9/12/01 Hijackers Identified; Pentagon Fire Out
White House, Air Force One Were Targets; Death Toll May Hit 25,000
Several People In CustodyEarlier, two women and one man had been taken into custody at a downtown Boston hotel during a major search by the FBI. A witness described the search effort there. "SWAT teams were all around holding machine guns," said witness R.J. Ryan of Boston, who joined hundreds of other onlookers outside the Westin Copley Hotel. "They put somebody in the van. Then they started moving everybody," he said. WCVB-TV in Boston reported that the hotel search was apparently triggered by the discovery that a credit card that was used to purchase at least some of the airline tickets Tuesday also was used at the Westin Hotel. Reports are that investigators received information that two men fitting the description of suspects in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks had been staying on the 16th floor of the hotel recently and had a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their door. Law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C. confirmed that two hotel rooms in the Boston area believed to have been used by the hijackers were searched by the FBI. The officials found information linked to a name on the manifest of one of the hijacked flights. They declined to identify the man. WCVB also learned that at least 10 FBI investigators were searching a second hotel, in Newton, Mass. Newton police say the detectives have been in the hotel and have collected evidence. Sources told WCVB that the FBI identified at least 12 suspects in Tuesday's terrorist attacks and are preparing to make arrests. WCVB reported that Middle Eastern men who boarded the two planes bound for New York on Tuesday at Logan Airport bought one-way tickets and paid in cash after arriving late, all of which are security risk flags. The station also reported that investigators found an airline crew tag in or around a white Mitsubishi Mirage located Tuesday night that was connected to the suspects. The station has learned that the car, which was towed from Logan came from Springfield, Mass., and that it has been in and out of the central garage at the airport for the past week. Sources also told WCVB that two of the men arrived from Maine, taking a ferry, and that the white Mitsubishi the investigators have impounded had been traveling between Logan and Springfield, Mass., in recent days. Investigators told the station that there is a known connection between groups in Springfield and the plotting of the USS Cole bombing last year. The Boston Herald reported that authorities found flight training manuals written in Arabic in the white Mitsubishi. One airport authority told ABC News that the car was rented. The Boston Globe reported that a bag belonging to one of the suspected hijackers did not make it to the plane. The bag reportedly contained a copy of the Koran, the sacred text of Islam, and a fuel-consumption calendar. The Herald is reporting that among the suspects are two brothers, one of whom was a trained pilot, whose passports were traced to the United Arab Emirates. At least two other suspects are believed to have arrived at Logan from Portland, Maine. Authorities believe the suspects crossed over from Canada on Tuesday morning. The paper also is reporting that the hijackers began killing flight attendants in order to lure a pilot from the cockpit and seize the plane. Sources say the suspects' weapons were razor blades embedded in plastic handles that were smuggled in on carry-on luggage. The FBI says that there were three to five terrorists aboard each hijacked plane, MSNBC reported. Suspected terror mastermind Osama bin Laden has strong family ties and a group of supporters in Boston. A former FBI official says those ties are now being scrutinized. Robert Fitzpatrick says investigators want to know if two Boston cab drivers, who were associates of bin Laden, had ties to airport baggage handlers. One of them had been jailed in Jordan on charges of plotting to blow up a hotel full of Americans and Israelis. Also, one of bin Laden's brothers set up scholarship funds at Harvard University. Another relative owns six condominiums in a chic, upscale complex in suburban Charlestown. An arrest aboard an Amtrak train in Rhode Island apparently has nothing to do with Tuesday's terror attacks. The train from Boston to Washington was stopped in Providence, R.I., this afternoon. The passengers were ordered off, and a man was taken away in handcuffs. But authorities are now saying he doesn't appear to have any connection to the attacks. He was charged with carrying a knife. Train passengers cheered and chased the police car that took him away.
FBI Hunts For Armed ManThe FBI Terrorism Task Force has issued a BOLO -- "be on the lookout" -- in South Florida for a man they are saying is armed with an AK-47 and is extremely dangerous, according to WPLG-TV in Miami. The BOLO lists two names for the man: Amer Kamfar and Amer Taiybkamfar. He is described as a 41-year old man, 5 feet 9 inches with dark hair and eyes and a stocky build. They are also looking for a 1996 silver-blue Voyager with the tag number FD97RFU. The tag number is traceable to two addresses, one of them the Vero Beach house FBI agents have been searching for much of the day. A background check on Kamfar indicates that he is a licensed pilot with other certification including flight engineer. The FBI says Kamfar is "armed and extremely dangerous" and advises officers to use "extreme caution." Law enforcement officials have taken a man into custody in Vero Beach, Fla. It is not known if he is under arrest, WPLG reported. FBI agents task force in North Miami Beach, Fla., working on leads have searched an apartment in Coral Springs, Fla., and have now taken one man into custody. A man who agents describe as of Arab descent is on the way to the FBI field office in North Miami Beach. It is not yet known what his connection is to terrorist attacks in the northeast. FBI says it has names of 12 hijackers, WPLG reported. There were three on each flight and three who gave south Florida phone numbers. FBI agents are telling a Venice, Fla., couple that two men who stayed with him while getting flight training last year were involved in Tuesday's attacks. Charlie Voss is a former employee at Huffman Aviation in Venice. He says agents who interviewed him at his home have told him that authorities found a car at Boston's Logan International Airport registered to the two men. He says one of men who stayed at the house in July 2000 was named Mohamed Atta. He says he knew the other man only by the name of Marwan. The houseguests took small aircraft flight training on small planes at Venice Municipal Airport. The school does not provide instruction in commercial jet aviation. Voss says the men were asked to leave their home after a week when the couple grew uncomfortable with them. WPLG reported that agents have searched an apartment (pictured) in Coral Springs and served a search warrant in Davie, Fla. It is believed that the Coral Springs apartment belonged to Atta, 33. Agents discovered Atta's name along with others on the passenger manifests of planes involved in yesterday's terrorist attacks. "I saw it yesterday. There were lots of people here, lots of cars outside and about five or six people inside with guns. They were looking for someone. They had this notepad with a picture on it and they were asking people if they knew this person," said Mahnaz Fini, a neighbor. Agents don't think that Atta was currently living at the residence. They believe that he moved on to Venice, Fla. Agents also were seen at Atta's residence there, showing pictures and asking questions. Agents were looking for two cars -- they have now located one of them. The first car, a tan Oldsmobile Alero with the Florida license plate UEP-54N, was traced back to leasing company in Boca Raton. It was found Wednesday afternoon. The second car that investigators are still looking for is a two-door, red, 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix with the Florida license plate D79-DDV. Agents have traced that car back to Atta in Venice, Fla., although Atta's driver's license shows an address in Coral Springs. Police have put out an all-points bulletin on both vehicles. If you see one of the cars described above, you are advised to call your local police agency or the FBI. The investigation is also moving ahead in Daytona Beach, Fla. Investigators have impounded the car of a student at Embry Riddle University, one of the nation's top aeronautic and avionic institutions. That student's apartment is being searched and a picture of Osama bin Laden was reportedly found in the student's vehicle.
White House, Air Force One Were TargetsWhite House spokesman Ari Fleischer and Attorney General John Ashcroft both said that Air Force One and the White House were targets in Tuesday's attacks. Fleischer indicated the plane that struck the Pentagon was intended for the White House. Fleischer says there is "specific credible information" that both the White House and the presidential aircraft were "intended terrorist targets." He also said that he is not aware of any other intended targets and that the president was never in any danger. President Bush didn't return immediately to Washington from Florida after the attacks. Instead, he went to a military base in Louisiana, and then in Nebraska. And when Air Force One arrived in Washington later in the day, it was escorted by Air Force fighter jets.
Death Toll May Hit 25,000Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas was informed Tuesday that the casualties from Tuesday's East Coast terrorist attacks likely will range between 15,000 and 25,000. She didn't specify whether the figures include the dead and wounded or only the dead. Four passenger jets were hijacked Tuesday, including two American Airlines planes. Three jets were flown into buildings; the fourth crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Hutchison told WOAI radio that we've lost tens of thousands of Americans through an act of war against our people.
Fire Finally Out At PentagonIn Washington, D.C., The fire is finally out at the wounded Pentagon -- more than 24 hours after terrorists sliced a hijacked jet into its side. Hopes of finding more survivors in the rubble are all but gone. About 100 military personnel and an undetermined number of civilians are still missing. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says earlier estimates of as many as 800 dead are too high -- but there is no word on the actual toll. Early this morning, the fire chief in Arlington County, Va., said "between 100 and 800" people may have been killed in Tuesday's attack on the Pentagon, along with the 64 on the plane that hit the building. Edward Plaugher said at a post-midnight briefing that an exact number remains unclear. Late today, a dozen firefighters held up a huge American flag on the roof, then draped it near the blackened gash in the building, where it hung two-thirds of the way to the ground. The display coincided with a visit from President Bush, who shook hands with military personnel at the scene. The Army said that it's still missing 50 of its people at the Pentagon. The Navy said that a smaller number of Navy personnel remain unaccounted for since yesterday's blast. The Air Force and Marines said that all their staff have checked in. It's not known how many Defense Department civilian staff and contractors remain missing. FBI agents swept part of the property nearby for evidence. Investigators want to find the black box of the plane that slammed into the southwestern side of the building. So far, some 80 bodies have been pulled from the rubble. But, until now, the stubborn fire in the western section continued to interfere with rescue efforts. It continued to flare up at times on the roof of the Pentagon. Smoke billowed up into the sky, causing further problems. Previously, there was optimism that more survivors would be recovered. Plaugher said that fire officials haven't heard any sounds indicating survivors are still in the rubble. But when he was asked whether he still had hopes of finding people alive, Plaugher said "Absolutely." A battalion chief said that there are still areas that could be "viable" for survivors. He said, "Somebody could still be in there who could be alive." However, Pentagon officials had said that the expectation is that no survivors will be found.
Ten Survivors Found In World Trade Center WreckageA day after two 110-story skyscrapers were reduced to rubble by terrorists, a lucky few people have been found alive. Nine firefighters and police officers and a woman have been rescued from the wreckage of steel and glass. But authorities don't expect many more miracles. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that his best estimate is that there will be a few thousand found dead in each of the buildings. Giuliani says the city has asked federal authorities for six-thousand body bags. Bulldozers and other heavy machinery have been at the site in lower Manhattan, along with workers lugging shovels and picks. Rubble was being taken by boat to a former Staten Island garbage dump, where the FBI and other investigators are searching for evidence -- specifically for the black boxes from the two hijacked planes that slammed into the World Trade Center. Giuliani said that 202 firefighters and 57 NYPD and Port Authority police officers are missing. Also missing is John P. O'Neill, head of security for the World Trade Center and a former FBI expert on terrorism. He headed the investigations into the bombing of the USS Cole and the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Forty-one deaths have been confirmed, and there are 1,700 known injuries. One man rescued Tuesday morning was a Port Authority sergeant who had been trapped between the two towers that were demolished by the hijacked jetliners. Giuliani said that 120 dump truck-loads of debris were moved out of the city last night. He said that crews removed structural debris that was blocking streets. Eighteen search-and-rescue teams were on the scene very early Wednesday morning, including one from Puerto Rico. Asked if the city's famed skyline will ever be restored, Giuliani said "it will be whole again" -- but he doesn't know exactly what it will look like. Three cab companies ripped out seats from vans and are carrying the dead to a nearby military location. Officials are not saying how many dead have been found in the rubble, but firefighter Scott O'Grady said, "It is unimaginable, devastating, unspeakable carnage." The final death toll from the terror strikes may not be known for weeks. Cranes and bulldozers have been brought in to clear the streets -- while rescue workers dig through the rubble with pickaxes and shovels.
Senators Pledge RecoveryFlying home to New York yesterday, seeing that gap in the skyline where the World Trade Center stood, Sen. Charles Schumer said he felt sick to his stomach. Schumer encouraged all New Yorkers to fly the American flag -- from their apartment, their office, their store -- saying -- "Let that show these evil, despicable people that they cannot daunt our spirit." Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton called the attack on New York an attack on America -- "An attack on every American, no matter where he or she lives." The lawmakers gathered in Manhattan to vow to rebuild -- better than ever. Gov. George Pataki said, "America is behind us."
More Buildings CollapseThe twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York are now truly gone. The bottom four stories of the south tower, all that remained following Tuesday's terrorist attack, have collapsed. The One Liberty Plaza building across from the wreck of the World Trade Center has suffered damage. Elderly people and any others with breathing problems are being evacuated for several blocks around the WTC site. There are also advisories for everyone in Lower Manhattan not to use their air conditioning because the air quality is so poor.
Postal Service On GroundThe U.S. Postal Service is moving the mail, in the wake of the New York and Washington attacks, but it's all being done on the ground. FedEx planes are also grounded because of the FAA order. FedEx moves a lot of air cargo every day, using about 160 planes throughout the country. Normally, the Postal Service contracts with commercial airliners to move the mail more quickly, especially over longer distances. But since the FAA grounded all flights, the mail is now moving by truck and rail instead. In Washington, Postal Service spokesman Greg Frey says there may be some delays in coast-to-coast deliveries, as well as in the areas near the two explosions. FedEx spokesman Jess Bunn says the carrier is now expanding its use of trucks from contractors to pick up the slack. But he cautions that customers could see delays of as long as two days in receipt of shipments. FedEx runs the world's largest cargo network, and Bunn says its operations overseas are largely unaffected by the U.S. grounding.
Economists Predict RecessionEconomists are predicting an economic recession. They say the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon will also destroy consumer confidence. Consumer spending has been a crucial component in keeping the economy out of recession. The concern is that consumers will cut back further on their spending. Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis, says the economy has been "on a high-wire act." He says the attacks are likely to cause it to fall into a "full-blown recession." Jeremy Siegel of the Wharton School of Economics expects a "dramatic slowdown" in the travel and tourism industries, including airlines, hotels, restaurants and entertainment. Siegel thinks the Fed should act immediately to further cut interest rates another half percent to encourage consumers.
Insurance Companies BracingInternational insurers are bracing for billions of dollars in claims from the terrorist attacks in the U.S., but the overall impact on the industry is still being assessed. A spokeswoman for the International Underwriting Association in London says only that claims will run into the billions, not millions, of dollars. Switzerland's reinsurance giant Swiss Re says it alone expects to cover $730 million in losses. German reinsurer Munich Re, another industry leader, estimates its exposure at up to $903 million. Swiss Re and Munich Re are among the world's largest re-insurers, meaning they insure insurance companies against major losses. Other major insurers say they have yet to make a guess. Some analysts estimate the cost at more than $40 billion. They note that terrorist acts were likely to be excluded from many policies, which could considerably reduce the bill faced by insurers. Gas prices are now falling back to normal after they spiked in many areas after Tuesday's attack. Read the full story.
Wall Street Closed Until At Least FridayWall Street is hoping to resume trading of stocks as early as Friday, and no later than Monday. There's been no equities trading since Monday, in the wake of yesterday's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. That announcement comes from New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso. He says the decision is being made jointly with the Nasdaq Stock Market. Officials have been gauging how to overcome a variety of challenges including communications and electricity availability, safety of nearby structures in Lower Manhattan and access to trading floors. Treasury Undersecretary Peter Fisher, speaking at the same news conference, says government bond trading would resume Thursday morning. Earlier, officials of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where futures contracts are traded, said they would resume trading Thursday as well. Analysts are hesitant to predict the effect the tragedy will have on stocks when trading resumes, but agree it will only add to the market's already troubled backdrop. Brian Belski, strategist with US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, said the market has never seen anything like what just happened. The shutdown of the NYSE is the longest since it was closed for two days at the end of World War II. The longest closing was nearly four months during World War I. Read the full story.
Patriotism On The RisePatriotism is stretching across the country. In South St. Paul, Minn., kids stood on an overpass and waved American flags at the traffic below. And the hottest item at the Army & Navy Surplus store in Englewood, Colo., has been U.S. flags, according to a store employee. Store worker Joe Broere said people seem to forget about the flag until something like Tuesday's attacks happens. He said the store typically sells one flag a day but sold about 30 in two-and-a-half hours this morning. The store has also seen a slight increase in sales of gas masks, prepared meals and ammunition.
Copyright 2001 by WESH.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.