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Wife of Solicitor General alerted him of hijacking from plane

Barbara Olson  

By Tim O'Brien

WASHINGTON -- Barbara Olson, a conservative commentator and attorney, alerted her husband, Solicitor General Ted Olson, that the plane she was on was being hijacked Tuesday morning, Ted Olson told CNN.

A short time later the plane crashed into the Pentagon. Barbara Olson is presumed to have died in the crash.

Her husband said she called him twice on a cell phone from American Airlines Flight 77, which was en route from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles.

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Ted Olson told CNN that his wife said all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane by armed hijackers. The only weapons she mentioned were knives and cardboard cutters.

She felt nobody was in charge and asked her husband to tell the pilot what to do.

Ted Olson notified the Justice Department command center immediately.

He told CNN that his wife had originally been booked on a flight Monday, but delayed her departure because Tuesday was his birthday and she wanted to be with him in the morning.

Barbara Olson was a former federal prosecutor and served as Chief Investigative Counsel to the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during its probe into the Clinton Administration "Travelgate" scandal.

She had appeared frequently as a commentator on CNN.

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