri.

Earlier, Hastert had said President Bush agreed to sign the $40bn measure after meeting at the White House with New York lawmakers.

"There is a unanimous understanding that whatever we do this week is a very minimal down payment to what will be required and what we will do in the days and weeks ahead," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

The spending agreement was worked out late in the afternoon (EDT), minutes before the Capitol was evacuated for about a half hour after bomb-sniffing dogs detected a suspicious odor in a Senate office.

Lawmakers from New York - where the brunt of the casualties and damage occurred when the World Trade Center was obliterated - sought a commitment Thursday from Bush for $20bn to aid the state's recovery.

Instead, the bill's final version would require that at least half the $40bn aid victims and their families, and pay for recovery efforts. That money would most likely be spent in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, where Tuesday's fourth hijacked airliner crashed.

In a day marked by several bipartisan meetings - unusual in themselves - Democratic and Republican leaders traveled together across the Potomac River to view rescue and recovery efforts at the Pentagon.

In broadly worded language, the $40bn would go to attack victims; costs by the federal and local Governments for the rescue, cleanup and rebuilding efforts; and improved security for transportation systems.

It could also be used "to counter, investigate or prosecute domestic or international terrorism" and for "supporting national security" - which could give Bush wide leeway to use funds to strike back at terrorists and their supporters.

Both parties also seemed eager to approve separate legislation endorsing a presidential use of force against those responsible for the attacks.

"It is always wiser to demonstrate national unity" by showing Congress supports such action, said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del.

Participants said completion of that bill could slip to next week, complicated by the age-old jealously between the two branches of Government over the power to wage war.

In 1964, Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing President Johnson "to take all necessary measures" to protect U.S. forces and prevent aggression. Johnson and subsequent presidents used that resolution to wage the Vietnam War, to the subsequent regret of many lawmakers.

The Constitution gives the president, as commander in chief, authority to wage war while leaving Congress the power to declare war.

Bush formally requested the $20bn earlier Thursday - roughly one-third of what it cost for the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and about what Congress provided for the Justice Department this year.

"Our first priority is to respond swiftly and surely," President Bush wrote congressional leaders. "We need to do so in a way that will make Americans proud, especially those heroes who are struggling so valiantly" with the tragedy.

The Senate also agreed late Thursday to broaden the nation's wiretapping laws, making crimes involving terrorism a reason for tapping into telephones and computers for the first time.

That provision was added by voice to a bill providing $42bn for the Commerce, Justice and State departments for next year. The bill then was approved 97-0.

European Union to observe three-minute silence

6:42:50 AM

The European Union will observe a three-minute silence at 11am today as a mark of respect for the thousands of people who died in Tuesday抯 attacks on New York and Washington.

All schools and banks in Ireland are closed, while many shops and businesses have also decided to shut their doors.

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the President Mary McAleese will attend a special church service in the Pro-Cathedral at 10.45am.

So far, four Irish people have been confirmed dead following the attacks but that figure is expected to rise significantly as more and more bodies are found.

Man arrested at JFK airport posing as pilot

6:30:17 AM

A man carrying a false pilot's identification has been arrested at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport.

The man attempted to get past security posing as a pilot. It is being reported that he was thought to be of Iranian descent.

In addition, five or six people, some of them Arab nationals and at least one carrying a knife, were also detained at the city's airports.

The man arrested at JFK had tried to fly to California on Tuesday morning and was carrying a certificate from a Florida flight training school.

The arrests prompted the closure of all three of New York's airports - Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, New Jersey - just hours after air carriers were allowed to return to the sky for the first time since Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The man who was arrested had been scheduled for a flight on Tuesday bound for Los Angeles, but it was cancelled after the terrorist attack began on the World Trade Centre.

On Thursday, he tried to board American Airlines Flight 299 bound for San Jose.

Suspicious ticket counter staff alerted a supervisor who notified Port Authority police.

Authorities tracked the man through security checks, including metal detectors, and stopped him at the gate.

A short time later, three more men arrived at Kennedy and boarded American Airlines Flight 133 to Los Angeles, and were arrested onboard.

Black box found in Pennsylvania

5:34:12 AM

The flight data recorder from United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania killing all 45 people on board, was found at the crash site, transport officials said.

The black box could shed light on what happened during the flight after the plane left Newark bound for San Francisco.

It was the only hijacked plane not to hit a US landmark building.

US airspace, closed since the attacks, was reopened at 1100EDT (5pm Irish time), with airports being allowed to resume operations on a case-by-case basis.

But by late Thursday the authorities had ordered the closure of all New York's airports due to what officials said was "FBI activity."

US ask Pakistan for 'use of air-space'

5:12:25 AM

The US Government as asked the Pakistani Government for possible use of their air-space.

The Pakistani Government has told the US that it will cooperate in the fight against international terrorism but as yet have not responded to the request.

US carried out raid on hotel in the Philippines

5:03:12 AM

US and Philippine law enforcement officials have carried out a raid on a hotel in Manila.

Sources in the Philippine Government has said the raid was in connection to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Pataki suspends statue of limitations in New York

4:55:57 AM

New York Governor Pataki has suspended the statue of limitations on civil and criminal proceedings to allow citizens to cope with the tragedy at the WTC.

The deadline for appeals has also been suspended.

'The US is preparing for war' - US Defence Secretary

4:03:58 AM

The US Defence Secretary has said: "The US is preparing for war."

The White House is considering calling upon the reserve force to service their country.

6,000 tonnes of debris removed from WTC

3:39:10 AM

6,000 tonnes of debris have been removed so far from the site of the World Trade Centre.

Thousands or tonnes or debris still cover the many who have died in the attack in New York.

Robotic vehicle, bomb squad brought into White House

3:12:08 AM

A robotic vehicle, the type used by bomb squads, has arrived at the White House.

No reports of any suspect devices been found have been made.

The robotic vehicle, guarded by Secret Service personnel, has sat just inside the White House perimeter since it arrived a short time ago.

No survivors found yesterday - rescue workers

3:08:57 AM

Rescue workers have reported that no survivors have been found yesterday at the World Trade Centre.

Officials fear 4,700 people may still be missing.

Hopes of finding people alive dwindle with each passing hour.

Storm heads towards New York City

3:04:59 AM

A heavy storm is heading towards New York City.

Rescue workers fear the bad weather, which is fast approaching, may hamper any attempts at continuing rescue efforts.

Four-year-old girl reunited with parents

2:59:18 AM

A four-year-old girl, feared missing, has been reunited with her mother and father.

Theresa Grimmig and Joseph Daglh were reunited with their daughter, Isabelle, after she was found by firefighters.

Rescue workers had been taking care of the young girl since the terrorist attack on Tuesday.

Fire rages at the Pentagon

2:54:03 AM [9:54 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 13]

A fire is still raging at the Pentagon.

Rescue teams and firefighters are still tackling the blaze which as been described as relentless.

It is unknown whether the fire has been burning since Tuesday or if a new fire has broken out.

New York - 4,700 may still be missing

2:49:56 AM

New York officials have estimated that 4,700 people may still be missing.

The majority of those unaccounted for were working on the top floors of the World Trade Centre.

A number of websites are today remaining open to assist those who are still searching for missing loved on

US stock markets closed until Monday

2:46:59 AM

US stock markets will remain closed today and will not reopen until 9.30a.m ET on Monday.

The four day suspension is the longest halt to trading since World War One.

It may not be prudent to fly today' - Northwest Airlines

2:44:07 AM

Northwest Airlines have said it may not be prudent to fly today.

A Spokeswoman for the airline said: " External information has come to Northwest attention that it may not be prudent to fly today."

The spokeswoman did not comment further on what the "external information

US Congress close to passing '$40bn Emergency Funding Bill'

2:34:03 AM

The US Congress are considering passing an Emergency Funding Bill estimated to be around $40bn.

The White House had originally asked for $20bn.

Bush asks Americans to visit 'places of worship'

2:01:56 AM

US President George W Bush has called on every American citizen to attend a 'place of worship' on their lunch breaks today.

Bush has declared today a day of prayer to remember those who have lost their lives in the attacks on Washington and New York.

Bin Laden better say his prayers' US Senate house speaker

1:54:44 AM

The house speaker of the US Senate has said American blood may have to be shed in any case of retaliation.

He added: "Bin Laden better say his prayers."

US ask Pakistan to 'provide information'

1:31:41 AM

The US Government has asked Pakistan to provide any information they have on Bin Laden.

Earlier the Bush administration urged the Pakistan Government to close it's borders with Afghanistan.

US Government urge Pakistan to close it's border with Afghanistan

1:16:30 AM

The Bush administration has urged Pakistan to close it's borders with Afghanistan.

Yesterday the Pakistan Government pledged it's support to the United States against th

FBI clear Adnan Bukari of 'any involvement'

12:38:43 AM

The FBI have confirmed that Adnan Bukari has been cleared of involvement in Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

A lawyer for Mr Bukari has said he client voluntarily took a lie detector test with the FBI in Florida.

He also stated that any documentation bearing his name found in connection with the attacks suggests that his identity was stolen.

It had been reported earlier that Mr Bukari was involved with the group responsible for the atrocities.

Pentagon consider reserves 'call up'» NEWSFLASH

12:34:48 AM

The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld has said US fighter pilots have been put on "fifteen minute strip alert across the country."

Speaking to CNN he said: " The Pentagon is considering a 'call up' of reserve airforce personnel."

The President has yet to comment on this course of action.

Man arrested at JFK airport with 'fake pilot credentials'

12:16:54 AM

The NYPD and the FBI have confirmed that a man has been arrested at JFK airport.

The man was arrested after he produced what appear to be 'fake pilot credentials'.

The FBI and the NYPD refused to comment further until they have fully questioned the man

Secret Service separate Bush and Cheney

12:02:40 AM

Security in and around the White House has been increased.

The Secret Service has closed roads around the White House.

The Vice President, Dick Cheney has been moved from the White House to Camp David.

Security officials have stated that they have separated the President and the Vice President as they do not want the Government leaders in such close proximity while a possible treat remains.

The President, George W Bush, has remained in the Whit House.

Bush to visit New York today

12:02:05 AM

President Bush will go to New York this afternoon to offer his condolences to the families of those injured or killed in Tuesday's terrorist attack and to thank rescue workers.

Bush, in a televised conference call with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Gov. George Pataki, said he would travel to New York City immediately after a late-morning memorial service at Washington's National Cathedral.

The president has designated today, September 14, a day of "National Prayer and Remembrance" and will call on Americans to use their lunch breaks to go to places of worship to pray for victims and their families.

"You have extended to me a kind invitation to come to New York City," Bush told Giuliani as he stood next to his Oval Office desk. "I accept. I will be there tomorrow (Friday) afternoon after the prayer service at the National Cathedral."

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