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Bush Promises to Track Down Terrorists

By Sonya Ross
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, September 11, 2001, 1:15 PM

_____Related Content_____
• MSNBC Video: World Trade Center Collapse
• MSNBC Video: World Trade Center Crash
• MSNBC Video: President Bush
• Audio: Eyewitness at Pentagon
• Webcam: Pentagon Fire
• List of Evacuations, Closures
• D.C.-Area Closures
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_____Flight Information_____
Families of passengers on the following flights may call the airlines for information at the numbers below:
• American Airlines: 1-800-245-0999
• United Airlines: 1-800-932-8555

The following flights are believed to have been affected in today's attacks:
• American Airlines Flight 11: A Boeing 767 en route from Boston to Los Angeles crashed into the World Trade Center.
• American Airlines Flight 77: A Boeing 757 en route from Dulles Airport near Washington to Los Angeles crashed into the World Trade Center.
• United Airlines Flight 93: A Boeing 757, crashed southeast of Pittsburgh while en route from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco.
• United Airlines Flight 175: A Boeing 767. The flight was bound from Boston to Los Angeles.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — As chaos unhinged New York and Washington, President Bush commanded the full force of the United States government to “hunt down and to find” the terrorists responsible.

“Terrorism against our nation will not stand,” he declared Tuesday.

In Florida for a pair of education speeches, the president scrapped his schedule and said, at the first reports of attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, that he was hastening back to Washington.

But, with the White House evacuated under threat of attack and his wife hunkered down in an unidentified secure location, the president and Air Force One were rerouted — under escort by military fighter jets — to this Louisiana air base.

In a conference room dotted by portraits of decorated Air Force officers, the commander in chief announced that the U.S. military was on “high-alert status.”

“Freedom itself was attacked this morning and I assure you freedom will be defended. Make no mistake. The United States will hunt down and pursue those responsible for these cowardly actions,” Bush said.

First lady Laura Bush spoke with her husband by a secure military phone line before he took off from Sarasota, Fla.

Mrs. Bush and a handful of aides were whisked by motorcade from Capitol Hill, where she was to have testified to a Senate committee on education, to a hide-out away from the White House. There, the sequestered group huddled around a single TV in their hide-out and channel-surfed for the latest news, according to one person in the group.

Mrs. Bush also checked with her twin daughters at college to make sure they were safe.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company