New estimate of missing in N.Y. is 6,333

Probable death toll from attack includes many foreigners

First reservists called up

Terrorism Strikes America

The Response

September 21, 2001|By Tom Bowman, Mark Matthews and David L. Greene | Tom Bowman, Mark Matthews and David L. Greene,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON - The number of people who are missing and presumed dead at the site of the World Trade Center in New York rose sharply yesterday, to 6,333. For several days, the number had been reported to be 5,422.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said the toll was raised to reflect the number of foreigners believed to have been killed in the terrorist attack last week.

People from more than 60 nations are thought to be among the victims. Britain alone has said it lost 250 citizens.

After more than a week of holding out hope of finding people alive in the ruins, Giuliani now says it is all but certain that no one will be found alive. A total of 241 people have been confirmed dead.

As Giuliani led 40 U.S. senators, including Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, in a tour of the rubble, the first of about 35,000 National Guard and Reserve forces were called to active duty.

The call-up is part of a "homeland defense" drive as the Bush administration plans military retaliation for the terrorist assaults.

The Pentagon said 5,131 members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve from 29 units in 24 states and the District of Columbia had been called up.

The order includes 100 members of the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, along with four of their F-16 Fighting Falcon warplanes.

The Air Force citizen soldiers are pilots and ground crews who will fly random combat patrols at 26 bases around the country.

Army special operations forces are part of the deployment, along with Air Force commandos who fly aircraft and helicopters and take part in search-and-rescue operations, officials said.

Special operations forces, the elite units of the services, include the Army Green Berets, Rangers, Delta Force and Navy SEALs.

Fort Bragg is the base of the 3rd and 7th Special Forces Groups. The Army base is also home to the most secretive element of the Special Forces: Delta Force, the commandos who specialize in counter-terrorism and assaults.

Officials say that Air Force special operations forces are also part of the deployment. Those commandos fly MC-130 cargo planes that can move troops and supplies into hostile areas.

The deployments involve about 100 aircraft, including B-1B and B-52 bombers, along with surveillance, cargo and refueling planes.

`Sustained land operations'

Army Secretary Thomas E. White said yesterday, "We have a very strong Special Operations capability in the Army, and I'm sure it will be used." He declined to discuss which units would be called.

The Army, he said, is "ready to conduct sustained land combat operations."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the military campaign against terrorism would require Pentagon planners "to fashion a new vocabulary."

"What we're engaged in is something that is very, very different from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the [Persian] Gulf war, Kosovo, Bosnia," Rumsfeld said. "It is very different than embarking on a campaign against a specific country within a specific time frame for a specific purpose."

Rumsfeld also said the code name that officials used previously to describe the military campaign, "Operation Infinite Justice" would likely be changed out of concern for Muslim sensibilities. In the Islamic faith, only Allah can provide infinite justice.

Sports `no-fly zone'

While the military planned for offensive strikes abroad, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted a defensive measure at home, declaring a "no-fly zone" within three miles of major professional and college sporting events. Several schools, including Penn State and Michigan, had asked for the ban.

President Bush spent part of yesterday afternoon in prayer. He asked more than two dozen religious leaders, who came to the White House on his invitation, to pray for him, for his wife and two daughters, and for the nation, in the midst of tragedy.

Those who attended said Bush asked for personal guidance and acknowledged that he has struggled to find a message that can convey to Americans the magnitude of the terrorist threat while assuring them that the nation's security is being safeguarded.

"I was impressed by his humility," said Joshua Haberman, rabbi emeritus of the Hebrew Congregation of Washington.

Bush also met with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain last night, dining with him in the White House just before going to the Capitol for his speech to the nation and a joint session of Congress.

Blair noted that America had supplied enormous help to Britain during World War II.

"Just as the American people stood side by side with us then, we stand side by side with you now," he said.

250 Britons died

Earlier in the day, the British prime minister arrived in New York, where he saluted the rescue workers and said he shared Americans' grief. At least 250 British citizens were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center.

The White House proceeded in its delicate task of persuading foreign leaders to endorse what Bush administration officials are calling a global war on terrorism.

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