On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., I was on the phone with the European Wall Street Journal editor. We were discussing my op-ed on what, at that time, the editor described as an exotic subject: financing terrorism. The paper planned to run it the next day.
The TV’s regular morning chatter in the background suddenly changed, and a frightened voice announced that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, disrupting our conversation. I rushed to my window, which had a clear view of downtown Manhattan and the World Trade Center, and saw smoke rising in the distance, quickly turning into thick, black clouds engulfing the Twin Towers. Soon, the sky turned black, and the buildings disappeared altogether.
I called the editor back — it was still possible to get a connection to Europe — and after describing the horrors I was witnessing; I suggested a new lead for the op-ed; I knew instinctively that this was no accident but a terror attack.