Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sept. 12, Breaking News Archive for the War on Terror, Thomas Crosbie Media

Sept. 12

TCM Archives > TCM Breaking News > 2001/09/12 > World

Wednesday, September 12, 2001 :

MAIN TOPIC: War on Terrorism

11:37 PM Nothing heard since son phoned from skyscraper » LATEST
11:35 PM Archbishop tells of attack horror
11:28 PM Rescue operation hampered by collapse fears
11:24 PM Building number five starts to fall
10:59 PM FBI detain two trainee pilots
10:52 PM Building number five unstable
10:51 PM American Airlines release names of crash victims
10:49 PM Websites open to track missing people
10:36 PM Cowen stands with US on attacks
10:24 PM 20 Irish people feared trapped
10:04 PM Co Sligo man is confirmed missing
10:03 PM US stock markets set to reopen on Friday
9:58 PM US declares war - and begins hunt for killers
9:34 PM Passengers voted to overpower hijackers
9:02 PM Attack on US ‘is attack on all Nato’
8:51 PM Thousands of agents deployed in WTC investigation
8:46 PM Three-six people involved in each hijack
8:35 PM Kosovo honours US dead
8:34 PM NATO: Message of support passed to US » NEWSFLASH
8:30 PM Police name two men wanted for US plane attacks
8:24 PM Priest is among Irish dead
8:21 PM Boston: Police question a number of people
8:06 PM Harney signs order for day of mourning
7:59 PM Hijackers 'may have trained at Florida school'
7:49 PM Hussein says US deserved attacks
7:06 PM Aer Lingus cancels transatlantic flights
7:00 PM Conflicting reports on Boston arrests by police
6:57 PM Taliban may consider extraditions based on valid evidence
6:52 PM Arafat donates blood to American victims
6:38 PM No arrests were made at the Boston hotel.
6:18 PM Family of Irish victims plan to fly out for funeral
6:16 PM Police make arrests in Boston
6:14 PM US ban on flights to remain
5:50 PM US police make arrest in Boston
5:06 PM Irish tourists stranded as flights are turned back
5:05 PM Ahern cancels Czech Republic trip
5:01 PM Bin Laden still chief suspect
4:54 PM Reports say the Pentagon has been evacuated
4:48 PM UN building evacuated in New York
4:43 PM Three to five hijackers per plane
4:01 PM "Good will prevail" - Bush
3:53 PM Irish reaction: former Tanaiste asks if air travel is to alter forever
3:39 PM Europe declares day of mourning for Friday
3:38 PM FBI contact gardai in hunt for terrorists
3:36 PM WTC's largest tenant worries for staff
3:17 PM Terrorists made bogus promise to pilots
2:57 PM Six Irish may have died in attacks » NEWSFLASH
2:54 PM Rescuers find survivors in WTC rubble
2:47 PM Final calls made from ill-fated hijacked flights
2:45 PM Decision on resumption of flights by Aer Lingus tonight
2:44 PM Final calls from ill-fated hijacked flights
2:40 PM EU Ministers express support for US
2:05 PM Who is Osama Bin Laden?
1:46 PM The Pope condemns yesterday's terrorist attacks
1:33 PM First Irish victims of terrorist attack are named
1:31 PM Blair says America is considering action against outrages
1:26 PM New fire at World Financial Centre
1:24 PM Powell: full scale assault needed
1:20 PM US military tightens security after terrorist attacks
1:06 PM Flood Tribunal adjourned as mark of respect
11:45 AM Wall Street remains closed
11:34 AM Bin Laden congratulates US bombers
11:32 AM Govt to declare national day of mourning
11:29 AM Book of condolences to be opened in US Embassy
11:13 AM UN pulls out of Afghanistan
10:45 AM All transatlantic flights cancelled
10:44 AM Fire chiefs and ‘Frasier’ TV producer among dead
10:43 AM Cabinet considers UK security
10:42 AM EU Governments consult on how to stand by America
10:37 AM Clinton anxious to return to New York
10:22 AM Pope condemns attacks on human dignity
10:04 AM Government postpones normal political work
9:44 AM Germany calls for five minutes of silence
9:43 AM Eyewitness describes Pentagon attack
9:39 AM Air passengers face higher fares and security delays
9:30 AM Humanity amid the chaos
9:24 AM Messages of sympathy for firefighters
9:05 AM Downing Street alert called off
8:50 AM Downing St evacuated
8:40 AM Hijackers killed stewardesses to access cockpits
8:14 AM 'Every resource' to be used to trace attackers
8:10 AM 800 feared dead in Pentagon attack
7:42 AM World’s tallest building evacuated
7:41 AM Irish entry ports on high alert
7:35 AM Cowen in EU emergency meeting
7:28 AM Explosions shake Afghanistan capital
7:26 AM Black boxes may yield vital clues to attacks
7:24 AM How could such devastation happen?
7:23 AM Date a sign of things to come
7:01 AM Irish mother-and-daughter aboard hijacked plane
6:54 AM Air passengers stranded as flights are grounded
6:13 AM New York City begins massive rescue effort
5:35 AM 256 firefighters killed as towers collapse
4:47 AM $5m bounty on Bin Laden
4:37 AM Several buildings remain structurally unsound
4:34 AM Police confirm arrests but deny explosives find
4:27 AM Three arrested with van full of explosives
4:18 AM Survivors making phone calls from World Trade Centre
4:11 AM US embassies in Middle East close
3:57 AM Passenger called home to report hijacking
3:53 AM Afghan officials to conduct investigation
3:51 AM FBI issue search warrants in bid to crack case
3:16 AM Israel declare Wednesday 'day of mourning'
3:11 AM Trapped people may still be alive
2:55 AM NY fire department suffers heavy losses
2:48 AM Nuclear, chemical plants put on 'high alert'
2:41 AM Newspapers scramble to print historic editions
2:14 AM Transport restored to NYC
1:48 AM Early reports say 10,000 dead
1:45 AM Al Quaida deny responsibility
1:43 AM Bin Laden top of suspect list
1:33 AM Bush calls attack "mass murder" in address to nation
1:17 AM Fire still rages at the Pentagon
1:09 AM Terrorist attacks: chronology of terror
1:00 AM US senate will back Bush
12:51 AM US stock exchages to remain closed
12:41 AM 78 NYPD officers missing
12:35 AM 200 rescue workers reported dead
12:27 AM National Guard arrive in New York, Washington
12:22 AM Department of HHS asks citizens for blood
12:07 AM Attack was assault on every citizen - Attorney General

MAIN TOPIC: Middle East

8:32 AM Seven die in Israeli tanks and helicopter attack » LATEST

Seven die in Israeli tanks and helicopter attack

8:32:28 AM

Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships entered the West Bank town of Jenin and two nearby Palestinian villages today.

Seven Palestinians, including three suspected Islamic militants and an 11-year-old girl, were killed by Israeli fire, Palestinian security officials said.

Under heavy Palestinian fire, troops demolished three buildings Israel said served as centres for preparing terror attacks a police stations and two homes of Islamic militants before withdrawing at daybreak.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian man was killed and three people wounded when Israeli troops fired toward a Palestinian taxi in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security officials said.

The incursions into Jenin and the villages of Tamoun and Arrabeh just to the south followed a day of violence in which three other Palestinians were killed, two in exchanges of gunfire in Jenin and the other in the Gaza Strip.

In another development, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was forced to postpone his departure for Damascus, for a long-awaited meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad .

Arafat was to have left last night. However, Israel closed its airspace and borders in response to the wave of terror attacks on New York and Washington, meaning Arafat could not use Gaza International Airport or leave overland to Egypt. Seven die in Israeli tanks and helicopter attack

Nothing heard since son phoned from skyscraper

11:37:07 PM

A banker from Scotland is among the thousands of people missing after the terrorist attack on New York, his distraught mother revealed tonight.

Derek Sword was working on the 89th floor inside the north tower of the World Trade Centre when the first plane entered the skyscraper yesterday.

The Scot telephoned his parents as soon as he realised what had happened to reassure them that he was alive and well, it emerged tonight.

His terrified parents, David and Irene, of Dundee, said they are still hopeful their son, who got engaged to an American just 10 days ago, is still alive.

Speaking from her home, Mrs Sword said: ‘‘The first we knew was when Derek rang to say he was fine and told us not to worry. That must have been seconds after the plane went in.

"That was really it and we have not heard anything else since. We have been watching the television and checking with the Foreign Office but there is no news of him yet."

Derek had worked for a finance firm in New York for the past six years, his mother revealed.

She added: "It is so, so difficult for us. We feel helpless and are just hoping that he is safe and well.

"His fiancee has told us that there are hundreds of unidentified people in hospitals over there and we are praying that our son is among them.

"Until we hear otherwise, we will go on believing he is OK. But this is just the most harrowing thing and is truly awful."

The Sword family said they feared they might have to wait days before they have confirmation about what has happened to their son.

Mrs Sword added: "This is just something you never, ever imagine that you would have to go through.

"This waiting about just about destroys you. But you have to be positive and that is what we are all trying to do.

"The fact Derek phoned us has given us hope and for his sake we will not give that up for anything.

"We also hope that his fiancee over there will be able to get information quicker than we can over here."

Archbishop tells of attack horror

11:35:36 PM

The Archbishop of Wales, who was in a church 200 yards from the World Trade Centre at the time of the attack, tonight told of the horror.

In a statement, Dr Rowan Williams said he feared American retaliation could lead to more suffering.

"At the time of the first attack I was preparing for a morning seminar with local clergy in a building some 200 yards away," he said.

"We were unable to leave the building of course for quite some time. When the south tower collapsed there was a power failure in neighbouring buildings and the physical impact of the explosion was enormous.

"We were evacuated shortly afterwards as the building was filling rapidly with smoke but had to wait in the basement until the street was apparently a little safer.

"Outside there was a gale of choking dust and debris and the sky was blotted out. As we reached the end of the street we were told of the risk that the second tower would collapse and some of us took shelter in a Portakabin along with a number of small children from the day centre in the basement of the building.

"The second shock followed soon. The buses were commandeered by police to move us further away and by 11.30am we were back in the middle of Manhattan."

He added: "It was a terrifying morning for all, especially the children who were with us. We shared very briefly with people in Jerusalem or Baghdad or Kosovo a little of what it is to be confronted with real fear and massive violence. And that is something to learn from.

"No-one could wish this on others in retaliation. My heart goes out to those who still don’t know what has happened to those they love and to all who are injured or bereaved."

Rescue operation hampered by collapse fears

11:28:55 PM

The rescue effort in the wreckage of the World Trade Centre was temporarily called off tonight as fears mounted that another building may collapse.

One Liberty Plaza, a 743-foot tall, 54-storey building, was under threat of toppling after a partial collapse of the building, rescue officials confirmed.

An immediate evacuation of rescue workers and people close to the scene was put in place because of the risk.

Windows and parts of the outside of the building could be seen peeling away, but no failure in the building was obvious to the naked eye.

The building was beside the destroyed twin towers but had apparently survived the initial destruction.

The evacuation came as fears had also mounted for the safety of Number Five World Trade Centre, a smaller office block which was part of the complex.

It had suffered a partial collapse when the twin towers fell and rescue officials were risking their lives by working on top of it to gain access to the scene of devastation.

CNN reporter Gary Schulmann said he had been at the very centre of the rescue effort when he saw the building tilt and windows begin to break.

‘‘People on the scene are very frightened,’’ he said.

‘‘They saw the building start to tilt and they saw some windows beginning to break.’’

The building had been set up as a triage centre for people pulled from the wreckage but had barely been used because of the tiny numbers being rescued.

And fears were also growing over the stump of pillars from World Trade Centre Number Two which had remained standing.

‘‘Those pillars from that tower look very precarious and they were very concerned about that,’’ said Mr Schulmann.

Building number five starts to fall

11:24:50 PM

Partial collapse confirmed at One Liberty Plaza.

One Liberty Plaza, building number five at the World Trad3e Centre, had been suspected of structural damage.

Officials have confirmed the collapse of part of the plaza and they have evacuated the area of ground zero.

10:59:09 PM

The FBI have confirmed they have detained two Saudi Arabians in a swoop on two houses in Vero Beach, Florida.

The two had been attending the pilot school, Flight Safety International.

They rented the houses on June 10 2001 for $1400 dollars a month.

They gave up the lease on September 17 after extending it for two weeks then a further three days.

Landlord Paul Steineling said he rented the house to Adnan Bukhari, a man who said he was a commercial pilot from Saudi Arabia.

The man, who lived with his wife and three children, said he was attending a local flight school.

The family, the landlord said, moved out over the weekend.

A friend of the two trainee pilots has been taken to an FBI headquarters at Vero Beach, Miami, Florida, for questioning.

American Airlines release names of crash victims

10:51:54 PM

American Airlines has released the names of some of the people who died on its flights in the terror attacks on New York and Washington.

The airline has honoured the requests of those families who have asked that their loved ones' names not be included.

Additional names will be released as passengers' relatives are notified.

"We are horrified by these tragic events," said Donald J. Carty, American's chairman. "Our employees are working with these families to assist however we can."

The following is a list of passengers whose next-of-kin have been notified.

Flight 11, a Boeing 767-200, was en route to Los Angeles from Boston.

Passengers on Airlines Flight 11 were: Anna Allison, David Angell, Lynn Angell, Seima Aoyama, Myra Aronson, Christine Barbuto, Carol Bouchard, Neili Casey, Jeffrey Coombs, Tara Creamer, Thelma Cucinello, Patrick Currivan, Andrew Currygreen, Brian Dale, David Dimeglio, Donald Ditullio, Albert Dominguez, Al Filipov, Carol Flyzik, Paul Friedman, Karleton Fyfe, Peter Gay, Linda George, Edmund Glazer, Page Hackel Farley, Peter Hashem, Robert Hayes, Edward Hennessy, John Hofer, Cora Holland, Nicholas Humber, John Jenkins, Charles Jones, Robin Kaplan, Barbara Keating, David Kovalcin, Judy Larocque, N. Janis Lasden, Danny Lee, Daniel Lewin, Jeff Mladenik, Antonio Montoya, Carlos Montoya, Laura Morabito, Mildred Naiman, Laurie Neira, Renee Newell, Jacqueline Norton, Robert Norton, Jane Orth, Thomas Pecorelli,Bernthia Perkins, Sonia Puopolo, David Retik, Philip Rosenweig, Richard Ross, Heath Smith, Douglas Stone, Xavier Suarez, James Trentini, Mary Trentini, Mary Wahlstrom, Kenneth Waldie, John Wenckus, Candace Williams, Christopher Zarba.

Flight Crew for Flight 11 were: Captain John Ogonowski, First Officer Thomas McGuinness; Flight Attendants Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean Roger, Dianne Snyder, Madeline Sweeney.

Flight 77, a Boeing 757 aircraft, was en route to Los Angeles from Washington Dulles.

Passengers on Flight 77 were: Paul Ambrose, Yemen Betru, M J Booth, Bernard Brown, Suzanne Calley, William Caswell, Sarah Clark, Asia Cotton, James Debeuneure, Rodney Dickens, Eddie Dillard, Charles Droz, Barbara Edwards, Charles Falkenberg, Zoe Falkenberg, Dana Falkenberg, James Ferguson, Budd Flagg, Dee Flagg, Richard Gabriel, Ian Gray, Stanley Hall, Bryan Jack, Steve Jacoby, Ann Judge, Chandler Keller, Yvonne Kennedy, Norma Khan, Karen Kincaid, Norma Langsteuerle, Dong Lee, Dora Menchaca, Chris Newton, Barbara Olson, Ruben Ornedo, Lisa Raines, Todd Reuben, John Sammartino, Diane Simmons, George Simmons, Mari Rae Sopper, Robert Speisman, Leonard Taylor, Sandra Teague, Leslie Whittington, John Yamnick, Vicki Yancey, Shuyin Yang, Yuguag Zheng.

Flight Crew for Flight 77 were: Captain Charles Burlingame, First Officer David Charlebois; Flight Attendants Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May.

Websites open to track missing people

10:49:12 PM

There have been another two websites dedicated to people missing since the attacks on the US.

The sites are available for anyone still unsure of friends or relatives where-abouts.

Cowen stands with US on attacks

10:36:56 PM

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, has said in a television interview that the USA have the right under international law to defend itself and to respond to the attacks on it's cities.

The minister arrived back in Ireland tonight from a trip to the Middle East.

20 Irish people feared trapped

10:24:34 PM

The Irish Consulate in New York has said that it fears for the safety of 20 Irish people thought trapped in the rubble of the World Trade Centre.

An Irish passport was found in the debris.

Co Sligo man is confirmed missing

10:04:13 PM

The family of a county Sligo man have confirmed that the man is missing following the World Trade Centre attacks.

It is believed 35-year-old Kieran Gorman from Lava, Co Sligo, was working on the top floor of one of the towers when the attack happened.

US stock markets set to reopen on Friday

10:03:26 PM

The US stock markets hope to resume trading on Friday after a three-day shutdown following the terrorist attack that devastated the World Trade Centre, officials said.

The New York Stock Exchange does not expect to open before Friday, officials said.

US declares war - and begins hunt for killers

9:58:27 PM

A stunned and grieving America was at war tonight - with the hunt for those responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington beginning in earnest.

Police in America were searching for two men they believe were involved in the twin terror attacks launched yesterday.

One, Mohamed Atta, and the other, known only as Marwan, have been named by the FBI.

Investigations by the FBI suggest five Arab men, one a trained pilot, were involved in the attacks after an Arabic flight training manual and a copy of the Koran were discovered in a rented car at Boston’s Logan Airport.

With the finger of suspicion increasingly pointing to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, a heavily-armed raid of a Boston hotel was staged by the FBI but no one was detained.

Meanwhile in Florida an unknown number of people were taken into custody.

Elsewhere three men were detained for questioning by state police, CNN reported, after an inter-city train from Boston was stopped and searched in Providence, Rhode Island.

Tonight it emerged that the American Government believed there was a "credible threat" that the White House and Air Force One, the presidential jet, were targets for the terrorists.

A White House spokesman said: "The plane that hit the Pentagon may have been headed for the White House."

The spokesman said President George Bush landed in Louisiana and then went to Nebraska because his security in the air or in Washington could not be guaranteed.

The terrorists may have had plans to ram the Boeing 747 with one of their hijacked airliners, an extraordinary suicide attack, or fly it into the White House.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who led allied troops in the Gulf conflict, described the attacks today as "a war not just against the United States" but "a war against civilisation".

His comments were later backed up by Washington’s Nato allies who declared that the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington could be considered an attack on the whole alliance if it turns out they were directed from abroad.

The Secretary of State spoke as rescuers fought a battle of their own in the rubble of lower Manhattan to save the lives of those still buried alive after the destruction of the 110-storey twin towers of the World Trade Centre.

After speaking to foreign ministers and prime ministers worldwide, including Britain’s Jack Straw, General Powell said: "We are building a strong coalition to go after these perpetrators but more broadly to go after terrorism wherever it is found in the world."

America would go after terrorism "root and branch" and attack both it and its "sources", he added.

General Powell had earlier said of the American people: "We are at war and they want a comprehensive response. They want us to act as if we are at war and we’re going to do that - diplomatically and militarily."

His comments were echoed by President George Bush who vowed to "bring to justice" the masterminds of the attacks.

And he warned that America would make "no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harboured them".

The day after the attacks, the US was gripped by mounting anger and disbelief at the scale of atrocity wrought upon its shores.

Millions around the world watched endless re-runs of new video footage showing the final seconds of the two airliners which plunged into the trade centre's towers.

In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesman said "hundreds" of Britons were now expected to have died.

Mr Blair said he was recalling Parliament for an emergency session on Friday to discuss the crisis.

Across the globe there were fears of further attacks, of the damage that could be done to the world economy, and of the many long-term implications of a new and terrifying form of terrorism for which the US was defenceless.

But for thousands of families there was the terrible dread for loved ones who went to work or boarded planes yesterday and have not been heard of since.

Irishman Ronnie Clifford counted himself lucky when he escaped from the World Trade Centre, only to discover that his sister Ruth Clifford McCourt, 45, and her four-year-old daughter Juliana were on board the second jet to strike the towers.

Chilling accounts emerged of passengers on the hijacked jets making final calls to their loved ones just second before they died - and evidence that some facing death went down fighting.

Moments before one of the planes went down, businessman Thomas Burnett of San Ramon, California, phoned his wife, telling her he feared the flight was doomed but he and two other passengers planned to do something about it.

One woman told her husband that the hijackers were armed with knives and there were reports of frantic struggles with stewardesses being stabbed.

The hijackers overpowered flight crews and seized control of the four jets in what was clearly a meticulously planned operation.

Rescue workers fought all night to reach people trapped in the wreckage amid reports that trapped survivors were using mobile phones to plead for help.

One police officer trapped in a void in the courtyard between the two giant towers was found waist deep in rubble, but was pulled to safety.

Establishing the death toll could take weeks. The four airliners alone had 266 people aboard and there were no survivors. Officials put the number of dead and wounded at the Pentagon at about 100 or more.

"The number of casualties will be more than most of us can bear," said Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of New York.

Passengers voted to overpower hijackers

9:34:19 PM

Passengers on United Airlines flight 93 had voted to overpower hijackers after realising that the plane was to crash into the White House.

Jeremy Glick, a passenger on the plane which crashed in Pittsburgh, had been in contact with his wife by phone.

He said that the men on the plane had taken the vote after they had heard about the World Trade Centre crashes.

His two-month-old daughter, Emerson, was with him on the plane.

Moments later the plane crashed in Somerset County, Pittsburgh.

Attack on US 'is attack on all Nato'

9:02:49 PM

Nato tonight delivered the backing America was seeking over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Talks between ambassadors of the 19 Alliance nations in Brussels resulted in a unanimous declaration reaffirming that an attack on one Nato member is considered as an attack on them all.

The move endorses one of Nato's founding principles and virtually guarantees America strategic as well as moral support in the event of any military retaliation devised by Washington - if a perpetrator is clearly identified.

Tonight’s declaration from Nato headquarters after a day of talks completed a series of strong public statements of sympathy and support from key global allies and institutions.

The European Union declared a day of mourning on Friday and issued a statement expressing solidarity and pledging full support in seeking out and punishing the perpetrators.

And when asked if the EU would support any military response by the US authorities, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw insisted: "Issues of military action are matters for Nato, not for the European Union."

Tonight, Nato delivered its verdict, invoking for the first time in its history its "all-for-one-and-all-for-all" commitment set out in Article Five of its Charter.

Nato Secretary-General Lord Robertson confirmed that the terrorist attacks in America were deemed to have been an attack on the whole Alliance.

He said the US would therefore receive support for military action if the attacks were identified as having been perpetrated by foreign nationals.

"The parties will take such action as it deems necessary, including armed force," Lord Robertson told a news conference. "An attack on one is an attack on all."

The decision bolsters Washington's efforts to garner the broadest possible support in its battle against terrorism.

It also obliges America's allies to provide support for any military operation, from opening up air space and providing intelligence and logistical support to actual troops and equipment.

In a statement, the 19 Nato allies said that "in the event of attacks ... each ally will assist (the United States) by taking such action as it deems necessary.

Accordingly, the United States' Nato allies stand ready to provide the assistance that may be required as a consequence of these acts of barbarism."

Thousands of agents deployed in WTC investigation

8:51:41 PM

FBI director Robert Mueller has said that 4,000 special agents, 3,000 support personnel and 300 lab workers have been deployed at various sites around the US as part of the investigation into the World Trade Centre bombings.

"Our first objective was to identify the hijackers and their associates, to remove their associates and thereby remove the threat to our airspace," he said.

Mr Mueller, who confirmed that no arrests had yet been made, said some of the hijackers had already been identified.

"We have already identified a number of individuals who may have had something to do with the hijackings and we are pursuing those leads aggressively," he said.

Three-six people involved in each hijack

8:46:19 PM

US Attorney General John Ashcroft has said that each of the four planes involved in yesterday's crashes at the World Trade Centre was hijacked by between four and six individuals.

"They were armed with knifes and box cutters. Some made bomb threats. A number of the hijackers were trained as pilots in the United States.

"We have credible evidence to suggest that the White House and Air Force One were targets.

Kosovo honours US dead

8:35:59 PM

Tens of thousands of people gathered in the Kosovo capital Pristina today in an anti-terror demonstration commemorating the victims killed in the US suicide attacks.

Many in the crowd waved American flags or held placards with the message: United States, We are With You.

"Those who attacked people who defended us should not have a place in this world," said Arsim Vrajolli, 34.

The demonstration was attended by local political and religious leaders and broadcast live on public television.

NATO: Message of support passed to US » NEWSFLASH

8:34:50 PM

A NATO spokesman has said that an attack of this magnitude and nature on America is "an attack on the whole alliance".

Police name two men wanted for US plane attacks

8:30:58 PM

Police in America are hunting two men they believe were involved in the twin terror attacks on New York and Washington.

One, Mohamed Atta, and the other, known only as Marwan, were named by the FBI in a bulletin sent to US law enforcement agencies.

Their home was searched but it was not known if anybody was taken into custody.

Police have released details of the cars both men were believed to be driving.

The hunt came as the FBI says it is investigating whether five Arab men, one a trained pilot, whose names were on passenger lists for the two flights hijacked in Boston were the perpetrators.

And in Florida, an unknown number of people were taken into custody and interviewed.

Heavily-armed police searched a hotel room in Boston and say that although it was empty, they found information linked to the possible perpetrators of the attacks.

A husband and wife whose house Mohamed Atta and Marwan had stayed at for a week in July 2000 were interviewed in south Florida, and disclosed FBI agents had told them they believed the men were implicated in the terror attack.

Charlie Voss, who was interviewed with his wife Drew, says the two men slept at their home while they were students at Huffman Aviation, an air training school.

Mr Voss said FBI agents "informed me that there were two individuals that were students at Huffman Aviation, my employer, and FBI told me they were involved in yesterday's tragedy".

Priest is among Irish dead

8:24:12 PM

Irish priest Fr Michael Judge is among the Irish people believed to have died in the aftermath of the blasts at the World Trade Centre.

Fr Judge was ministering to the injured when he died, according to reports.

There are unconfirmed reports that a crew of Irish construction workers are missing.

Meanwhile, two cousins of Sligo-Leitrim TD Gerry Reynolds are also missing.

Boston: Police question a number of people

8:21:37 PM

The people earlier thought to have been arrested in Boston are confirmed to be merely in custody there.

They are believed to have information relevant to the investigation.

Harney signs order for day of mourning

8:06:11 PM

Following the Government Decision to designate Friday, 14 September as a Day of National Mourning, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney signed an Order under the Organisation of Working Time Act giving effect to the decision.

The Tánaiste pointed out that with limited exceptions such as emergency services, all schools, Government Departments and Offices will be closed.

She urged all employers as far as is practicable to close their premises in sympathy with all those killed and injured in yesterday’s terrorist attacks in the United States.

The Tánaiste confirmed that the effect of the Order is to provide that employees are entitled to a paid day off on Friday.

Questions may arise regarding days off in lieu for those who are required to work on Friday.

In the normal course on a public holiday the following arrangements apply, as determined by the employer

-a paid day off within a month of that day
-an additional day's leave
-an additional day's pay

Queries in relation to this matter should be directed to the Employment Rights Information Unit at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment at lo-call Tel. No's 1890-201-615 or 1890-220-222 or 01-6313131.

This service will be available tonight until 8.00 p.m. and on Thursday from 9.30a.m.until 8.00 p.m..

Hijackers 'may have trained at Florida school'

7:59:49 PM

Two of the suspects under investigation for the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon trained at Huffman Aviation in Venice, Florida, ABC News reported.

The two men had flight training at the school with single- engine planes and small multiengine planes from last July to November. They received their licenses for those types of planes, ABC said, citing Huffman owner Rudy Dekkers. They then went to a different school for jet training.

The school has turned over documents concerning the two men and its other international students to the FBI, Dekkers told ABC News. One of the men was from Afghanistan, he told ABC News.

Hussein says US deserved attacks

7:49:05 PM

Saddam Hussein has stated that America deserved yesterday's spate of atrocities.

The Iraqi leader said the US is "reaping the thorns of its foreign policy".

Hussein has long been an enemy of the US, in particular since the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq.

Aer Lingus cancels transatlantic flights

7:06:39 PM

Aer Lingus has cancelled all transatlantic flights for this evening and tomorrow (Thursday).

Anyone affected by the cancellations or those with queries should call the Aer Lingus helpline number: 1800 222 221.

The US aviation authority, which had earlier extended its closure of airspace, has announced a limited re-opening of airspace there.

Conflicting reports on Boston arrests by police

7:00:59 PM

Law enforcement officials are denying that arrests were made at the Westin Hotel in Boston.

Heavily armed police and FBI officers entered the building with fibre-optic equipment, which was used to look under hotel room doors.

They say the 16th floor room they searched was empty, but a number of items were found, believed to be linked to the planning of the atrocities.

Meanwhile, those taken into custody in Florida are believed to have been aviation students linked to Osama Bin Laden, one of whom had stayed at the house of an American couple.

Earlier, police discovered flight training manual and other items in a car at Logan airport in Boston.

Taliban may consider extraditions based on valid evidence

6:57:07 PM

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has said it will consider extraditions, should they arise, based on legitimate evidence.

Earlier international assumption that the Taliban would not extradite anyone based in Afghanistan has been altered, with news that the Taliban will agree to consider each application for extradition on its own merit.

Known terrorist and millionaire Osama Bin Laden, who is now the chief suspect for yesterday’s attacks, lives in exile in Afghanistan.

The US has not attempted to apprehend Bin Laden, nor has it given any indication that it may do so.

The Taliban has denied Bin Laden's involvement in the atrocities.

Arafat donates blood to American victims

6:52:07 PM

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today donated blood for the victims of the US terror attacks and condemned "this horrible attack."

"We are donating our humble abilities to President Bush and to the American people," Arafat said at Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Arafat, one of hundreds of Palestinians who participated in the blood drive, smiled as doctors drew blood from his right arm.

As he came out of the hospital, about 200 Palestinians started chanting, "We are ready to give our soul and blood for you."

Asked if he had a message for the American people, Arafat said, "God bless you, God Bless you, God bless you."

No arrests were made at the Boston hotel.

6:38:17 PM

US law enforcement officials said no arrests were made at the Boston hotel.

Officials said the room that was searched was empty but included information linking it to who showed up on the manifest of one of the hijacked flights.

They declined to identify the alleged hijacker.

Family of Irish victims plan to fly out for funeral

6:18:12 PM

The family of Ruth Clifford-McCourt and her daughter are now planning to travel to the United States to attend their funerals.

Ruth Clifford-McCourt, 45, and her four-year-old daughter Juliana were based in Connecticut and had been on the second of two hijacked planes used to devastate the twin towers.

None of the passengers are expected to have survived.

Ironically, Ruth’s brother Ronnie Clifford was in one of the offices in the tower when his sister’s plane struck it. He managed to get out of the building alive.

Meanwhile, one of some 250 fire fighters missing in the rubble of the World Trade Centre is originally from Dundalk. The family of Tim McSweeney is anxiously waiting for news.

Police make arrests in Boston

6:16:19 PM

Police have arrested several people in Boston and impounded a car at Boston's Westin Hotel.

There are also reports of a plane being surrounded on a runway in Daytona, Florida, where more arrests are expected.

It is believed that yesterday's massive attacks on the US may have been planned from the Westin Hotel.

US ban on flights to remain

6:14:20 PM

The ban on flights in and out of America is to remain indefinitely, it has been announced. US aviation authorities had hoped to resume international flights this evening, but have apparently decided against it.

This means that all transatlantic flights from Ireland and the UK will be grounded until further notice.

US police make arrest in Boston

5:50:06 PM

Heavily armed American police are believed to have arrested one man, thought to be in relation to yesterday's terrorist attacks.

The arrest took place in a Boston hotel, where a car has also been impounded.

Irish tourists stranded as flights are turned back

5:06:31 PM

Limerick journalist Niamh McCarthy expected to be starting a dream holiday in San Francisco today - instead she is stranded in London, awaiting a flight out.

Her Virgin Atlantic flight from London to San Francisco was turned back to Heathrow along with about 140 planes yesterday as news broke of the devastating crashes in New York's World Trade Centre.

"We were about four and a half hours into the flight when the pilot informed us over the intercom that we would have to turn back. He said there had been terrorist activity in the United States and that US airspace was closed," said Niamh from London.

"He said all aircraft had been told to turn back."

Niamh's flight was just approaching Canada on the regular London - San Francisco flight path when it was forced back.

"The crew didn't tell us anything. I think they either didn't know themselves or weren't allowed to say anything so that we wouldn't be panicked.

"No one was allowed to make any calls from the plane, even though lots of people wanted to alert friends in San Francisco not to come to the airport there. None of us had any idea what had actually happened. We thought maybe a plane or two had been hijacked in the United States."

Having circled Heathrow for about half an hour, Niamh and her friend Maria were greeted by chaos on the ground.

"Once we landed, ground crew came onto the plane and briefed the pilot. He then told us that four aircraft had been lost - that two had crashed into the World Trade Centre, one into the Pentagon and one outside Pittsburgh.

"We went into complete shock. There were a lot of Americans on the plane and they just burst into tears. They were worried about friends and relatives living in New York and Washington.

"I couldn't believe what had happened until we got to Maria's sister's house that night and saw the footage on television."

Passengers on the flight were offered full refunds or seats on replacement flights.

In Heathrow, airport personnel were trying to deal with the massive influx of passengers from returning flights and were making every effort to get them out of the airport as quickly as possible, said Niamh.

"Before I left Ireland, I read on my travel insurance form that the policy didn't cover acts of terrorism or war - but I never thought I'd run into a situation where I'd need insurance for that," said Niamh, who is a journalist with Thomas Crosbie Media.

Maria's husband Ken, who is awaiting the arrival of the two in San Francisco, told them everyone around him was "in a state of shock".

Ahern cancels Czech Republic trip

5:05:37 PM

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has cancelled an official visit to the Czech Republic due to take place tomorrow.

The move is a mark of respect for those killed or bereaved by yesterday’s horrific attacks on New York and Washington.

Bin Laden still chief suspect

5:01:50 PM

Investigators say that significant evidence of involvement in yesterday’s attacks points to Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist and millionaire currently in exile in Afghanistan.

A flight manifest from one of the crashed flights included the name of a suspected Bin Laden supporter, it was confirmed today.

US intelligence also said that they intercepted mobile communications between bin Laden supporters discussing the attacks in detail.

Bin Laden and Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have denied his involvement. However, Bin Laden is reported to have congratulated the kamikaze pilots who killed thousands of office and rescue workers yesterday.

Saddam Hussein is also reported to have said that America deserved the attacks, which he called "the fruit of their crimes against humanity."

Reports say the Pentagon has been evacuated

4:54:55 PM

Reports are coming in that the Pentagon, which was one of the yesterday's terrorist targets, has been evacuated.

Emergency rescue work has been going on at the Pentagon over the past 24 hours since a hijacked plane slammed into the massive building yesterday morning.

Earlier, the UN building in New York was also evacuated after an apparent 'unspecified threat' against it. It remains unclear whether these evacuations are the result of a hoax warning.

UN building evacuated in New York

4:48:01 PM

The UN building in New York has been evacuated.

US Federal authorities say they have received an unspecified threat against the building and have cleared it and the surrounding area as a security precaution in the aftermath of yesterday's strikes against the World Trade Centre’s twin towers.

Three to five hijackers per plane

4:43:24 PM

US investigators believe that three to five hijackers were aboard each of the four airliners used in yesterday’s attack.

They believe the hijackers were trained pilots and had been carrying small penknives, which were used to stab and kill crew in order to access the cockpit.

Experts say passengers could easily pass through airport security carrying a knife if it were small enough. Investigators are following all possible leads as to who carried out the attacks.

"Good will prevail" - Bush

4:01:37 PM

President George W Bush has read an official statement, declaring America’s determination to rally the world against terrorism and to withstand terrorist attack.

He urged all of those in authority to do their utmost to protect American citizens, stating that America must remain ‘keenly aware’ of the grave threat against it.

"All the freedom-loving nations of the world stand behind us. This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil but good will prevail," he said.

FBI contact gardai in hunt for terrorists

3:38:38 PM

The FBI and CIA have contacted garda headquarters as part of a worldwide effort to track the terrorists' route into America.

Gardai say US investigators are trying to determine if any of the suspects travelled through Ireland on their way to complete yesterday's deadly mission to attack America's biggest cities.

WTC's largest tenant worries for staff

3:36:24 PM

The World Trade Center's largest tenant Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. said it had "limited information" as to the fate of its employees there after the devastating attack by two hijacked commercial airplanes.

"We have limited information about the Trade Center disaster beyond what has been reported in the news. Our key focus and concern are for the well-being and safety of Morgan Stanley employees," the company said on its website. (

Morgan Stanley said it had about 3,500 workers stationed in the landmark complex.

The Wall Street Journal said on its website late Tuesday that Morgan Stanley told employees in a memo on Tuesday its personnel working in the building had survived the attack.

Morgan Stanley spokesman Ray O'Rourke, however, told Reuters he denied any confirmation of the safety of the company's employees stationed at the World Trade Center, who were mainly back-office, support and marketing staff.

"We are continuing to account for employees," O'Rourke said.

An internal memo distributed to Morgan Stanley workers in other cities said senior management staff had been at the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan when the attacks occurred, The Wall Street Journal said in its report.

The New York-based brokerage leased space on about 25 floors of the 110-story twin towers, which were reduced to rubble early Tuesday morning after the two planes smashed into the buildings.

Morgan Stanley also said on its Web site that a call center has been established for employee-related safety concerns at 1-888-883-4391

Terrorists made bogus promise to pilots

3:17:19 PM

Air traffic controllers have told of how they overheard hijackers tell pilots "You’re not going to get hurt" before steering their planes to tragedy.

The terrorists on one of the doomed planes made their bogus pledges as they took control of the cockpit and warned the crew not to do anything foolish.

The hijacker, who was speaking English, added, "We have more planes. We have other planes."

A request for flight clearance to JFK airport in New York was then heard, although it is unclear whether this was the pilot or a terrorist.

The conversation was overheard as one of the pilots flicked a switch allowing ground controllers to eavesdrop.

Shocked air traffic control crew were powerless to help. Minutes later, contact was lost with the American Airlines flight which minutes later slammed into the World Trade Centre.

The plane's transponder, which tracks altitude, direction and location, had been switched off before impact.

Rescuers find survivors in WTC rubble

2:54:27 PM

24 hours after yesterday's massive attack on New York, rescuers report that survivors being pulled out of the rubble of the World Trade Centre.

Figures are unconfirmed, but it is believed that nine people have been rescued safely - two police officers, five fire fighters and two civilians.

They are reported to have relatively minor injuries.

More than 70 police officers and at least 200 fire fighters, who were in the building when it collapsed, are still reported missing.

Final calls made from ill-fated hijacked flights

2:47:31 PM

Some passengers aboard the ill-fated hijacked planes yesterday made final calls to their loved ones and emergency services.

A female passenger aboard the Boeing 767 which crashed near Pittsburgh reported that the passengers, crew and pilot were forced to the back of the plane while the hijackers took over.

A male passenger on the same flight, who had locked himself into a toilet, said he could see white smoke coming from one side of the plane.

A passenger aboard another plane, believed to be that which slammed into the World Trade Centre, told how men wielding knives had taken over the aircraft and had stabbed a stewardess.

Blair says America is considering action against outrages

1:31:22 PM

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair said America would be considering what action to take against those responsible for the outrages.

But beyond that, the international community had to consider where such terror groups were, how they operated, were financed and supported and how they could be stopped.

Mr Blair added: "I was pleased to see the very strong statement of condemnation from the British Muslim Council, echoing that of the American Muslim Council.

"As Muslim leaders and clerics around the world are making clear, such acts of infamy and cruelty are wholly contrary to the Islamic faith. The vast majority of Muslims are decent, upright people who share our horror at what has happened."

Mr Blair stressed: "People of all faiths and all democratic political persuasions have a common cause: to identify this machinery of terror and to dismantle it as swiftly as possible.

"With our American friends, and other allies around the world, this is the task to which we now turn."

New fire at World Financial Centre

1:26:02 PM

More than 24 hours after the first attack on New York, fires are continuing. It is now reported that the World Financial Centre is ablaze.

The building is situated directly across the street from the World Trade Centre. It houses the Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, American Express offices as well as several banks.

The centre, built in 1980, contains four towers and is surrounded by residential buildings.

Powell: full scale assault needed
1:24:11 PM

US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in Peru for a special meeting of regional leaders, immediately headed back to the US, phoning major allies as he flew.

"This calls for a full-scale assault, not just by the US, but by all civilised nations, against terrorism," he said.

"That assault will be on the political, diplomatic, military and intelligence fronts. We will get through this," he added.

US military tightens security after terrorist attacks

1:20:22 PM

Aircraft carriers and guided missile destroyers moved into the waters near New York and Washington after President George Bush placed the US military on its highest alert status.

‘‘We have been attacked like we haven’t since Pearl Harbour,’’ said Admiral Robert Natter, commander of the US Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia.

The ships Natter sent to stand off the East Coast included the carrier George Washington, which was in position off the coast of New York City this morning.
Another carrier, the John F Kennedy, was heading to New York, an Atlantic Fleet spokesman said.

Each has a crew of 2,500 to 3,000 sailors, and the JFK’s airwing has about 1,500 sailors.

The Comfort, a hospital ship in Baltimore harbour, also was made available.

Also deployed were amphibious ships, guided missile cruisers and guided missile destroyers that are capable of responding to threats from the air and sea. The amphibious ships were carrying Marines and sailors to provide security, surgical teams and limited hospital bed capacity.

The US Pacific Fleet had a number of ships under way in the Pacific Ocean, a Navy official at Pearl Harbour said.

The John C Stennis aircraft carrier was steaming off San Diego and two guided missile cruisers, three guided missile destroyers and five guided missile frigates were at sea in the eastern Pacific, he said.

The Russell guided missile destroyer, the Navy rescue ship Salvor and the Navy oiler Yukon were off Hawaii.

Military aircraft were seen patrolling the skies above the capital.

Elsewhere in the country, fighters, airborne radar and refuelling planes were scrambled, according to an Air National Guard spokesman.

The North American Aerospace Defence Command also was on its highest alert status.

"We have all of our air sovereignty aircraft fighters, surveillance and other support aircraft ready to respond," NORAD said in a statement.

The US portion of the St Lawrence Seaway also was closed, said Lynn Duerod, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

Bin Laden congratulates US bombers

11:34:56 AM

Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden has congratulated those who carried out yesterday’s attacks on the United States, but denied that he played any role in the incidents.

A Palestinian journalist in Islamabad, Pakistan, said: "Osama bin Laden thanked almighty Allah and bowed before him when he heard this news."

The journalist said one of bin Laden’s aides called him early today from a secret hide-out in Afghanistan. The aide apparently said that bin Laden considers the attacks "a punishment from Allah" because of the Unites States' attempts at global domination.

UN pulls out of Afghanistan

11:13:00 AM

The United Nations has announced that it is withdrawing all its staff from Afghanistan as a precaution against the possibility of retaliatory attacks by the US military.

Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are harbouring Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in yesterday’s attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.

Dozens of Afghan citizens were killed in 1998 when the US military bombed the country in retaliation for the bombings of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in an attack that was also blamed on bin Laden.

All transatlantic flights cancelled

10:45:54 AM

All transatlantic flights out of Dublin Airport are cancelled today because of the events yesterday in the US cities of New York and Washington.

Intending passengers are advised to ring one of two helplines.

For Aer Lingus passengers, the number is 1800 222 21, while for Delta passengers, it is 1800 768 080.

Meanwhile, there was a security alert for a while at the airport this morning after a suspicious package was found in the main terminal building. It was later declared a false alarm.

Fire chiefs and ‘Frasier’ TV producer among dead

10:44:55 AM

Individual tragedies were today continuing to emerge from the horror of yesterday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Frasier producer David Angell and his wife Lynn, CNN commentator Barbara Olson and officials with the Los Angeles Kings hockey team were reported to be among those on board the three hijacked planes.

All 266 crew and passengers on the three internal flights were believed to have been killed in the attacks.

Up to 300 firefighters were missing in the destruction and three fire chiefs and the fire department chaplain were confirmed dead, according to NBC.

Ray Downey, New York’s fire chief of special operations command, William Feehan, the fire department’s deputy commissioner, department chief Peter Ganci and chaplain Rev Michael Judge were named by the channel’s website.

Cabinet considers UK security

10:43:35 AM

Prime Minister Tony Blair today held 75 minutes of emergency talks at No 10 in the wake of the US terror attacks.

The meeting of the Cabinet’s civil contingencies committee began at 8am and broke up at 9.15am.

There was no immediate word of the outcome of the talks, chaired by Mr Blair and involving Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Chancellor Gordon Brown, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, Home Secretary David Blunkett and other senior ministers.

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce and intelligence chiefs from MI5 and MI6 were also understood to be at the meeting, but Downing Street refused to confirm their presence.

The meeting was called to review the security measures announced by Mr Blair last night and decide if any further security action.

The Prime Minister said last night that security at all UK airports had been stepped up to the highest levels with no flights allowed without "the highest standards of security for air crew and passengers".

Only specially authorised private flights are allowed in UK airspace, all flights to North America have been cancelled and airspace over central London has been closed to civilian planes.

Mr Blair has also pledged to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with US President George W Bush in the aftermath of the attacks and the committee will also have reviewed what military help the UK could provide if the US finds a target for retaliatory attacks.

:: During the meeting Downing Street was briefly evacuated after a suspect package sparked a bomb alert.

Journalists were ordered to leave the pavement outside No 10, but the building itself was not cleared and it is understood the meeting continued.

Bomb squad officers gave the all-clear at 8.52, 18 minutes after the street had been closed.

Today’s brief bomb scare in Downing Street reflects heightened tension across Whitehall and the City, with all government buildings now on special "amber" alert.

EU Governments consult on how to stand by America

10:42:14 AM

The European Union held emergency talks today to see how it can stand by the United States and assess the political, financial and economic impact of the terrorist atrocities in New York and Washington.

European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg said the ECB was ready "to support the normal functioning of markets."

Separately, the European Commission met in a special session and the EU foreign ministers were called to a special session, starting at 1300 BST, by Belgium, which now holds the EU presidency.

Across Brussels, ambassadors from the United States and the other 18 Nato nations met at Alliance headquarters to debate immediate steps to increase security. More high-level meetings were scheduled for later in the day.

At the EU and Nato complexes, flags flew at half-staff. Nato told nonessential staff not to report for work at the alliance’s sprawling headquarters on Brussels’ eastern outskirts.

Only hours after the New York and Washington attacks, America’s Nato allies pledged moral support for Washington and help in hunting down those responsible for the atrocities.

‘‘The United States can rely on its 18 allies in North America and Europe for assistance and support,’’ Nato Secretary-general Lord Robertson said after a brief emergency session of the Nato ambassadors on Tuesday evening.

Appearing before the European Parliament’s economic and financial committee, Duisenberg said the ECB would help lessen the impact of the terrorist attacks on the world economy.

"I would like to emphasize the ECB and the national central banks are standing ready to support the normal functioning of markets and relevant operation systems if the need arises," Duisenberg said.

The EU foreign ministers were to debate immediate assistance measures and how to contribute to increasing the fight against terrorism.

"We are ready to cooperate with the United States in the battle against terrorism,’’ Javier Solana, the EU’s security and foreign affairs chief said ahead of the meeting.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he expected the Europeans to express their solidarity with the Americans.

"We are part of the same community," he said.

"We will be looking at ways in which we can move our expressions of moral support and outrage for what has happened into tangible methods of support.

"The horror of the events that happened yesterday is one which I believe is shared as powerfully and strongly in the Islamic world as it is everywhere else ... We can only defeat this kind of terrorism by much firmer, coordinated international action."

Clinton anxious to return to New York

10:37:50 AM

Former President Bill Clinton was locked away in a resort in Australia’s tropical northeast today awaiting a chance to return home.

Clinton had been taking a short break in Port Douglas, Queensland, after speaking engagements in Sydney and Melbourne.

Clinton arrived in the resort town early yesterday morning and spent the day snorkelling on a nearby reef and mixing with locals.

But he was kept out of sight today as the hotel turned media away and federal and state police joined Clinton’s minders in throwing a security cordon around him.

Clinton had been scheduled to travel to Taiwan but postponed his trip.

"He'll obviously want to return to the US as soon as possible," Queensland Premier Peter Beattie said. The former president is now based in New York.

Clinton, who led the United States through the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, urged Americans to rally behind President Bush in the aftermath of today’s attacks.

"We should not be second-guessing. We should be supporting him," Clinton said.

"The main thing is, we must send a clear and unambiguous message to the world that the people of America are completely 100% united and we’re going to follow our leaders and support whatever action Bush takes," he added.

Pope condemns attacks on human dignity

10:22:32 AM

Pope John Paul II has condemned yesterday’s attacks on the United States as a "terrible assault against human dignity".

Speaking before a general audience in St Peter's Square, the pontiff said: "My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the American people, subject yesterday to inhuman terrorist attacks which have taken the lives of thousands of innocent human beings and caused unspeakable sorrow."

"I ask God to grant the American people the strength and courage they need in this time of sorrow."

Government postpones normal political work

10:04:35 AM

The Government has suspended normal political work to facilitate a cabinet meeting on yesterday’s events in the United States.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and senior Government ministers will be briefed today on the latest developments as rescuers begin the desperate search for survivors of the astonishing suicide attacks.

A high-level group of Government officials, gardai and army personnel is constantly monitoring the US situation and the precautions put in place in Ireland following the attacks.

Germany calls for five minutes of silence

9:44:44 AM

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder urged the world to stand united against terrorism today and renewed a pledge to help the United States find the killers.

German unions and the federal government have asked employees across the nation to observe five minutes of silence tomorrow at 10 am (0900 BST) in memory of the victims, Schroeder told a sombre special session of parliament.

Calling the attacks a threat to peace and freedom everywhere, he said: "We will not let these values be destroyed in Europe, America or anywhere in the world."

"I am convinced that together we will weather this criminal challenge."

MPs from all major parties expressed solidarity with the United States at the session, which was attended by US ambassador Dan Coats.

"Today we are all Americans," said Peter Struck, parliamentary leader of Schroeder's Social Democratic Party. Parliament cancelled all further sessions this week.

Eyewitness describes Pentagon attack

9:43:43 AM

A Pentagon eyewitness today described how being caught up in the terrorist attack on the heart of the US defence establishment was like watching a Hollywood disaster movie unfold.

It is thought that up to 800 Pentagon staff were killed when a hijacked airliner was crashed into the Washington complex.

A commander on the defence staff inside the Pentagon, who did not wish to be identified, said he and colleagues were watching the attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on television when they realised that their own workplace had come under attack.

"The second plane was apparently flying into the second tower, and that caught all of our attention and we were riveted to the TV for quite some time," said.

"The conference room very quickly filled up with lots of people ... after 15 or 20 minutes people just began to break up and move back to their desks, when all of a sudden we felt the rumble and we heard the boom and we knew that something very significant had happened.

"A few people began to panic immediately, most people remained calm.

"I walked out into the hallway and looked down toward one of the main corridors and I saw people sprinting out of the Pentagon.

"I walked down that way and found a person who was walking a bit slower, and asked him what had happened ... he said a bomb had gone off.

"It was almost like you were in a movie, and you were watching these panic scenes that you see in a movie happening before your eyes.

"After I found out what had happened, or what this person thought had happened, I walked back into my office, I told those around me what this person had said, and that certainly got everybody’s attention.

"Right about that time the public announcement system became active and the voice said ‘evacuate the building immediately, avoid corridors three and four’ which is where the plane had hit.

"We all grabbed our things, some people didn’t grab their things, some people just left immediately.

"It wasn’t more than a couple of minutes from the time that we felt the shudder and heard the boom until we were on our way out."

Air passengers face higher fares and security delays

9:39:08 AM

Fares will rise, some operators could go out of business and air travel will never be the same again following the American terrorist atrocities, a UK aviation expert said today.

‘‘Yesterday’s events will have a catastrophic effect on world aviation,’’ said Phil Butterworth-Hayes, civil aviation editor of Jane’s Information Group.

He also warned that alliances that airlines have made with US carriers would have to be rethought and there would be a big downturn in passenger numbers.

Those who did travel could expect delays from increased security, airlines would have to work much more closely with airports over precautions and methods of passenger identification would have to become more sophisticated.

Mr Butterworth-Hayes added: "Lockerbie had a dramatic effect on aviation, with Pan-Am going out of business. But this is far worse and is the blackest day aviation has ever had.

"Aviation will never the same again and there will have to be a complete rethink of the way the air travel business is conducted. Air fares are going to go up because someone will have to pay for all the changes."

He continued: "The whole question of airline link-ups will have to be rethought as well. These alliances depend on a careful linking of flights, but the new restrictions that will be imposed could hit schedules.

"In the short term, everyone will want to take stock and see what emergency measures are needed. Such measures as securing airline cockpits could come in, but they will take quite a while."

Mr Butterworth-Hayes added that in the medium term "airlines could go out of business and a lots of unused aircraft will be parked in the desert."

He went on: "In the long term, there will be a major change in the way international travel is organised. The whole visa system for entry into America could be overhauled. Lots of low-cost carriers could collapse.

"Technology in which air passengers can be identified by their hand prints is likely to be introduced."

Mr Butterworth-Hayes said the industry faced "an extraordinarily gloomy prospect."

He added: "People will get back into the air but they will have new rigours imposed on them."

Humanity amid the chaos

9:30:57 AM

Even as they scrambled to flee World Trade Centre offices, workers paused to count heads, making sure their deskmates were there.

Construction workers cobbled together stretchers from materials at their Manhattan worksite.

On the House of Representatives floor, members of Congress hugged and sang God Bless America.

In the midst of the chaos, humanity emerged from yesterday’s terrorist attacks. Passengers on doomed planes reached loved ones by mobile phone, saying a few words final words before the connections broke.

In New York, a priest couldn’t find the words to comfort relatives of one of the many dead firefighters.

"I don’t know what to say to them," said Father Murray Gerald, who was called to St Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan.

At the Hilton Hotel at Boston's Logan Airport, where clergymen rushed to be with relatives of passengers on two airliners that crashed into the World Trade Centre, the Rev David Keene said much the same. "Mostly we listen and hug," he added.

People at the scenes of devastation and beyond reached out to each other and tried to make sense of it all.

Jason Beerman rushed toward the twin towers complex as soon as he heard news of the attacks. But how could he find his older brother, Kenton, in the mayhem?

Somehow, he did. As 24-year-old Kenton emerged into daylight from the gloom of a stairwell, one of the first faces he saw was Jason's.

"I don't know how he found me," Kenton said. "He just hugged me and said, 'I'm so glad you’re alive.' My brother is awesome."

Beerman described the scene on the 53rd floor, where workers stopped to take count of colleagues before heading for the street far below. On the way down the stairs, those fleeing comforted each other and many used mobile phones to call home. A woman who reached her husband passed word: A plane had hit the building.

"We saw firefighters coming up the stairwell," Beerman said. "We felt kind of reassured."

Many firefighters would not make it out.

In a late-night press conference, Thomas Von Essen, a city fire commissioner, was subdued and close to tears as he spoke of the loss of firefighters, some with 30 to 40 years of service, reciting some of their names.

"The fire department will recover," he said. "But I don't know how."

Roman Catholic Cardinal Edward Egan administered last rites to a dozen victims and said the firefighters and police were "dead in great numbers."

In New York and around the nation, people seeking some way to help overwhelmed blood donation centres. One donor was Jessica McBlath, a 19 year-old New York University student, who lined up with classmates.

"It's a crisis, you must help. There’s nothing else to do. You feel disempowered," she said.

Giving blood helped, but she still had one concern: She hadn’t been able to get through by phone to her mother in New Jersey.

Mobile phone calls did get through, astonishingly, from some people in the debris of the buildings and, heartbreakingly, from aboard the doomed planes.

It was just before dawn in San Francisco when Alice Hoglan got a call from her son, Mark Bingham.

"I love you very much," he told her, then added ominously, "I'm in the air, I'm calling you on the Airphone. I'm calling you from the plane. We’ve been taken over. There are three men that say they have a bomb."

All over the New York metropolitan area, thousands sought desperately to learn the fate of loved ones in the Trade Centre. They frantically called relatives' co-workers and turned up at hospitals and police checkpoints. Often they learned nothing.

Nancy Shea waited for word of her husband, Joseph Shea, whose office was on the 103rd floor of the Trade Centre. "I heard from him after it happened," said the mother of four. "He said a plane hit the building. I haven't heard from him since."

Messages of sympathy for firefighters

9:24:10 AM

Heart-rending messages of sympathy were today flooding the New York City Fire Department amid fears that as many as 300 staff - including the chief and deputy chief have died at the World Trade Centre.

"God bless you all, and keep you all", "My prayers are with the brothers", read typical messages of condolence on the bulletin board of an unofficial website of the department.

One desperate message asked for information about a member of the crew on engine 26. "If anyone knows the status of Dana or anyone on 20 Co. please let me know," it said.

Other fire fighters were also posting messages of condolences.

"May none of us ... forget the price our brothers paid for the sake of others," said a message from a firefighter and paramedic from Clay, New York.

"Hug your children and remember that a good run is any run that you return from."

Condolences were also flooding in from all over the world.

"We in the Ivory Coast are in tears," read one.

Downing Street alert called off

9:05:18 AM

The alert at 10 Downing Street has been called off, with Downing Street reopened.

Police sources said a ‘‘suspect package’’ had been found inside No 10.

A Scotland Yard spokesman later said the alert was a false alarm.

Number 10 contains secure blast-proof rooms where meetings can be held during security alerts.

Most other Government buildings, too, contain ‘‘secure zones’’ where staff are martialled if an attack is feared.

A police car blocked the entrance to Downing Street and all vehicles were being refused entry.

The alert happened at 8.34am, just over half an hour after a meeting of the Cabinet’s Civil Contingencies Committee had begun.

At 8.39am a police Range Rover swept across Whitehall from the MoD to take up a position outside number 10.

Traffic was allowed to move freely along Parliament Street and Whitehall as the alert continued.

Downing St evacuated

8:50:08 AM

The British authorities have evacuated Downing Street as Prime Minister Tony Blair and his senior ministers held a security meeting at number 10 in the wake of the attacks in the United States.

About 50 journalists were ordered to leave their positions on the pavements opposite number 10, with no explanation given.

They were simply told to move "for your own safety".

The alert happened at 8.34am.

Hijackers killed stewardesses to access cockpits

8:40:39 AM

The US plane hijackers murdered stewardesses with knives to draw pilots from their cockpits, it emerged today as investigators began to piece together the full horror of the worst terror attack in history.

First details of the amazingly low-tech operation by the extremists came from passengers on board the doomed jetliners who managed to make harrowing mobile phone calls before they crashed.

They reported how men armed with small craft-style knives were stabbing stewardesses, apparently in an attempt to force crew on the flight deck to unlock the doors to the cockpits.

Businessman Peter Hanson, who was with his wife and young son on board the United Airlines flight that plunged into the World Trade Centre, called his father in Connecticut and managed to say a stewardess had been stabbed, before being cut off.

Alice Hoglan in San Francisco said her 31-year-old son Mark Bingham phoned her from aboard the Pennsylvania crash flight to say: ‘‘We’ve been taken over. There are three men that say they have a bomb.’’

Terrorism experts said the hijackers could have armed themselves with nothing more than pocket knives.

"The reason that knives have been chosen is because it would have reduced their security risks," said Mike Yardley, a former British army officer.

"Remember, they are trying to pull this off four times - if they had risked firearms, if one person had been seized, the whole operation could have been compromised."

He added: ‘‘Unfortunately, terrorism is easy, once you cross the boundary of deciding to do it."

It is even possible the hijackers marched on board with their weapons without even bothering to smuggle them.

Passengers on US domestic flights would not have had a pocket knife taken off them if it was small enough, said Mr Yardley. Yet it would have been all the terrorists needed to take control of the aircraft.

Reports from those on board two of the planes suggested each was taken by a team of three hijackers.

In each case, at least one of them is likely to have been a trained pilot who took over the controls to steer the planes on their lethal flight paths.

In Boston, from where two of the doomed aircraft took off, five Arab men have apparently already been identified as suspects in the terror outrage.

It is reported police seized a rented car containing Arabic-language flight training manuals at Logan International Airport.

Two of the men were brothers whose passports were traced to the United Arab Emirates, and one of the men was a trained pilot.

Investigators are believed to suspect the two brothers were aboard hijacked United Airlines flight 175, the plane that crashed into the second World Trade Centre tower.

'Every resource' to be used to trace attackers

8:14:29 AM

America’s Attorney General, John Ashcroft, has said every resource will be used to bring those responsible for yesterday’s attacks to justice.

“We will expend every effort and devote all the resources necessary to bring the people responsible for these acts, these crimes, to justice,” he said.

The FBI, US marshals, immigration services, bureau of prisons and every department of justice officials is involved in the effort to trace the attackers.

800 feared dead in Pentagon attack

8:10:20 AM

Up to 800 people are believed to have died in the Pentagon after yesterday’s unprecedented suicide attack on the headquarters of the US military.

One of the four planes hijacked by suspected Islamic fundamentalists smashed into the logistics wing of the Pentagon, causing five floors of the building to collapse.

The crash caused a massive fire and the search for bodies has only just begun.

The dead are expected to include senior officials in the US army.

World’s tallest building evacuated

7:42:53 AM

Thousands of workers and shoppers were evacuated today from the world’s tallest buildings, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, following a bomb threat that came as many Malaysians were just learning of the terror tragedy gripping the United States.

Police bomb squads found no explosives in the 88 storey towers and people were allowed back to all floors a little over three hours after the threat.

No one was hurt, but six people fainted during the evacuation and were taken to a nearby clinic.

The Petronas Twin Towers surpassed Chicago’s Sears Tower as the world’s tallest building.

The World Trade Centre towers in New York were the third tallest.

The Petronas towers featured in the film Entrapment with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, about a bank robbery.

Irish entry ports on high alert

7:41:28 AM
All entry ports into Ireland are on high alert this morning amid fears of further attacks like those on the United States yesterday.

The Government has established a high-level group consisting of gardai, army officers and government officials to coordinate Ireland’s response to yesterday’s events.

The Government has also issued four telephone numbers for any Irish people who are worried about their relatives in the US.

They are: 1800 401 800, 1800 385 858, 1800 715 165, 1800 715 159.

Explosions shake Afghanistan capital

7:28:16 AM

Helicopter gunships belonging to opposition troops fired rockets in the vicinity of the Kabul airport early today, hours after the devastating terrorist attacks in the United States, according to Taliban soldiers and eyewitnesses.

The United States quickly denied any involvement in the violence in Afghanistan, which has been shielding Osama bin Laden, a suspected terrorism mastermind linked by some US officials to yesterday’s attacks in New York and Washington.

Kabul shuddered with the first explosions at around 2.30am. (10.30pm UK time Tuesday). They came in rapid succession, seconds apart. Smoke billowed skyward. An acrid smell of smoke lingered near the airport, where Taliban soldiers erected a barricade.

Less than a mile from the combined military and civilian airport, sullen Taliban soldiers with Kalashnikov rifles blocked the road, turning cars away.

They grunted their orders, refused to speak and waved their rifles, ordering vehicles to turn back.

"It was the airport that was attacked. A helicopter came in and dropped its rockets," said Abdul Jabbar, an elderly man walking along the dusty road near the airport.

"At first, we were worrying that it was an attack by America. But then I thought it is stupid to worry, our life is so bad what difference does it make," said Jabbar, a day labourer, who leaves his home each morning before sunrise to look for work.

The attack occurred during the nighttime curfew in effect in Kabul, and there were conflicting reports of whether it involved one or two helicopters.

Taliban’s spokesman in southern Kandahar, its headquarters, said there was no attack. He said the explosions were the result of a fire at an ammunition dump in the northern suburb of Khair Khana and that the sound of aircraft were Taliban pilots moving fighter aircraft to safety. The Taliban operate helicopter gunships and fighter jets.

"There was an explosion in an ammunition depot, and our aircraft were flown to a safe place, creating a misunderstanding that there had been an attack. We deny that there was any attack on Kabul," he said.

However, Taliban soldiers stopped reporters going toward Khair Khana neighbourhood, saying there was no explosion. It was unclear from Muttmain’s statement why it was necessary to move the aircraft to safety.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said the explosions reported in Kabul were not retaliatory attacks by the United States.

"The United States is not responsible," she said.

Her comments were echoed by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a Pentagon briefing in Washington. "I've seen those reports," he said of the Kabul explosions. "In no way is the United States government connected to those explosions."

Another US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fighting in Kabul appeared to be rocket attacks by Afghan rebels opposing the ruling Taliban in response to the attack on a rebel general over the weekend.

Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban rulers condemned the US attacks and rejected suggestions that Osama bin Laden, who is being protected by the Afghanistan government, could be behind them.

The Taliban’s frontline with opposition soldiers is barely 30 miles north of the capital. There, Taliban soldiers are lined up against opposition forces. Fighting in that area has increased in recent days, but this would be the first major assault by opposition forces so close to the capital.

Uncertainty also persisted Wednesday over whether rebel General Ahmed Shah Massood, the leader of the opposition to the Taliban’s hard-line Islamic rule, survived a suicide bombing attack on Sunday.

The bombing in northern Afghanistan killed Massood’s aide as well as the bombers, two men posing as television journalists.

The Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported that Massood had also died. But an opposition spokesman and Massood’s brother in London have said he was gravely injured in the attack, not killed.

The president of Afghanistan’s government-in-exile, Burhanuddin Rabbani, issued a statement saying Massood was injured, but alive and that he had spoken to him.

Massood, 48, has led a fractured collection of groups who fought each other when they ruled much of Afghanistan for four years until the Taliban took control in 1996.

The opposition blamed Sunday’s bombing on the Taliban and neighbouring Pakistan, which they say supports the Islamic militia. The Taliban and Pakistan denied any role in the attack.

Black boxes may yield vital clues to attacks

7:26:27 AM

The recovery of the ‘‘black box’’ flight recorders from the hijacked planes could provide vital clues to the nature of the devastating terrorist attacks in America.

The boxes - actually orange in colour - are built to withstand the most terrible crashes and their robustness was indicated by their recovery intact after the 1988 Lockerbie disaster.

The boxes consist of a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder. One provides a recording of cockpit conversations and could show just how and when terrorists took over the planes.

The older cockpit recorders provided the final 30 minutes of ‘‘talk’’ before a crash, but equipment is now being updated to provide more time than this.

These recorders would detail conversations between pilots and all crew-to-ground communications.

Flight data recorders provide an extraordinarily full account of just how the plane was operating in the time before a crash. They indicate the exact working of all the aircraft's many detailed parts.

"It's almost unheard of for a black box not to survive and in the case of Lockerbie, the recordings provided vital evidence in the investigation into the Pan-Am crash," said Kieran Daly, editor of the Air Transport Intelligence Internet news service.

How could such devastation happen?

7:24:30 AM

In the blood-stained history of terrorism there has never been a day as horrifying as September 11, 2001.

As anger began to replace disbelief across the world, there were inevitably more questions raised by yesterday's devastating suicide attacks on New York and Washington than answers.

Here are the main questions raised:

:: Why did US security forces have no intelligence about the attacks?
One Arab journalist claims he was warned by followers of Osama bin Laden of a "huge and unprecedented attack" on US interests three weeks ago but did not take the threats seriously.

Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, said he received a warning from Islamic fundamentalists close to Bin Laden, but dismissed it.

"They said it would be a huge and unprecedented attack but they did not specify," Atwan said.

"We usually receive this kind of thing. At the time we did not take the warnings seriously as they had happened several times in the past and nothing happened. This time it seems his people were accurate and meant every word they said."

But in America, officials were already blaming a lack of intelligence for yesterday's tragedy.

"In my view, this has been an intelligence failure," said Senator Pat Roberts, adding that the Senate Intelligence Committee had no indication the attacks were coming.

:: How were the hijackers able to breach security in such a spectacular manner?
Speculation is already rife as to how no fewer than four planes could have been simultaneously hijacked and, one by one, diverted on a devastating path of destruction.

Among the suggestions were that the terrorists responsible for crashing the two jets into the World Trade Centre were trained pilots.

‘‘People might have infiltrated into aviation systems years ago and then merely waited to ensure that all the attacks worked," said Kieran Daly, editor of the Air Transport Intelligence Internet news service.

But other experts suggested that the planes’ pilots had already been murdered and their seats taken by highly-trained renegades before the tragedies.

Gene Poteat, president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, said: ‘‘They flew the planes themselves. No pilot, even with a gun to his head, is going to fly into the World towers.’’

A British expert in Internal Relations said that no fewer than 30 highly-trained renegades would have been involved in the extraordinarily well-synchronised series of deadly attacks.

Professor Peter Lawler, a senior lecturer at Manchester University, said: "Certain individuals clearly can finance and organise terrorist activities on a scale that is simply unprecedented. They have access to enormous intelligence that normally only nations have access to.

But their task may have been facilitated by domestic flight security, which is weaker in the United States than it is in Europe, where countries are criss-crossed by international flights, an expert said today.

Furthermore, the fear of hijacking had receded since the 1970s and early 1980s when it was a favourite tactic of terrorists, said Phil Butterworth-Hayes, civil aviation editor with the Janes information group.

The two factors combined helped the suicide hijackers who carried out the US attacks to execute their deadly missions.

:: At what point did the authorities in America realise that the planes had been hijacked?

Although the details of what American authorities knew and when will not be known for some time, nobody could have predicted that two jets were to be redirected into the twin towers of one of Manhattan’s most famous buildings.

The four planes were all hijacked shortly after take-off and their flights had been monitored, including the dramatic changes in their routes.

It has emerged that the Justice Department’s control centre was also alerted about the hijacking of the plane which then crashed into the Pentagon.

The husband of a passenger on American Airlines flight 77 received a call from his wife and immediately contacted the Justice Department, but nothing could be done to save his wife and her fellow passengers. They were all killed upon impact with the Pentagon.

American Airlines has since only confirmed that its planes were Flight 11, a Boeing 767 en route from Boston to Los Angeles, carrying 81 passengers, nine flight attendants and two pilots.

The second plane was Flight 77, which was a Boeing 757, operating from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles, with 58 passengers, four flight attendants and two pilots on board.

:: What was done to intervene and try to prevent the string of atrocities which later unfolded?

Although the flights of the four planes were monitored, no apparent move was made to intercept them.

But there was also speculation that pilots - perhaps flying at gunpoint - realised the full horror of what was going to happen and tried to do something to stop it.

This might explain why the United Airlines plane from Newark crashed into a wood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, rather than a city landmark or - 85 miles away the President's mountain retreat at Camp David.

Meanwhile, airports were closed, flights were grounded, borders were sealed and jet fighters were scrambled above major cities.

Date a sign of things to come

7:23:54 AM

Many Americans today saw the horrific terrorist attacks on their country as a signal that Armageddon was to come, with the crisis falling on a significant date.

September 11, written in the American style, is 9/11 - the US equivalent of 999.

Aaron Lightman said he believed the end of the world was near after it was feared tens of thousands of people were killed and injured in four plane crashes across the United States.

Mr Lightman, of East Windsor, New Jersey, said: ‘‘This is the beginning of Armageddon.

"It is very frightening because if whoever did this does not seem to care for the lives of innocent people, anything could happen next.

"Today’s date is 911 - the emergency number we call when anything terrible happens.

"So many of my friends travel about 60 miles to work in New York every day and I feel that over the next few days I will hear that terrible things could have happened to them.

Irish mother-and-daughter aboard hijacked plane

7:01:20 AM

A mother and her three-year-old daughter have become the first Irish people confirmed dead in yesterday's disaster in the United States.

The mother and daughter, who are originally from Cork, were aboard one of the hijacked planes which smashed into the World Trade Centre in New York yesterday morning.

Many more Irish people are also feared dead following the collapse of the twin towers that have dominated the Manhattan skyline since they were built in 1970.

Air passengers stranded as flights are grounded

6:54:59 AM

Tens of thousands of air passengers are stranded on both sides of the Atlantic today, with most inter-continental flights grounded in the wake of yesterday’s unprecedented attack on the United States.

Security has been stepped up at airports worldwide as a precaution against further hijackings.

Security at all Irish airports is also under review.

New York City begins massive rescue effort

6:13:13 AM

As night fell, the city moved past the nightmarish scenes of people on fire jumping from buildings and braced itself for more pain: picking through the rubble for the dead and the injured.

Crews began heading into ground zero of the terrorist attack to search for survivors and recover bodies. The downtown area was cordoned off and a huge, grisly rescue effort was under way.

Governor George Pataki mobilized the National Guard to help, and hundreds of volunteers and medical workers converged on triage centres, offering services and blood.

One man caught under the rubble used his cell phone to reach family in Pennsylvania with a plea for help.

"She received a call from him saying he was still trapped under the World Trade Centre. He gave specific directions and said he was there along with two New York City sergeants," said Brian Jones, an emergency telephone co-ordinator in Allegheny County. He would not give their names, but said the message was passed to New York authorities.

National Guard member Angelo Otchy encountered a series of grisly discoveries while searching for survivors. "I must have come across body parts by the thousands," said Otchy, 26. "I came across a lady, she didn't remember her name. Her face was covered in blood."

Overcome with emotion, Otchy left the area and sat on a nearby curb, his head drooping, looking for a cigarette.

Among the dead were the Rev Michael Judge, a Franciscan priest who served as a Fire Department chaplain, and three other high-ranking fire officials. One of them, Ray Downing, went to Oklahoma City with a group of New York City firefighters to help out following the terrorist attack on the federal building there.

President George Bush told the nation that thousands of lives were ended, though the final tally could take weeks. Some 50,000 worked at the trade centre, with thousands more who visited each day. A firefighters union official estimated 200 firefighters may have died, and dozens of police officers were believed missing.

Paramedics waiting to be sent into the rubble were told that "once the smoke clears, it's going to be massive bodies," according to Brian Stark, an ex-Navy paramedic who volunteered to help. He said the paramedics had been told that "hundreds of police and firefighters are missing" from the ranks of those sent in to respond to the initial crash.

"I hope we get patients," said medical student Eddie Campbell, who rushed to help at one of the centres. "But they're not coming out. They're in there," he said, pointing down the street to where the World Trade Centre once stood.

Emergency Medical Service worker Louis Garcia said initial reports indicated that bodies were buried beneath the two feet of soot on streets around the twin towers. Garcia, a 15-year veteran, said bodies "are all over the place."

Before the rescue effort began, hundreds of firefighters sat on the West Side Highway or leaned against their rigs, waiting for orders to go into the flattened skyscrapers and search for what they feared would be hundreds of bodies including many colleagues.

"This is going to hurt," said Jack Gerber, a 43-year-old Brooklyn firefighter. "A lot of guys got killed today."

He said that after the first building collapsed, surviving firefighters passed cell phones around to tell their loved ones they were alive.

Barbara Kalvig hurried with a car full of colleagues from the New York Veterinarians Hospital to lend a hand at a triage centre opened up by the city's Board of Health.

"We closed the hospital and brought a bunch of doctors and nurses," Kalvig said. "We just drove as far as we could."

Hundreds of volunteers with medical, military or nursing experience formed ad-hoc crews to accept blood donations and take care of minor injuries as truckloads of medical supplies flooded in.

Nearby, a construction crew hauled plywood to the emergency teams to be used as makeshift stretchers for rescue crews.

Craig Senzon, 29, a neurologist volunteering at the triage centre said the experience was horrific.

"We felt a heaviness inside us that none of us have ever felt before," Senzon said.

Hundreds were taken to hospitals, nursing homes and triage centres. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said some 1,500 "walking wounded" were at a mobile hospital in New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, near the Statue of Liberty.

A few blocks away from the World Trade Centre, about 120 doctors and people with medical training travelled in a convoy of pickup trucks, ambulances, a dump truck and SUVs toward the wreckage. Their job: to find survivors and try to save them.

Among them was Andrew Gray, a 26-year-old New Yorker with rescue worker experience. Gray had been told he'd be helping with burn victims.

Nila Perez, 37, who was waiting to donate blood at the triage centre after being evacuated earlier in the day from Wall Street, said: "I was going to walk home, but I felt like I had to do something."

256 firefighters killed as towers collapse

5:35:01 AM

256 firefighters have been crushed in the collapse of the twin towers.

The twin towers of the World Trade Centre collapsed after two passenger planes crashed into them.

More rescue workers and 78 NYPD officers are still missing.

$5m bounty on Bin Laden

4:47:54 AM

The US federal Government has re-issued a bounty on information leading to the capture of Bin Laden.

The bounty is said to be $5m.

Bin Laden has been America's most wanted man since the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre.

Bin Laden is suspected of orcastrating yesterday's attack against the United States.

He is currently living in Afghanistan.

Several buildings remain structurally unsound

4:37:10 AM

Several buildings surrounding the World Trade Centre may be structurally unsound.

The claims have raised fears of more buildings collapsing in down town Manhattan.

City officials have moved people out of the area as a precaution.

Police confirm arrests but deny explosives find

4:34:43 AM

NYPD officers have confirmed the arrest of three men on the New Jersey turn-pike.

However officials denied any explosives were found in the van.

Officials declined to say why exactly the men had been arrested.

Three arrested with van full of explosives

4:27:11 AM

Reports from New York are saying three people have been arrested with a van of explosives.

The van was stopped along the New Jersey turn-pike near the George Washington Bridge.

It was not clear why police stopped the van but when they did they found it was laden down with tonnes of explosives.

Survivors making phone calls from World Trade Centre

4:18:10 AM

There have been reports of phone calls coming from inside the World Trade Centre.

Rescue workers and city officials believe it may be from survivors trapped within the rubble.

More on this as we get it.

US embassies in Middle East close

4:11:24 AM

Several US embassies in the Middle East have closed, indefinitely.

No specific reason was given but reports say security at the Embassies could not be completely guaranteed.

US officials have stepped up security measures following the attack on the US yesterday.

Passenger called home to report hijacking

3:57:10 AM

A passenger on flight 93 called his mother from the plane after it was hijacked.

Cathy Hoglan said her nephew called from a cell phone and gave details about the hijackers to his mother.

He told her that three men, who claimed to have a bomb, took control of the plane.

Flight 93 crashed shortly after the phone call.

Afghan officials to conduct investigation

3:53:22 AM

Afghan officials say they will conduct their own investigation into the attacks on the US.

The move comes after Bin Laden topped a suspect list.

Bin Laden lives in Afghanistan.

FBI issue search warrants in bid to crack case

3:51:11 AM

It has been reported the FBI are to execute a number of search warrants in the South Florida area.

Officials claim the move is part of a growing investigation into the terrorist attacks which occurred yesterday in New York and Washington.

Israel declare Wednesday 'day of mourning'

3:16:53 AM

Israel has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning.

The Israeli Government has made the move to show it's respect for the US and to extend it's sympathy over the terrorist attacks.

Trapped people may still be alive

3:11:00 AM

Officials in New York have confirmed some people trapped inside the debris left from the World Trade Centre may still be alive.

The confirmation came at a press conference held by New York's mayor and the NYPD chief.

Rescue teams are still working to find survivors.

NY fire department suffers heavy losses

2:55:37 AM

The New York fire department have suffered heavy losses.

The Chief of the department, Deputy chief of the department, the Commissioner and assistant commissioner have all been confirmed dead.

Many more fire fighters were part of the 200 strong rescue team which are missing and presumed dead.

Nuclear, chemical plants put on 'high alert'

2:48:51 AM

The US federal Government has urged all Nuclear and chemical production plants to put their security on "high alert".

The warning comes on the back of yesterday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Earlier yesterday politicians raised fears of a possible bio-chemical attack on US soil.

Newspapers scramble to print historic editions

2:41:41 AM

US newspapers have scrambled to produce special early editions covering the extent of the damage caused by yesterday's attack on New York and Washington.

Yesterday's historic attack on the United States will go down in history as the most vicious act of terrorism on US soil.

Transport restored to NYC

2:14:50 AM

Public transport has been restored to New York City.

Public transport in and around the city was stopped due to the attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Bridges and tunnels in the city have also been reopened.

Early reports say 10,000 dead

1:48:00 AM

Rescue workers digging trough the rubble of the World Trade Centre have said that early indications of casualties may be over 10,000.

On an average day 115, 000 people pass through the World Trade Centre.

Official figures will not be available for some days.

Al Quaida deny responsibility

1:45:43 AM

Members Of Bin Laden's Al Quaida have denied any involvement in yesterday's terrorist attacks.

Bin Laden has topped a US suspect list.

Bin Laden lives in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden top of suspect list

1:43:25 AM

US officials investigating the series of attacks Tuesday in New York and Washington are setting their sights on Osama bin Laden, the millionaire Saudi fugitive who has been blamed for past terrorist attacks against American targets.

"There are good indications that persons linked to Osama bin Laden may be responsible for these attacks," an intelligence official said.

Intelligence sources said they based their assessment on new information they had gathered Tuesday afternoon, hours after airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They did not rule out the possibility that other groups may have been involved.

Terrorism experts, after reviewing the magnitude of the attacks, said few groups in the world would have the resources to carry out such a highly coordinated sequence of destruction. One of those organizations, they said, would be the Al Quaida group headed by bin Laden, who also is the suspected mastermind of the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

U.S. officials said they had received no credible claim of responsibility in the aftermath of Tuesday's events, but said their "working assumption" laid responsibility for the attacks on "overseas terrorism."

Senior FBI officials said they suspect the four jets involved in the chilling sequence of crashes had been hijacked. Two of the jets plunged into the World Trade Center's twin towers, leading to their collapse a short while later. Another struck a wall at the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania.

FBI personnel were dispatched to airports and crash sites immediately afterward to try to determine responsibility for the disaster. U.S. intelligence officials said they would be contacting all their sources and going through intelligence intercepts in an intense search for evidence.

Investigators will be combing passenger lists, airport videotapes and cockpit voice recorders to piece together the events leading up to the attacks. They also will review lists of suspected terrorists known to be able to fly commercial aircraft, sources said.

"We are looking for any shred of information that could help," one official said.

Officials say they had no intelligence beforehand that a massive terrorist plot was under way, though at least one lawmaker says intelligence analysts suspected lesser attacks had been planned during the summer.

Several Palestinian groups have already denied responsibility for the attacks, as well as bin Laden's Al Quaida group. Officials of the Taliban government in Afghanistan also issued denials, saying bin Laden, believed to be in hiding in that country, was not involved and had not launched any attacks from Afghan territory.

One U.S. intelligence official received the Taliban statement with a sneer. "Lies, lies, lies," the official said.

Some members of Congress also blamed bin Laden.

"This looks like the signature of Osama bin Laden," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who had been briefed by high-level government officials on the attacks. "We're going to find out who did this and we're going after the bastards."

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, agreed."I have no doubt in my mind it's Osama bin Laden," he told CNN. "It's very much in keeping with the threats he has made."

A number of attempted attacks, or plans for attacks, have been "thwarted" this summer, said Kerry. CIA Director George Tenet briefed him on the failed efforts a few weeks ago, he said.

Bush calls attack "mass murder" in address to nation.

1:33:00 AM

The US President has called the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington "mass murder".

The President, while addressing the nation, went on to declare the full reach of the US law enforcement will work to find and put to justice those who committed this " terrible evil".

Mr Bush said: "We're filled with disbelief, A great people and a great nation have been attacked.

" we will not rest until we find those responsible and make no mistake we will not make any distinction between those who carried out this evil and those who harbors them."

Fire still rages at the Pentagon

1:17:43 AM

A fire, caused by yesterday's terrorist attack, is still burning on the west side of the Pentagon, reports said.

The number of casualties have not yet been released.

US officials said: " the Pentagon will be in business tommorow (Wednesday)."

Terrorist attacks: chronology of terror

1:09:21 AM

This is the how the terrorism disaster has unfolded so far today.. All times are local US times, five hours behind Irish time.

8:45 a.m.: A large plane, possibly a hijacked airliner, crashes into one of the World Trade Center towers, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it afire.

9:03 a.m.: A second plane, apparently a passenger jet, crashes into the second World Trade Center tower and explodes. Both buildings are burning.

9:17 a.m.: The FAA shuts down all New York City area airports.

9:21 a.m.: New York City Port Authority orders all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area closed

9:30 a.m.: Bush, speaking in Florida, says the country has suffered an "apparent terrorist attack."

9:40 a.m.: The FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports, the first time in U.S. history that air traffic nationwide has been halted.

9:43 a.m.: An aircraft crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.

9:45 a.m.: The White House evacuates.

9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida.

10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.

10:08 a.m.: Secret Service agents armed with automatic rifles are deployed into Lafayette Park across from the White House.

10:10 a.m.: A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:13 a.m.: The United Nations building evacuates, including 4,700 people from the headquarters building and 7,000 total from UNICEF and U.N. development programs.

10:22 a.m.: In Washington, the State and Justice departments are evacuated, along with the World Bank.

10:24 a.m.: The FAA reports that all inbound transatlantic aircraft flying into the United States are being diverted to Canada.

10:28 a.m.: The World Trade Center's north tower collapses from the top down as if it were being peeled apart, releasing a tremendous cloud of debris and smoke

10:45 a.m.: All federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated.

10.46 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell cuts short his trip to Latin America to return to the United States.

10.48 a.m.: Police confirm the crash of a large plane in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

10:53 a.m.: New York's primary elections scheduled for today are postponed.

10:54 a.m.: Israel evacuates all diplomatic missions.

10:57 a.m.: New York Gov. George Pataki says all state government offices are closed.

11:02 a.m.: New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani urges citizens to stay at home and orders an evacuation of the area south of Canal Street.

11:16 a.m.: CNN reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing bioterrorism teams to respond to the incidents in a precautionary move. The preparation is not based on any known bioterrorism threat.

11:18 a.m.: American Airlines reports it has lost two aircraft. American Flight 11, a Boeing 767 flying from Boston to Los Angeles, had 81 passengers and 11 crew aboard. Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from Dulles Airport near Washington to Los Angeles, had 58 passengers and six crew members aboard. Flight 11 is believed to be one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

11:26 a.m.: United Airlines reports that United Flight 93, en route from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, has crashed in Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. The airline also says that it is "deeply concerned" about United Flight 175.

11:59 a.m.: United Airlines confirms that Flight 175, from Boston to Los Angeles, has crashed with 56 passengers and nine crew members aboard. Emergency personnel at the scene say there are no survivors.

12:04 p.m.: Los Angeles International Airport, the destination of two of the hijacked American Airlines flights, is evacuated.

12:15 p.m: San Francisco International Airport is evacuated and shut down. The airport was the destination of American Airlines Flight 77, which was one of the aircraft to strike the World Trade Center.

12:15 p.m.: The Immigration and Naturalization Service says U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are on the highest state of alert, but no decision has been made about closing borders.

12:30 p.m.: The FAA says 50 flights are in U.S. airspace, but none are reporting any problems.

1:04 p.m.: President Bush, speaking from an undisclosed location, says that all appropriate security measures are being taken, including putting the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He asks for prayers for those killed or wounded in the attacks and says: "Make no mistake, the United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

7:00p.m.: 200 rescue workers missing, presumed dead.

7:22p.m.: 78 members of the NYPD reported missing.

8:00p.m.: US senate says it will back President Bush in whatever decision he takes.

US senate will back Bush

1:00:14 AM

The US senate has said it will fully back President George W Bush in whatever action he decides to take over the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

The US senate was evacuated for the first time in it's history after yesterday's attack.

US stock exchages to remain closed

12:51:12 AM

The US stock exchanges are to remain closed today.

The markets closed today in light of the attack on the World Trade Centre, New York.

It is uncertain when the markets will reopen.

78 NYPD officers missing

12:41:53 AM

The New York Police Department have confirmed that 78 members of the NYPD are missing.

The police officers were a part of rescue teams sent to the World Trade Towers.

The 78 missing officers are in addition the 200 rescue workers feared dead.

200 rescue workers reported dead

12:35:09 AM

It has been reported that up to 200 rescue workers, who were part of a 400 strong rescue effort may have died.

The rescue workers were in close vicinity of the world Trade Towers.

It will be some days before any official casualty numbers will be available.

National Guard arrive in New York, Washington

12:27:08 AM

750 National Guard troops have reported at armories in New York.

Another 750 have also been sent to Washington.

The move comes as the President of the Us, George W Bush prepares to address the nation from the White House.

Department of HHS asks citizens for blood

12:22:37 AM

The US department of Human Health services has sent extra emergency response teams to both New York and Washington.

The response teams include four Disaster Mortuary response teams.

The Department of HHS has called for US citizens to give blood.

Attack was assault on every citizen - Attorney General

12:07:35 AM

The US Attorney General has told reporters at the White House that today's attack was an "assault on security of the nation, on every American citizen and we (the US) will not tolerate those people."

The President of the United State will address the nation later this evening.

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