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NEW YORK CITY-Terrorist Osama Bin Laden has been named by a Middle Eastern newspaper published in London as the mastermind behind a string of terrorism that has done inestimable damage here. Less than a month ago, Bin Laden claimed to be planning an unprecedented attack against the US over the Bush administration’s support of Israel. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, meanwhile, has denied televised reports that it claims responsibility for the attacks.

With the nation on full alert, President Bush outside of Washington DC at an undisclosed location, Governor George Pataki has activated the New York National Guard and two warships have been ordered into New York Harbor.

Stock exchanges nationwide are shut down, as are all New York City libraries. New York bridges and tunnels are open for outbound traffic but most public transportation here has been halted or is running on limited service. Government buildings in DC, including the White House and the Pentagon have been evacuated, as has Chicago’s Sears Tower and many large office buildings there.

All New York-area airports have been shut down and military jets are patrolling the area, creating a no-fly zone in the vicinity. Dulles airport has been shut down due to reports of suspicious packages having been found there and in an unprecedented move, The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all aircraft across the United States. In addition, Canada’s Transport Ministry has shut down all Canadian airports in a precautionary measure as the calamitous situation continues to unfold. Canadian Transport Minister David Collenette says the nation’s airports will allow landings by aircraft diverted by the US. US-bound transatlantic flights are being diverted to Canadian airports.

GlobeSt.com was on the scene when the second tower fell at 10:25 a.m., shortly after the first tower collapsed following a terrorist attack in which two planes crashed into the massive skyscrapers. There are no estimates on how many people were killed or injured in the incident, though television news reports estimate the death toll at 10,000. Survivors of the Trade Center attack are being taken to St. Vincent’s hospital and Bellevue for treatment.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who was trapped in a building near the flattened towers for 20 minutes this morning, says the security bunker he commissioned is located “close enough to the World Trade Center to be affected, as are City Hall and the Police Department, which also had to be evacuated.” The mayor says it is “almost impossible to describe the level of anger” he feels with regard to the attacks.

A site next to the Pentagon also has been hit by a plane, this one a commercial airliner that eyewitness claim was gaining speed as it approached the building. A car bomb also has exploded near the State Department.

Both planes involved in the World Trade Center catastrophe–American Airlines Flight 11, reportedly hijacked after takeoff from Boston, and a Boeing 767–struck the towers’ upper floors, sending up billowing smoke so thick that helicopters were hindered in their efforts to airlift passengers from the top of the buildings prior to their collapse. Witnesses on the scene say that tower inhabitants were seen jumping from upper-story windows.

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