been devised to protect against it. And I believe it iscritical to recognize this important truth about terrorism: Thethreat of terrorism is constant, but the nature of that threatchanges, because to be successful, terrorism must continuallychange how it operates.On Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001, I was meetingwith the Belgian transport minister in my conference roomadjacent to my office, discussing aviation issues. Because ofthe agenda, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey was also inattendance.A little after 8:45 a.m., my chief of staff, JohnFlaherty, interrupted the meeting. He asked AdministratorGarvey and me to step into my office, where he told me that newsagencies were reporting that some type of aircraft had flowninto one of the towers of New York's World Trade Center.Information was preliminary, so we did not know whatkind of aircraft nor whether or not it was intentional. JaneGarvey immediately went to a telephone and contacted the FAAoperations center. I asked to be kept informed of anydevelopments and returned to the conference room to explain tothe Belgian prime minister that our meeting might have to bepostponed.In an incident involving a major crash of any type, theOffice of the Secretary goes into a major information-gatheringresponse. It contacts the mode of administration overseeingwhatever mode of transportation is involved in the incident. Itmonitors press reports, contacts additional personnel toaccommodate the surge in operations, and centralizes theinformation for me through the chief of staff.In major incidents, it will follow a protocol ofnotification that includes the White House and other agenciesinvolved in the incident. These activities, albeit in thenascent stage of information-gathering, took place in theseinitial minutes.A few minutes after my return to the conference room,my chief of staff again asked me to step back into my office.He then told me that the aircraft was a commercial aircraft andthat the FAA had received an unconfirmed report that a hijackingof an American Airlines flight had occurred.