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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

America's New War: Insight Into the Minds of Terrorists

Aired September 28, 2001 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, what were they thinking? Disturbing insights into the mindset of the September 11 terrorists. And did Osama bin Laden have a hand in the eight-day hijacking of an Indian airliner in 1999? We will hear the dramatic story of that terrifying ordeal from two survivors.

Joining us from Mexico City, the president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Are United States borders with his nation secure? In Washington, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, best-selling author Bob Woodward of the "Washington Post." From San Francisco, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, member of the Select Intelligence Committee, and chair of the Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information.

In Tucson, Republican Senator Jon Kyl, member of the Select Intelligence Committee and the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information. From New Delhi, the captain of that hijacked Indian airlines flight, Babe Asharan. Here in Los Angeles, the only U.S. citizen who was on that long hijacking odyssey, Jeanne Moore. And in Minneapolis, a woman who was shot in the head during an Egypt Air hijacking in 1985, Jackie Nink Pflug.

Plus, thoughts on patriotism and prayer from Pat Boone, all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. First, some headlines of the day. Officials say that United States special forces have conducted operations inside Afghanistan the past few days. President Bush has declared United States in hot pursuit of terrorists and appeals to Taliban rulers to hand over bin Laden, and free eight international aid workers, rejected on Friday. Those pleas rejected.

We earlier, just a while earlier, spoke with the president of Mexico Vicente Fox. We began by asking him his reaction to everything that has happened since September 11 and its impact on the U.S.- Mexican border situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VICENTE FOX, PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: Our reaction, Larry, it's very strong against this cancer of terrorism. We showed our sorrow and our condolences right immediately when this was happening. That 11th of September, I was at the World Trade Center of Mexico at 9 o'clock in the morning. When I heard the news, I came out to the air, came out to the press and expressed my condolences, my sorrow, and at the same time my commitment and the commitment of Mexico to fight at the side of United States against terrorism, and to make sure that we don't end with this cancer.

Now in the case of the borders, the very first day, what happened is that everything was stopped -- the traffic and transit of people, the traffic and transit of merchandises. But two days after, it started to move the flow again. And today, it's come back to normal -- about 80 percent of the crossings of every day is back to normality. And what we are suffering right now is a decrease of our exports and our imports.

But further than that, that border we're working very closely together -- the U.S. authorities with the Mexican authorities. So now they today are conversating a resolution of problems.

KING: What has been the impact, Mr. President, on tourism in Mexico?

FOX: Well, the first figures we have right now, Larry, in the case, for instance, of Cancun, which is our largest tourism resort and the one that has more visitors, we have a drop down of about 30 percent from the first week. But it's coming back, it's recuperating, slowly, but it's recuperating. And, fortunately, up to now, for the month of October, we don't have yet one single cancellation. So we still expect that people will come back to ride planes, that people will come back to work.

And I think that's one of the best contributions that both American people and Mexicans can do to overcome this tragedy in the sense of economic terms.

KING: Mr. President, with the new security concerns, you think that's going to affect your proposal to document the three million Mexicans in the United States?

FOX: You know, I had the opportunity to talk to President Bush in three occasions after the problem, and in one of those conversations President Bush himself said that, although right now concentration would have to be on facing this challenge and this problem, but that our bilateral matters will not be affected and that soon we'll be coming back to discuss the projects that we are developing together on this alliance for prosperity that we're working with the United States.

So I think that we will come back to normality also on these issues.

For the meantime, we have strengthened our mechanisms related to migration, so that we make sure that the Mexican territory is absolutely not used by terrorists or that we control and enhance the law within our territory and on the border to make sure that no terrorists will come through Mexico to go to the United States.

KING: Have you faced any terrorism problems? FOX: No, not recently. We, fortunately, are in peace here in Mexico, but again, anybody can suffer this kind of attacks. This is why we have to show our commitment and solidarity with United States and with the nations of the world to fight against terrorism and to make sure that we control it and we bring it down to disappear.

KING: Do you think, Mr. President, the United States is going to need more oil from you?

FOX: Well, we have the oil, and we're ready to work. Basically, we are supplying a good share of the oil that United States is consuming. We have oil ready to sell to United States and to other countries, yes.

KING: How supportive is Mexico to this country in all of this? Would it be -- how far would Mexico be willing to go in this total coalition to help the United States?

FOX: Well, as far needed, all the way. We are totally committed not only with United States in the events of September the 11th, we're also committed on our participation, for instance, in the Organization of American States, where we have put up front a very strong commitment of support to United States and to the countries that will be fighting against terrorism.

Of course, militarily speaking, we don't count. I mean, we are not a military country. We don't have a strong army; that is not the way we contribute. I think that we have much better means and ways to participate and contribute with our intelligence and information, with our actions against organized crime and against terrorism, which we coordinate with FBI and with other U.S. agencies on the border, keeping good control and enforcement of the law in the borders, both north and south. We think that's where we can contribute and that's where we are already contributing.

By the way, also, we're putting up together mechanisms also for checking bank accounts or money movements that could be related to terrorism, as well as we do with narco-traffic money. We do have a system and we're going to be very close to making sure that we also contribute in that area.

KING: I know that you've spoken with your friend President Bush, three or four times since all of this. How, in your opinion, honestly, is he doing?

FOX: Well, I think that, from the very first conversation that was the day after the 11th, he showed intelligence, wisdom, at the same time, force -- interior force. I don't know the right word, but maybe anger, irritation that the U.S. people was feeling. He felt it himself, as if it was to his same family.

But at the same time, he started looking at the future and thinking strategy.

Later on, I had other conversations. By the way, on one of them, my son Rodrigo (ph), which is only 13 years old, he asked me, "Papa, I want to speak to my friend Bush, George," because that's the way he calls him. And he took the phone and he spoke with George Bush, his friend. And he told him he felt sorrow. He told him that he wanted to be at his side and that he was ready also to support.

I mean, this is something that should show the kind of commitment that we have.

KING: That's a great story.

Thank you so much, Mr. President. I'll look forward to meeting you in person.

FOX: Yes, Larry, anytime you want to come to Mexico, take the plane, and we will wait to see you here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: The president of Mexico. When we come back, Bob Woodward. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE frequent visitor Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist and best-selling author, assistant managing editor of the "Washington Post." Wrote a remarkable front-page article in today's "Post," headline is "Hijackers Bags: A Call to Planning, Prayer and Death," detailed the five-page handwritten document left behind in the luggage of key hijacker Mohamed Atta. How did you get this?

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": The -- one of the sources that I have developed over the years, and I was able to check it. I would love to say where it came from. It's kind of one of those stories that only can be told in a memoir.

KING: OK, who -- do we know who wrote it?

WOODWARD: The authorities believe that Atta himself wrote it, but they are not sure at this point.

KING: What was your first thought on this incredible -- I mean, this is an incredible document.

WOODWARD: Well, what it is it's kind of a mind entry, in the sense that you see in this document that somebody is paternalistic controlling, telling the hijackers what to think, what prayers to say as they get on the plane, what to do the night before, telling them, "make sure you bring your knives and your ID and your passport," down to the point of making sure your shoes are clean.

KING: Yeah, let's take -- the mission operation, "check all your items, your bag, your clothes, knives, your will, your will, your IDs, your passport, all your papers. Check your safety before you leave. Make sure nobody is following you. Make sure you're clean, your clothes are clean, including your shoes." This is pretty detailed thinking the night before a suicide. WOODWARD: It is. But it shows that there is somebody behind this, or the group effort, wants total and absolute control. And even in the document, they address the natural reservations and fear and even hate somebody might have about death. And it says, "you have to stand tall on this with God," and promises this kind of "infinite paradise" is the reward for the suicide mission.

KING: In that, let's discuss the recurring theme of eternal life, which you discovered in this incredible letter. The writer says: "Everybody hates death, fears death, but only those, the believers who know that life after death and the reward after death would be the ones who will be seeking death. You have to be convinced that those few hours that are left you and your life are very few. From there, you will begin to live the happy life, the infinite paradise. Be optimistic. The prophet was always optimistic."

How, Bob, do you fight something like that, where the believer believes so much they are going to paradise?

WOODWARD: This is one of the problems, and the one of the initial steps has to be to understand who is on the other side of this. What is their level of commitment, organization, and discipline? And you look at it, and it's so tight, it's so tightly compartmentalized. You see the pictures of these people, and if you were sitting next to one on a plane before September 11, you would not have any idea of what's going on in the head of this person, and almost a series of "Manchurian Candidates," all programmed to do the things that make them look average and plane.

I think that's one of the reasons they said, "make sure you are clean and your clothes are clean," plus the religious component of this. And then, boom, and, you know, three of their four planes hit their targets.

KING: Now, study -- since the letter was printed today, Islamic experts were surprised that they used the name "God," because Muslims do not use that name in prayer.

WOODWARD: A number of people, in fact, my office phone and e- mail system is flooded with people making comments, reacting to this emotionally, and a lot of people made that point. The translation could be Allah, but, you know, it was the translation I had that was available.

KING: Is it true that this now underscores your conviction that more things are coming?

WOODWARD: Who knows? When you look at this, and you realize that the president has said it's war, the country, and to a certain extent the international community, has declared war on the terrorists. No war is one-sided. They struck in this way, and you certainly reasonably have to expect they will try to strike again.

I think the law enforcement and intelligence efforts are directed as much at trying to preempt and prevent and get some insight to where this might come again, as to find out who did it. KING: Listen to this section headed "The Last Night." "Remind yourself that in this night you will face many challenges, but you have to face them and understand them 100 percent. Obey God, his messenger, and don't forget among yourself where you become weak, and stand fast. God will stand with those who stood fast."

This is an extraordinary document. It has got to help people learn more about them, don't you think?

WOODWARD: Yes. I mean, I -- you hope so. Of course, I am driven and by what don't we know. You know, who wrote this? Did they sit in those hotel rooms the night before and go through these prayers? Did somebody read this? What was the nature of -- was there any ambivalence about this on the part of the hijackers? Who conceived it? For every partial answer we get, there are about 10,000 questions.

KING: From a reporting standpoint, Bob, is -- this seems awfully difficult to cover. It's a war where we don't know the enemy, what front you are fighting it on, coalitions, dealing with people at home, elections going on in New York, mayors staying, mayors leaving, what happened in London, someone is arrested in Germany. How do you get an overview of this?

WOODWARD: Well, the editor of the "Post," Len Downie, has a great team and kind of -- we sit down and try to think about it. What are the big questions? Can we get answers to them? Tries to find the connective tissue between what's going on in London, in Germany, in Washington, in New York. And it's like you. You are on live seven nights a week. In a sense, we are plugged in 24 hours a day, and you learn on something -- a story like this that extends your threshold for dealing with the inconceivable, that the inconceivable will often happen again and again.

KING: When will -- do you have any knowledge about the reopening, if at all, of Reagan National Airport?

WOODRUFF: There are things going around that it has got to be soon. In Washington, it is a major economic blow, there are people out there who have lost their jobs, and clearly there is a way, a safe way, to get that airport opened, in terms of not only the economy and the practicality and the fairness, but the symbolism.

KING: Because the Washington mayor recently said, tourism way down, right? Restaurants way down, hotels way down in your city.

WOODWARD: Yes. That's true, but things are coming back, and I expect that that airport -- that airport just has to open. I mean, the idea of naming an airport in the capital of this nation after Ronald Reagan and closing it down because somebody scared the hell out of us would be the -- would be too much inconsistency there. So, I think at the point the security people say we can do this safely -- we live in this city at night, and I have noticed that it is more often the women who hear the planes, the combat air patrol droning on through the night, and you wake up and you hear that, and to me it's comforting. To a lot of people, there is a real sense of not only it has the life changed, but sleep has changed.

KING: Thanks, Bob. See you next -- we will be seeing you next week, we'll be out there.

WOODWARD: Thanks.

KING: Bob Woodward of the "Washington Post."

When we come back, Senators Feinstein and Kyl, and later an incredible story of a hijack -- you won't believe this. That's coming later, the senators are next. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: These three documents, this letter, is clear evidence linking the hijackers on the three separate flights on September 11. The letter is written in Arabic and contains instructions to the hijackers, as well as Islamic prayers. It is a disturbing and shocking view into the mind-set of these terrorists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining us now from San Francisco, Senator Dianne Feinstein; from Tucson, Arizona, Senator Jon Kyl, Democrat and Republican respectively. Both members of key committees and subcommittees dealing with intelligence.

Senator Feinstein, do you think we are going to learn a lot from these letters?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA), TECHNOLOGY & TERRORISM SUBCOMMITTEE: Well, I have learned two things already. The first is that the writer, from my perspective, has to be someone that these hijackers, these killers, respected, because they took the communications with them, and three of them were found.

Secondly, what it says to me is that there is an irrefutable link. It becomes an important item in an evidentiary chain that there is somebody out there guiding them -- probably more than one -- that the three events are linked. It -- they sound to me like it's kind of almost dictated, it is a quick note to bring up confidence, to give direction, to spur on, to carry out the act. And it would indicate to me that there was a great respect by the hijackers to whomever wrote this. So I think it is a very important discovery.

KING: Senator Kyl, what do you get from it?

SEN. JON KYL (R-AZ), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I think two other things as well. First of all, it is clear that it is radical Islam that's driving these terrorists. Secondly, it confirms the fact that the planning was right down to, as you said, make sure your shoes are clean. That's almost a metaphor for the degree of planning that had to go into the placement of those agents in the United States, their training here, learning how to fly airplanes, showing up at the right time and the right place and then pulling off this heinous crime, in coordination with at least three other or two other groups, and -- well, three other groups and maybe more -- on that day of September 11. Very close planning involved in this activity.

KING: Senator Feinstein, you want to look a lot at foreign students, right? Why?

FEINSTEIN: Well, no, it's not only foreign students. I have been on the Immigration Subcommittee of Judiciary also for about 8 1/2 years now, and what I have watched is I have watched that us become a country that we take so many people, and so many people come and visit and study, that there is no mechanism to know really who they are, where they are, and if they do what they say they are going to do.

It's a real fault. There is, you know, this country is a gigantic sieve, and INS is out of date. It doesn't have a tracking system. The computers don't interrelate. For example, at the student program is just one small part of it. Let me say this: I believe that the dominant majority of students do what they say they are going to do. Nonetheless, there is no background check. INS is not upfront in the process. The student simply goes into a counselor office, says, "I have been accepted by XYZ school," gets the visa. There is no confirmation that the student goes to the school, takes the courses, or stays in the school.

And that's one of the problems. Plus the fact that the program has been subject to fraud. And this is particularly in San Diego County. People have been convicted and are doing time for this kind of fraud -- falsifying grades, falsifying entries, and so on.

KING: Senator Kyl, are you concerned about -- it was discussed last night on this program -- the apparent fact that these agencies, that you deal with, intelligence agencies, don't work well together?

KYL: Well, they are not talking to each other. And Senator Feinstein is exactly right. We have some people who are on the CIA or FBI watch list, they may have some other problem with INS, they have overstayed a visa, for example, they may be on somebody else's criminal records. And then they are out trying to learn how to fly an airplane.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that, but if you had this data linked together so that people could know what's happening, you would have a better idea of who might be involved in these terrorist cells. And these cells are all over the United States.

So Senator Feinstein is correct. We've got to have a better handle on who the folks are. Remember that more than half of the people who are in the United States illegally got here legally, and then they have overstayed their visa or in some other way, the have gotten, what we say is "out of status." So, we have to have an enforceable entry/exit system, as well as the program that she is talking about with respect to foreign students.

KING: Do you both think we can balance successful operations at the same time media informed? Senator Feinstein.

FEINSTEIN: Well, of course, we can. But we've got to bring INS into the modern age. Now, the bill I will introduce will have an amount of money, over $32 million, to produce the kind of tracking system. We have talked to a group called TechNet, which is a group of the largest California Silicon Valley computer companies, and they are willing to help. They are willing to move vigorously to see that the computers are updated and upgraded, because both are really necessary.

KING: And Senator Kyl, do you think the public will be well informed what's going on, or must secrecy take hold?

KYL: No, I think we'll have to be very upfront about what we're doing here. Now, there are certain operational things about the war that the public won't find out about until later, but I think everything else that we're trying to do we'll be pretty upfront about it. With respect to the exact whereabouts of a terrorist cell or something like that, obviously that won't be shared, but I think that we have to involve the American people in this process if they're going to support what we're trying to do.

KING: We'll be calling on both of you again. Thank you very much.

When we come back, incredible stories of hijackings that took place two years ago, and another one that took place sometime back in 1985. You can all you can relate to. These are incredible stories. And Bin Laden may be involved in one of them. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. By the way, among the guests tomorrow night will be Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. And the Canadian prime minister will be aboard as well. And Senator Bob Dole is going to be with us Monday when we're in Washington.

We welcome now to LARRY KING LIVE here in Los Angeles, Jeanne Moore, the only United States citizen on Indian airline flight 814, hijacked Christmas Eve 1999, while en route from Katmandu to New Delhi.

And in Minneapolis, Jackie Mink Pflug, survived the November 1985 hijacking of Egypt Air 648, included being shot in head, and tossed from the plane. It was all chronicled in her book "Miles to Go Before I Sleep: My Grateful Journey Back From the Hijacking of Egypt Air 648."

First we'll start with Jeanne. Your flight was hijacked by five men with guns and grenades en route from Katmandu, Nepal to New Delhi. You went to Armastar, India, Lahore, Pakistan, an air base outside Dubai, eventually landed in Afghanistan, and where rebels were released by the Indian government in response to the hijacker's demands. OK, what were you doing on that plane?

JEANNE MOORE: Having a very bad vacation.

KING: It was a vacation?

MOORE: It was supposed to have been vacation time.

KING: What happened?

MOORE: I had carefully planned a vacation so that I wouldn't be running into any difficulties, because India can have them. And left Katmandu a couple of hours later than we had originally anticipated. And about 45 minutes into the flight, there was a ruckus and noise, and people running around. And one man with a gun chasing another one, having guns and grenades in their hands. And then there was the announcement that the plane is hijacked.

KING Your first reaction?

MOORE: Bad dinner theater.

KING: Joining us, by the way, from New Delhi is Captain Devi Sharan. He was the captain of Indian Airline flight 814. Are you still flying, captain?

MOORE: Yes, he is.

DEVI SHARAN, PILOT: Yes, very much.

KING: What happened -- what do you remember most from that day?

SHARAN: I have not forgot anything till now. And it was a nightmare for all of us.

KING: When -- what happened when they came into the cabin?

SHARAN: First they entered in the cockpit. I know from the cockpit only, when they entered in cockpit, one guy. He was with one hand grenade and one revolver. And he said, "Don't move. There should not be any movement in the cockpit." And he started ordering us take this aircraft to west. So that's where the things were going on.

KING: Did he did he ever say that he was willing to die?

SHARAN: Yes. They were willing to die, because when we took off from Amisar in India, that time they said, "You take off and crash this airplane in Pakistan territory." We don't want to die with the commandos. We will die a heroic death. The world should know what we have done. So you should take off if you don't have fuel and crash this airplane in Pakistan territory. But I took off, and went to Lahore in Pakistan.

KING: Now how did you -- you eventually wind up in Afghanistan, right? SHARAN: Yes.

KING: And that's where they make demands to free terrorists or rebels held in India, correct?

SHARAN: Yes.

KING: And you at this time, how many days did this hijacking take?

SHARAN: It took about eight days. Eight days in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

KING: Jeanne, how did you hold up, eight days? What happened? What went through? I mean, did they talk to you?

MOORE: Yes, I actually spent quite a bit of time talking with the one they called Berger. And I had talked with him from very beginning.

KING: He spoke English?

MOORE: Very well, yes. I'm sure he spoke...

KING: And what was he saying?

MOORE: We talked about a lot of things. Nobody else had made any kind of contact. Nobody else was doing anything. And so I took my foot off the knife, I kept my foot on for a while and started talking with him.

My original goal was to find out if they had an escape plan or if this was just a mission where we were all going to die. And so I was asking questions to find out my information. And we just started talking, and there wasn't a lot of talking on the plane between any people, Because most time we had our heads down and we weren't allowed to speak.

KING: How did you eat?

MOORE: How did they eat or?

KING: How did you eat?

MOORE: Very little. When you don't have any restrooms for one thing, and you're not sure what's going to be in the food or what it's going to be made of, it's not that difficult to just not eat.

KING: For eight days?

MOORE: For eight days. Water, I decided to drink, because if you don't have any water to drink, pretty soon your brain dries out. And then you can't make rational decisions. And I know at one time I had the gun in my hand and the magazine, and made a decision not to wrap it and use it because they had grenades. And a gun against grenades... KING: When you got to Afghanistan, did you know what they were asking for?

MOORE: We were told many different things at different times. They were excellent in mind control and controlling groups. That was their job and their profession. So they were well trained. It depended upon the day of the week what we were told they wanted.

KING: When it finally got to Afghanistan, did they tell they were negotiating for the release of rebels?

MOORE: They told us a lot of things, including the fact that we were involved in a wonderful uniting activity that was going to bring nations together and peace. And they said a lot of things that many of the people believed at the time. I'm kind of cynical. And I also understand...

KING: When they got their demands, did you get off in Afghanistan?

MOORE: Yes, when they got the people that were brought to the plane, they drove off into the sunset.

KING: And you got off the plane?

MOORE: Then after...

KING: Did that plane eventually take you back?

MOORE: No, that plane couldn't, because we had broken something while we were there.

KING: Captain, did you fear for your life?

SHARAN: Yes, we were fear, but I was very confident that we will save our passengers. We made all of efforts to save the passengers.

KING: And you saved everyone, right? Did anyone die?

MOORE: Yes.

KING: One person?

MOORE: Yes.

KING: Killed by a terrorist?

SHARAN: Yes, there was one person died.

KING: We'll take a break.

SHARAN: This, by the knife.

KING: Yes. We're going to take a break and come back and include Jackie Pflug from Minneapolis. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: In New Delhi is Captain Devi Sharan. In Los Angeles is Jeanne Moore, both the pilot and passenger of Indian Air flight 814. And joining us now from Minneapolis is Jackie Nink Pflug. She survived a hijacking of Egypt Air 648 in 1985.

Were was your plane going and what happened, Jackie?

JACKIE PFLUG: It was going from Athens, Greece to Cairo, Egypt. I was teaching school at the Cairo American School at that time. And I was traveling from Cairo to Athens for a volleyball tournament in Athens. And I was there for about four days, but I had to come back home to Cairo to teach the next day. So put myself on the 9:00 flight out, Egypt Air 648 from Athens back to Cairo.

KING: What happened?

PFLUG: In about 20, 15, 20, minutes into take-off, I was listening to Bruce Springsteen's latest release "Born in USA." It was just blaring in my ears. And I felt something hit me. And I was thinking, "Nobody's supposed to be standing up."

So I looked up, and there were three men standing up in the aisles, holding guns and grenades in their hands. And they immediately put their masks over their faces. And a flight attendant came on and said that we were being hijacked by the Egypt Revolution and that if we did what we were told, we would not get hurt.

And I immediately put my head into my hands. I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe that we were being hijacked. I felt...

KING: Jackie, how did you come to be shot?

PFLUG: Well, we had three undercover sky marshals on our aircraft, because...

KING: Oh, you did?

PFLUG: Yes. There was some kind of rumor that there might be some kind of terrorist act, although we didn't know this.

KING: Anyway, how did you come to be shot?

PFLUG: Well the security placed these sky marshals on board. And there was a gun battle in the air. And we landed in Valletta, Malta. And the hijackers started to make their demands, which is fuel and safe passage to Libya.

And the Maltese officials said, absolutely not. "We're going to start shooting people, one by one, first with Israelis and then with the Americans if you don't let us go where we want to go."

And after they had come after the Israeli women, two Israeli women, they came after the three Americans. And I was the third American to be shot. And I was brought up to the front of the aircraft. Now this is after two days of this, I finally was brought up to the front. And they opened up the door. And I looked at my world, for what I thought was going to be my last time. It was a beautiful blue sky. And I felt the gun to my head and he pulled the trigger.

KING: How did you live?

PFLUG: Well, I was the only one that lived that got shot in the head. I think it's a miracle. After there was an investigation by the FBI agents, they said that terrorists have a tendency to pack their own bullets with their own gunpowder. And they believe that the bullet that came into my head didn't have as much gunpowder as it did for all the other passengers.

KING: You are a very lucky lady.

Captain Sharan, I want to bring you back in. Do you like the idea of air marshals on planes?

SHARAN: Yes, it is very much effective. We should have air marshals on plane. And the cockpit should be -- now the time is cockpit should be isolated from cabin. There should be a bulletproof door in front of the cockpit.

Nobody should be able to enter the cockpit. Now this is the time we have to take these measures because what I have seen like, most of the airplanes have very, very precise doors. Anybody can enter in the cockpit after breaking the door.

So it is very necessary to have a very, very, strengthen, very, very bulletproof door. So that nobody should be enter. And we should have sky marshal for the safety of the passengers in that cabin.

Now, this is the only thing we can do. Otherwise, the safety of the passengers will be very -- in danger, actually.

KING: Jeanne, you're shaking your head no. Why not?

MOORE: Why not? I think first off, somebody of the things that they're planning should be kept secret and private. I don't think you should give away all the things you're planning.

KING: Well, they're not going to tell you who the marshals are.

MOORE: Right. Another thing is the marshal, if he carries firearms, that he's kind of the mole carrying the firearms for the terrorists. I had a lot of time to think about some of these things.

KING: Might take it from them, right?

MOORE: Right.

KING: I want to do a whole show on this and have you come back.

MOORE: I'd like that.

KING: Is it presumed bin Laden was behind your hijacking?

MOORE: Yes.

KING: That's the general, not official, but general assumption he was, right?

MOORE: I believe it's the official one, too.

KING: Because of the people released were supporters of his?

MOORE: Yes, yes.

KING: Jackie, do you fly comfortably?

PFLUG: Yes. I even flew last week. But it took me a while to get on an aircraft. I think -- actually, it took four months after my hijacking to get back on an aircraft. I just needed to do it, because I knew if I didn't do, I would be afraid the rest of my life. So I needed to go back on an aircraft. And that's what I do for a living now is my business means I need to fly. And so these last 16 years, I've been flying.

KING: Any trepidation now?

PFLUG: I somehow came to peace with it. What's that?

KING: Any trepidation since September 11?

PFLUG: Oh, yes, it brought up a lot of fears. I had two fears. One, I didn't want to die. And I had to work through what I think death is all about. And the second fear was I didn't want it to happen again. And so I had come to peace with that. And then September 11 came around, and it brought up all my fears again.

KING: Jeanne, same thing?

MOORE: Exactly same thing. I felt a great sense of responsibility when it happened. And every time I hear that they're trying to put it on Bin Laden, I feel even greater responsibility I just...

KING: Yes, you thought it was routine.

MOORE: Yes, I just...

KING: We're going to have all these people back one night and do a whole program on just hijacking, what it's like. We haven't given it justification this time. But as you know, we have a lot of guests every night and we try to get everyone space.

We thank Capain Sharan and Jeanne Moore and Jackie Nink Pflug.

When we come back, Pat Boone. We've been closing every night with entertainers of some stripe, leading into a patriotic song. We'll talk to Pat and have a wonderful rendition of "America the Beautiful" for you, but don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Governor Jeb Bush will be with us tomorrow night. We'll be live again. They'll be 20 consecutive nights of LARRY KING LIVES. We welcome Pat Boone to our program. Where were you on September 11?

PAT BOONE, SINGER: I was asleep. I slept late. It's -- I always wake up about 7:00. 7:15. And when it go up about 8:15, there were two messages from my wife. She's in Orange County at the hospital with our grandson Ryan. And the two messages are, "Pat, are you watching TV? Are you watching television?" She couldn't figure where I was. And I just overslept.

So when I got up, I sat transfixed in the same horror, disbelief, that we've all been experiencing.

KING: Now you've appeared with us many times. We've led prayers here for your grandson. who I understand may coming out of coma now?

BOONE: Oh, listen, Larry. I'm so thrilled to be able to give good report here because thanks to you and the folks here at CNN and the LARRY KING LIVE show, millions of prayers literally have been offered for my grandson.

There's a later shot. You see all that stuff's been disconnected. There he is sitting up in a chair with fiancee. He's come a long way. They still say he's technically in coma, but he's on the brink of coming out. He's responding to all the physical therapy. I told you one of these days...

KING: You mean it may have worked?

BOONE: Huh?

KING: You mean it may have worked?

BOONE: The prayer, not only may have worked, it is working. He's going to come here one day and tell you about it.

KING: It's going to be a historic night.

BOONE: Oh man. Thank God.

KING: Now when you see tragedy like that.

BOONE: Yes.

KING: You don't question your faith?

BOONE: No. No. I mean I -- if you read this Bible, as you can see I do here all the time, every year, every day. It's not a surprise that horrible things happen to good people. And somebody brought up -- is the God that you know saw the children of Israel through the wilderness and helped them win all their battles, you know, where was he? Well, if you read the story children of Israel, you have to acknowledge that when they were having their great victories, it's when they were in sync with God. They were obeying him. They were proclaiming openly he is our God. He is our protector. When they became rebellious and forgetful and sinful, they...

KING: You're not saying this bomb occurred because people are sinners.

BOONE: No, no, but we as society have banished God from almost every vestige of our lives, that is publicly. School kids can't pray or name God in school.

KING: What does that have to do with terrorism?

BOONE: Because we step away from his protection. He didn't go anywhere. We walked as a people out from under protection.

KING: Is it any conflict to you that the people doing it also believed in God?

BOONE: No, because they're have always been fanatics zealots. There are people who have you know, the right wings zealot Christians, and really, you know, zealous Jews and Palestinians and Japanese.

KING: But you're not Jerry Falwell here. You're not blaming others?

BOONE: No, I'm not blaming anybody. I'm just saying that we as society have grown lax in our sense of dependence on God. So we didn't really think that this could happen. You know, security was lax, all kinds of things were lax.

And I think that includes our open dependence on God. You know, our pledge of allegiance says we are one nation under God, indivisible. And even since tragedy, I've seen top news anchors that we both know, they quote the pledge allegiance, "We are one nation indivisible."

And for some reason, political correctness or something, they leave out two words "under God." Well, how can you sort of relegate him to the side and then expect him to protect you when you're sort of denying him? And I have a scripture here.

KING: I don't know if we are time.

BOONE: Oh, no.

KING: I want to ask you about this. This is -- we're going to play your version of "America the Beautiful." It's an album you did 30 years ago.

BOONE: The songs. Now, we've done a video that's only five years ago, because I felt so strongly all this time, that the songs are vanishing from American life. School kids don't know them. The parents can't teach their kids because they don't know them. KING: They know them now, don't they?

BOONE: Well, no they don't. They're having to relearn them. That's why this album is going into every store and the video is going in, because if you saw the telethon the other night, after they got past first verse "America the Beautiful," Willie Nelson and everybody, unless the people could see a telethon, they had no idea what the next words were.

And so, we need to have these songs. We need to teach our kids.

KING: I'm happy for your grandson and I hope everything turns out well.

BOONE: Thank you, Larry.

KING: We'll have you back of course. And as we go to break, we'll be coming back and talk to Aaron Brown and find out what he's going to be doing at the top of the hour.

Here's Pat Boone and a visual montage, one of the best patriotic songs ever written, "America the Beautiful."

(MUSIC)

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