Even though it may be "very difficult" for terrorists to hijack planes and carry out the same kind of attacks that they did 21 years ago on 9/11, there are so many other ways deadly assaults can be conducted, so the danger is still out there, former Rep. Pete King said on Newsmax Sunday.
"They could be attacking the subway system, attacking tunnels," the New York Republican said on Newsmax during the special, "September 11th: We Will Never Forget." "They can set off a dirty bomb in Manhattan, just have it in the back of the car and set it off."
That means preventative measures must always be used, King said.
"It's always easy to catch people afterward, but the idea is to stop it before it happens," he said. "That's when you need constant surveillance monitoring. We can't be giving in to people who say that we're violating the rights of people in different communities. We know where it's coming from and we've got to watch it and be on top of it."
King recalled that on 9/11, he was in Washington, D.C., and his wife was supposed to have flown down the night before, but her flight had been canceled because of storms.
"So she was on the nine o'clock (a.m.) flight and I heard on the car radio that there had been a small plane that crashed into the World Trade Center," said King. "I didn't think anything that much of it, but then there were more reports coming in."
King said he tried to call the airlines, as his wife was leaving New York at about 9 a.m., but they were not giving out information.
"Then I got into my office and on the television is showing a plane crashing into the World Trade Center," he recalled. "I thought it was a video of the first plane and then I realized that second I still couldn't get hold of my wife."
As it turns out, she was on a plane but it wasn't allowed to take off, he said.
There were also some concerns about other relatives, including King's son, who was working at the Commerce Department at the time, and his son-in-law, who worked three blocks from the World Trade Center.
"He ran down 28 flights [of stairs]," King recalled.
He also talked about what happened a few days later, when then-President George W. Bush came to Ground Zero for the first time and appeared at the search-and-rescue operation, including being on top of one of the fire trucks.
"President Bush was down the next block, and we heard this loud cheering going on, which was unusual because it was so much sadness," said King. "His arm was around Bob Beckwith who was a good friend of mine, a retired firefighter, was just down there to help out and President Bush put him up on the truck with him."
Bush, he added, never got over that day, and stayed in touch with victims' family members for years.
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