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FLIGHT THREAT TO ASHCROFT.

Byline: ANDY LINES

THE American air force threatened to shoot down a plane carrying Attorney General John Ashcroft if he tried to return to terror-hit Washington, it was revealed yesterday.

Ashcroft was in a Cessna bound for Milwaukee on September 11 when he was told of the attacks.

He immediately ordered pilot David Clemmer to turn back - until Clemmer was warned fighter jets would target the plane.

The pilot said: "The military has been ordered to shoot us down if we approach Washington."

Susan Dryden, one of just five passengers on the flight, told how Ashcroft suddenly paled as he received news of the atrocity by phone.

She said: "He hung up and said, 'Our world has changed forever because of what I am about to tell you'."

The plane was already heading back east when orders came through to land at the nearest airport - or be shot.

Clemmer then charted a path to Richmond 100 miles from Washington, while he negotiated with the FBI for a fighter escort.

But he was eventually informed fighter jets had been dispatched to intercept and escort the Cessna to the capital.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 29, 2001
Words:188
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