As the state’s attorney general, I was forced to rely on runners for intelligence about what was happening across the river and in New Jersey.

Among hundreds of scattered reports from that day, I recall hearing that people were wearing suicide vests in Times Square; that suspicious activity was occurring near critical power plants and refineries; that as many as 20,000 people were dead or trapped inside the twenty stories or so of burning ruins; that New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was missing; that vigilante activity was beginning throughout the state, with vandalism of mosques and synagogues; and, notoriously, that Muslims were dancing on the rooftops and in the streets of Jersey City and Paterson.

Of the various usually false reports of that day, the last was perhaps the most disturbing.