In Iraq, television stations played a patriotic sing that begins "Down with America" as it showed the World Trade Center's towers falling. In Moscow, Russians rushed to offer their blood. In Europe, Chris Patten, the European Union's External Relations Commissioner, described the attack as "one of those few days in life that one can actually say will change everything." And in Gaza, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat condemned a terrorist act that he described as "unbelievable."
As shocked Americans entered into a state of national mourning, a range of reactions continued to pour in from across the globe. Most were sympathetic. But for some residents of the world's perennial trouble spots, there was a grim satisfaction in the knowledge that Americans, too, now understood the trauma of living with constant insecurity.
NEWSWEEK correspondents recorded snapshots of the international responses.
In Moscow, Russians overloaded the U.S. Embassy phone lines with their offers to give blood, reports Eve Conant. On the streets, residents carried bouquets made up of even numbers of giant red flowers--in accordance with the tradition that even-numbered bunches signify death and funerals--to lay at the embassy entrance.
Some responses, however, were less sympathetic. "Perhaps [the United States] won't bother us so much about Chechnya any more," said Igor Kazylin, a 38-year-old Russian who crowded around a restaurant television set to watch the live CNN footage carried on local television. "Maybe now they will understand."
In Russian programs, commentators expressed the fear that the United States would carry out a quick, ill-planned retaliation against those it suspected of carrying out the attack. "A serious response is expected," said Sergey Butin, spokesman for the Duma, the lower house of Parliament. "But we must be sure that a reaction is not premature ... Any act of aggression now may create yet another violent attack on the United States. We are concerned that nonstable countries could respond with a chemical-or biological-weapons attack, which no missile shield will be able to stop."
Russian newspapers and political leaders also emphasized that the significance of the attacks extended beyond America's borders. WAR OF THE WORLDS, declared the newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta. "The American tragedy puts all of humanity on the brink of war." Said Moskovsky Komsomolets: "America burned like a candle." ARMAGEDDON, said Kommersant.
President Vladimir Putin took a similar view, describing the attacks as "a wanton act of defiance against mankind." "Russia has first-hand experience with terrorism," he added. "This is why we understand very well what the American nation feels now. I want to tell the U.S. people on behalf of Russia: 'We are with you, we share and feel your pain, we support you."
American tourists throughout Italy sought out familiar names, crowding into McDonald's restaurants, Blockbuster video stores, the Hard Rock Cafe in Rome and American Express outlets around the country to watch English-language satellite television coverage of Tuesday's events, reports Barbie Nadeau.
Italian officials stepped up airport security and canceled all flights to the United States, Canada and several Mideast countries for at least 24 hours as soon as they heard news of the attacks. A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 that left Rome en route to Jeddah made an emergency landing and evacuated passengers in Athens after the airline received a bomb threat. Antiterrorist officials found nothing on the plane.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Rome warned American tourists to exercise extreme caution. The embassy closed Tuesday afternoon, saying it did not plan to reopen before Friday and directing all inquiries to their frequently updated Web site. In Venice and Rome, Italians gathered in impromptu displays of solidarity at St. Mark's and St. Peter's Squares, respectively.
Additional police were placed on duty in front of American-owned businesses and Israeli diplomatic offices and synagogues around the country. Security officers also were put on high alert at NATO bases in Naples, Aviano and Istrana, and an oil depot belonging to the Kuwaiti company Q8 was placed under heavy guard. In the Bay of Naples, American helicopters escorted ships with American flags to secure naval bases.
"I am devastated by the terrifying and insane terrorist attack that has struck the people of a country that is our friend and that has affected the whole world," Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wrote to President George W. Bush. Berlusconi--who suffered his own moments of personal anxiety until he learned that his daughter Marina had arrived safely on a business trip to New York on Tuesday morning--ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on official buildings around the country.
In London, well-wishers took flowers to the U.S. Embassy in historic Grosvenor Square. Click here to read Stryker McGuire's full report.
Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat condemned the attacks, sending the "the condolences of the Palestinian people to American President Bush and his government and to the American people for this terrible act." "We were completely shocked," Arafat told journalists in Gaza. "It's unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable." Leaders in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran and Libya also criticized the attacks.
The militant Islamic Jihad movement distanced itself from the attacks, but said they were a consequence of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
And while some did rejoice on the West Bank, the overall mood among Palestinians was one of deepening apprehension, reports Joshua Hammer.
"In the long-term, this must not be seen as a clash of civilizations between the Islamic and the Christian world," said S. Iftikhar Murshed, Pakistan's ambassador to Russia and a specialist on Afghanistan. "You must pay attention to the fact that every Islamic nation worth its name has condemned this."