Two deaths, no reports on casualties (yet). Eyewitnesses report an object making a sharp turn before flying into the building.
No speculation as to whether this was a terror attack or not, but the date alone is correlative…
UPDATE: NORAD is up, fighters are scrambled.
UPDATE x2: Today is 17 Ramadan, the anniversary of the Battle of Badr:
The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention or the genius of Muhammad. Although it is one of the few battles specifically mentioned in the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, virtually all contemporary knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, written decades after the battle.
Prior to the battle, the Muslims and Meccans had been engaging in several smaller skirmishes and by late 623 and early 624 the Muslim ghazaw?t had become more frequent. Badr, however was the first large-scale engagement between the two forces. Muhammad was leading a raiding party against a Quraish caravan when he was surprised by a much larger Quraishi army. Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad’s well-disciplined men managed to shatter the Meccan lines, killing several important Quraishi leaders including Muhammad’s chief antagonist, Amr ibn Hish?m. For the early Muslims the battle was extremely significant because it was the first sign that they might eventually overcome their persecutors in Mecca. Mecca at this time was one of the richest and most powerful pagan cities in Arabia, fielding an army three times larger than that of the Muslims.
Ramadan started on 24 September and will end on 23 October.
The actual battle took place in March, but because of the Muslim lunar calendars the dates change…
UPDATE x3: “We have no reason to believe at this point that it is terrorist related, and our level remains the same,” said New York City Police Chief Michael Collins.
UPDATE x4: Cory Lidle, pitcher for the New York Yankees, was on the plane…
UPDATE x5: That has been confirmed. Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was indeed piloting the plane.
I’ll take a break. Drudge has all the interesting details at this point, but for the moment it’s safe to say there is no terror attack ongoing at the moment — though I am sure the response today will be a yardstick to judge our ability to respond to such a scenario.