Giuliani: New York's 'Finest Hour'

Following are excerpts of ABCNEWS' Barbara Walters' interview with New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani:

Prior Threats?

ABCNEWS' Barbara Walters: There have been rumors around the city that before Tuesday's attack there were threats. Were there threats?

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: No, no specific threats that we were aware of. By "we," I mean the police department, the joint terrorism task force, which involves the police department or the fire department.

Walters: So this was a total surprise?

Giuliani: Absolutely. There was no intelligence of any kind that we were aware of that suggested an attack like this or any kind of an attack.

Trapped Inside

Walters: On the day of the attack, you were at a private breakfast in midtown [Manhattan], when you were told about the explosion at the World Trade Center. What went through your mind at that moment?

Giuliani: The way I was told about it, I was told that it was an airplane, probably a twin-engine airplane, had struck one of the World Trade Center towers. And the first way in which it was described to me, it sounded more like an accident, some kind of a horrible accident. And the plane was described as a twin-engine plane, or a small plane, and that the upper area of the World Trade Center, one of the two towers, they didn't describe which one, was on fire. … We said we would drive down to the area immediately, and that we would meet the police commissioner and the fire commissioner right at the site.

Walters: When did you know that this was something much, much more?

Giuliani: When I got to right above St. Vincent's Hospital, I saw the World Trade Center for the first time, so I could see some of the fire at the top of it. It started to look pretty bad. And then I looked over at the exterior of St. Vincent's Hospital and I saw a group of doctors and nurses in their green uniforms, already ready for victims. And I realized they must have been alerted to a rather major catastrophe. And then when I got about two blocks past St. Vincent's, I could see even more smoke and I realized it was bigger. And then at some point, as we were approaching, we saw more flames and more smoke, which was actually the second tower being struck. But we didn't know it at the time. It just seemed like there was another explosion in the first tower … This all happened within 10 or 12 minutes. We were told in the van that the second tower had been struck by a plane and realized immediately it was a terrorist attack.

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