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America Under Attack: Families Search for Loved-Ones, Authorities Search for Perpetrators, Nation Searches for Answers

Aired September 13, 2001 - 16:42   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 ANCHOR: Briefing by the FBI, the state police in Pennsylvania, the coroner of Somerset County there as well on the situation surrounding the crash of the plane in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

A quick note -- and we'll move along here -- the Coast Guard has said that it will reopen New York Harbor to limited commercial traffic today. One small sign I guess that normal returns, or at least slowly returns.

It is not nearly normal at the New York Armory. Families are gathered there, families of many of the people who are missing still around the Trade Center site.

Elizabeth Cohen is there and she joins us now -- Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, what you see behind me is a line of hundreds of people. All of them are missing relatives. And they're standing in line here to give information about their relatives to authorities. Authorities want to know everything about them. They also want dental records in case they need to identify bodies. They also want blood samples from close relatives in case they need to match DNA.

I've never seen anything like this here. Families are handing out flyers to the media, hoping, hoping for some news on their relatives.

Here, for example, Paul Ortiz is missing. He was on the 107th floor of the first tower, 10-month-old baby, Rebecca.

Darren Bowhan (ph) was on the 102nd floor.

Katie McGary Noack (ph) -- she was a newlywed. She had just shown a wedding video, gathered her friends together to show them a wedding video just the day before.

Here we have Joseph Mistruli (ph). It says: "God and angles up above send us home to ones we love."

And I have here with me Vinny Comage (ph), whose father, Rocco (ph), was in the World Trade Center. And can you tell me where he works and when your family last heard from him? VINNY COMAGE, SEARCHING FOR FATHER: My father was a window washer on Tower Two of the observation deck. He worked the rig outside. He last called us at 9:15 a.m. from the 105th floor where he said there was 200 to 300 people just on that floor waiting for them to be told to head down.

COHEN: And did he say that he was heading down or did he feel safe?

COMAGE: He said don't -- don't panic to my mom. He said, don't get upset, tell my kids, I'm going to be OK, not to worry about it. I'm in God's hands. We're all going to be OK. Don't worry.

COHEN: And tell me why today you're distributing these flyers.

COMAGE: This morning my mom woke me up early telling me that his name was on one of the survivor lists on an Internet Web page and that our best information -- we can the best information from the building behind us, the Armory.

COHEN: And what happened when you went into the Armory here?

COMAGE: I have a case number. I looked it up to see if my dad was in any of these hospitals and no luck. No luck yet.

COHEN: What's in your head now about what you think has happened?

COMAGE: I don't know. I know that my father, he wouldn't have just left them. He wouldn't have just left everyone behind. He would have looked for his workers, he would have helped people, people out. He did on the -- when they bombed it in '93, he helped a pregnant lady, a pregnant woman down the stairs.

COHEN: So he was in the building in '93 during the bombing?

COMAGE: Yes, he has. He's been working there since 1973.

COHEN: Was he scared to go back and work in that building after the '93 bombing?

COMAGE: My father went back the next day. They asked him, because they needed to inspect the outside of the building, and my father knew how to operate the rig. So he brought down all the workers to inspect the building.

COHEN: If you think your father might be out there somewhere, what would you want to say to him?

COMAGE: I want to tell him that we all miss him. His little nephew Luke misses him, and that we're strong. We've got hope.

COHEN: Thank you.

COMAGE: Thank you. COHEN: Aaron, I've been talking to these families for two days now and all of these stories are very much like this. People are hoping that their relatives are out there somewhere. And they're begging us to talk about them, to show their pictures, hoping that if someone has seen them, that they might be able to identify them and give some information -- Aaron.

BROWN: They were window washers and lawyers and investment bankers and maintenance workers. And they shared very little in their lives, but on Tuesday morning they shared one of the great American tragedies. And now the families look for them and pray for them, and it utterly breaks your heart -- Judy.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Aaron, it's very hard to talk after listening to the gentleman Elizabeth was just talking with. It does break your heart.

Airplane travel in this country, one of the things we've been very much keeping an eye on. Most of the airlines have resumed flights, but they are running only a limited schedule. They are concentrating first on those flights that were suspended on Tuesday when all of this mayhem first happened. But even with the new activity, at some of the airports like what you're seeing here in Atlanta, there are others that still remain closed at this hour.

CNN's Patty Davis has been following the air travel story over the last few days. Patty, bring us up to date on how much travel is now being permitted and what is going on?

Patty?

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, air travel slowly ramping up at the nation's airports. The airline industry says that in fact as of late this afternoon there's about 1,200 flights in the air. The FAA says that most of those, though, were diverted flights, originally diverted because of the terrorist act as well as airlines repositioning their flights to get them to the airports where they need to be.

The FAA says that there have been no new flights, but airlines are filing their flight plans for new flights at this time.

Now, currently, 67 percent of the airports have met the FAA stringent new security standards to reopen. Now, those include, the ones that are open now, Dulles Airport among them, Atlanta, Los Angeles, the New York airports, Dallas-Forth Worth. Now notably missing, notably still close, Washington Reagan Airport. That is the airport that's about a quarter -- a mile and a quarter away from where that one plane crashed into the Pentagon.

Now, overseas carriers not allowed to fly, and you're seeing pictures there right now at Washington's Reagan National Airport this morning. They put three massive snow blowers in front of the air traffic control tower. They say that they wanted to prevent terrorist acts there. Those have since been replaced by huge concrete barriers. Now, foreign carriers, as I was saying, overseas carriers are not allowed right now by the FAA into the United States. The FAA in fact says it will turn back any airplanes that are overseas carriers that are coming into the U.S. And one FAA spokesperson said that in fact there has been anecdotal evidence that that has happened -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: ... security measures that the airlines are now having to institute -- how, how difficult is it, No. 1? And how long is it going to take?

DAVIS: Well, there certainly are much more stringent security standards in place. Those include no knives that you can bring in. You also have to -- you cannot check in at curbside. You can't check in off of the airport, any off-airport site. Vehicles near the terminal are monitored very carefully.

You know, the airlines are telling passengers this is going to be very slow-going. One Alaska Airlines official, in fact, said, quote: "If anyone thinks they'll be able to show up 20 minutes before their flight and make it onboard, they will be left at the gate." Some airlines saying come as much as two hours ahead of time.

Now, one of those security measures being talked about today was by Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. He talked about exploring possibly using the military's elite counterterrorism unit to help patrol the nation's skies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORMAN MINETA, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We are asking for expeditious treatment and action by the Department of Defense to give us some Delta Force folks. They are already trained on high-risk situations, and it wouldn't take that much more training to put the Delta Forces on the airplanes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: The Pentagon says that in fact there have been discussions on that, but it's more in the range of training the U.S. air marshals with Delta Force-type training -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Patty, which just brings to mind many more people involved in air travel, air security than we've ever seen before in this country -- Aaron.

BROWN: Judy, thank you. We are, have just gotten a report -- and I want to frame this for you very carefully. That we have been watching the American Express building, and we are getting a report that there is some collapsing.

I don't want to suggest to you here and I don't want you to hear it this way that this large skyscraper has collapsed, but we are getting reports that there is some collapsing. What precisely that means we are looking for clarification now. I don't know how much more serious the situation is down there, but the American Express building is one of two buildings in the area of the site that are extremely unstable. Many of these buildings are unstable, but these two, One Liberty Plaza -- I'm going to just turn around here while I talk to you for a second just to see what's going on behind me. That the American Express building is getting some crumbling or some collapsing, and we'll -- we'll keep an eye on that.

The building has been a triage center. It's been a morgue as well. Several hours ago, the situation started to deteriorate, and the firefighters in the area, the people who were working in the triage unit and the morgue were told to get out and they did. Rescue teams were moved away from the building.

It is just another example again of how unstable the situation is there. And we will try, we will endeavor to figure out exactly what some collapsing means, how much more serious this situation is at the American Express building, about 30 blocks away from us.

We have been able to get closer today to the scene and closer also today to the firefighters and the rescue workers who are trying so desperately to find those nearly 5,000 people who remain missing. And we have talked to them, and we have some of what they had to say to us to play for you now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. JOHN RHATIGAN, NEW YORK FIRE DEPARTMENT: What we're trying to do now is just -- and probably deputy chiefs will be able to talk you a bit more, give you just an overview -- but we're trying to search any kind of surface victims and any kind of voids. There's still a lot of voids underneath the Trade Center.

I had just been underneath and we went down to the PATH train, which is like two levels below what you see right up here. And we got through the PATH trains and we investigated some of the areas down there, and then we were called up, because they were going to do some debris removal up top.

QUESTION: So when you're talking about the voids underneath, you're literally -- what? -- two stories below ground on top of the -- covered by debris?

RHATIGAN: Up above, yes. Correct.

QUESTION: Can you describe what that must be like?

RHATIGAN: It was, you know, just a lot of emptiness. That's about it. You know, darkness, emptiness. A couple of fires burning down, down below. But actually they're insignificant right now. The main -- main purpose of the mission right now is to get the surface victims or any people trapped in any voids. And that's what we're trying to do.

We -- our firehouse, we're trying to get that in working condition. You know, we had portable generators working, we had the lights back on again. So this way guys could come in, grab some bottles of water, get something to drink and keep everybody going. So everybody's doing a great job. QUESTION: What happened to your firehouse?

RHATIGAN: We had all the windows blown out. We have actually from our house we have five guys missing. So everyone feels like if they can do a little (UNINTELLIGIBLE) part just to try to get to their guys, that it's an accomplishment today: Even just getting down there and not finding anything, we're still -- at least we felt like we were trying to do something.

QUESTION: Are you the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) company?

RHATIGAN: Our company was the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) company. I was off.

QUESTION: But your company was the first one here?

RHATIGAN: Correct.

QUESTION: You must have lost a lot of lives.

RHATIGAN: We lost -- from our company alone, we lost five. But they were guys that we run in with all the time down here just missing companies: can't find them, don't know where they are. And that's why everybody is here today.

QUESTION: Tell me, the situation as far as the debris and the removal goes and the danger involved, what thoughts go through your mind when you're working on it?

RHATIGAN: It's always dangerous. All the guys up here today, they're all doing dangerous things. It's just part of the job. We understand that. And each one of us know that it could have been us that day.

You know, I just happened to be off. Not my change of tours. I was off. It seemed to be that it was my lucky day.

QUESTION: Can you explain to us the feeling that you get when you know that as time goes past us that the chance of...

RHATIGAN: Well, time is of the essence. The quicker we can get to the people, the better chance of survival. The quicker we get to the voids, any type of voids that we might have -- and there are plenty of voids underneath the building. So there's still -- there's still hope. That's why everybody is here digging through the rubble right now.

QUESTION: What about the situation as far as all these buildings around -- around the area? Their structural integrity is damaged.

(CROSSTALK)

RHATIGAN: Well, the building department would be able to tell you a little bit more about that. But you know...

QUESTION: But what about you as far as working in this environment?

RHATIGAN: It's -- it's, you know, it's dangerous. But that's, you know -- this is the career we've chosen and this is what we do. And that's why everybody here today -- everybody here today either knows somebody -- everybody here knows somebody that's missing. And that's why we're all here.

QUESTION: I hate to ask this and forgive me for asking this, but does it get to a point days down the line, weeks down the line when you just know that there's no more hope?

RHATIGAN: There's always -- there always seems to be hope. I don't know, you know, how long it's been some of the other collapses that we've had around the country. But there is -- there is opportunity still even as the week goes by that we're still -- there's a chance to get...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

RHATIGAN: No. Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you very much.

RHATIGAN: Thank you...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Lieutenant John Rhatigan down on, at ground zero. Hope is, is what we use to get through the worst of times. And this certainly qualifies. And it's going to get a little worse tonight. Rain, heavy rain, high winds expected to move into the area. It will simply make the work harder, more dangerous, and frankly more miserable for the people down there. And there is plenty of misery there already -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Aaron, Bruce Morton is one of our reporters here in Washington who's covered just about every story I can think of in this capital city for at least the last 30 years, and Bruce has done some thinking about the impact of these attack on the American government and the American people.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): World War II brought Americans together. Most believed that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were evil and aggressive. Americans demanded victory. The phrase of the day was "unconditional surrender."

Korea and Vietnam, in contrast, divided the country. Vietnam in particular left Americans suspicious, leery of wars, and in the conflicts since, the motto seems to have been, "Bomb all you want, but we can't stand American casualties."

That seems different now.

No yellow ribbons, bring the hostages home, please. Flags this time, half-staff, but proud.

People are lining up to give blood. The Red Cross 800 number logged 700,000 calls in the first six hours after an appeal went out.

Some military recruitment officers see an increased interest. And the country seems prepared to send its young people into harm's way.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think the United States is in a long, twilight struggle against these forces of evil that have chosen to destroy us because we are good, and I believe that may take a lot of time, a lot of American treasure, and perhaps some American blood.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Make no mistake about it: My resolve is steady and strong about winning this war that has been declared on America.

MORTON: A goal of victory, not compromise. And later? Wars change countries. World War II made the United States a world power, committed to an international role, isolationism left behind. Vietnam left the United States more cynical. Americans had learned their government could lie to them. This time? Unity, so far. Agreement on a goal, so far. Will that change if the struggle is long? We cannot know. The fight is just beginning. Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.

WOODRUFF: And the fight is just beginning. Coverage of the aftermath of the terrible tragedies is continuing. We will back in a minute with more coverage. Joining us CNN's Joie Chen and Bill Hemmer. I will be back as well. Aaron.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We are yet again in the middle of another extraordinary day. The things we have seen thus far, Joie eclipsing what we have seen yesterday. It continues to be a story that we are on top of. In the interest of our employees and colleagues, we have a shift change. I'm Bill Hemmer in Atlanta.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Joie Chen. We do have to note not only the very hard work of our friends and colleagues in New York and Washington, but the great interest all across the nation as people tune in to CNN to find out the very latest. We will hear from Judy Woodruff in a just a few moments.

First let's get a quick look at where we are at this hour. There is late word from New York, we are now being told, very disturbing to us. We can't quite put our finger on why this has happened yet.

We are being told that the reported rescue of five emergency workers, which had been reported early in the day here on CNN, did not happen. It did not take place. Officials say they don't yet know how the story began to circulate. CNN is still looking into this and we are trying to find out more about this.

Back at ground zero, the effort to save lives is indeed threatening lives. At least one major skyscraper is feared to be wavering now. Strong storms, possibly with heavy winds, are on the way into the northeast. More than 4700 people are reported as missing and believed to be in the rubble.

In Washington now, the government puts the number of dead at the Pentagon at about 190. That includes the victims from American Airlines Flight 77, which is of course the flight that crashed into the fortress on Tuesday.

We get this very late word. A rescue worker tells CNN of pings being heard from the rubble, pings that could lead to the airplane's voice and data recorders, or so-called black boxes.

HEMMER: Said to be so critical in any investigation of any airline that goes down. We are being told right now United Airlines Flight 93 that went down in Somerset County, Western Pennsylvania -- apparently officials there indicating that the black boxes have been picked up. Kelli Arena live in Washington. Kelli, what do we know?

KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bill, Justice officials say that yes, they have confirmed that they did find that black box. All along officials have been indicating that that would probably be the first black box to be uncovered. And I'm sorry, flight data recorder. They are so-called black boxes, but the correct term is a flight data recorder -- that that would be found.

That was the cleanest crime scene to deal with. It was the only plane that didn't crash into a building. It is a crime scene that investigators have easier access to. That was the flight, if you remember, that was traveling from Newark to San Francisco. It carried a passenger load of 38 and a crew of 8. It is also the flight that heard various stories from. Yesterday CNN did receive a partial copy of a transcript -- air traffic control transcript from the flight, where we know that one of the hijackers told passengers that he had a bomb onboard.

We also know that one of the passengers on that flight called home and said that the male passengers on that plane had voted together to decide to try to overtake the terrorists. So we do have some -- some real-life drama that we know about that occurred, not only on the cockpit but among the passengers on the flight. And again, that black box has been found. This could be very helpful to investigators. They were hoping that they could find these flight data recorders intact. It would help with the investigation.

You never know what you will hear that may lead -- may lead them to -- investigators to finding more information about anything that could help them pull the threads of this investigation together in terms of identifying more about these terrorists, a possible cell -- terrorist cells operating within the United States. But a very good piece of news for investigators, Bill?

HEMMER: Kelli, let me stop you here, because we are talking about the flight data recorder.

ARENA: That's right.

HEMMER: What about the cockpit voice recorder? ARENA: Well, the cockpit voice recorder, which is what air traffic control had. We do have a partial transcript of that that we released yesterday. The microphone, though, was keyed on and off, so it's not a continuous transcription. It was something where -- that sounded like there was a scuffle between the pilot and the terrorists at the time, trying to turn it on and off. And so this may yield more information, if it is indeed intact.

HEMMER: All right. Kelli Arena, come back and check back in as soon as we get more information. And again, United Airlines Flight 93. Again the flight data recorder has been recovered, which would be so critical to finding out altitude and other situations possibly on board that plane before it hit the ground there in Western Pennsylvania. More now with Joie -- Joie.

CHEN: Meantime in all of this, the Attorney General John Ashcroft is saying that the FBI is working on literally thousands and thousands of leads in these cases. Here is some what we have been able to learn so far.

Authorities say that they believe 50 people been involved in the attack, and also say that Arab individuals had recently inquired about aircraft availability at Eastern Air Charter in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Law enforcement officers say that these individuals "may have been the hijackers, or at least part of the planning team." Federal sources, meantime, have identified two men: Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi as the suspected pilots of one or two of the planes after they were hijacked. Both men had trained on a flight simulator in south Florida.

Meantime, police in Hamburg, Germany, brought in a woman for questioning in connection with the attacks. German authorities have also detained a male airport worker. Germany's top prosecutor said that three of the suspected hijackers were of Arab decent and are believed to have lived in Hamburg.

Meantime, the commercial jetliners are back in the air again, all across the United States. For the first time in the nation's history, U.S. airport -- airspace has been closed to all non-military planes since after Tuesday's terror attacks. The only airports open right now, though, are those meeting the tough new security requirements.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta giving the green light this morning, saying that airports have to be opened by the case-by- case basis. Many of today's flights were those diverted to Canada on Tuesday after attacks on New York and Washington. Travelers arriving at airports are being met by scores of federal marshals, police and K- 9 units, which are all part of these new security measures.

HEMMER: Some of the other things that we are picking up on right now. Joie, the New York Stock Exchange will not open tomorrow on Friday as planned, as had been planned earlier, but rather than Monday. That is the target day. They will do some testing over the weekend on Saturday. But trading right now set to resume the usual time. But it will be far from usual. 9:30 a.m. eastern time Monday morning.

Also, the National Football League has made a decision it will cancel week two of the NFL season. All games are off for this weekend. Games are set to resume on Sunday, the 23rd of September.

Also, Congress has passed a resolution today urging the country to fly the Stars and Stripes for the next 30 days. If you spent much time outdoors, you can not help but to notice a lot of folks doing that already.

Getting several calls here that various outlets across the country giving away flags at times, and several major retailers have run out of those flags at individual outlets. One report said 80,000 have been sold in New York City alone.

Also another note. A sign in the skies. Combat aircraft patrolling above some major U.S. cities, including Washington. We saw this over the Pentagon and other buildings there today.

In words and gestures today, U.S. officials are speaking unmistakably of war.

CHEN: Now, back on a story that earlier in the days had raised many of our hopes and hearts. The news we had heard is that five firefighters, who had been lost since Tuesday, had been located in an SUV buried beneath the rubble of what remained of one of the World Trade Center towers. Now we are told that story was not true. CNN's Martin Savidge rejoins us now from New York with the latest on the story. Marty, I don't understand. How can this story be so far off course?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joie, this is a heartbreaking development here that we have just learned within the last half hour. This confirmation that no firefighters were found coming to us from the fire department itself, even though the fact that rescuers who claimed that they saw the rescue take place, even though that the New York City police department confirmed that in fact they had been found, even though Bellevue hospital had said that, yes, they were expecting them.

It turns out that miracle that everyone was so joyous about did not occur. Authorities said the way that the confusion came about on the site was the fact that there are so many rescue workers and so many firefighters working in the area, trying to find survivors that several of them fell down a steep pile of debris and actually fell underground. They were rescued. When they were rescued, apparently by all of the other rescuers that were out there, it was misinterpreted as this dramatic saving of five firefighters.

It is an absolutely heart-aching development that it is not the case. Authorities simply say there was no miracle. And there is other disturbing news coming to light now. Authorities are telling us that there have been several arrests made of members of the media -- the local media -- apparently posing as firefighters or as federal officers in their attempt to try to get closer to the scene for the purpose of photography. They have been taken into custody. And now other concerns. Buildings falling down. Two specific buildings. One is the One Liberty Plaza building, in which there is grave concern about the stability of that structure. And then there is the world finance center, also thought to be in danger of possible collapse. Not that it's imminent. Not that it's coming down right this second, only that this is structural problems. It has been weakened from the foundation.

In both cases, they say, it was the collapse of the World Trade Center towers that undermined the foundations of these buildings. They may look sound from the outside. That may even in some cases be new. But that does not mean that they are not a legitimate threat to those that are trying to work down below with this tremendous danger that is overhead. They are taking every precaution they can. They continue to monitor these buildings. But they know that the search for survivors is job number one, it is precedent, and the people here believe it is worth risking their own lives to try to find them.

And then there is the problem of weather. They have enjoyed good weather now for the past two days. It looks excellent now. We are told to expect a dramatic turn sometime after midnight. One of the things that they have anxiously been working on here is trying to get all of the massive amounts of equipment and supplies under some sort of cover. Heavy rains are expected, and perhaps even high winds. None of that is good news for the rescuers on a day that is ending with a very bitter note. Joie?

CHEN: Marty, talk to me about this. You said that there have been some reports of people trying to sneak into areas that they clearly did not belong in. And yet they have to close really off all of Lower Manhattan, in effect, to make sure that the scene is safe. I mean, that's a big area around the World Trade Center. How are they able to do that when so many of the security resources have to be devoted to the rescue effort directly?

SAVIDGE: Well, they have brought in officers and law enforcement personnel from all over the surrounding area, the surrounding region, to be exact. And you have state police officers, you have federal police officers, you have local police officers, county police officers, all coming in from different jurisdictions, different communities. All coming in, though, with the purpose of trying to secure this area.

Keep in mind it is not just a matter of trying to keep the public out. It is not just a matter of trying to keep the media in check. This behind us here -- as devastating as it is, as huge as the destructed area that is covered -- is a crime scene, first and the foremost. And everything that is out there is considered a piece of evidence -- perhaps a vital piece of evidence -- no matter how small.

So trying to preserve that for the purpose of the investigation and ultimately finding out who is to be blamed and who is to come to justice is vital. And it's the reason that the media is allowed to get close, taken up usually in groups escorted by officers, but we are not given free rein in this area, and you can understand why. CHEN: Certainly can understand that. CNN's Martin Savidge covering the latest developments from the scene of the search underway in Lower Manhattan. Note to our viewers: in just a few moments we are going to hear from CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

She is at one of the hospitals, which has become something of a center for the many, many thousands of people who are looking for lost loved ones, friends, family as well. We will hear from Elizabeth in a few moments. And first we want to continue with more on the investigation itself. And here is Bill.

HEMMER: The human story that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we saw so clearly about 30 minutes ago, back in there in a moment. Orelon Sidney from our weather department, just about 45 minutes ago came down to tell us that the weather does appear to be as severe as some thought before. They're thinking rain after midnight eastern time tonight but then stopping by noon eastern tomorrow, just about a 12-hour period.

After that, Orelon thinks that skies will clear and that should be indeed good news. You mentioned the investigation, though, Joie. The Attorney General John Ashcroft said that they are pursuing right now thousands and thousands of leads, and many of those leads going up and down the east coast of the United States.

And Mike Boettcher trying to get a handle on things at this point and joins us now. Mike, what are finding out?

MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been very busy today, Bill. As you said, Ashcroft reported that there are 18 terrorists -- or were 18 terrorists -- aboard those four hijacked planes. But four of those men -- pardon me, two of those men -- are the object of an intensive international search that stretches the atlantic from Florida to Hamburg, Germany. Those men are Mohammed Atta, who we will show you in a photograph here, and his friend, Marwan Alshehhi.

Both held United Emirate passports, but it's not clear if they are the citizens of that country. We know, for example, that Atta had an Egyptian driver's license. In Hamburg, Germany, German federal police launched an extensive search of an apartment shared by Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi in February of this year. During an the additional search of another apartment that may have been connected with the two men, a woman was taken away for the questioning. During the night, a total of eight apartments were searched by German police.

Now back across the Atlantic in Pompano Beach, Florida, FBI agents have converged -- or did converge -- on a small rental car company called Warwick's. Records show that Atta rented an automobile at that location between August 15th and August 29th. And during that time, he put a remarkable 3,000 miles on that car, according to the contracts.

The FBI also came here: a company called Flight Sim in Opa-Locka Florida. The owner said three men, Atta among them, paid cash for six hours of flight instruction on a Boeing 727 simulator. Their instructor Henry George said, however, they were not too interested in takeoffs and landings. HENRY GEORGE, FLIGHT SIMULATION INSTRUCTOR, FLIGHT SIM: What they received was a familiarization flight, more than any other kind of formal instruction that -- not -- I don't have any records of exactly what we did, but what my memory -- what I can recollect from my memory is that we mostly did turns. It -- and a couple of approaches. I don't think we did any more than that type stuff. Like I said, it was not a structure -- it wasn't our typical or normal lesson plan.

CNN correspondent John Zarrella conducted the interview with Mr. George. You will see more of that interview later today. Agents knocked on hundreds of doors today, and other agents from other countries did the same in coordination, trying to find these terrorists. But before it's all over, they're going to be knocking on tens of thousands of doors -- Joie.

CHEN: CNN's Mike Boettcher for us, following the investigation. Other developments in the investigation today. We told you just a short time ago that the flight data recorder, one of those so-called black boxes from the Pennsylvania crash site, has now been located. CNN's David Mattingly is on the scene in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where the investigation is there under way. David, what do you know?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joie, as you said just a short time ago, the FBI finally revealing they have recovered the flight data recorder, the first of two critical pieces of evidence in this investigation. The other being the cockpit voice recorder. Now that device is being taken from here. It was found in the impact crater. It's being taken here from Washington, D.C. for further examination.

Now this news comes just hours after learning today that there are two other areas where debris has been found, some as far away as 8 miles in the town of New Baltimore, and another site, a couple of miles away from here in a town called Indian Lake. Small pieces of material scattered eight miles away. But investigators say they have determined that it's completely consistent with the kind of weather patterns and the type of impact that we have here. Again, giving you some idea of just how powerful the impact was when this jet crashed here. Back to you in Atlanta.

CHEN: CNN's David Mattingly for us out at Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Now we continue particularly looking into the search- and-rescue efforts. Here is Bill.

HEMMER: Joie, you look at some of these numbers coming out of New York City today and they are just astounding and staggering, the numbers that we are getting. 6,000 tons of debris removed so far. That's just the beginning and basically the tip of the iceberg that we are seeing in southern Manhattan. We are also starting to see the struggle, the human struggle in so many ways played out in Manhattan. Elizabeth Cohen on the streets there outside the armory where you are hearing the worst of it, are you not, Elizabeth?

COHEN: Oh, definitely hearing the worst of it, Bill. There are hundreds of families standing in line behind me, trying to get word from the authorities about where their loved ones are. The authorities are asking them for any kind of identifying information. They're asking them for dental records. They're asking them for blood samples from close relatives so the DNA can be matched. And people are standing in line around the corner and have been here, hundreds of them, all day.

I have two people with me right here. Naomi Konovich is looking for her brother-in-law Andrew Zucker. Your brother-in-law called your sister Tuesday morning.

NAOMI KONOVICH, RELATIVE OF MISSING MAN: Andrew called Erika right after the first plane crashed and he said, I'm okay, I will call you back, and hung up the phone. And we haven't heard from him. The only thing we've heard were reports that he had evacuated his office, told everyone to leave. The last thing we heard was from his secretary, who said that he was on the 70-something floor on his way down the stair. But he's a very good soul, and we're just afraid that he might have gone back to try to help more people once they announced the building was secure.

COHEN: We did a story with you yesterday. You have been to hospital after hospital searching.

KONOVICH: Yeah. I have been -- yesterday I was at NYU and Bellevue and down by St. Vincent's, passing out pictures, talking to people, finding out lists, calling hospitals. My sister and my parents and friends are calling hospitals and personally going to hospitals. I came down this morning and I walked to -- I took the subway to 14th and walked to St. Vincent's. I checked their list.

I walked all across World Trade Center and up West Street, giving out flyers to people going down to the World Trade Center to ground zero. Today I came up to the Armory and I filed a report with them. I handed in his dental records, his fingerprints, all of the information they wanted. Hair follicles, gave them pictures. And we're just hoping that someone heard or saw something or can give some confirmation of where he is, some real, valid confirmation that has been verified.

COHEN: You had some problems with some Internet site where one site said he was okay.

KONOVICH: There are these newyork.coms, survivors, there's newyorkcity.com. They have lots of web sites that have people on that are saying that they are okay. I can go on and put anyone's name on that I want and it's false. These records are not verified. They're giving out a phone number for the greater New York hospital association that's putting up a verified web site of the people that they know the status of where they are. And that's the only thing that I think that is verified.

COHEN: Okay, thank you very much, Naomi.

KONOVICH: Thank you very much.

COHEN: I'm also here with First Lieutenant Michael Rodriguez, who is looking for his sister, Lisa King. What is the last that your family has heard from her?

FIRST LIEUTENANT MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ, BROTHER OF MISSING WOMAN: On the day of the attack, Lisa had called her husband Jim and, you know, said that she was all right. And I guess, she called back or she was on the same phone call, you know, she was hysterically crying and she said that they are finally getting us out here. And I guess that she started on her way, but you know, again, we don't know if she took the stairs down, the elevator. We don't know. She was in tower two on the 89th floor.

And again, -- the, you know, when I get over there, I couldn't do anything. The building just started collapsing so I had to run away. And you know, yesterday, we got a glint of hope that may be someone found her, but what it was is it was a piece of I.D., and we got a phone call about four times removed from the actual person who called. And said that they found an I.D. that had her name and address on it.

But the person that they pulled out was an unconscious female. So other than that, we don't really know. Just that the person there was and they were unconscious. It could be her, it could not be her. We don't really know and we are trying to verify that. You know, and went down all over the place yesterday to ground zero to triage centers, to the morgue center. Nobody's really had any luck in keeping a good list going of who is who and where they went. And there is a quite good possibility that she went to new jersey, but we don't know. You know, we don't know if she is conscious, we don't even if that was her. We are just trying.

COHEN: Lieutenant, thank you.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, I appreciate it.

COHEN: In addition to looking for his own sister, Lieutenant Rodriguez and his platoon are helping with some of the efforts here. He was in the Armory today helping other families look for their lost loved ones. And there is just story after story, thousands of stories like this here at the Armory here in Manhattan.

HEMMER: They just keep on coming, unfortunately. Elizabeth Cohen there at the Armory. While we have you here, a quick clarification I want to make. You were talking with David Mattingly in Western Pennsylvania. We were told in the past hour, many people thought that that there might have been military action.

CHEN: Right.

HEMMER: U.S. military action taken against that United Airlines flight. But the FBI investigator on the scene says that was not the case.

CHEN: He jumped in and said so at the beginning of the press conference.

HEMMER: They were misspoken or misquoted, whatever the case may be. And we wanted to clarify that. CHEN: We have talked about the investigation. We have talked about the very human concern for loved ones who are lost right now. And we want to move on to what is likely to become the -- the response of the United States.

HEMMER: Back to Judy Woodruff in Washington. Judy?

WOODRUFF: That's right, Bill. Here in Washington, much of the focus at the Pentagon right now, on the outside, is the recovery efforts. They say they've all but given up hope for any survivors there, but the work very much proceeding to pull remains that they can find, and there's been no slowdown in that effort.

But on the inside of that building, which is, of course, the military and defense center for the United States, some tough talk about what are the options now given this terrible attack on the United States. CNN's Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre. Jamie, we are hearing the kind of language out of the Pentagon we haven't heard before.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, very strong words indicating that there will be military action taken against the foe, which right now is simply called terrorism. They haven't really put a name to it, even though Secretary of State Colin Powell today did say today Osama Bin Laden the prime suspect in this event.

Some of that tough talk coming from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who today said that the U.S. military response -- the U.S. response would be a sustained military campaign, even though he wouldn't say what U.S. strikes might target or discuss any specific military options.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I think one thing is clear is that you don't do it with just a single military strike, no matter how dramatic. You don't do it with just military forces alone. You do it with the full resources of the U.S. government. It will be a campaign, not a single action. And we're going to keep after these people and the people who support them until this stops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCINTYRE: Wolfowitz also praised the strong bipartisan support the administration has gotten today, this afternoon. A Congressional delegation made up of some of the top leaders both from both sides of both houses of Congress and both parties in Congress through some of the wreckage the at Pentagon. Wolfowitz said that the support for the $20 billion in additional funding that President Bush has asked for to fight terrorism is very welcome.

He said some of that money, although he didn't say how much, would go to increase the readiness and the ability of the U.S. military forces. Some might go, he said, to pay for some of the combat air patrols that have been over major U.S. cities over the last couple of days. Judy?

WOODRUFF: Jamie, any discussion there at the Pentagon about the fact as they talk publicly, obviously, they are not telling us the details of what they are thinking. But as they talk publicly about strikingly back at those responsible for what happened and those who might be planning something else against the United States, this -- every day that goes by, gives these people, whoever they are -- whether it's Osama Bin Laden and his network, or others -- it gives them time to scatter and to hide, in effect.

MCINTYRE: Well, it's going to be -- and everybody in the administration has made this point, that whatever they do is going to have to be a long sustained campaign. It's not going to be a quick strike or a quick fix. The instinct, the impulse is to want to react immediately and take a proactive stance against terrorism.

But in these cases prudence often dictates a more measured response, a time to accumulate intelligence and be able to make a response that takes into account not just the first strike, but what comes in the days after that. What's the follow-up? What will the fallout be? So you need to have a really carefully-thought out and measured campaign if you are to take -- embark on military action. This is really a case, Pentagon officials say, why you -- where you don't want to shoot from the hip.

WOODRUFF: Jamie, something that the president not necessarily is going to need Congressional support, is that right?

MCINTYRE: I think that first of all, the president has an enormous Congressional support for whatever military action he decides to take. It's not something that you would need to have a vote in Congress for. In all likelihood, if military action comes, it's something that we will find out after it's taken place.

WOODRUFF: All right. Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon. We want to show you some pictures now of one of the first aircraft traveling here out of the Washington area. This is Dulles airport. This is the site of one of those fateful flights that the airport -- that the flight that ended up going into the Pentagon left from on Tuesday morning. This, we are told, is an airline -- and I can't read the name of it. It looks like ANA on the tail. This is one of the very first airplanes to be permitted to take off again from this airport in the Virginia suburbs outside of Washington D.C.

Restrictions just being lifted by the Federal Aviation Administration. But -- but restrictions on travel being imposed in a way that people are going to be very, very -- it's just going to be much more difficult to travel, many more security measures in place. Joining us now our Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno, who has been, Frank, talking with a number of people here in Washington about what's it going to take for the United States to move ahead with some retaliation in the way of cooperation with our allies overseas.

Frank?

FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, talking throughout the day to a number of officials, current administration officials, those who assembled the last grand international coalition in first Bush administration and political leaders as well.

And let's get some perspective here. What there is remarkable unanimity on is that this in fact going to be a prolonged effort. Don't think just in terms of military action, though that almost certainly is in the offing as well. But also in terms of concerted and sustained efforts to cut off the money supply, transit capabilities, command and control centers, efforts to coordinate and communicate not just by the terrorist groups or groups that are associated with these dastardly attacks over the past several days, but in point of fact as part of a broader campaign, a war, if you will, on terrorism.

That's what this administration wants to do. And that's what officials say in this administration, and as I say in previous administrations say is needed. Now that's going to involve several things. Let me give you some examples. It's going to require strict coordination with the current batch of allies to include Europe and the friendly states in the Gulf and Russia.

Russia as, I'm told, is giving some what's called terrific signals back to the U.S. An example, on Tuesday, the Russians had planned military exercises in the Pacific, Judy. The United States said to the Russians that would send an unfortunate and perhaps mixed signal at this particular time.

The Russians declined to conduct those investigations. They -- they maneuvers. They canceled the exercises and said that future exercises they would coordinate with the United States.

Elsewhere in Switzerland and other places, officials say secret bank accounts and that kind of things are going to have to be tightened up so that the money supply is cut off. Officials say to look for stronger pressure brought to bear on the Saudis, who may have information for sure, and perhaps still financing for some of the groups that may be associated with this.

So a broad sweep, again, both at home and overseas, an effort that we're told is going on for a very, very long time.

WOODRUFF: All right, Frank, we want you to stay with us. And joining us here in the Washington studio, General Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser under former President George H.W. Bush.

General Scowcroft, you've been listening to Frank talk about how important it is that allies, our allies, come onboard, that this be a coalition. Why is that so important?

BRENT SCOWCROFT, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, it's very important because terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon in the sense that the terrorist networks are all through the Middle East, up to Kashmir, down through Africa. They're everywhere and they communicate everywhere.

So it's important that we have the cooperation of our friends and allies in finding out what they're doing, where they're going. And especially this time in retaliation, what we want is to demonstrate that terrorism is unacceptable, that this is not a case of freedom fighters. This is a case of pure unadulterated terrorism in all countries.

WOODRUFF: Brent Scowcroft, as we talk with you, we're showing pictures of this first -- one of the very first flights we're told to leave Dulles Airport near Washington. We're told it is on its way to Tokyo. This, I think, symbolic of the fact that the country is just beginning to get back to normal after the horrific events of Tuesday morning.

Having said that though, General Scowcroft, how can the United States be sure when it decides to strike, that it's striking the right people?

SCOWCROFT: This is one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with terrorism. How do you know you're striking the right people? And how can you demonstrate that a country who may be harboring them, is in fact harboring them, supporting them and so on? That's a very difficult thing to do.

WOODRUFF: I'm asking that question and I want Frank to come in after your answer here, too. But because you do hear more and more people now saying when you bring up the question of innocent civilians, the response is well, they didn't care about innocent civilians in our country. Why should that be a factor when the United States strikes back? How do you answer that?

SCOWCROFT: Well, unfortunately, we're not judged by the same standards that the terrorists are. And we're judged by some standards of humanity. And some innocent people may be killed in a retaliation.

But if we go after the wrong things, the wrong targets, if you remember after the embassy bombings in Africa, President Clinton retaliated. He retaliated in Khartoum against a pharmaceutical plant and in Afghanistan against Osama Bin Laden's camp. The camp was empty. The pharmaceutical factory was just that. And the president looked like he was uninformed. It was -- it looked weak rather than strong.

WOODRUFF: And as we pointed out, one of the things United States is doing by talking about this every day, it seems to me, is sending signals loud and clear to whoever it is we believe is responsible, whether it's Osama Bin Laden or someone else, that we're planning this, giving them time to get ready.

SCOWCROFT: That's right.

WOODRUFF: General Brent Scowcroft joining us. We want to thank you. And the now back to Atlanta and Bill Hemmer.

Bill?

HEMMER: Judy, thank you. We just watched that plane, Air Nippon, take off from Dulles headed back to Toyko, Japan as Judy pointed out. And we have seen increased traffic at various U.S. airport throughout the day today, starting around noon Eastern time. And Patty Davis has been tracking that and more.

Patty, what you are hearing at the various airports across the country?

DAVIS: Well, there is tight security at most all of nation's airports across the country as they ramp up. The FAA saying that about 70 percent of those airports are now certified that they do meet the FAA's new increased security standards.

Now those airports include Dulles Airport, as well as Atlanta, Los Angeles, the New York airports, Dallas/Fort Worth. They are all open. Notably missing from that, however, Washington's Reagan National Airport.

Earlier today, there were snow plows put in place at major, massive sized snow plows put in place at -- by the air-traffic control tower to thwart any possible terrorist attack there. Those have now been replaced, we have been told, by concrete barriers.

Now the FAA says that these flights that are in the air, the industry is saying about 1200 so far today, are not new flights, mostly diverted flights from Tuesday as well as aircraft being repositioned. The industry trying to reassure passengers who are canceling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My advice is that it is safe to fly. I will be flying. I know that many of our CEOs of the airlines will be flying, as will others. And I would not fly if it were not safe. I would not ask anyone to fly if it were not safe. And that is why we were taking such significant measures to get people back in the air.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: Now getting those passengers to come back to air travel, obviously critical to the industry, a big economic issue for them. They're stressing those security measures that the FAA has put into place, no curbside check-in, no offsite check-in, no knives to be carried into the airport. Only passengers with tickets allowed to go to the gate. FAA saying, as I said, that about 70 percent now of the airports are certified to reopen.

Still, general aviation not allowed to fly those small planes. Those corporate jets not allowed to fly. FAA saying the system can't possibly handle all of those flights, including commercial and general aviation at this same time.

Overseas carriers also not allowed to come into the United States. The FAA is saying that overseas carriers will, in fact, be turned back. And I've just been told that there is currently a ground stop in the New York area.

HEMMER: A ground stop in New York? Is that right, Patty, at the end there?

DAVIS: That's right.

HEMMER: Which would entail what?

DAVIS: Apparently -- well, what that means if there is a ground stop in the New York area, meaning that there are no flights allowed to take off in the New York area. And I'm also being told that there's some FBI activity at those airports as well. So we're waiting to get more information on exactly what that situation is developing there.

HEMMER: Patty quickly here, while we have you here, for people who may be venturing out to travel this weekend by air, what are they saying? Two hours in advance give yourself to get on that plane or what?

DAVIS: Well, the industry, the association that represents the industry is saying make sure you're there at least an hour. But Alaska Airlines, in fact, was telling us today, make sure you're there two hours in advance. If you show up 20 minutes in advance of these flights, there is no way you're going to get on. You're going to be left at the gate.

HEMMER: OK, clearly a time for patience.

Patty Davis, thanks.

Now to Joie who's with Miles.

CHEN: Bill, we have with us Miles O'Brien, who is a pilot himself and certainly has great interest in aviation and what's going on. And in fact, the Internet is just a great resource I guess on all kinds of things, additional information. You're able to follow even that flight we were just talking about a short time ago from Dulles?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just to clarify, this is some proprietary software with some Internet connectivity.

CHEN: Not just anybody can jump in?

O'BRIEN: But basically, if you can a get a close-up of this, this is AA flight 001, which we just take off from Dulles Airport. And what this is telling us right now is that it is ascending through 27,000 feet right now. It is traveling at 323 knots. It's a Boeing 747. We know all that.

Its departure time, which we just found out, was 5:33 p.m. It arrives. It is Tokyo, I believe, is the destination at 7:06 a.m. local time. Now so that is real time of the Washington, D.C. area. Dulles Airport being right in there.

Let's take a look at what's going on throughout the entire country, as I try to figure out how to get back -- here we go, zoom out. This is mid-Atlantic, OK? You get a sense of how many planes are there. If you can get a little close-up, you can see, that seems like an awful lot of traffic. There's our ANA flight, just to give you an idea of where we are.

We'll zoom out one more time. That gives you the United States. There's ANA again. And that's what's going on across the United States right now. Every one of those blue dots represents a commercial airline flight at the moment.

Now that seems a lot probably to you, but that is just a small fraction of what would you see on a normal day in the United States. Now let's go into the New York area, for example, where we just heard about gate hold. Let's go in a little closer there. You can see that's really a sparse amount of traffic for New York. Here's the tip of Manhattan. Here's Long Island.

CHEN: Because they are not operating at the same altitude or in the same -- I mean, it does look like a look to us, but of course, we think of them on a flat plane?

O'BRIEN: Right. And there's a little scale issue here. Obviously, this plane isn't about half the width of Long Island in order for you to see it properly. There's some scale issues. But nevertheless, what you are seeing is realtime of these particular flights.

This flight happens to be -- well, let's get that out of way. But that happens to be a -- I don't know what airline that is, but it is a -- descending through 5,000 feet at 250 knots. Now this one right nearby, seemingly nearby, is probably at an entirely different altitude. And it's actually at 1500 feet, flight number 150, 15,000 feet. That's at 391 knots. So what I guess we're trying to tell you is, it's not as perilous a situation as it may look. But the bottom line is, the system is coming alive here.

CHEN: Right, and that is really why you're bringing us this picture. I mean, this is the sort of picture -- it doesn't have a lot of practical application. Most of u, but this really gives us an idea of the air traffic system back at work.

O'BRIEN: Yes, we were looking at Los Angeles a little while ago. That's one the busiest pieces of air space in our country, southern California. As you can see, it looks like planes are stacking up on top of each other, but that's the area around Los Angeles. That is by any normal standard, a very, very sparse day. Things are starting up, but still not quite where would you expect them to be.

CHEN: Now if I were an air-traffic controller, is this a picture that I would be looking at or are they looking at something different?

O'BRIEN: Well, this is a computer composite of the radar screen information, which they are looking at. They're actually looking at real radar screens, the cathode ray tubes, if you will. This just takes that data, compiles it all in one place and gives us this sort of overall representation. This is not the kind of fidelity you'd would your air-traffic controller to have. You might cause some problems. CHEN: A little insight on aviation from our Miles O'Brien, a pilot himself and certainly somebody who studied a lot of this information. Thanks very much, Miles.

All right, we want to go back immediately to Judy now. There's some developing information from Washington -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Joie, I've just been told that the United States Senate is being evacuated. That, of course, is one-half of the Capitol of the United States. Our producer there, Dana O'Bash, all we know at this hour, she's saying, is that we don't know the reason, but people are being evacuated from the Senate.

I think we do want to put this in some perspective. Throughout this day, there have been evacuations in Washington, in New York City. We know earlier today, the building where CNN's offices are in New York was evacuated. There was a report about LaGuardia Airport in New York. For a fact here in Washington, earlier today, American University had received a threat. And they were canceling classes starting about 10:00 this morning. And now, Dana O'Bash, our producer at the Capitol is on the phone. Dana, what can you tell us?

DANA O'BASH, CNN PRODUCER: Hi, Judy. I can tell you -- we are -- I'm currently standing outside the Senate at the swamp site. There are senators all around me. About three minutes ago, I was standing outside the senate chamber when a police officer said everybody must evacuate now. Don't ask questions. Just leave the building immediately.

And then there was a mass exodus to the exits. Everybody ran out. I just quickly talked to Senator John Breaux from Louisiana. He said that the police came onto the Senate floor where they were actually having a vote, and they said just get out. Don't ask questions, just get out. And he said that everybody ran for the doors.

I'm currently standing, like I said, right across from the plaza on the lawn looking at the Capitol. And there are just senators all around, kind of looking around, trying to figure out what's going on, where to go. Nobody really knows, but everybody is pretty much calm. Everybody is -- looks relatively calm.

Before I was upstairs when everyone told us to leave, I was downstairs one floor below, staking out an appropriations meeting. There were appropriators who were talking about how much money to give for rescue efforts in New York and for intelligence and law enforcement operations.

There started to be a little bit more movement in there after Senator Lott and Senator Daschle came in to participate in the negotiations. They brought a couple of canine dogs in and there were more security around that room.

As time went on, suddenly Senator Lott and Senator Daschle were quickly escorted upstairs toward their offices on the second floor. They looked kind of panicked, kind of hurried. And the security officers took them to the second floor. Myself and a couple other reporters followed them up to the second floor, where security was trying to figure out where to take them. They took Senator Lott into his office on the second floor of the Capitol. They started to take Senator Daschle down towards the House, then they quickly turned them around and brought them back into the Senate chamber. That's when we were told to evacuate the building immediately.

WOODRUFF: Now, Dana, the senate is, of course, the north side of the Capitol building. Now we're looking at -- these are live pictures of people coming out. Now this looks more on the House side. But orient us. What are we looking at here?

O'BASH: I'm sorry, Judy, I don't know where the camera is that you're looking at.

WOODRUFF: OK.

O'BASH: I think probably on the House side.

WOODRUFF: I think this is the House side. With the camera quickly panned over to the other side of the Capitol. There aren't that many people coming. Well now we see a few more people coming out. Dana, what about security measures at the Capitol? How much have they been stepped up since Tuesday morning?

O'BASH: They have been stepped up quite a bit. Certainly on Wednesday, there was a wider perimeter around the Capitol. Instead of checking our IDs and our parking passes right at the gates of the Capitol or at least right at the entrance to the Capitol parking, it was about two or three block perimeter around the Capitol that they were checking IDs.

Today it was a little bit kind of business as usual. They just checked our -- all of our IDs as we were coming into the Capitol. But there has been a -- certainly a more visible presence of security. And there haven't been any regular Capitol tours around today.

WOODRUFF: All right, so Dana O'Bash, reporting the Senate side. And now, we're looking at the House side of the United States Capitol being -- evidently being evacuated as well.

Our congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl is on the phone now with us. Jonathan, what have you learned?

KARL: Well, I'm standing literally about 10 feet away from Senator Daschle, the Senate leader who is conferring with John McCain and John Kerry and Patrick Leahy. Many senators have come out here, asked Daschle what is going. I tell you, they look extremely calm because what they believe is this was a suspicious package that was found. And Daschle told one of the other senators that the dogs, meaning bomb-sniffing dogs, reacted negatively. In other words, that it was -- did not contain a bomb.

But one of the Capitol Hill police came over to Daschle a little while ago and said this would take about 15 minutes to clear and to make sure the situation is under control. But a state of real calm out here behind the Capitol. You know, senators conferring, waiting to be able to go back in. Much different from what it was just five or six minutes ago, when everybody was running out, being told by the police that they had to immediately evacuate.

WOODRUFF: Well, we certainly don't want to minimize any threat in this atmosphere that we're in. After Tuesday morning, everything has to be taken seriously. But having said that, today, yesterday there have been a series of hoaxes, threats. A number of places have been evacuated. As I said, American University here in Washington completely evacuated earlier today.

Kate Snow, you're joining us now on the telephone. Tell us where you are, our congressional correspondent?

KATE SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Judy, I'm actually next to the camera, the shot that you're looking at. I'm actually standing right next to that camera.

These are members of the House that you see coming down the steps. We don't have a great shot here, but the House of Representatives, they have all been inside receiving an intelligence briefing. I also see pages, a lot of pages. These are young people who work in the Congress, coming down the steps.

Now the Senate had been evacuated first, we understand. And based on Jon Karl's reporting, that was because of some sort of suspicious package. All this is very preliminary.

The House had not been evacuated. But based on what I'm seeing right now, it looks like they are now evacuating the House of Representatives. Judy, very little information about why. All I can tell you is that people are very much on edge here, as they are in many parts of the country right now. And when someone says the word evacuation, I think that's why you see some people moving rather quickly.

Judy?

WOODRUFF: That's right. They take it seriously. And as we're sitting here, you have to think what is going on in the minds of the operations of the security people because if they are receiving a number of threats, which one has to assume they are all the time, they've got to be able to distinguish between what's real and what isn't.

And we heard Jon Carl saying Senator Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader, the Senate majority leader saying a suspicious package found. The dogs didn't react in a way that would give them cause for concern, but they went ahead and acted on that.

Anyway, now we don't know if there's some other development that has caused the security folks to have the Capitol evacuated. But as you can see, it is proceeding. People are pouring out of the House side. Kate Snow telling us these are members of congress and others who work in the staff. And right now, we see security vehicles pulling up. This looks at least a part of a motorcade, people running to jump in. I can only guess who is in there or nearby. But again, more members of Congress and others who work at the Capitol coming down these stairs.

This is just, you know, no one watching is surprised to know, this is just a very tense time. Not just in Washington and New York and in many other of our important large cities around the country, where people who work in government, people who work in finance, as New York has seen, have reason, every reason now to wonder whether next threat that comes along is a real one.

Kate?

SNOW: Judy? Yes, let me tell you couple of things, Judy. I just was talking to as they're walking by here. I'm told that there's a suspicious package, verifying what Jon Karl had reported. I'm also told by our producer, Ted Verit (ph), that he's just spoken with a spokesperson for the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who says indeed there was a suspicious package. And that, in his words, a dog got a hit on it. In other words, a dog found it to be suspicious.

This is all very preliminary, Judy, but that's what we're hearing as of right this moment that there was a suspicious package, and that's they're evacuating the members of House.

WOODRUFF: Yes, these are the kinds of situations where we can only piece information together. We're not able to talk directly with the people in charge of security. We're basing this on, well in some instances, we think secondhand information. Jon Karl had talked with Senator Daschle. You've been talking with an aide to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. I don't know if Jon Karl -- Jon Karl, are you still with us?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I am. I'm actually -- yes, go ahead, Judy.

WOODRUFF: No, go ahead. I just wanted to ask you what the reaction is, what are people saying as they stand around there and wait?

KARL: I'm standing next to Senator McCain. Would you like to ask him directly? Here he is.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Hello, Judy.

KARL: Hello. Senator John McCain.

MCCAIN: I haven't seen all the senators this close together in many years.

WOODRUFF: Are people taking this seriously?

MCCAIN: Oh, I'm sure that they're taking it seriously, otherwise they wouldn't have told to us come out here on the lawn.

WOODRUFF: Is this the first evacuation order since Tuesday morning at the Capitol?

MCCAIN: As far as I know, as when I've been here, it's the first evacuation since Tuesday morning, yes. My understanding is that and this is third hand, is that there was a suspicious package in the Capitol is what I heard, but I'm not sure positive that's true.

WOODRUFF: Senator McCain, you've been around a long time. You've worked obviously in the military. You know how some of these security operations work. How do the security people go about distinguishing between what's a real threat and what's a hoax?

MCCAIN: I don't know except that in the case if it's just a phone call, it has to have some kind of corroboration. Again, this is third hand. And I hesitate to repeat it, but I was told that the dogs reacted negatively to this package was the reason they gave it some credibility. But I want to tell you that I heard that third hand. And I'm sure if I gave you an inaccurate depiction of the situation, that it'll be cleared up within an hour or so.

WOODRUFF: But Senator, isn't it your sense that the security has been beefed up there at Capitol since the incidence of Tuesday?

MCCAIN: Oh, absolutely. The security has been beefed up. And I think it's very appropriate that that be the case.

WOODRUFF: All right. Senator John McCain.

MCCAIN: All right, I'm going to give you back to your crack correspondent here, OK?

WOODRUFF: All right, Senator John McCain, answering some questions for us, borrowing the telephone of our correspondent Jonathan Karl. Jeff Greenfield, who is our CNN senior analyst in New York City is with us now. Jeff?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Judy, this is one of the costs of what happened Tuesday. And it's one of the costs that is going to roll through this country for an indeterminate number of times.

The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, is to make us insecure. What we've seen the last two days is the secondary fallout from the horror that's a couple of miles over my shoulder.

We've had the Empire State Building evacuated. We've had Penn Station evacuated. There is every reason to think that malicious or stupid or deranged people will be calling in threats on everything from airlines to trains to public buildings. You remember inauguration day how upset some of us were that people going on to the Mall to hear the speech of the new president were screened for the first time in American history, I believe.

And one of the things that is going on is that the attack on the World Trade Center has ruffled through the entire country and made insecurity a way of life. And it's only -- we don't know how long this is going to go on. WOODRUFF: That's right, Jeff. I mean, we have seen in the last few days untold numbers of buildings evacuated in Washington and in New York. I've been saying just today, I was told that at one point, they were in New York, they were going to evacuate LaGuardia Airport. Now I don't know if that was actually carried out.

GREENFIELD: And it's beyond that, Judy. You know, it's things like a waiter in a restaurant saying, "My wife just called. They found a bomb in the Brooklyn Macy's." No they didn't, but those are the kinds of stories that ripple through neighborhoods and ripple through communities and make everybody on edge.

And it's one of the things, I believe, that terrorists try to do when they strike at targets like they did here in New York.

I mean, I'll give you one small example. The voting machines in New York, every school and apartment building, they're shuttered. That was supposed to happen on Tuesday. That's the way we decide things, but that's been postponed. You know, you can't use a credit card in a lot of shops and restaurants, a tiny indication of the financial fallout.

And we always look at -- we look, of course, for understandable reasons at the major unimaginable horrors. Sometimes it's these little things that indicate just how deeply this act has struck.

WOODRUFF: No question about it. And Jeff, Capitol police now confirming both sides of the Capitol, if you will, both Houses of the Capitol, both the Senate, which we first had word of from our producer Dana O'Bash, and then the House. It's simply two parts of one building. The Capitol, the dome you see there, the right side of it. If the camera is where I think it is, would be the House side, the left side, the Senate. The left being the north and the other side, the south.

But you can only imagine what is going on in the minds of these security authorities as they try to figure out what's real threat, and what's one we can just discard and not worry about.

GREENFIELD: That's exactly the point. It is that every crank phone call now has the credibility of the biggest horror that has ever been visited on the mainland of the United States behind it. And who can blame them for taking seriously what they would are dismissed or handled with a grain of salt 72 hours ago? This is one of the many prices we are going to paying for what has happened here.

WOODRUFF: All right, now we want to go to our congressional correspondent Kate Snow, who's talking with one of the Democratic leaders in the House.

Kate?

SNOW: Judy, this is the second ranking Democrat in the House, David Bonior, Democrat from Michigan, a man who's clearly very calm right now. Tell me what you know about what's happened here?. REP. DAVID BONIOR (D), MICHIGAN: Well, we were on the House floor and we're getting an intelligence briefing by the intelligence community. And the House floor was filled with members of the House. And I was told by a staff, that there had been some evacuation in the Senate. And then I saw -- grabbed Bob Menendez was sitting next to me. And we rushed downstairs to see what was going on. We went to the Sergeant at Arms office.

And he came up the stairs at the same time, mentioning that there was a package. It was unidentified and that they wanted to clear the Capitol. So people have come out of the Capitol and are on the grounds now. And they're checking it out.

SNOW: And do you know where that package is or what kind of a package?

BONIOR: I do not. I don't know any details other than that. I heard some rumors in the back here about the Hart building as well.

SNOW: That's one of the senate office buildings.

BONIOR: That's one of the Senate office buildings. It's just a block from here. But obviously, they're not taking any chances and they shouldn't.

SNOW: When they evacuated you all on Tuesday, it was the first time in history that there had been a mandatory evacuation of this Capitol. And now this is the second time in history?

BONIOR: Yes.

SNOW: Does that strike you? Do you think we're on a very trigger-sensitive time right now?

BONIOR: : Well, people are sensitive, obviously, but they will not close this Capitol down. We are going right back into the Capitol. We're going to do the business of this country. And those who have perpetrated this crime against this nation are going to be dealt with justly, but severely and swiftly.

SNOW: I notice they did not take the Speaker of the House. I believe he's right over here to our right.

BONIOR: Yes, he's just down the wall here.

SNOW: He's just down the way there. The speaker was evacuated on Tuesday immediately, as soon as they knew about the Pentagon incident.

Does that tell us something that he's still standing here? Does that tell us that they don't take this as seriously?

BONIOR: Well, they've got a package that they're looking at. Basically, that's what this tells us. And I suspect that it'll be cleared and we'll be back in there to finish our briefing soon.

SNOW: Judy, send it back to you.

WOODRUFF: Kate, it's sounding like the members of Congress we've been talking with, Senator McCain earlier, and Jon Karl saying he was talking to Senator Daschle and others, they seem to be taking this very much in stride.

Although as we watch it, as you point out, Kate, this is only the second time within -- and it happens to be in the span of a couple of days that the United States Capitol has had to be evacuated because of a threat that they take seriously. Now, granted, we're in a much more sensitive time right now given what happened Tuesday, but...

SNOW: I can tell you, Judy, that the capitol -- I talked to the capitol police this morning about security here. Yesterday there was a perimeter that had been drawn around the Capitol about one block to the east and the west and two blocks to the north and the south of this area.

Now, that has been changed, Judy. There is no longer that perimeter. They have moved it in this morning. When I came in at 6:00 this morning they checked my car very carefully. They used mirrors to check underneath the cage of the car, which is something new, however, there was no perimeter any longer, they had ramped-down on security a little bit earlier today. That's what I can tell you, that is more than usually they would do, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Kate, what are the restrictions? Who can actually come on to the grounds of the Capitol and go into the building now? I know tourists go in, reports or go in. Who can go in and out?

SNOW: I don't have my pass on me right now, but there is a press pass that I carry with me at all times that shows these guards that I'm legitimate and that I work here and that I can bring my car in. I also have a tag on my car. That is typical. All of the members have press identification, they have buttons that they wear.

All the staff have identification. Those are the people that can come into the building. Now normally, Judy, tourists can also come into the area. Normally they can also go into the building. Today that has not been exactly the case. I think they've been allowing tourists in escorted. They have not been doing tours of the Capitol.

So it has been a little bit more secure than normal. On a normal day, if you are a tourist, you have to go through magnometers, you have to go through detectors to make sure you don't have any weapons. There is quite a bit of security here on a day-to-day basis. Right now it is a little bit more than it normally would be, less than it was two days ago -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Kate Snow at the Capitol where members of Congress evacuated. Everyone else in the Capitol evacuated because of threat, a suspicious package.

At the White House, also, increased security in the aftermath of Tuesday. Let's go there now and our senior White House correspondent John King -- John. JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Judy, increased security and what most Americans certainly will see as some dramatic steps just in case, the White House is saying, but dramatic steps nonetheless.

We have been told repeatedly in recent days about the increased security around the White House. We are now told that Vice President Dick Cheney taken from the White House complex earlier today and ushered up to Camp David, the president's retreat in the mountains in Maryland, a very secure area. That we are told, to get a good distance between the president and the vice president, because of what sources describe as yet another threat on the White House grounds.

We reported earlier today they had extended the security perimeter, again outside of the White House. Obviously they have not evacuated the White House. We are still here, as is the president of the United States, and his senior staff. But we are told as a precaution, they decided they did not want the president and the vice president together on the White House grounds. So the vice president was moved up to Camp David.

We are also told there are plans for the president himself to go to Camp David this weekend, where the vice president will be as well. So the president and vice president will be together later -- Judy, go ahead.

WOODRUFF: John, the question is: If there's a threat why wouldn't they put the president at Camp David and leave the vice president at the White House, if the threat is at the White House?

KING: Judy, they don't want to answer all of our questions about this obviously because of the security measures involved. And the fact that we are all still here, that they have not evacuated the president, not evacuated the senior staff would lead us to believe that they do not view this as an immediate and perhaps not as an overly credible threat, I should say.

But just as you see the evacuation of the Capitol, just as we have seen extraordinary measures around the White House in recent days, they have no choice they say but to take these things seriously, and to take some steps in response to them.

I would also note, and I don't want to go too far here, because we know some things we don't want to tell our viewers, because some of our viewers might be of ill intent, there are facilities here on the White House grounds if necessary, in which the president would be safe, at least they believe he would be safe from a nuclear attack.

So there are places here on the grounds of the White House where they could take the president if necessary and indeed where the vice president, when the president was out of town the other day, did indeed go to a command and control bunker that is believed to be nuclear-proof here on the White House ground.

It seems ominous to be talking about these things, but these are the circumstances we find ourselves in, in the 60 hours since these deadly terrorist attacks. Again, the White House saying this was a precaution, but the vice president has been moved to Camp David.

WOODRUFF: Indeed, look what the terrorists have wrought, not just the World Trade Center, not just the Pentagon and Pennsylvania, but look at what it has meant in terms of shaking up the nation's capitol.

Now back to Atlanta, Bill and Joie.

HEMMER: Judy, thank you. Many people said we were going to wake up to a new America on Wednesday morning after the attacks on Tuesday. I think this is a reverberation of that, echoing what Jeff was saying about different threats being called in. All of which has been bogus to this point. We don't mean to underscore what is happening -- or diminish what is happening in the Capitol.

And if you think back five years ago, Joie, here in the city of Atlanta in July of '96 when the Olympic Park bombing took place across the street, that Saturday, it happened on a Friday night, that Saturday and Sunday there were threats all over the city of Atlanta -- shopping malls and our subway stops here in town, and shopping malls downtown, all turned out to be just that, bogus.

CHEN: Unfortunately there are people who would like to take advantage of the worst of a situation. On, though, the level of concern in a still-developing story at this hour, the closure of the New York airports, and the ground stop at the New York airports because of concerns about FBI activity today.

Patty Davis is following that part of the story and she joins us now from Washington again -- Patty.

DAVIS: Hello, Joie. Well the FAA has ordered a ground stop at all three airports, New York, La Guardia and Newark, in the New York area. They're saying this is due to FBI activity.

Now what that means -- a ground-stop -- meaning that flights are not allowed to take off at those airports. Also flights that are scheduled to come into those airports, not allowed to take off from their originating points.

The FAA says on a call just a moment ago there apparently have been arrests and we are trying to confirm that. Earlier today, La Guardia terminal, the central terminal building was evacuated due to a scare. A man, according to the port Authority of New York, made what was interpreted as a threat about a device in his bag. That turned out to be unfounded but was arrested.

This apparently involves different FBI activity, different incidents. We don't know exactly what the scope of those incidents are at this point. But there is a ground stop now in place at the three New York airports -- Joie.

CHEN: CNN's Patty Davis for us in Washington. There are two developing stories at this hour that we are watching quite closely, what Patty was talking about -- the ground stops at the airports, all three of the big airports in New York as well as the situation at the Capitol.

HEMMER: Watching the Capitol, Judy Woodruff, informing us both houses of Congress have been evacuated. These are your congressmen and woman standing on the lawn of the Capitol building. The Senate and the House have been evacuated. We'll follow this after a bomb threat was issued there.

Some reports that a suspicious package was picked up and dog had what is called a positive hit on that. In other words, the dog sniffed the possibility that the package could be more than just an empty package there on Capitol Hill. We will watch that and any developments we see here certainly we will bring you the very latest as we get it.

CHEN: Of course the terrorist strikes in Washington at scene of the nation's political and military power, as well as in New York at the seat of the nation's and the world's financial power. And that is really causing some ripple effects through the financial community.

HEMMER: We know the stock market scheduled to open now Monday morning, 9:30 a.m. East Coast time.

And for more on that, here's Lou Dobbs in Manhattan -- Lou.

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