Press Briefing to the Pool By Ari Fleischer
September 11, 2001
Aboard Air Force One
1:47 P.M. EDT
MR. FLEISCHER: While on the ground at Barksdal, the President spoke to the Vice President several times -- the Vice President, of course, being at the operations center at the White House.
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President Bush remembers 9/11 10 years later in a new National Geographic detailed interview called George W. Bush:
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Andrews Air Force Base
5:30 P.M. EDT
MR. FLEISCHER: The President will address the nation tonight, upon his return to the White House. He met this afternoon for one hour and five minutes with his national security team via live tele-conference from Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Among the things the President said were, "We will find these people and they will suffer the consequence of taking on this nation. We will do what it takes," and he continued, "No one is going to diminish the spirit of this country."
The President has also heard today from countless world leaders either who are calling to -- back to Washington or have sent him directly communiques. He's heard from Britain, France, Germany, Russia -- a host of nations, all of whom have expressed their outrage at this attack, and who have assured the American people that the international community stands with America.
Former President George W. Bush is speaking out in a new National Geographic production, called “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” as the nation prepares to mark 10 years since the September 11 terror attacks. In the documentary, Bush recalls the very moment when he learned our nation was under attack. Former chief of staff Andy Card, the man who informed President Bush of the attack on 9/11, tells Megyn Kelly about that tragic day.
In discussing that conversation between Andy and the president, Card says, “I thought he acted exactly the right way. He did nothing to introduce fear to those very young elementary students and he did nothing to demonstrate fear to the media that would’ve translated it to the satisfaction that would’ve demonstrated it to the terrorists all over the world. I thought he did a phenomenal job.”
When Bush decided he wanted to go back to D.C. right after he heard the news of the attacks on 9/11, Card says, “I was quite frankly the buffer between the president and secret service, and both sides were pretty tough on me, but I said we had to learn more about it before we could go back.”
“The president was pushing to get back to Washington, D.C. quickly. I’m glad we went back. He addressed the American people from the Oval Office, which was the right venue for him to talk to us.”
7:15 P.M. EDT
MS. BUCHAN: Good evening. We'll be having General Ashcroft, Secretary Thompson, Secretary Mineta, and Director Allbaugh will each be providing you with updates on how their agencies are responding to today's events. As we'll be giving you as frequent updates as possible, they will not be taking questions at this time. And with that, I will turn it over to General Ashcroft.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT: Thank you. Today America has experienced one of the greatest tragedies ever witnessed on our soil. These heinous acts of violence are an assault on the security of our nation. They are an assault on the security and the freedom of every American citizen.
Our hearts are hurting this evening. Those individuals who have lost loved ones or do not know where their loved ones are, are in our prayers and are in our thoughts.
Thank you all very much.
END 7:28 P.M. EDT
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In addition, an unidentified man near the runway forced Air Force One to take off in the opposite direction.
Given that officials had no idea what the capabilities of the terrorists were, Tillman didn’t want to take chances and asked for support from fighter jets.
Air Force One and President Bush landed safely, but the attack forced Tillman to scrutinize the security of the aircraft. He said, “We had to make sure that every little hole, chink in our armor, had to be filled so we could protect the president. “
|Remarks Following a Meeting With the National Security Team September 12, 2001|
The U.S. intelligence community has observed a “significant increase” in chatter among terrorist organizations as the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks nears.
“We’ve noticed a significant increase in chatter among Islamic terrorist organizations overseas both on the Internet and phone lines,” a U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Blaze.
While the intelligence community can not pinpoint whether or not an attack is planned, the official said that agencies “did see this kind of increase in chatter before the September 11 attacks.”
Deciphering chatter is more difficult than in previous years because of the rise of the Islamic State group, which threatens to drain al Qaeda of resources as it asserts dominance Iraq and Syria. Like al Qaeda, Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has openly declared its intent to bring terror to American interests around the globe.
“The threat is two-fold because ISIS is in war with core al Qaeda,” former CIA case officer Brian Fairchild told The Blaze. “ISIS was kicked out of al Qaeda in February and they’ve been fighting each other internally for leadership. ISIS is winning right now. They have captured the imagination of young Muslims from around the world and depriving al Qaeda of its own fighters. Al Qaeda is split down the middle and now you have 9/11 [anniversary approaching]. It would be beneficial to both camps that on 9/11, some great attack in the United States takes place,” he added.
The Islamic State executed American photojournalist James Foley on Aug. 19, and has used social media platforms to threaten terror attacks on American soil.Chicago’s WGN network recently reported that a tweet from the terror group on June 20 includes a picture taken on Michigan Ave. The tweet reads “Soldiers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria will pass from here soon.” An Arabic message held up in the picture was translated “We are in your streets.”