September 12, 2001 | Anonymous
In a bold attack described as the worst since Pearl Harbor, two hijacked planes deliberately crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center Tuesday morning, erasing the 110-story American symbols from the Manhattan skyline.
A third building located in that World Trade Center complex also crumbled dumping more concrete blocks that will further hamper rescue efforts.
Four commercial passenger jets crashed, two against the World Trade Center first leaving a gaping hole but quickly followed by billows of fire and thick black smoke and a third plane conducting an aerial assault against the Pentagon followed by threats against the White House that caused an immediate evacuation.
President George W. Bush issued a high alert calling the terrorists “cowards” and vowing to “hunt them down.”
“Make no mistake; the U.S. will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts,” Bush stated.
“Our military at home and around the world is on high-alert status and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government,” said Bush.
“We have been in touch with the leaders of congress and with world leaders to assure that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.”
Hours later, CNN reported explosions had been reported in Kabul, Afghanistan where some feel terrorist Osama bin Laden, who just a few weeks ago boasted of targeting the U.S. for attacks and who is believed to be responsible for the acts of terror, may be in hiding.
Cacophony reigned across America yesterday in New York and Washington where aerial assaults against U.S. symbols including the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon left a stunned nation witnessing a trail of bloodied and burned bodies.
While some officials and media reports point an accusatory finger at terrorist Osama bin Laden, a Saudi millionaire, who has been blamed for terror attacks against American interests and is believed to be in hiding in Afghanistan, Taliban foreign minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil denied the charges.
Reached at Dr. King’s Workshop, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who called for a national day of prayer and fasting, revealed he canceled a three-day trip to New York’s financial district where he was scheduled to attend Tuesday.
“I was supposed to be working on predator financial schemes and automotive markups,” he told the Chicago Defender.
That meeting was to be held at the Empire State Building where his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is located. It’s in the financial district. Jackson said he debated going late Monday night but said he opted to do some work with his wife, Jacqueline and had planned to leave Tuesday.
“It is the biggest internal attack America has ever sustained, and it was very planned,” said Jackson. “It exposes how vulnerable we are. There is so much violence in the world. None of us is secure until all of us are concerned.
“We did not know who did this, and in our anger, we should not identify some people. We should turn to our faith, not our fears. We should not stereotype anybody. When we hit Pearl Harbor, we immediately turned to Japanese Americans.
“We panicked. We should not stereotype people. That’s not fair, not right. We should turn our faith as we mourn and not to our fears,” Jackson advised.
During the Dec. 7, 1941 attack against Pearl Harbor, 2,280 soldiers were killed along with 68 civilians.
According to CNN reports, the four planes that crashed Tuesday contained a total of 266 people; however, New York officials fear thousands of people may be injured or dead after the bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
According to FAA officials, who shut down all flights nationwide, the four downed planes were the: American Airlines Flight 11 which was a Boeing 767 en route from Boston to L.A. carrying 81 passengers, nine flight attendants and two pilots.
The second plane was American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 en route from Dulles Airport near Washington to L.A. It carried 58 passengers, four flight attendants and two pilots.
The third plane was United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 which crashed South East of Pittsburgh while en route from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco. It carried 38 passengers, two pilots and five flight attendants.
The fourth plane was United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 flight that was bound from Boston to L.A. and carried 56 passengers, two pilots and seven flight attendants.
With finger pointing to Bin Laden and fearful of being blamed for the bombing, Dr. Zahid Mohsin, president, Islamic Circle of North America, issued a statement condemning the terrorist attacks. “We condemn today’s devastating tragedies in New York and Washington,” Mohsin said.
“We urge (the) Muslim community to step forward to provide whatever help may be needed in the aftermath of this horrific attack on innocent people. This is clearly a terrorist attack, and we hope that sooner than later an investigation will bring perpetrators to justice,” he stated expressing sorrow for the loss of innocent lives.