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Timed Terrorist Attacks Against the United States

Aired September 11, 2001 - 09:56   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.
AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Again, this all began about an hour and 15 minutes ago here in lower Manhattan, when the first of two planes crashed into the first of the two towers behind me, at the World Trade Center. You can see the smoke billowing out of the front tower now.

Then about a half hour later, just as emergency crews were converging on the scene, as eyewitnesses were gathering on the street corners, a second plane drove into -- and you can see that plane coming around the building right now in this tape, and there you can see the hit as it come through what looked to me at least, and this is first time I've seen that tape -- come through the backside of the tower. I guess that would be the south side of the tower. And then the smoke and flame coming out the front side.

Again, that was about a half hour after the first attack, which was at about 8:45. Look, you want to be careful here. We don't want to get too far ahead of this, but obviously this has all the appearances of an extraordinarily well coordinated and devastating terrorist attack here in the United States. Certainly, nothing like it since Oklahoma City, and nothing like it here in New York since the terrorist attack on the same World trade Center buildings in February of 1993.

At the Pentagon, a plane or a helicopter has crashed, apparently as part of whatever this operation has been.

And Jamie McIntyre is there. Jamie, what are you hearing?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Aaron, there is a lot of confusion here at the Pentagon. It appears that something hit the Pentagon on the outside of the fifth corridor on the Army corridor. Several Army officers I talked to reported hearing a big explosion, seeing shards of metal coming past their window. The Pentagon has been evacuated. The emergency services personnel were rushing to reports of several people trapped in the building. Most of the building's 24,000 people are outside of the building or in the center courtyard. As emergency teams try to sort out what has happened here.

There is, of course, thick black smoke billowing from the scene. There was a lot of confusion. The Defense Protective Service, which is the police force here in the Pentagon, has been urging people to get out of the building and move away from the scene, so they can handle the emergency situation. Again, it appears that an aircraft of some sort did hit the side of the Pentagon, the west front which faces sort of toward Arlington National Cemetery. It's a corridor where a lot of Army officers are located.

BROWN: Wow! Jamie, Jamie, I need you to stop for a second. There has just been a huge explosion we can see a billowing smoke rising. And I can't -- I tell you that I can't see that second tower. But there was a cascade of sparks, and fire, and now this -- it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion. This huge billowing smoke in the second tower.

This was the second of two towers hit. And -- you know I cannot see behind that smoke, obviously, as you can't either. The first tower in front has not changed. And we see this extraordinarily and frightening scene behind us of this second tower now just encased in smoke. What is behind it, I can not tell you. But just look at that. That is just as frightening a scene as you'll ever see.

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