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(May 31, 1989): TV Documentary Warns of the Possibility of Terrorists Crashing a Plane into a Building in Washington

Jack Anderson.Jack Anderson. [Source: Associated Press]Jack Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, warns in a television documentary that terrorists could crash a plane into a landmark building in Washington, DC, such as the Pentagon or the White House. Anderson will later write that in the program he points out “the vulnerability of Washington landmarks to a terrorist attack.” The reasoning behind his warning, he will write, is that Reagan National Airport in Washington is “a greater convenience for terrorists hoping to attack the White House, the Capitol, or the Pentagon.” He notes in the documentary that “a plane could appear to onlookers to be landing at Reagan [National Airport], take a turn, and dive at the most critical seats of government.” The documentary is “created 10 years before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,” Anderson will write, which would mean it is made in 1991. [Meridian Magazine, 9/18/2001; Casa Grande Dispatch, 7/28/2004] However, other accounts indicate that the documentary he will describe is in fact a program broadcast in May 1989, titled “Target USA.” This program includes “a chain of revelations of various plans by terrorist groups within and outside of the US,” according to its producer, Saban Productions. In it, Anderson “spells out what he says is a real threat to the American infrastructure,” according to the Chicago Tribune. He interviews numerous people whose lives have been involved with or affected by terrorism. Referring to the program, Anderson has commented that after spending “trillions and trillions of dollars” to protect itself from “a nuclear holocaust that’s unlikely to occur now,” America has ended up “with a threat that we’re unprepared for, that is underfunded and underplanned and understrategized [for].” [Hollywood Reporter, 7/11/1988; Chicago Tribune, 5/30/1989] The documentary attracts a large national audience. [Meridian Magazine, 9/18/2001] It is one of the “unheeded warnings” before 9/11 “about terrorists flying airliners into buildings,” Anderson will comment. [Casa Grande Dispatch, 7/28/2004]

Entity Tags: Saban Productions, Jack Anderson

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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