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Delay notifying law enforcement to be investigated { September 14 2001 }

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But, says ABCNEWS' John Miller, "There doesn't seem to have been alarm bells going off, traffic controllers getting on with law enforcement or the military. There's a gap there that will have to be investigated, but it's very doubtful you could have done anything anyway."

Timeline of Disaster
From Flight School Training to Buildings Collapsing

September 14, 2001
ABC News

Long before Tuesday's devastating events, terrorists embarked on their campaign of terror. Following is a timeline based on ABCNEWS reporting.

June 2000: Mohammed Atta, from Egypt, and Marwan Al-Shehai, from the United Arab Emirates, arrive in Venice, Fla., and enroll in classes that would qualify them to fly airline jets.

"They apparently were good pilots," says Rudie Dekkers, who owns Huffman Aviation, where the pilots trained.

"People say they were there almost every day," reports ABCNEWS' Brian Ross. "Other students in training to become pilots say they had lots of money one of the students said they said, 'We're going to fly for our rich man.'"

Authorities suspect they may have been referring to indicted terrorist Osama bin Laden.

On or about Aug. 25, 2001: Bin Laden gives an interview to Middle Eastern television. When asked about his supporters, he says with a significant and knowing smile there is going to be a surprise to the United States, according to Ross.

Sept. 9, 2001: Atta returns a rental car in Pompono Beach, Fla., as he prepares to fly from Florida to Boston.

Sept. 11, 2001: In airports around the country, people board what they expect will be routine flights. Meanwhile, according to authorities, several terrorists are getting ready as well. They are stationed in Newark, N.J., suburban Washington, D.C., and at Boston's Logan International Airport, where they arrive so late they have trouble parking.

"There is a set-to in the parking garage," reports Ross. "Five Arab men in a car and another man are in a dispute over a parking space."

Later, evidence of the crimes about to unfold would be found in that car.

7:59 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 takes off from Logan bound for Los Angeles. With 92 people on board, it is not even half full.

8:01 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93 takes off from Newark International Airport bound for San Francisco with 45 passengers and crew.

8:10 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 leaves Washington Dulles Airport, heading to Los Angeles with 64 people on board.

8:14 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 takes off from Logan International Airport, also heading to Los Angeles with 65 passengers and crew.

Within 20 minutes, four planes are in the sky, departing from three different airports. Though passengers expected a routine cross-country journey, each plane had at least four or five hijackers on board.

8:28 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 the trip Atta had been training for makes an unexpected hard left turn, heading not toward Los Angeles, but over New York.

The transponder, which normally allows controllers to identify the plane, disappears.

"Atta knows enough to turn it off," says ABCNEWS' Lisa Stark. "Now it's just a blip on their radar screen."

According to authorities, Atta and his team, armed with knives and box cutters, have taken over the plane. A pilot leaves his radio microphone open. "That pilot was desperately trying to get word out that something was very, very wrong," says Stark.

Within moments, air traffic controllers notice something is very wrong with United Flight 175. Instead of going west to California, it takes a U-turn over New Jersey and heads northeast to Manhattan's World Trade Center.

"As this was dawning on the air traffic controllers, it was too late to really do anything about it," says Stark. "They were just starting to realize a second jumbo jet is heading to Manhattan."

But, says ABCNEWS' John Miller, "There doesn't seem to have been alarm bells going off, traffic controllers getting on with law enforcement or the military. There's a gap there that will have to be investigated, but it's very doubtful you could have done anything anyway."

8:45 a.m.: Flight 11 slams into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, hitting at about the 100th floor of the 110-story building.

9:03 a.m.: Eighteen minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower at about the 90th floor.

9:30 a.m.: Someone aboard United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco tells controllers the pilot wants to change their flight plan.

"All they [those on board] know is that the pilot or someone in the cockpit is requesting clearance to Washington, D.C.," says Stark. "I'm sure they were fearing the worst."

In the passenger cabin, the worst is happening. Hijackers have taken over. One passenger is dead, while several others use their cell phones to call loved ones.

9:43 a.m.: The horror arrives at the doorstep of the Pentagon, when American Flight 77 crashes into the west side of nation's military intelligence headquarters.

10 a.m.: Flight 93 flies an erratic course, then, 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, crashes in the Pennsylvania woods, killing all on board. But the plane has missed its target, possibly saving thousands of lives. Some speculate the plane was headed to the White House, and that heroes aboard wrestled the plane's controls away from the hijackers.

10:09 a.m.: Two World Trade Center collapses.

10:16 a.m.: A portion of the Pentagon collapses.

10:30 a.m.: One World Trade Center collapses.

Copyright 2001 ABCNEWS Internet Ventures

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