F-16s Force Jim McKay, Hannah Storm to Land

The Sept. 11 terror attacks had a profound impact on the United States, and the effects are still rippling across American society in large and small ways. Here is a periodic wrap-up of some of them.

Fighter Jets Escort Sportscasters' Plane

S A L T L A K E C I T Y, Nov. 8 — Two F-16 fighter jets escorted a plane carrying NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol and announcers Hannah Storm and Jim McKay back to an airport after their private jet lost radio contact on takeoff from Salt Lake City, officials said today.

NBC spokesman Kevin Sullivan said the group of 10 employees was returning Wednesday afternoon to New York after a meeting to prepare the network's coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

"The pilot lost radio communications with the tower and began to circle while attempting to restore communications," Sullivan said. "Not long after that [the passengers] looked out the window and they noticed an F-16 fighter."

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the pilot was able to send out a signal alerting traffic controllers that the radio was not working. The F-16 jets then guided the private plane to a smaller airport just north of Salt Lake City. The plane resumed its trip after its radio was fixed.

U.S. military jets around the country have been on alert since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In addition to the forced landing in Nevada, two F-16 fighter jets today forced a single-engine plane to land at a central Florida airport. Area schools were locked down for about 20 minutes as the plane was being escorted to the airport.

About an hour after the plane was forced down and parked at the Ocala airport's main terminal, authorities used bomb-sniffing dogs to inspect the aircraft for explosives.

—From Wire Reports

Justice Department Rebuilt to Fight Terror

W A S H I N G T O N, Nov. 8 — Attorney General John Ashcroft unveiled a sweeping restructuring of the Justice Department today to better position local FBI and immigration agents to combat terrorism.

Ashcroft called his five-year plan a "wartime reorganization and mobilization" and said it would shift 10 percent of the jobs in Washington headquarters to field offices around the country.

"The war on terrorism will not be fought in Washington but in the field by agents," Ashcroft declared in a speech in which he previewed the plan he was submitting to Congress.

Ashcroft said he was restructuring the FBI's counterterrorism efforts to better ensure prevention of attacks and toward that goal ordered law enforcement to better share intelligence.

He said he also wanted to root out waste and duplication in his department to free more money for the terrorism fight.

"We must protect Americans regardless of the level of resources provided," the attorney general said.

The FBI has already shifted resources to focus on investigating and disrupting additional terrorist attacks, though agents continue to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks and anthrax cases.

The Justice Department restructuring was in the works before Sept. 11, but after the attacks, Ashcroft made terrorism the department's top priority. He reiterated today that the attacks altered the Justice Department's mission from enforcement to prevention.

Ashcroft also announced new performance standards to hold agents accountable for their work and promised improved recruitment and training for federal law enforcement.

—The Associated Press

Following Clashes, More Firefighters at WTC Site

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