S interning in building named as terrorist target

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: S interning in building named as terrorist target
By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:58 pm: Edit

Just heard this on CNN. Needless to say, I'm pretty freaked. H is doing his low-key thing. ;-) S, who absolutely loves his job, is thinking that with all this publicity he will now be working in one of the best-secured buildings around. Any thoughts? Words of reassurance? Please, let's not start a political battle here. Right now I'm just a worried mom...

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 04:59 pm: Edit


I'm inclined to agree with your S. That was my reaction upon reading that article.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit

Thanks, Marite. Still, if it only weren't for the subway station under the building...

By Cama (Cama) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Though I know it is not quite the same thing, my D will be going to school this Fall in NYC, riding the subways etc. I started worrying about terrorism a couple of months ago and realized that even though I will worry I still have to let her live her life. So I guess I will remain a worried Mom and she will be in school in NYC. I have spent time talking to her about street smarts etc., but in the end you just have to keep your fingers crossed and let them live their lives. Good Luck

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:05 pm: Edit

Thanks, Cama. Know that aside from the terrorist threat (big aside, I know), NYC is safer than it has been in decades. I am a lot happier when my kids are wandering around Manhattan than when they are driving around the suburbs. Good luck to your d.

By Patient (Patient) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 06:10 pm: Edit

Thinking of you! I can certainly put myself in your shoes. And our family dynamic would be just like yours...

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Oh I can see your worry.You know these things affect us parents differently. Oftentimes they don't affect our children the same way as they spend less time watching the news and caring about it. My oldest in fact thinks all this terrorism is hype.I don't feel that way, I think we are safer now.Now that this news is out in the open I think your son will be much safer. Everything is being done to help the situation.Most likely the street will even be blocked off by his building.
Now if it were me, I'd probably run out to an army surplus store and buy him a gas mask and a parashute, and this would cost a bundle, then meet him for lunch and hand him everything to keep under his desk. And I know exactly what my kids would do- laugh like crazy at me, and have a good hoot about me in the office! But that is just me.
Also Aparent, so you have a daughter who dances and a son who plays tournaments.Very interesting, -I really can sympathize with folks here on C.C.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 07:56 pm: Edit

Curious timing of the new terrorism announcement, just after the DNC! The irony is that some pundits even predicted such an event (the announcement, not the terrorism!), just like the last one after Kerry's VP announcement.

Just coincidental, I guess - both times.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:01 pm: Edit

Massdad; so what is meant by this?

By Mimk6 (Mimk6) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Of course, you're worried. I worry too. My husband and two sons are in D.C. today and supposed to go the NYC this week. I imagine they won't get to most of the areas that are under these threats but it is anxiety-producing. Sometimes I think I'm more neurotic than other people. Every time there is a threat I worry about my daughter who will be in New Haven, CT which is about two hours from Manhattan. I worry about her flying back and forth for four years, I worry about her being on the east coast if something happens either there or here (L.A.). I had a horrible nightmare this morning about planes deliberately crashing into my 9 year old's school -- this is a stressful way to live. I try to remind myself that she is really safer flying than every time she gets in a car. I remind myself that she could be safer far away than where I can see her. And I remind myself that as scary as all these warnings are, security is better now that it was before. Your son's building is probably a fortress right now. It sounds like the mayor of NYC is locking things down extremely tightly. I really think that they would err on the side of caution and evacuate the building if they thought there was an immminent threat. As for the subway -- they seem to have credible info on a truck/car bomb situation which is a much easier thing to control -- they are checking every truck and so forth. And I wonder about these terrorists -- I wonder if they leak credible info as a decoy for something else -- I don't know how all this tapping of info really works. And I wonder if they would try to follow through with a plan that has been outed. I think the post 9/11 world is hard for those of us who are trying to let our kids go. I bet tomorrow they will brief everyone in your son's building about security measures -- ask him to call you and tell you what he's been told -- maybe that will reassure you. My son really understands that when I want to know where he is, etc. it's not because I don't trust him -- it just helps me not to worry. Ask your son to give you information that can help you not to worry. Meantime, keep us posted.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:09 pm: Edit

"I bet tomorrow they will brief everyone in your son's building about security measures -- ask him to call you and tell you what he's been told -- maybe that will reassure you."

Mimk, that is a great idea; I will definitely ask. I think he counts on me a little bit to do the worrying so he doesn't have to. ;-)

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit


You mentioned the subway. The security measures undertaken in Boston were so tight that subway traffic became a trickle, streets were deserted as the locals either stayed home and telecommuted or fled Boston altogether, while the delegates spent their time indoors (much to the dismay of the shopkeepers and restaurants). The police was ready to arrest thousands of protesters. I believe they arrested just a handful.
It is impossible to know whether security measures are excessive or too little. It looks, however, as if everything is being done to make NYC safe. But which parent does not worry? When my m-i-l worry about our getting a cold, we remind ourselves that we're lucky that it's all she has to worry about on our behalf!

By Achat (Achat) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Aparent4, I commute to NYC every day although I don't work downtown but midtown. My family is talking about it too. My previous job used to take me to a building on times square with the subway right underneath. There is nothing any of us can do about it. I try not to think about it at all. I think they will brief people on the security situation tomorrow as someone else mentioned.

By Achat (Achat) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:16 pm: Edit

Aparent the prominent buildings with subways under them are guarded with national guardsmen (at least it was last winter). I think NYC is very aware of the situation. I notice a whole lot more policemen in the subways too.

By A2a2 (A2a2) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:33 pm: Edit

I can certainly understand your concerns. On the bright side, once the building has been publically named as a terrorist target, I would assume that security will go up and the terrorists' interest in targeting that particular building will go down.
I'm in the camp that believes that whole red alert, orange alert stuff is mostly nonsense. How effective can it possibly be. It's a bit like car alarms. We hear them go off all the time - but we don't listen and it's just a malfunction anyway.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:37 pm: Edit

Thanks, I am really appreciating your comments. Will ask s about the national guard...

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

Well, the commute into the city was fine when I made it today at around 7:45. No searches inside buses. Everything looked normal. I heard that at Holland Tunnel, they were searching every truck into the tunnel. I did not see that at Lincoln. Or maybe I was asleep at the time. :-)

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:25 am: Edit

S called, as promised, and says no traffic is allowed past the building, no one is allowed into the building without a search, and there are armed guards everywhere. He feels ok with it. Mom is working on that. ;-) I can still remember that at 20, I would have considered something like this an adventure. I remember being stranded at Fiumicino airport the summer after my senior year of college. We slept all night blissfully in the airport lounge, surrounded by guards with machine guns to protect us from the Red Brigades.

By Garland (Garland) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:42 am: Edit

My S is starting school this fall in NYC. His orientation coincides with the RNC. My D is planning on moving to NY later in the fall with friends.

Yesterday, at a family picnic, my oh-so-helpful SIL kept saying "I don't know how you do it...I'd be a wreck just thinking about it!" After a while, I was starting to feel a little violent myself!

They're smart kids. Things can happen anywhere. They're grownups, and I do rely on their sense, and also on the fact that the security levels in NY are pretty imprressive these days. It doesn't mean I won't worry, but that's part of our job decision, right?

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

Garland, I would have the same reaction that you had with your SIL. There is nothing unsafe about NYC. It is the most heavily guarded city in the world these days. And you have to go on with your life!

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:52 am: Edit

I too remember passing through airports with armed guards while on travels in college, and I felt the sense of adventure as well. Aparent4, it sounds like you're doing everything right--being sensitive to signs of his nervousness yet letting him go. Kudos for a parenting job well done.

Garland, chuckling over SIL. Did you ever say anything cutting to her? (I'm looking for my arsenal with MIL, whose increasingly barbed remarks I have so far just met with complete avoidance).

By Blossom (Blossom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

I actually feel sorrier for the Moms of the National Guardsman who are patrolling midtown in the heat dressed in battle fatigues. Lots of these kids were mobilized from their units upstate after 9/11 for temporary duty which seems to have dragged on interminably. Our own kids? They've got a start date and a finish date for whatever they're doing, and we know that if we're really freaking out for any reason, we can ask them to come home.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:18 am: Edit

As someone who lives in the DC area and works a few blocks from the White House (and the World Bank and IMF, also named as potential targets yesterday), there is no way you cannot worry at all. I ride the Metro daily, and yes I do worry at times, esp when we have warnings like this. My H was on a flight to NYC the morning of 9/11, and I could see the smoke from the Pentagon hit from my office building.

I have to say I was somewhat relieved when my D left for college in another city, what with 9/11 and the DC sniper (which was somehow even scarier than these generalized threats). But you just have to hope and pray that those in charge of keeping us safe will do their job, and try to keep in mind that the warning is a good thing because it means increased vigilance.

But not worrying at all is something I've never been able to do...

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:44 am: Edit

Aparent4-- I'm sending my sympathy as the designated worrier of our family. I think odds are excellent your son will be fine, but that won't stop your concern. My son was in Hong Kong all during the SARS scare and insisted on staying put while other young people there studying were being called home. Yes, I was terribly uneasy! But I guess I saw early on that my fears weren't going to be factored into what my kids do, and that's as it should be. They are all so much more adventurous than I am!

Hang in there. To the extent that worrying "helps"-- and isn't that what we worriers must believe, deep down?-- you now have me and the rest of the worriers on the CC board in there with you!

God bless. (if it's okay to say that!)

PS My h-- the reassuring one of our family--says to tell you that on NPR somebody is moreorless discounting the threat. Not to get political, but that's basically what the worriers need to hear.

By Achat (Achat) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:52 am: Edit

I second that. I am the worrier for my family but for my other family members. About myself, I feel very calm and don't worry at all. I've lived a full life and have no regrets should something happen to me. And I'm not being dramatic.

There is something to be said for being calm (and I am not passing judgement on anyone here, please!) . On 9/11, we had a group of people telling us to leave the building because we were close to the Citibank midtown building (the lipstick building). We stuck around till 6:30 PM and took the train out of Penn station. It was the best thing we could have done.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 11:59 am: Edit

What about this idea that it is politically motivated? Having seen The Manchurian Candidate yesterday, I am ready to believe anything about what the government is capable of doing.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:01 pm: Edit

Patient -- I really don't know. For those of us who live in NYC and DC, I think we have to assume it's not.

By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:05 pm: Edit

I really think that most of it is out of your hands and you have to really live your life as best you can. When I first heard the reports was I a little apprehensve, yes, but I know that for me, I have to move on.

I worked building 2 at the WTC during the 1993 bombing and on 9-11. When we went back in 1993 I was terrified about going back because we worked on B-3 and the bomb went off on B-2 (one of our co-workers was a vietnam vet and told us that it was a bomb and to get out), so everytime we got of the elevator, we saw the gaping hole in the garage. Upon going back, did I ever feel 100% safe in the building even with all of the security measures in place-no, however, when people were being evacuated from the building, building security, FBI, Port Authority, NYPD, and FDNY did an excellent job of keeping everyone calm while moving them out.

I remember not wanting to leave my house after 9-11 and it was over a year before I went back to downtown manhattan, but taking that trip down town to the place that I was blessed and grateful to walk away from was for me the first step in taking my life back. (Who would have thought that I could be happy going to the west village in the middle of nowhere).

Even with the threat at Citicorp, my train stops at both stops- 23rd Ely and Lexington Ave. My child travels on the train to the city everyday. Iam I more cognizant of m surroundings, absolutely, but in the end all I can do is hold on to my faith and remain prayerful.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Rhonda--thinking of you, and hope I didn't sound insensitive. If I did, didn't mean to.

By Acampbel (Acampbel) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:36 pm: Edit

D also works in midtown, 3 blocks from Citicorp...I just tell her to keep her eyes open,don't bury her eyes in a book on the subway, etc. How the world has changed since she arrived in NYC as a naive freshman TWO WEEKS before 9/11!!I have been nervous the entire time she's been there, but she has to live her life, as do we all...my husband and I will be flying in a couple of weeks, I can tell you we will be examining our fellow passengers very closely!!!

By Kluge (Kluge) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit

Since 2001, over 150,000 people have been killed in highway accidents in America. Fewer than 3,000 died as a result of terrorist attacks in the same time period. My guess is that there will be more of both in the years to come, which is regrettable in the abstract and tragic in each individual case. Terrorist events obviously create a much stronger shared emotional response, but the sons and daughters are just as dead, and the loss to their families is just as great in both cases.

Just for a sense of perspective, Aparent, your son is probably safer working in a "prime terorist target" in New York or Washington than commuting to a job in LA...

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:52 pm: Edit

I was amused by the image of the parachute and gas mask kept under the desk--and then remembered that here in the Pacific Northwest (and when I briefly lived in California), we have to keep earthquake supplies on hand. Including three days worth of "sufficient plastic bags to hold bodily wastes for your entire family."

If it were my kid, I would, however, make sure that s/he:

*knows ALL the emergency routes--both up and down--from his desk, and has practiced them (not just read about them).

*has a small supply of water and snacks--just in case they stop entry/exit from the building for some reason.

*carries a cell phone.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 12:55 pm: Edit

Patient -- thank you for the kind thoughts, and please don't worry, I didn't take offense at all. I don't disagree with your views about what this administration is capable of, but feel that we don't have a choice but to assume that this is for real.

As a side note to Kluge's mention of car accidents, I have to say that I was never so frightened for my safety and that of my loved ones as when the DC sniper was around -- for those weeks, I walked around town feeling as though I had a target painted on my back. As someone who walks to the metro daily (as does my H, and my D did at that time as well), it was scarier than even the aftermath of 9/11, perhaps because the attacks were so much more specific.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

Kluge, trust me, you don't want me to start talking about how I feel about kids driving! I couldn't agree more re that. I think I started a thread about that a while back.

Sybbie, your post gave me chills. You and I and you, too, Enjoyingthis, are all praying...

One thing I did hear on NPR was that these plans, which were extremely specific and indicated an inside knowledge of the particular buildings, were taken from the computer in Pakistan of people who are now arrested or dead. I guess that's cause for optimism.

Achat, Patient, Garland, Rhonda, and Acampbell, your posts are much appreciated.

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

Patient-- ha ha we are seeing Manchurian Candidate tonight. We do seem to be on the same track! And I'm with you, wondering if there's an element of having cried "wolf" in all of this. Certainly don't mean to mock anyone's concern at all-- it IS scary. But it seems like they've been wanting to keep us scared on a daily basis since 9-11 and I just don't feel it. Maybe this comes from being on the West Coast. I'm sure the whole thing just didn't hit us quite as hard personally out here.

By Blossom (Blossom) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Sybbie-- my thoughts are with you today. I have friends who worked in lower Manhattan who have never gone back, whose marriages and livelihoods are in jeapordy, and whose sense of the world has been destroyed, and it's wonderful that you have reclaimed your life.

I think of the people who worked behind the counter at the Crispy Creme, the little sushi place in the Winter Garden, and the shoe shine man next to Century 21 and wonder if they've reclaimed what was theirs....

By Irishbird (Irishbird) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:03 pm: Edit

RE: driving & terrrorist attacks - yes, it is more likely that you could die from a car accident; but that is usually exactly what it is...an ACCIDENT. A terrorist attack is a planned attack against civilians because some fanatical group believes that killing others will help them achieve their particular "agenda." I don't think you can really equate them, even though (as you point out), the victims of either will be equally as dead.
Just like you can take safeguards when driving, (seatbelts, not speeding, not under the influence), it certainly makes sense to try and take some form of safety measures to guard against terrorism.
Obviously, when your whole country & its citizens can be the potential targets, it's very difficult to develop a system that can work. But i'm glad the govmt is trying to put a warning system in place & notify the public when there is specific info. And I really don't think any pres. or administration would use these threats for political maneyvering.

By Momrath (Momrath) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 06:07 am: Edit

The threat of terrorist attack from Islamic extremists is a reality throughout the world.

Here in Indonesia we've had two terrible bombings and several minor events which have led to tightened security in most public buildings.

What I've learned from all this is the following:

1. Added security is slow and inconvenient. Terrorists can take advantage of our impatience and propensity to cut corners. We can't afford to be complacent, lazy or skeptical.

2. When obvious targets, like government facilities, become "hard," terrorists look to less the obvious. Thus all soft targets, like offices, schools, shopping malls, and transportation entry points need to be secured even if it means severe inconvenience. No one wants to live in an armed camp or pass through security devises several times a day, but this is the our brave new world and the sooner we accept it the better.

3. Buildings can be secured. The attention that the east coast financial institutions are getting now is a good thing. The key point that makes terrorism so effective is the surprise factor. If you can anticipate it you can control it.

4. What's a lot less easy to secure are fluid places without clear boundaries where people congregate like cross walks, parks, city streets. The suicide bomber is a blessedly unknown element in America. We need to keep these people out of our country. Once they are in, it's very difficult to stop them from killing themselves and others.

6. In the case of Islamic extremists, the US government is not crying wolf. The wolf exists and he wants to destroy our way of life. Believe this! We need to stop pussyfooting around Muslim sensibilties. It's not all Muslims by any means, but it IS Muslim extremists. There's just no way to solve this problem without religious profiling of some sort. Americans need to get over their obsessive PC-ness and Islamic countries need to accept that there are EVIL people operating under the name of Islam.

By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 08:51 am: Edit

Well, I see this morning that Congress has closed streets around the Capitol building, and set up numerous security checkpoints to get through. That's nice for them, I suppose, but what about the rest of us?

I have thought for many years now that they should close the central area of DC (the Mall, the Capitol, the White House, and the areas around them) to all vehicle traffic.

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

And now the reports are saying that the information is years old. So why is it only now coming to light? Because of the age of the material, many (some in law enforcement as well) are saying that the increase in security is unwarranted.


By Idler (Idler) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

"We must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror" --Gov. Ridge, in announcing the latest alert. Three year old material. Timing suspect. We've come to expect this from the Atty General, and now from Tom Ridge. It's the politics of fear, as Michael Moore says. Playing right into the terrorists' hands.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 03:38 pm: Edit

See my August 1 post.

Backhandgrip, now you know what I meant by that post.

No, it is no coincidence, nor is it an accident.

Actually, the age of the material is only part of it. We've had access to the data/material for weeks. Either our analysis is very slow, or...

By Juliusmonky (Juliusmonky) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit

As Jon Stewart said, "So they want to attack us because of the president's leadership in the war against terror, but if they do actually attack us, it's because of John Kerry."

We live in a crazy world.

By Marite (Marite) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 04:59 pm: Edit


It looks like our intelligence is very slow. I repost a link that Emeraldkity posted in the thread on Ridge.

The article dates from May 23, 2001. Either the author is unusually prescient, or the government was not on the ball.


By Massdad (Massdad) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Marite, the article reminds me of the apocryphal tale of GWB saying "we knew Saddam had WMD. After all, we sold them to him in the 1980s to battle Iran..."

By Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 09:10 pm: Edit

Aparent, does your S work in the Citigroup building?

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