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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Offers of help flood in
Mourners at Grosvenor Square
Solidarity: UK citizens mourning American victims
Thousands of well-wishers have been offering help and condolences following the US terror attacks.

Messages of sympathy and offers of help continue to flood into the US Embassy and news organisations including the BBC.

By Friday afternoon more than 11,500 UK citizens had registered messages on the US London embassy's electronic condolences book. Thousands more contacted the embassy and its web-site offering help or cash donations.

BBC News Online has likewise been flooded with messages at the rate of almost 10,000 a day.

Major Donors
General Electric: $10 m

Cisco: $6 m

Wells Fargo: 1 m

General Motors:$0.25 m
The US Embassy has established a special consular command centre to co-ordinate all aspects of the disaster and is recommending that well-wishers make donations directly to the American Red Cross.

Despite a shortage of blood, UK citizens are not able to make donations because of US fears over contamination with the human form of CJD.

The American Red Cross is drawing upon its vast experience and resources to cope with this disaster and currently has the capacity to deal with the aftermath of Tuesday's events.

British Red Cross
Beyond this the American Red Cross says that it has enough resources and volunteers to deal with the New York disaster and has turned down offers of help from sister organisations around the world, including the British Red Cross.

Donations have been pouring into the American Red Cross and other relief charities - led by corporations such as General Electric which on Wednesday donated $10 million to establish a relief fund for the families of dead fire-fighters.

Cisco Systems, previously a sponsor of the Net Aid internet charity, donated $6 million to the American Red Cross and Wells Fargo provided another $1 million.

The British Red Cross will therefore not be launching an appeal for funds in the UK. But British Red Cross volunteers are nevertheless "on standby" - ready to assist American passengers and distressed relatives at UK airports.

Any unsolicited New York donations given by UK citizens to the British Red Cross will be automatically forwarded to the American organisation.

Others can make phone donations to the New York disaster relief fund by calling 020 7201 5038. Online donations can be made via the American Red Cross web-site.

Fraud Danger

Well-wishers, however, are being warned by the American Red Cross of the danger of internet fraud.

In a statement issued before the World Trade Center attack, the organisation claimed that criminals were setting up false "Red Cross" sites and soliciting donations.

It now advises well-wishers to donate via links jointly established with "online donation partners" Yahoo; AOL and Amazon - all of whom feature direct donation forms on their sites.

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