10 - The Michigan Daily.- Wednesday, September 12, 2001
AMERICA IN CRISIS
Thousands eared dead as four hiackedjets crash
Continued from Page 1
Classes for the day were canceled
around noon. About 15,000 students
attended a vigil in the Diag last night,
shortly after President George Bush
made his first address from the Oval
"I'm a former student from (New
York University) and I'm still waiting
to hear from people," said LSA sopho-
more Anna Szymanski at the vigil.
"One NYU dorm is a block away from
the trade center - I'm praying every-
one is safe."
At the Michigan Union shortly after
the bombing, LSA freshman Aubair
Simonson purchased a poster of the
New York City skyline.
"I'm going to hang it. I'm never
going to forget this day," he said. "All
we have left now of the World Trade
Center, which is almost the center-
piece of the New York skyline which I
love, is just pictures."
In Ann Arbor, city and federal
buildings also closed around noon. So
many people responded to a call to
donate blood, hospitals were forced to
turn them away.
The events began to unfold early
yesterday morning, when knife-wield-
ing hijackers sent the two planes into
the twin 110-story towers. The deadly
calamity was witnessed on televisions
across the world as another plane
slammed into the Pentagon, and a
fourth crashed outside Pittsburgh.
Said Adm. Robert J. Natter, com-
mander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet: "We
have been attacked like we haven't
since Pearl Harbor."
Establishing the U.S. death toll
could take weeks. The four airliners
alone had 266 people aboard and there
were no known survivors. At the Pen-
tagon, about 100 people were believed
In addition, a firefighters union offi-
cial said he feared an estimated 200
firefighters had died in rescue efforts
at the trade center - where 50,000
people worked - and dozens of
police officers were believed missing.
"The number of casualties will be
more than most of us can bear," a visi-
bly distraught Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
No one took responsibility for the
attacks that rocked the seats of finance
and government. But federal authori-
ties identified Osama bin Laden, who
has been given asylum by
Afghanistan's Taliban rulers, as the
Aided by an intercept of communi-
cations between his supporters and
harrowing cell phone calls from at
least one flight attendant and two pas-
sengers aboard the jetliners before
they crashed, U.S. officials began
assembling a case linking bin Laden to
"I think Bush and the people around
him really don't understand what is
going on in world politics," said Uni-
versity political science Prof. Emeritus
J. David Singer. "This might help
because it's a demonstration that
America is so vulnerable to other
kinds of attacks and weapons and that
defense against missiles should be low
The people aboard planes who man-
aged to make cell phone calls each
described similar circumstances: They
indicated the hijackers were armed
with knives, in some cases stabbing
flight attendants. The hijackers then
took control of the planes.
At the World Trade Center, the dead
and the doomed plummeted from the
skyscrapers, among them a man and
woman holding hands.
Shortly after 7 p.m., crews began
heading into ground zero of the attack
to search for survivors and recover
bodies. All that remained of the twin
towers by then was a pile of rubble and
twisted steel that stood barely two sto-
ries high, leaving a huge gap in the
New York City skyline.
"Freedom itself was attacked this
morning and I assure you freedom will
be defended," said Bush, who was in
Florida at the time of the catastrophe.
As a security measure, he was shuttled
to a Strategic Air Command bunker in
Nebraska before leaving for Washing-
"Make no mistake," he said. "The
United States will hunt down and pur-
sue those responsible for these cow-
More than nine hours after the U.S.
attacks began, explosions could be
heard north of the Afghan capital of
Kabul, but American officials said the
United States was not responsible.
"It isn't us. I don't know who's
doing it," Pentagon spokesman Craig
Officials across the world con-
demned the attacks but in the West
Bank city of Nablus, thousands of
Palestinians celebrated, chanting "God
is Great" while handing out candy. The
United States has become increasingly
unpopular in the Mideast in the past
year of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, with
Washington widely seen as siding with
Israel against the Arab world.
At the Pentagon, the symbol and
command center for the nation's mili-
tary force, one side of the building col-
lapsed as smoke billowed over the
Potomac River. Rep. Ike Skelton,
briefed by Pentagon officials, said,
"There appear to be about 100 casual-
ties" in the building.
The first airstrike occurred shortly
before 8:45 a.m. EDT. By evening,.
huge clouds of smoke still billowed
from the ruins. A burning, 47-story
part of the World Trade Center com-
plex - already evacuated - col-
lapsed in flames just before nightfall.
Emergency Medical Service worker
Louis Garcia said initial reports indi-
cated that bodies were buried beneath
the two feet of soot on streets around
the trade center.
"A lot of the vehicles are running
over bodies because they are all over
the place," he said.
Said National Guard member Ange-
lo Otchy of Maplewood, N.J., "I must
have come across body parts by the
thousands: I came across a lady, she
didn't remember her name. Her face
was covered in blood."
For the first time, the nation's avia-
tion system was completely shut down
as officials considered the frightening
flaws that had been exposed in security
procedures. Financial markets were
Top leaders of Congress were led to
an undisclosed location, as were key
officials of the Bush administration.
Guards armed with automatic weapons
patrolled the White House grounds
and military aircraft secured the skies
above the capital city. National Guard
troops appeared on some street corners
in the nation's capital.
Evacuations were ordered at the
tallest skyscrapers in several cities, and
high-profile tourist attractions closed
- Walt Disney World, Mount Rush-
more, Seattle's Space Needle, the
Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
The Federal Reserve, seeking to
provide assurances that the nation's
banking system would be protected,
said it would provide additional money
to banks if needed.
In Afghanistan, where bin Laden
has been given asylum, the nation's
hardline Taliban rulers rejected sug-
gestions he was responsible.
Bin Laden came to prominence
fighting alongside the U.S.-backed
Afghan mujahedeen - holy warriors
- in their war against Soviet troops in
the 1980s. But former followers say he
turned against the United States during
the 1991 Gulf War, seething at the
deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi
People walk across the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, fleeing the destruction In
lower Manhattan. Some wear masks to protect against dust and debris.
Arabia during the Gulf War campaign
to oust Iraq from Kuwait' He has
repeatedly called on Muslims world-
wide.to join in a jihad, or holy war,
against the United States.
Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-
Quds al-Arabi newspaper, said he
received a warning from Islamic fun-
damentalists close to bin Laden, but
had not taken the threat seriously.
"They said it would be a huge and
unprecedented attack, but they did not
specify," Atwan said in a telephone
interview in London.
Eight years ago, the World Trade
Center was a terrorist target when a
truck bomb killed six people and
wounded about 1,000 others. Just
the death toll on the planes alone
surpassed the 168 people killed in
the 1995 bombing of the federal
building in Oklahoma City.
Continued from Page 3
said at a press conference that the threat
was phoned into the 911 center from a pay
phone in front of Ulrich's Bookstore on
South University Avenue. The caller was
Brown said the building was evacuated
and that it was searched thoroughly with
"At approximately 2:30 we cleared the
building since we found nothing," she said.
People inside the building were aware that
there was a bomb threat when they were
evacuated, she added.
The AAPD and DPS are conducting a
joint investigation of the bomb threat.
The scene around campus was more sub-
dued than the one outside the LSA Build-
ing, but just as equally disturbing.
Pedestrians on State Street looked down-
ward as they walked, and none of them
Students gathered around the help desk
in the Angell Hall Computing Site watch-
ing a digital video stream of the British
Broadcasting Corporation's news program.
When asked if she thought that she
would remember where she was when she
heard of the incidents, LSA senior Alison
Guernsey, holding back tears, was unequiv-
"I think it's impossible to forget it," she
Across the state, members of the Michi-
gan State University community were
largely taken aback when the administra-
tion decided not to cancel class in light of
the day's incidents.
"The fact that I can look down Grand
River and see the Capitol building, I am
appalled," said Michigan State junior Katie
Dirksen. "Everybody is irate about this.
How are we supposed to feel safe when the
Capitol is just down the street?"
In an e-mail to the Michigan State stu-
dents, university President Peter McPher-
son explained that he and other officials
found no reason to disrupt university activ-
Some students here said'they felt it might
have been helpful to continue to hold class-
"I wasn't really sure why classes were
canceled," said LSA sophomore Anna Szy-
manski. "I can understand a day of mourn-
ing, but it seems it would have been better
for everyone to come together instead of
hanging out in their dorms."
LSA freshman Wan-yuh Wang said that
going to class would have helped settle the
shock of the days incidents.
"I wanted to go to class," he said. "I
would rather all of this didn't happen and
go to class."
Statistics graduate student Ajita Gopikrishnan
reacts to news of the terrorist attacks.
Bush faces the first major IMPACT
Continued from Page 3
test of young presidency
The Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The greatest
challenge any American president can
face is war - and George W. Bush,
who won the presidency at a moment of
peace and prosperity, is abruptly facing
a sterner test than anyone expected.
Yesterday's attacks on New York and
Washington were almost certain to rank
as the most damaging ever against U.S.
territory, with the final death toll expect-
ed to exceed Japan's 1941 attack on
Bush's initial response - after a day,
dictated by security concerns, in seclu-
sion on military bases - was a brief
statement pledging "to find those
responsible and to bring them to justice."
"We will make no distinction
between the terrorists who committed
these acts and those who harbor them,"
Bush said, warning countries like
Afghanistan that they can no longer
count on U.S. restraint.
But the real test of the new president's
leadership will come in the weeks to
come: Can he unify the nation in grief
and anger? Can he choose an effective
military response? And can he find
ways to prevent another attack from
As at most moments of crisis, the
country is likely to rally around the
president in the short run. But yester-
day's horrific events will also prompt
sharp questions for the administration
about how such a disaster could happen
- and what it is doing now to protect
the nation from seeing it recur.
compared to other nations. With yester-
day's carnage, however, Americans may
find themselves looking over their
shoulders more and more often.
"This is a supreme test not only to
phether we will physically recover ...
ut how we will view ourselves as an
open society," Precht said. "There will
certainly be calls from certain quarters
that we are too open."
Others offered a more blunt analysis.
"We're going to feel vulnerable the
way other nations have felt vulnerable,"
Americans, perhaps, have not felt
such an acute sense of vulnerability
since the Japanese attack on Pearl Har-
bor, which claimed the lives of 2,400
soldiers and civilians.
"This is certainly comparable to Pearl
Harbor. Pearl Harbor happened over
there, a long way away, but there was a
terrific sense of violation,' Marwil said.
"I think that the anger may be more
profound because we don't know who
the enemy is oday."
An almost definite consequence of
yesterday's violence will be heightened
security and increased military pre-
"It'll probably lead to an increase in
security measures across the country,"
said political science Prof. J. David
Singer. "Most Americans don't under-
stand that we talk about rogue regime,
but in many parts of the world, the U.S.
is considered a rogue regime."
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