This "ABC News Special Report" presents coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath, as aired on ABC affiliate KABC-TV (Los Angeles). This coverage begins at 10:24 a.m. EDT. The tape begins abruptly as anchor Peter Jennings reports that both of the World Trade Center's twin towers, as well as the Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia, have been hit by commercial airplanes. Over a long, fixed shot of the twin towers billowing smoke and fire, Jennings explains that information is slowly flowing in about a fourth plane that crashed southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jennings then receives word that a car bomb has exploded outside of the State Department in Washington, D.C. Guest correspondent John Miller lists major terrorist leaders who may be named as suspects in the attack, including Osama bin Laden. Jennings then takes a quick succession of telephone calls from reporters. The first, John McWethy, is stationed outside the wreckage at the Pentagon. The second, Rebecca Cooper, calls in from the basement of a building located across the street from the White House. She explains that the White House was hurriedly evacuated shortly after the attacks. Jennings then cuts via video to Claire Shipman, who has managed to set up equipment in a hotel that faces the White House. Armed soldiers are seen pacing back and forth on the roof of the president's home. Shortly before 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, Bill Blakemore reports that Yasser Arafat has officially condemned the attacks. Jennings then checks in with several more correspondents. Chris Dreer, outside the Pentagon, tells Jennings that the military has defined the situation as "0-Threat Level Delta," a code that indicates that officials must be at their most alert and ready. Jennings then receives word that the earlier reports of a car bomb at the State Department have been officially refuted. He then talks to reporter Pierre Thomas about the role of new FBI director Robert Mueller in the investigation of the crashes. Correspondent Vince Cannistraro tells Jennings that "no one could have anticipated this happening here," calling the nation's openness to attack "a desperate failure of intelligence in both a human and technical area." Correspondent John Cochran calls in from Florida to report that he was in a classroom with President Bush when the chief executive received the news. Jennings returns to McWethy at the Pentagon as the tape cuts off.


  • DATE: September 11, 2001 Tuesday 7:24 AM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:56:17
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:66625
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Disasters
  • SERIES RUN: ABC - TV, 2001


    • Peter Jennings … Anchor
    • Bill Blakemore … Reporter
    • Vince Cannistraro … Reporter
    • John Cochran … Reporter
    • Rebecca Cooper … Reporter
    • Dreer, Cathryn Christine Wheelehan … Reporter
    • John McWethy … Reporter
    • John Miller … Reporter
    • Claire Shipman … Reporter
    • Pierre Thomas … Reporter
    • Yasser Arafat
    • bin Laden, Osama
    • George W. Bush
    • Robert Mueller