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BBC News
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BBC NEWS September 11, one year on
Introduction
Judy Keen
USA Today reporter
Rob Bach
US pilot
Lord Robertson
Nato Secretary General
Michael Farri
Fire captain, Pentagon
Tony Blair
UK Prime Minister
Zohra Tahiri
Teacher, Kabul
Dr Zaki Badawi
British Muslim cleric
Condoleezza Rice
US national security adviser
Lisa Lefler
Worked in World Trade Center
Howard Lutnick
Chief executive, Cantor Fitzgerald
Rick Thornton
Ferry captain, New York
Sarar Hareth Ibrahimi
Baghdad resident
Katie Hochbaum
15-year-old schoolgirl, New York
Faten Elwan
Palestinian, Ramallah
Mikhal El-Yeshiv
Teacher, Jerusalem
Orshum Parks
New mother, New York

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Lord Robertson
Nato Secretary General

Brussels

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Every Tuesday the Nato ambassadors meet for a private lunch at a different ambassadorís residence and it prepares for the North Atlantic Council the following day.

So that day we were hosted by the Belgian ambassador. This lunch is strictly off the record - no mobile phones, no messages, no interruptions. The cardinals of Nato were basically in conclave.

So we were interrupted, unusually, first of all by one of the ambassadors getting a message from his chauffeur - getting a message that something had happened. That was then followed by one of my bodyguards coming in with a mobile phone.

On alert

So that was two rules broken... and this was my office to say there were reports of one of the planes hitting the World Trade Center.

And I must say I thought, and so did the others who I told, that it was a little trainer aircraft. A few minutes later another phone call came in to say that a second plane had hit, so at that point the lunch was abandoned and we all climbed into cars and came back and I listened in to the World Service to the unfolding story.

I suddenly became very conscious that apart from watching this as a spectator I was also a participant, because of course we are on a direct flight path to what was then a very busy Brussels airport and these planes were roaring overhead.

So we mobilised very quickly, first of all to get non-essential staff home - and that required a script in French as well as English in order to tell people by tannoy that they should go - and then to get down to work to see how the place could be protected and we might fulfil our role as one of the primary military headquarters in the world.

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