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Rescue Efforts Move Slowly; FBI Follows Up Leads

Aired September 12, 2001 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST "INSIDE POLITICS": I am Judy Woodruff in Washington -- Aaron.

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have been tracking for the last, I guess, 45 seconds to a minute, a small plane that has essentially flown the length of Manhattan. We can't see tail markings. You can just barely see it, still. You see it going into the smoke. Again, clearly, no planes are supposed to be in the air. If that is, in fact, a private plane, we are enormously curious what it is doing up there. And I -- I'll tell you that we are a little concerned there for a while. I would gather, I can't see it anymore, that it's over the harbor now.

In any case, we, in the several hours, three or four hours up here have not seen a single small plane, what might have been a private plane. We have seen a number of military jets, lots of helicopters, but we have not seen a plane like that.

In any case, the scene here now, a day and a half, as you can see quite clearly behind me, what was building number seven of the World Trade Center.

The smoke continues to pour out, the ash, the asbestos down there. are thousands of rescue workers who continue this very slow, agonizingly slow process of trying to get the fires out, try to get that -- these buildings as secure as possible, so they can get in there and see if they can find anyone who is still alive.

That is still what the (AUDIO GAP) at this point, to secure the building and find people. It has been very slow today, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, we'll be prepared to come back to you, of course at a moment's notice whether it has to do with the rescue efforts or the progress of that small airplane.

Meantime, here in Washington, the story that many of us have been focused on for the last few hours, is new word from the White House about why the president did not head back to Washington any sooner yesterday.

And for the latest on that, let's go to the White House to our senior correspondent there, John King. John, we know the president's meeting now, or has been meeting with his national security team? JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Let's begin there, Judy. The president having his second meeting of the day with his national security team, the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, General Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff on hand for this meeting, and we are also told that later this hour, once that meeting is over, the president will travel to the Pentagon for his firsthand look at the devastation caused by that aircraft striking the Pentagon yesterday.

Again, the president later this hour will travel to Pentagon to get a look at the devastation and the research and recovery effort still under way at the Pentagon. Now he's in that national security meeting right now. CNN is told by senior administration officials that among the items on the agenda, the beginning of the discussions about just what the United States might do if the investigation continues to as our sources throughout the day have been telling us, pointing increasing evidence that these attacks yesterday in New York and here at the Pentagon in the view of the senior U.S. officials, increasingly being traced to associates in the network of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Earlier today Mr. Bush met with his national security team for the first time and he indicated that the American people should be patient, give the investigation time to run its course, but the president called this an act of war and he promised there would be consequences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States of America will use all of our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient. We'll be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve, but make no mistake about it, we will win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now as part of that effort, we know the president had a number of conversations with other international leaders today. Secretary of State Colin Powell reaching out as well. the White House very happy with the statement by the NATO alliance that it considers these attacks on the United States to be an attack on the NATO alliance.

That a suggestion that if and when the United States decides to respond militarily, it will get some help from its key allies -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, what about the information that the White House was beginning to share with reporters today that they had some information that the White House itself, Air Force One, might well have been targets?

KING: That's right, Judy. We are now told by White House officials that they believe, and they say that they have credible and reliable information that the plane that struck the Pentagon indeed had the White House as its initial target.

That that plane was intending to strike the White House, but instead for reasons the White House says that it cannot explain or will not explain, then veered off and struck the Pentagon. Now, the president, obviously, was not in Washington at the time. He was in Sarasota, Florida.

White House officials also saying that one of the reasons and the main reason that the president did not come directly back to Washington, as many were looking for at that time of crisis, was that was it had credible information that Air Force One could be a target of the terrorists.

Now let's remember what happened: The president began the day in Sarasota, Florida, then went to a military installation in Louisiana. At that time, White House officials say, there were still aircraft unaccounted for. The FAA had ordered all commercial airliners to land at that point because of the four hijackings.

The White House saying the president did not return to Washington that the point because there was a credible threat, an aircraft still unaccounted for, so the president instead went to another military installation in Nebraska, had a meeting of his national security team via teleconference, then flew back to Washington and remember those extraordinary pictures, Air Force One returning to Andrews Air Force Base with fighter jets just off the wing.

You see one here, the wing of Air Force One, a giant military 747. Fighter jets off to the left in this case. The fighter jets seen off to the right and around the plane as well. At this time though, as these pictures were taken, we have been told by administration officials that the skies were clear. These steps just taken as an extra precaution as the president returned to Washington.

But again, trying to convince the American people of the depth of the crisis here and as the president deliberates what to do about it, how to respond, the administration going on the record saying it has credible, reliable information that the White House, the home of the president of the United States and Air Force One, the plane that carries him around the country and around the world were targets -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And quickly, just to reiterate, John, they were telling you something somewhat different yesterday?

KING: Well, secret officials were saying throughout the day yesterday that they did not believe that the plane was in jeopardy, Air Force One. That's one conflict from the information yesterday. And we were told yesterday, and no conflict here, it is just another targeting issue that the plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh, U.S. officials also believe, was beginning to veer towards Washington, and they believe that it had three potential targets -- Camp David, the White House, or the United States Capitol.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, we know that you will continue to follow that story as well as everyone, of course, very much interested in these discussions that you say are just getting under way about what steps next the United States should take, and of course, we'll be interested to know what, who the president will be consulting with, or whom, as he moves through this.

Now, let's go to New York and to Aaron.

BROWN: Judy, thank you. Gary Tuchman has been on the ground with a videophone moving towards the buildings all day long. And he joins us now and Gary, I gather that have you gotten a look, an upclose look, at least at something approaching ground zero.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Approaching ground zero. Literally ground zero is as close as you can possibly get to the damage. And I have to tell you first of all, there are no cameras allowed at ground zero and to be frank, I am not sure reporters are allowed at ground zero either.

However, a very kind soul, a medical professional decided to take me along to the site, wanted me to see it. Wanted me to be able to tell America, the world, about what happened because she just thought that it was so horrible.

And I have to tell you something, this is much, much, much worse than I possibly would have imagined. And we've been here for two days now just four blocks away. You can't tell how bad it is until you are right on the site. And let me tell you first of all, what I saw.

There are at least 10 blocks in each direction of heavy damage. It is not just the World Trade Center complex. It is hundreds of other businesses that have been heavily destroyed, moderately destroyed, or slightly destroyed.

Some of the businesses that have been destroyed -- a Burger King, a well-known department store next to the World Trade Center called Century 21, J and R Music World is a well-known record store and computer and electronics store that has damage. For blocks and blocks about a half a mile from north to south, there is heavy debris in the streets, there are cars tipped over, trucks tipped over, just lining in the streets. It reminds me of a ride at Universal Studios called earthquake.

And when you go on the Earthquake ride, everything flips over and things catch fire and there is debris and sand, and that's what it looked like to me when I got there.

BROWN: Gary, when you look at these buildings and you talk about them either being heavily damaged or destroyed, in this 10-block area, have these buildings been crushed? Have they been burned out? What is it that either damaged or destroyed them?

TUCHMAN: Many of the buildings next to the World Trade Center complex have been crushed and burned out. The ones father away just have some damage to them. But I have got to tell you, Aaron, one of the scariest things there is a 20-story building right next to the World Trade Center complex, which has a huge hole in it, which many of the rescuers on the scene, and I should tell you at least 1500 to 2,000 people on the scene, climbing the wreckage which is at 75 to 80 feet tall, they are scared that the building is going to collapse on top of them. These are very brave people.

BROWN: And they are in this building or on this building?

TUCHMAN: They are on top of the wreckage of the World Trade Center building, where the two towers stood. Many of them are -- this is very sad, but it's true -- many of them are holding pans in their hand to collect body parts.

I also have to tell you that a temporary morgue has been set up in a damaged Brooks Brothers store in a shopping complex right next to the World Trade Center complex that was mentioned.

BROWN: Gary were you able to see the towers or what is left of the towers themselves?

TUCHMAN: I stood right next to the towers, Aaron. Some of the pillars are still standing up. They are in danger of imminent collapse. These people are extremely brave. There is certainly a lot of work they cannot do. And if there are survivors, and they certainly hope that there are survivors still in pockets and voids in the middle of this, they can't get to them right now because are there tons and tons of wreckage that they just can't possibly remove. This is a job that will take so long.

I should also tell you, Aaron, that there is a room set up to treat survivors and I went to that room, the room was completely empty. The morgue, the Brooks Brothers has a number of bodies, a number of body parts. It's very sad. It's pitiful and frankly, I have to tell you, it's much worse than I possible could have imagined.

BROWN: All right, Gary, just stand down for a minute and collect your thoughts a bit and we will get back to you. And this extraordinary reporting that you've been doing all day long, investigators along the East Coast from Providence to South Florida have been trying to put pieces of the puzzle together.

Bill Delaney, our Boston bureau chief joins us now to tell us where they are. Bill, good evening.

BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Aaron. And authorities here moving swiftly on several fronts in Boston and in its environs. Perhaps most dramatically in the heart of Boston, in Copley Square, venerable. usually tranquil square where FBI in complete S.W.A.T. regalia heavily armed moved into the Weston Copely Hotel today, around midday. They went in there to go after individuals they are interested in using as material witnesses in trying to sort out what happened here.

Robert Mueller himself, FBI director, stressing at a press conference that the three individuals taken into custody at the Westin Hotel were not arrested, they are not suspects, but brought in for questioning. Thousands gathering in Copely Square to watch all of this today in Boston, Aaron. BROWN: And just briefly, there was the Amtrak train in Providence, can you help us there?

DELANEY: Yes. An Arab individual, at least one, Aaron, taken into custody. But the FBI, now cautioning us, telling us, in fact, that they had nothing to do with that, suggesting of course then strongly that this individual probably didn't have anything to do with what we're trying to sort out here, the hijackings of these two airplanes yesterday.

BROWN: Thank you. That kind of information is as important as the other kind. Somebody who doesn't have anything to do with it than someone who might.

Similar operations have been going on in Florida, in South Florida. Susan Candiotti has been tracking that and she joins us from Vero Beach, Florida. Susan, good evening to you.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Aaron. We have been here several hours now. And moments ago, at least a dozen FBI agents who have been here since roughly 5:30 in the morning pulled out of here. Now they spent several hours here and at one point, a few hours this afternoon, executed search warrants on two homes side by side here.

We are told that the people who were renting these two homes were believed to be commercial pilots who identified themselves as being from Saudi Arabia, according to the landlords, who were attending a course of study at a nearby flight school called, Flight Safety International. These people were already said to be pilots and said that they were taking another course there.

Now, we are about to talk to one of the landlords who rented one of the homes to one of these two people. Can you tell us how long this individual had been renting the house from you?

PAUL STIMELING, HOMEOWNER: Since June 10th of 2000.

CANDIOTTI: And I should say that you are Paul Stimeling, thank you very much for joining us.

How much do they pay each month?

STIMELING: $1,400.

CANDIOTTI: What can you tell us about them? What do you know them to be -- your tenant.

STIMELING: Just family men Saudi Arabia who were here for a class, and they needed 15 months at this rental. And they've agreed to rent the property through the end of August.

CANDIOTTI: And what happened before the lease was up?

STIMELING: They called me the last week in July, and suggested that they would need at least another two weeks. And, again, last week to ask for another two or three days. They were to move on the 17th, this coming Monday.

CANDIOTTI: And how would you describe the man to whom you have rented the house?

CANDIOTTI: Always polite. always a gentleman, paid his rent on time. So far as I knew, family man with five children.

CANDIOTTI: What do you make of these search warrants being executed at your home?

STIMELING: Kind of shocked. I was over here this morning and provided information regarding the leases to the FBI, and could learn nothing.

CANDIOTTI: Did they tell you why they were looking at these homes and what connection there may have been...

STIMELING: No they didn't.

CANDIOTTI: ... to the attacks?

STIMELING: No they didn't.

CANDIOTTI: Did you ask them?

STIMELING: I did.

CANDIOTTI: What did they say?

STIMELING: That they couldn't reveal anything that the time.

CANDIOTTI: Did they show you any photographs of anyone?

STIMELING: No they didn't.

CANDIOTTI: And ask you to identify any of them?

STIMELING: No, they just asked me for a description. I gave them that.

CANDIOTTI: What do you make of the situation?

STIMELING: I am rather alarmed. It's a quiet little town. And I am just a landlord that builds homes to rent.

CANDIOTTI: All right. They asked to you extend their lease and they had their lease on your house until the 17th of September?

STIMELING: That is correct.

CANDIOTTI: Thank you very much. We can tell you this, Aaron, that several hours ago, again the FBI did take away someone from that home, a law enforcement source identified that individual to us as an acquaintance of two pilots who may have been involved in the attack.

It's our understanding that that person was driven down to FBI headquarters in Miami, we are in Vero Beach, and we have no further update beyond that at this time. We do understand that the family from the second house moved out earlier this month.

BROWN: OK, just tell me on one thing, I may have gotten a bit lost in some of this, I apologize. It's a little hard to hear. How many people in South Florida do we now believe are in custody, and where do we believe they are?

CANDIOTTI: That's hard to say. We only know for sure about one person being brought in for questioning at FBI headquarters. We do know that the FBI has been spending all night and part of this day, most of this day, also looking at different locations in Florida.

For example, a couple of apartments, they went to a restaurant in Broward County, Florida. They went to a home in Coral Springs, Florida, an apartment that was rented by, in fact, someone who, sources tell CNN, may have very well been one of the hijackers.

They also spent time this day interviewing some people at a house in Venice, Florida on Florida's West Coast. The owner of that home had allowed a couple of people to stay at his house, one of them identified as Mohammed Atta and they also spent the day in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Mohammed Atta, we are told by law enforcement sources, may very well be directly linked to the hijacking.

BROWN: I am afraid I know the answer to this, but very quickly, do you have any idea how the FBI has identified any of these people to execute these search warrants? Have we seen the warrants yet to know what it was they were looking for? Anything you can help us with there, quickly.

CANDIOTTI: The warrants have been sealed and therefore are off limits to us. However I have been told since late last night, that one of the reasons they have been looking at these addresses, from Broward County, Florida, several locations there, to Venice, Florida as well, is because of examining the passenger manifest. And I was told when asked, because they were a passenger, and I was told, no, it was far more pointed information by that, indicating that there were direct links to these people and they may indeed have been the hijackers themselves.

BROWN: Susan, nice work. Susan Candiotti in Vero Beach, Florida. Back to you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, Susan has been telling us about the investigation efforts there on the ground in Florida and elsewhere. And here in Washington, the folks coordinating the investigation, of course, are associated with the FBI, the Justice Department, and for the latest on that let's go to our justice correspondent Kelli Arena.

Kelli, they're not saying very much on the record. What are you finding out?

KELLI ARENA, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy. Most of what we have reported has been thanks to a variety of sources, but we did hear from Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller today. To a certain extent they have confirmed certain points that we have been reporting. Number one, that the White House and Air Force One were definitely targets, that some of the hijackers were trained as pilots, that they are working, of course, to recover the black boxes, that there are a number of individuals that law enforcement has I.D.'d that may have had something to do with the hijacking.

They would not say how many, but they said that they have I.D.'d a number of people that they are looking for questioning. There have been no arrests made, but many people have been questioned and, as you know, earlier today, we have been reporting that sources were telling us that some people were in custody, being questioned, and I think Robert Mueller, the FBI director cleared that up today, by saying that many of these people have been detained on immigration hold.

And so that's where sources were using the word, "in custody," when it didn't seem to jibe with not being arrested. They also say that leads in Boston, Florida and Rhode Island were leading them to clues to the hijackers themselves. This is all that they would confirm. Those are the highlights of what they would confirm.

As you know, Judy, most of this has already been reported by sources but it's nice to get official confirmation.

WOODRUFF: Kelli, in addition to what you are telling us there, we know there have also been intelligence briefings for members of Congress. Have you been able to pick up anything from that?

ARENA: We have. Lawmakers said that when they were presented with a list of names, they did recognize many of the names of the terrorists on the list. They wouldn't say exactly how many there were on the list, or how many they recognized. But those names were gathered from cell phone intercepts and passenger manifests. They believe that there from two countries, Afghanistan, which is to be expected, but also Iran.

And Iran is unusual in this case, because they are not usually part of these terrorists operations. The lawmakers say that they are all but certain that it was Osama bin Laden masterminding the attacks and they say that they know that the people were pilots because they actually had pilots' licenses which may help in the investigation quite a bit, if there are actual licenses that they can track down.

One lawmaker telling CNN that he is more alarmed than he was before, never realizing how many terrorists cells were operating in this country, Judy.

WOODRUFF: And just quickly, Kelli, what are they basing it on when they say that they are all but certain that it was Osama bin Laden?

ARENA: As you know, we have been reporting, earlier David Ensor and I have reported that there were cell phone calls that were intercepted by the U.S., where there was the organization al-Qaeda was mentioned. The fact that two targets were hit in the United States and of course there is just the speculation that the organization and the number of people and the funding needed to pull off this type of a coordinated attack, and doing it with existing cells in the U.S. really does point to Osama bin Laden or a group that is associated with him.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kelli Arena, our justice correspondent.

Someone else among our correspondents who have been talking to people in the intelligence community, our national security correspondent David Ensor. David, you want to begin to pick up where Kelli left off?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, on the intelligence side, the U.S. effort to figure out who was behind these attacks is involving thousands of people, and is going on both day and night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): U.S. officials say they have specific information indicating the terrorists had links with the group led by Osama bin Laden, the accused terrorist mastermind. In closed sessions, the Senate and the House were giving briefings...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: All right. There is -- there is a growing concern that another one of the buildings behind us, and we are not precisely sure which one, may be on the verge of collapsing. We have someone here on the phone to help us out here. Ingrid, what -- what are you seeing? What are you hearing? What do you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were standing at our location as close as possible to the site of the former World Trade Center towers, when police and military came running towards us and started evacuating us about, I would say, seven to eight minutes ago, telling us to leave everything behind, that another building was about to collapse or implode.

It it's not clear right now which building it is. Looking at it from my standpoint, I am now about six blocks away from the side of the World Trade Center towers, and they have qualified as the building on the left on Broadway. I believe our cameramen here, lost our signal in the middle of all this, but some have pointed to the tallest modern black building in that area pointing to areas that we can't see from here, saying it's starting to bubble.

They have pushed all the way back, about several blocks back. We have left things behind at our original location. There is not much more that I can say, however, the sirens and everyone came running and it was absolute pandemonium and everyone is standing back. The police saying go, go north. If you want to save your life, get the hell out of here.

BROWN: OK, Ingrid, take a deep breathe here, make sure you are in a safe location. We now believe the building is One Liberty Plaza, which is in that extraordinarily tight complex of the buildings that surround the Trade Center. Ingrid, do you have any idea how big that building is? How many stories it is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am trying to get the information. I would say that this is at a least 59-story building. But that's really an estimate. It is tall, modern, black, some people will...

BROWN: So, you're eyeballing this at 59 stories, I think is what you are saying this to me. And officials are telling you it is starting to buckle. Is that the word that they used? Ingrid, did they use the word buckle?

Well, we have lost our producer down, and we want to get her, frankly let's just get her out of an area that may be dangerous to her and the people with her. But, again, officials are moving people away because of the danger that a building, One Liberty Plaza, may be on the verge of collapsing -- starting to buckle. We are keeping our eye on it as we talk to you.

You know, one point to make here, very quickly, is that one of the reasons this, this rescue operation is going so slowly is because it is so dangerous there. It is so unstable that buildings can go almost in a moment's notice and if they can avoid it, lose anybody else. Ingrid, can you hear me now? Well, if she can, I can't hear her. So let me assume now that she cannot.

Again, rescue workers and anybody else who has managed to make their way into the area, being pushed back. Try to get out of harm's way, as there is a danger that One Liberty Plaza, roughly 59 stories or so, may be on the verge of collapsing. And that would be the fourth building to go down.

As Gary Tuchman reported to us about 15 minutes ago, in 10 blocks on either side of the Trade Center, there is extensive damage to buildings. Some destroyed, others extensively damaged. Some of those, obviously, perilous, and -- and police and military people down there are trying to make sure that in this calamity nobody else dies.

We will keep an eye on that, but we will move on briefly. Robert Gates joins us from Kansas City. He is the former -- a former CIA director. Director Gates, are you able to hear me OK?

ROBERT GATES, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: Yes, I hear you fine.

BROWN: And forgive me if I keep one eye kind of on the back of me here as a watch to see what is happening with this building. Have you -- have you heard from your former colleagues in the intelligence committee? Can you give us any sense of the kind of information they -- they are picking up, or at least the volume of the information that they are picking up at this point?

GATES: No, I have heard nothing from them. I think that they have higher priorities right now. But I am sure it's a wide range of information from a variety sources, technical and human.

BROWN: And when we talk about technical for a second, this is our -- the interception of phone calls and that sort of thing?

GATES: Well, I think that everyone has a pretty good idea, but I think frankly as the president and others have said there has probably already been too much specific talk about just exactly what kinds of information they are gathering.

BROWN: Mr. Gates, I am having a little audio problem so forgive me if I ask you to repeat something. It is that I was unable to hear you for a moment and we will try and solve that.

But just -- is the entire intelligence network now focused on this -- this issue? This crisis?

GATES: No. That's a luxury that American intelligence can never afford. The truth is that in addition to devoting enormous resources to trying to help with this investigation, and find out who was responsible, they also have to keep a lookout for additional such moves, they have to keep a lookout on developments all over the world.

So -- so they certainly are devoting huge resources to this problem, but it's not the only problem they can look at.

BROWN: In moments like this, and I -- I know that there is no moment precisely like this, is it -- is the intelligence community essentially depressed? Do they see themselves as having failed?

GATES: No, I think right now they're probably so focused on helping with the investigation, on probing all of their sources, on looking back through all of the information that's been collected over recent weeks to see if there are isolated bits of information that were meaningless then, but might have helped put the picture together now, that they really don't have time to reflect on what might have been or whatever they might have done that wasn't done and so on.

Those kinds of thoughts will come later, but I think they're probably totally focused on the job at hand right now.

BROWN: There is just simply too much work to be done right now?

GATES: Absolutely. Director Gates, it is always good to talk to you. It is good to talk to you again today. We apologize for the problems that we've had, and as you can see, we were listening to Director Gates through a two-way radio here. It is a little difficult to -- the city is not running smoothly, folks, and we are doing the best we can to keep us going.

Let's go back to Judy in Washington.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, a little while ago you were talking with our correspondent Gary Tuchman, whose been there right very close to the World Trade Center site.

And Gary, you're on the phone now. We've been reporting that this one Liberty Plaza building is very much at risk now? TUCHMAN: That's right, Judy. We were just telling you and reporters a short time ago that the rescue and recovery workers on the scene were very concerned about a building that might possibly collapse into the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Well, it was another building that has now prompted an evacuation order. It's the One Liberty Plaza Building. It's just to the east of wreckage of World Trade Center. We have been told by some other people they were concerned about that building, too.

So workers who are on the scene, and we estimate there are between 1 and 2,000 people who are on the scene. It's a 10-square block area, are now being told to leave. And the members of the news media, who've joined us four blocks away from the wreckage, have been told by the police that they must evacuate the area.

And as matter of fact, I'm in a building right now, talking to you on a telephone, a building about five blocks away from the World Trade Center. And we are being told we now have to evacuate this building where this phone is located.

WOODRUFF: Gary, how close to -- so you have to hang up right now?

TUCHMAN: I got probably time for one more question, Judy, before they kick me out of here.

WOODRUFF: OK. Well, just tell us how far away from the World -- you said five blocks, right?

TUCHMAN: Yes, I would estimate we're about a quarter of a mile. It's 20 blocks to a mile in New York City. We're about five or six blocks away.

WOODRUFF: All right.

TUCHMAN: So we're probably about a quarter mile away. So they're evacuating most of the buildings. Most of the buildings are closed, to be honest with you. This particular building is a New York City Building. And they are now evacuating this building.

WOODRUFF: All right, Gary Tuchman, we're going to let you get out of there as fast as you can -- Aaron.

BROWN: We -- Judy, Gary get away here. Just get to safety. We can see the building in question. And we actually, from where we are, and perhaps if we can zoom through it closely enough, you'll be able to see it as well.

There's this tall gray building that is just off to my left. Let me get out of the shot here, so you can see it. And we can see just with the naked eye. And I'm not sure precisely what you can see in the monitor, whether it's better or not.

We can see what looks to us at least like glass falling or parts of the building peeling off. We're looking probably halfway up the building and up. We can't see the lower half. We can also see -- and we -- I want to be careful here because I can't honestly tell you that I know it's related, but there seems to be a bit more smoke, dust, ash in the area, whether that's related to this or the not.

I honestly don't know, but I do know that there is more in that area than there was before. The smoke now rising up and obscuring our view of that building. But again, that is the building in question, One Liberty Plaza. And you can't, if you've been with us, and I know many of you have, you have a sense of the proximity to the Trade Center buildings, it is not far away.

And just to look at it, if were just to look at it, you would not have a sense that it had been damaged. But we can see windows flaking off, parts of the front flaking off. And we believe that is where the danger is right now -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, I'm told that getting underway here in Washington right now, a briefing by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, popularly known as FEMA. I'm not sure whether it started or is in progress. Actually, it's in New York City, in your neighborhood. Let's listen in and see what they are saying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's possible to do but...

WOODRUFF: OK, all right. I'm told now that it is about to get under way. It has not started yet. And while we're waiting for that FEMA briefing, let's go back to our national security correspondent David Ensor.

David, we had to interrupt your report just a few minutes ago. You were giving us a little bit more information about what you're learning from your intelligence sources.

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. As a former CIA director Bob Gates just said on our air, the CIA and the intelligence community have to keep looking at a lot of issues, including future threats, but they are also putting tremendous resources into the effort to try to ascertain who did this. And they're working on it day and night.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ENSOR (voice-over): U.S. officials say they have specific information indicating the terrorists had links with the group led by Osama Bin Laden, the accused terrorist mastermind. In closed sessions, the Senate and the House were giving briefings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This had to be brains behind this. We have some good, promising leads. They're obviously being followed.

ENSOR: Publicly, the Bush administration is accusing no one so far, while warning nations they too will pay for any help given to those that attacked New York and Washington.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will hold accountable those countries that provide support, that give host nation, if you can call it that, support and facilities to these kinds of terrorist groups. ENSOR: Afghanistan's Taliban government has long offered haven to Bin Laden, but U.S. officials they have no evidence thus far of any state directly assisting the attacks in New York and Washington. Many analysts argue that such a coordinated broadside could not have been possible without it.

WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: Osama Bin Laden represents a complete terrorist network. He will have one or more state sponsors, countries that he's either based in or working in collusion with. They'll have been passport support, communication support.

JAMES WOOLSELY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: One thing I think that ought to make us a bit suspicious about whether Bin Laden was involved alone or not, is that he goes to great lengths to advertise himself. And when you see something like that, you begin to wonder whether or not there may be an effort to draw our attention solely to him, to the neglect of someone who may be his principle contractor.

ENSOR: If there was state support, a number of terrorism experts point to Iraq as the most likely suspect. A statement from President Saddam Hussein on Iraqi television said, "The United States reaps the thorns that is rulers have sown in the world."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

U.S. officials say they are developing good intelligence and law enforcement leads. They are not sure -- they're not ready to say yet who they think was behind these attacks, nor are they ready to say whether they think any state was involved in helping, but they do believe they will be able to say quite soon -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, David Ensor, thanks. And I 'm now told that up in New York that briefing Federal Emergency Management Agency briefing, we're perhaps going to hear from New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and United States Senator Charles Schumer, among others.

Let's see if that's gotten underway. I'm having a hard time seeing my monitor here. Here we go.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: Senator Schumer, Senator Clinton, all of the members of the congressional delegation, Congressman Rangel, Congressman Meeks, Congressman Nadler, whose here I know. I want to -- he was at our briefing earlier. Thank you.

This show of support for the City of New York means a tremendous amount to all of us, to all of us in the city. We know how much you care. We know how much you're going to help us and have already helped. And we have to all work together now and work together to make sure that we save as many lives as possible, rescue the people that we can rescue, and rebuild the city of New York and the World Trade Center to be even greater and more wonderful and more beautiful than it was before.

And I know with the kind of support that we have from the administration, from the Senate, from the House, the people of City of New York are very well supported. And thank you very, very much for coming. And thank you for all the efforts that you're making for us.

SEN CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Well, thank you. Well, thank you, Rudy. And on behalf of New York's congressional delegation, Senator Clinton, Congressman Rangel, our dean, Congressman Meeks and Nadler, we want to thank you. First, we've got a couple of points here to make. First, I want to thank the mayor and governor for the great job they have done.

(APPLAUSE)

We have watched television. I have heard from more than 20 senators that they feel, as bad as they feel about this, they feel relieved with people like Giuliani and Pataki down here in charge and keeping things as best as they can be, under these difficult things. So we thank you.

I also want to thank President Bush. I spoke to the President yesterday. He assured me that he was going to do everything and his administration was going to do everything that it could do. He said you have a blank check. And what we are here, what Hillary and I and the delegation are here to do is assess the damage, make an inventory list, and go back to Washington.

I've told Joe Allbaugh, I'll talk about him in a minute and others, that we may need the kinds of help that are different than usual disasters. We not only have so many people who have been lost and the buildings that have been lost, but we have a financial services industry, that has real trouble, we have insurance debts that are enormous, we have everything.

And so, the beauty of this display is that it's federal, state, and city governments working together. We are Democrats. We are Republicans. Nothing stands in the way of us helping the city that we love so much.

Let me just make a personal point now. I fly back from Washington -- my family lives here, three, four times a week -- when I flew over the site today, I felt sick to my stomach. Usually I fly, I see Staten Island, the Verazzano Bridge. I see my house in Prospect Park. And then, after the Statue of Liberty were these two beautiful tall towers that symbolized New York. And they're gone and replaced by a pile of acrid smoke. And...

WOODRUFF: As we listen to Senator Charles Schumer of New York, we're showing pictures of the Pentagon, where they are unfurling an American flag in anticipation of a visit there today by President Bush. We're told he is to go there to inspect the damage, the site where the plane hit the Pentagon yesterday morning.

And now let's go back to New York.

SCHUMER: ... the Hudson River Park. They cannot stop New York. They will not stop New York. And we will bring every bit of federal aid that we can to make this city, as pained as we are now, rebound from the tragedy. And it's a big job, but we're going to do it.

Let me call on my colleague, Senator Clinton and then I'll introduce Joe and Governor Pataki.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Well, first, we wanted to be here this afternoon to visibly demonstrate the strong commitment that we feel from our colleagues in the Congress on both sides of the aisle, and the very strong support that we've gotten from the President and the administration.

Before Chuck and I left, we passed a resolution 100 to 0 in the Senate. And it denounced this evil act of terrorism. And it repeated America's resolve because it's very clear that this attack on New York is an attack on America. It's an attack on every American, no matter where he or she lives.

It also contained a strong statement of our unified commitment to rebuilding and reconstructing, as the mayor said. So we will continue to work with all of our colleagues and the administration to make clear the extraordinary needs for resources, not just today and tomorrow and next week, for months and years to come that will have to come from the American people and our government.

I also just again want to thank the mayor and the governor for their leadership. And I particularly want to thank our firefighters, our police officers, our emergency medical technicians and all of the help at all of our hospitals, you know, the people who've been on the frontlines. And many of whom we know have already lost their lives doing their duty to help everyone else.

I don't know that there's ever been a time when an act of war, and that's what this was, called into action better prepared, more resolute or courageous soldiers on the front lines to defend our country, but we saw that. And we're seeing it. And all of America from everything we're told and the response that we're getting, understands that. And I believe that America will be behind New York in a way that will send a message to anyone near and far, that you know, New York is America. And America stands ready to defend what we care about. And that's this city and it's people. And I thank every one who's really been doing the hard work of trying to save lives. And we have to continue it. And do everything possible to make sure that every life that possibly can be saved, is. Thank you.

SCHUMER: OK, why don't we -- before we call the governor and Joe, Charlie Rangel's the dean of our delegation and representing our delegation.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Thank you. I think our New York delegation is probably the most bipartisan delegation in the House. But now, the whole house has become a delegation in support of our country. I've been in combat, but I've never seen the type of heroism that I'm seeing with the New York City Police Department, our firefighters, emergency medical service, and the leadership provided by our mayor and our governor.

And so, like with any family, if it has stabbed us in the back. They're cowards in what they've done but it's going to really test the will of our country and how strong Congress, the House and the Senate, say as we have in any war, We're not only going to come back, but we're going to win and to make certain that this type of thing that people will know that you just don't do it to us as Americans.

And again from all communities, people know that if they don't know or if they haven't had had a personal loss in their family, that they feel a loss as Americans. And we dedicate ourselves to the families and the kin and the children to treat those that we lost as heroes and do the best we can in trying to bring some type of normality to their lives.

SCHUMER: Along with our mayor, the governor has just done an incredible job and made us all proud. I've had now 35, 40 members of the Senate all parties, all different regions, all ideologies, say we want to go whatever we can to help New York. And we're behind all of you. And in good part, that's because of the job that this governor has done with the mayor, in just leading us. Governor Pataki.

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: Thank you, Chuck. And I'd like to thank the members of the delegation for being here. Literally within the first hour of this tragedy on Tuesday, I had spoken with both Senator Schumer and Senator Clinton. And they had told me whatever we need from Washington, they will be there to he us get. And we're very grateful for that.

And Chairman Rangel and your delegation, we appreciation that support. Chuck, when you described so eloquently flying up and seeing towers replaced with rubble, and the feeling you felt it's a feeling all of us as New Yorkers and I think all of us as Americans feel, but this is New York.

And while it may be smoldering just south of here right now, we're going to rebuild. And we're going to come back. And we're going to come back stronger. And we've got great spirit here. It's not just the tremendous effort and sacrifice of our police and fire professionals who are downtown risking their lives right now. It's the block-long lines of people standing there to donate blood, to help out. It's the volunteers streaming into the hospitals, to offer assistance. It's all New Yorkers coming together to make sure that we don't just put this behind us, but we come back stronger than ever.

We need to it together. The mayor and his team here in the city have done an incredible job. And we cannot thank them enough. The state has been there in every way we can, to be supportive and helpful, and make sure we get through this, but we're all in it together.

America is behind us. The fact that you're here makes us confident that America is behind us. And with that support from a bipartisan delegation in Congress and from President Bush, we're going to show the rest of the nation, we're going to show the rest the world that New Yorkers are not intimidated by terrorism, that we don't surrender to this type of cowardly act, that we will come back stronger than ever.

I want to thank President Bush. I was on the phone with him before 9:30 Tuesday morning and have been on the phone with him since. And I want to thank Joe Allbaugh for being here with us this evening. You know, Joe, the first words he said to me weren't hello. It was, "What do you need, what can I do to help?" It's that type of attitude, that type of spirit that is getting us through this. And director Allbaugh, I want to thank you because you've already helped enormously. Every single request we've made of the administration has been met. And we're confident as we have additional requests, as we go forward, they will be met as well.

This is an outrage against New York. This is a criminal act against America. This is a threat to our way of life, to freedom around the world. And we will stand united and win over this barbarism and make sure New York is stronger and America's stronger than its ever been. Thank you. God bless you.

SCHUMER: Thank you, George.

And the final person that's gong to speak is the man we really thank. Before I do that, I did have one thought that I circulated among my colleagues. And I think it's a good one. And that is that I am joined by many others, asking all New Yorkers to take an American flag and fly it out their window. Whether you have a home, an office, a shop, let those flags fly. Let that be a symbol of unity for New York. Let that show these evil, despicable people, that they cannot daunt our spirit. And in that way, we will show the kind of unity and fervor.

People know what they want to do. They've been doing lots of things. But just letting the flag fly from your window, whether you live in a private home, an apartment house or whether you be in an office, will really show them that we are Americans and we're proud of it.

FEMA is a very, very important agency in the federal government. You don't know it until there's trouble. But they come in and they solve problems. It's been a remarkably nonpartisan agency. It's an agency that brings people together as we have all been brought together. It's an agency that is expert at solving problems. This is a different problem than we have ever faced.

Hillary and Joe and I talked on the airplane this afternoon about the various new types of challenges that we meet. But we have a great leader in FEMA who cares, who's going to be up here for several days, helping us take inventory, so that we can request of the President to again, I want to underscore his generosity and his immediate availability, so we can make an inventory and go back to the House...

WOODRUFF: We are listening to elected officials in New York State, New York City, the mayor, the senator, the U.S. senator, the governor. These are politicians that normally are at each other throats. But in the aftermath of this horrific tragedy, they have come together to say they will work together to do what's necessary to provide the resources to put New York City back together.

And the end they're hearing, Senator Schumer say he'd like for every American to hang a flag out their home, their, shop, their office. And we're looking at a picture, Aaron, of that building One Liberty Plaza that we're keeping a very close eye on. And the end they're hearing, Senator Schumer say he'd like for every American to hang a flag out their home, their, shop, their office. And we're looking at a picture, Aaron, of that building One Liberty Plaza that we're keeping a very close eye on.

BROWN: Yes, we sure are. At various points, the wind will shift and the smoke will cover. And it's hard for us to see these pieces either of window or a facing, if it's the right word, facing falling off the building. But every 20, 30 seconds, it seems like another piece falls.

People have been told to got out of the area. One of our producers has essentially was told to run for your life. From our vantage point, we see a somewhat contradictory scene, to be perfectly honest.

On the one hand, it is clear to us that people have been moved to the north, moved away from the building that is at risk and building number seven, which has collapsed. On the other hand, that fire truck that has been there pumping gallon be upon gallon of water on the fire in building number seven, which collapsed yesterday continues it's work and those people continue to do its work.

There are not a whole lot of people in that area, right in front of building seven. There have been more throughout the day. And as we've watched this, now everybody seems about three or four blocks farther back than they were

And we assume here, this is assumption, that that is true on all sides of these buildings. And everyone is being pushed away. We have a correspondent, Gary Tuchman, down there. We have a producer Ingrid Aronson, down there. And we are trying to establish contact with them.

They are in the business now down there, doing some reporting. It is little hard for to us report anything other than what we see. But what we see are people being moved back, pieces of the facing or perhaps they are windows, continuing to fall off. We'll keep an eye on that. I want to go to Hillary Lane now if I can at St. Vincent Hospital. St. Vincent Hospital, Hillary, correct me if I make a mistake here is in the lower part of Manhattan. It's not far from where we are, correct?

Hillary, are you able to hear me? OK, if she is able to hear me, Hillary...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me tell you what's happening. They're taking away Lieutenant (INAUDIBLE) block away, came running out of office when he saw what was happening and has told us a very compelling story. We were trying to get him on tape. He really should not have been out of the hospital, but said he actually needed a cup of coffee. And that's why he walked out.

But his story was that he ran in. He went into the daycare center, which really hasn't been mentioned very much on the second floor of one of World Trade Center Building. And the good news he said was, there was nobody in that center, but he made his way up. He pulled people out with him as they resisted. And then there was explosion. Cars exploded outside, knocked him unconscious. And he was rescued himself by a firefighter, brought here to St. Vincent's. So a very compelling story.

I wish he could have told it for himself, but you may have seen him, he wasn't -- I guess according to the hospital in the condition shouldn't be outside. Back to you.

BROWN: Hillary, we do the best work we can under the difficult circumstances we're in. And we appreciation the effort -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, the building that we've been watching here in Washington is, of course, the Pentagon which took a direct hit yesterday. And it was really only a few hours ago that the fires that started burning there yesterday, that they were able to put those fires out.

Let's go to our Pentagon, actually our military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre for an update on what is going on at the Pentagon and what he's hearing from defense officials -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT. Well, Judy, President Bush came by just a short time ago to inspect the damage. His firsthand look at the gaping hole that was put into the side of the Pentagon. Some of the firefighters and rescue workers who have been battling this for more than a day unfurled a large American flag and hung it over one side of the Pentagon, just near where the plane went into the side of the building.

Pentagon officials say that they have pretty much given up hope that there are any survivors in the immediate area where that damage is. And they've begun a process of demolishing the building, so that they can back further into the building with the slim possibility there might be someone still alive who was out of the immediate blast area.

But they say the combined intense heat of the explosion of the plane hitting the building with all the fuel and all the smoke that came from it, makes it almost impossible for anyone to have survived.

Secretary Rumsfeld in a message recorded to U.S. troops, said that he went to the scene of this disaster yesterday. And he described it as appalling. Today in a Pentagon briefing, he said that this attack was part of a new battlefield that the United States was going to have to fight on in the future.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We are in a sense seeing the definition of a new battlefield in the world, a 21st century battlefield. And it is a different kind of conflict. And it is something that is not unique to this century to be sure, but it is given our geography and circumstance, it is in a major sense, new for this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCINTYRE: About half of the Pentagon is open for business today. And half of it is closed off with armed centuries at the corridors, preventing anybody from going into the other half of the building, which is still closed because of the smoke that came from that fire.

Secretary Rumsfeld said today that the final casualty count, the death toll will probably be much lower than the high number of 800 that was speculated by a fire chief as the possible top number. Instead, it looks like it'll be more in the area of 100 or perhaps 150, 200, somewhere in there. The Pentagon is still not giving any final figures -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon. Now quickly back to Aaron.

BROWN: Judy, thanks. I'm just going to stay off to the side here and allow the camera to stay focused on the scene.

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