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W E D N E S DAY M O R N I N G SEPTEMBER 12, 2001

25¢

Weather Mostly sunny after morning fog. High, 75; low, 53. D 8

K ING , S NOHOMISH , P IERCE COUNTIES AND B AINBRIDGE I SLAND 50¢ IN I SLAND , K ITSAP AND T HURSTON COUNTIES 75¢ ELSEWHERE

Terrorist attacks horrify nation AMERICA IN SHOCK 14 PAGES INSIDE

Thousands of lives lost

4 jets crashed; Trade Center, Pentagon hit ‘I looked down . . . I saw the horror’ A3

Bush vows to avenge deaths A2

Suspect: Osama bin Laden A5

How intelligence, security failed A 5, 6

Dire economic effects predicted A4

S P E N C E R P L AT T / G E T T Y I M AG E S

A fiery blast rocks the World Trade Center in New York City yesterday after it was hit by two airplanes. Officials said casualties will be in the thousands.

Closely timed attacks leave America in warlike state

Destruction and death far away felt close to home

BY DAVID CRARY AND JERRY SCHWARTZ

BY ALEX TIZON

NEW YORK — In the most devastating terrorist onslaught ever waged against the United States, knife-wielding hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center yesterday, toppling its twin 110-story towers. The deadly calamity was witnessed on televisions across the world as another plane slammed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashed outside Pittsburgh. “Today, our nation saw evil,” President Bush said in an address to the nation last night. Bush said thousands of lives were “suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.” Establishing the death toll could take weeks but is believed to be in the thousands. No one took responsibility for the attacks that rocked the nation’s seats of finance and government. But federal authorities identified Osama bin Laden, who has been given asylum by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers, as the prime suspect. Aided by an intercept of communications between his supporters and harrowing cellphone calls from at least one flight attendant and two passengers aboard the jetliners before they crashed, U.S. officials began assembling a case linking bin Laden to the devastation. U.S. intelligence intercepted communications between bin Laden supporters discussing the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to Utah Sen. Orrin

It happened on the other coast, yet yesterday’s terrorist attacks reverberated like an underground quake through the region, uniting us with the rest of the country in a profound state of grief and apprehension. As the magnitude became known yesterday, scenes of ordinary bustle mixed with the somber realization that we as a nation had entered a new era. War was no longer a thing that happened elsewhere. ‘It’s on Even as the sun everybody’s shone brightly through a mind and in cloudless sky — what soggy Northwesterners everybody’s usually live for — many people stayed indoors, heart.’ in homes and offices and restaurants and taverns, CONNIE hovering around televiGODMAN sion sets, watching replays of the destruction of one of the nation’s most important economic symbols — the World Trade Center — and wondering aloud at the death toll, what it all means, and what’s next. “I mostly feel its nearness rather than its farness,” said Seattle author Jonathan Raban. “Insofar as terrorism sends a message, this message was not directed at New York or Washington, D.C., or Pittsburgh, but at the very idea of America, and Seattle is a part of that idea.” Much of Seattle appeared to go about busi-

The Associated Press

Frantic relatives search for loved ones A 11

Resources for coping A 15

For continuing coverage, see www.seattletimes.com Copyright 2001 Seattle Times Company

25¢ IN KING, SNOHOMISH, PIERCE COUNTIES AND BAINBRIDGE ISLAND; 50¢ IN ISLAND, KITSAP AND THURSTON COUNTIES; 75¢ ELSEWHERE 70% of The Seattle Times newsprint contains recycled fiber. The inks are also reused. Please recycle when you are finished with it.

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Terror ON A 2

Seattle Times staff reporter

S H AW N B A L D W I N / T H E A S S O C I AT E D P R E S S

A shell of what was once part of twin 110-story towers at the World Trade Center rises above the rubble, leaving a huge gap in the New York skyline.

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Northwest ON A 10 1 ROP


Sept. 15, 2001