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U.S. targets 50 terrorist suspects

Survivors may still be in Trade Center rubble

September 13, 2001 Posted: 7:10 AM EDT (1210 GMT)

Vigil
New York University students attend a candlelight vigil for victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attack at New York's Washington Square Park on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Law enforcement officials have told CNN there may have been as many as 50 people involved in the planning and execution of the terrorist hijackings and attacks that toppled the World Trade Center's two towers and damaged the Pentagon.

The FBI is working on the assumption that there were between 12 and 24 hijackers directly involved in the attacks, as well as the hijacking that ended when a United Airlines jet crashed into a Pennsylvania field, CNN has learned.

President Bush, who defined the attacks as "acts of war" against the United States, won bipartisan support Wednesday from both houses of Congress, which passed a resolution declaring the nation was "entitled to respond under international law." (Full story)

The lawmakers, meeting at the Capitol for the first time since the attacks, also expressed solidarity with the president in his efforts to track down and punish those responsible.

NATO has taken an unprecedented step by invoking Article Five of its charter, which states that any armed attack against one of its members is considered an attack against all of them. (Full story)

As one official put it: "A hit for one is a hit for all."

By invoking Article Five, NATO members agreed to aid the United States in any response it may make to the attacks.

The United States would have to go back to NATO to ask for specific kinds of support, but officials said invoking Article Five provides an "expedited basis" for use of airspace by the allies and makes other kinds of assistance available, such as military and intelligence sharing.

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Congressional leaders and White House agreed to set aside $20 billion for rescue efforts, repairs and counterterrorism work. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young said lawmakers hoped to have the spending bill on Bush's desk by Thursday.

Latest developments

* German police said they had detained a male airport worker and have brought in a woman for questioning. Police also said two of the suspects in the suicide attacks had lived in the northern German city of Hamburg and were enrolled as students there. Police searched four apartments in Hamburg, and the searches led to the detentions. (Full story)

* All three New York airports -- La Guardia, Kennedy and Newark -- re-opened Thursday on a "limited basis." The FAA on Wednesday gave clearance for flights diverted after Tuesday's terrorist attacks to continue to their final destination, but ordered all other commercial air traffic to remain grounded.

* New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said 82 bodies had been recovered by Wednesday night. He said the number of dead is expected to be in the thousands, but would not say how many thousands. New York City's Medical Examiner said the city has about 900 body bags in stock and has ordered another 10,000. (Full story)

* In New York, the Empire State building and Penn Station were evacuated late Wednesday night but the all clear was given about 20 minutes later at both locations.

* A partial transcript of cockpit comments heard from United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania suggests a scuffle as intruders were taking over and warning, "There is a bomb on board."

* Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld taped a message to U.S. troops, and the reference to an upcoming conflict was almost explicit. "More -- much more -- will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead. This is especially true of those who are in the field."

* New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will remain closed through Thursday. It could reopen Friday, but will reopen no later than Monday, officials said.

* Major League Baseball canceled all games for a third day Thursday. The National Football League said it would decide Thursday whether to go ahead with games scheduled for Sunday. The PGA Tour canceled two events Wednesday.

* Relatives of a passenger on the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania said he related during a phone call that men on board voted to try to overpower the three hijackers. Shortly after that call, the plane went down, as it appeared headed for Washington.

F16
An F-16 escorts Air Force One on Tuesday

* Police in Coral Springs, Florida, say they accompanied FBI agents to the home of a man authorities believe may have been one of the hijackers involved in Tuesday's attacks.

* The search for survivors continues in the rubble at New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

* The White House and Air Force One may have been targets of the terrorists responsible for the Pentagon attack, according to White House officials. That is why President Bush was flown from Florida to several military bases until his security in Washington could be guaranteed. Officials say the jet that slammed into the Pentagon may have been originally destined for the White House.

* Maine's Department of Public Safety says officials seized a rental car at the Portland jetport, believing two of the hijackers may have used the car to travel between Portland and Boston.

* Rumsfeld admonished U.S. government officials for revealing classified data because it could "reduce the chances that the U.S. has to track down and deal with the people...who have killed so many Americans."

* A car is seized in Daytona Beach, Florida, with information relating to Osama bin Laden.

* The owners of a flight school in Venice, Florida, say that the FBI is investigating whether two former students were involved in the attacks.

* Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley reports the "vast majority" of its 3,500 employees at the World Trade Center got out safely.

* The Taliban, who control 90 percent of Afghanistan, appeal to the United States to refrain from attacking their country.

World Trade Center
Crowds gather after police converged on the Westin Hotel in Boston.

* Intelligence sources tell CNN that at least two phone calls were intercepted between members of an organization connected with suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. Phone calls mentioned that two targets had been hit. (Full story)

* Secretary of State Colin Powell says the coalition being formed will not stop at getting the people responsible for the attack, but will go after terrorists wherever they are found.

* The aircraft carrier USS George Washington has moved into New York Harbor.

* New York rescuers are searching for two other people who have been in contact with authorities; six firefighters and three policemen were rescued early Wednesday, two other police officers were rescued Tuesday night. (Full story)

* Boston's Logan International Airport announces tightening of security. Among them: the airport will discontinue curbside baggage check-in and remove vehicles standing within 300 feet of front entrance. Car found at the airport, where two of the hijacked planes originated, contained a flight manual written in Arabic. Police and FBI investigators are examining the car. (Full story)

* New York City is closed to the public south of 14th Street.


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