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Don't worry about those fighter jets over New York

AP Photo 

Someone at the Defense Department had a very bad idea.

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For understandable reasons, Manhattan workers got nervous when they spotted jets flying low over their city Monday morning. The planes in question appeared to be an Air Force One lookalike pursued by two F-16 fighter jets and concern turned to fear.

Scores of frightened office workers, fearing a terrorist attack, fled buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City after the aircraft were seen flying at low altitudes over the Statue of Liberty and parts of lower Manhattan, turning low over the Hudson River, near the site of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and circling several times.

Later, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said that the plans were participating in  'photo op' being carried out by the Defense Department coordinated in advance with the FAA and state and local officials. But officials at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said they did not know about the event. Nor did security forces in a number of buildings. The worried office workers were not amused. Neither was the mayor of New York, who was described as furious. The White House later appologized for the incident.

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