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SPENCER MICHELS: The names of the alleged terrorists who took part in Tuesday’s airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were announced today in Washington. At a news conference, the FBI said 19 people were involved; all were ticketed passengers, and many were believed to have pilot’s training. On American Airlines Flight 11, which destroyed the World Trade Center’s north tower, there were five hijackers on United Airlines Flight 175, which destroyed the World Trade Center’s south tower, five hijackers. Five hijackers were also aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. And on United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside, there were four hijackers. The FBI has requested that anyone with information about these individuals call their local FBI or a toll free number: 1-866-483-5137. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
JOHN ASHCROFT: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also forwarded a list of more than 100 names to numerous law enforcement organizations. These are the names of individuals the FBI would like to talk to because we believe they may have information that could be helpful to the investigation.
SPENCER MICHELS: The FBI was reluctant to give details of its investigation, other than to indicate how large it was.
ROBERT MUELLER, FBI Director: As of today, we have 4,000 special– FBI special agents who are working on the case in various offices around the country and on various aspects of the investigation, and we have 3,000 support employees also on the investigation. 20 FBI LEGAT offices are running down leads overseas, and all 56 FBI offices around the country are engaged in the investigation. To date, we have had more than 36,000 total leads. Of those, over 30,000 have come in off the Internet, 3,800 have been received on the FBI hot line, and another 2,400 have been generated through the various field offices.
SPENCER MICHELS: Early today, searchers probing blackened rubble at the Pentagon found key electronic flight data and voice recorder “black boxes” from the hijacked jetliner that slammed into the building Tuesday.
DICK BRIDGES, Arlington County Public Affairs: FBI Agents from the evidence response team recovered both black boxes from the aircraft that crashed into the Pentagon. The condition of the black box’s voice recorder was described as somewhat damaged on the exterior. The data recorder was described as being charred on the exterior. I am told by those who know about these things that that really doesn’t mean anything at this point, that those boxes must be downloaded and the data taken off to determine whether or not any real damage has occurred. I do not know what the status of the boxes are right now, other than the fact that they are now part of the federal investigation into this horrible incident.
SPENCER MICHELS: The boxes were taken to the National Transportation Safety Board, but the FBI said that so far it had learned nothing from the voice data recorder. Last night in New York, authorities detained at least ten people of Middle Eastern descent in two separate groups at Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports. The action shut down all three New York area airports and led to a night of media reports that another hijack attempt had been thwarted. At a news conference in New York this morning, the FBI said investigators determined none of the detainees had any connection to the terrorist attacks.
BARRY MAWN, FBI: The reporting that has been going on all night I can definitively tell you is inaccurate. We were out at both airports last evening; we did talk to approximately a dozen individuals. We have only one individual left who is still being questioned by the task force. All other ten have been released and have been on their way.
SPENCER MICHELS: The New York area’s three major airports were open by noon today, after an 18-hour shutdown.