August 02, 2004

What Citi building?

02terr3.jpgAmerica woke up this morning to learn that five buildings have been targeted by Al Qaeda – The New York Stock Exchange, two international financial institutions in Washington, one random place in New Jersey, and "the Citigroup building in Manhattan". Which raises the obvious question: what Citigroup building in Manhattan?

My first thought is that they must be talking about the Citigroup Center, at 153 E53rd St – that, after all, is the building described in the New York Times graphic. It's an iconic building, with its distinctive angled roof, and recognisable by most of the world's opinion-formers. Problem is, it has very little in the way of Citigroup tenancy.

According to Curbed, on the other hand, AM New York thinks that the actual target is next door, at 399 Park, and in fact the photograph in the New York Times is of an armed policeman in front of 399 Park, not 153 E53rd.

Curbed's correspondent says, falsely, that Citigroup has moved out of 399 Park and that Citigroup HQ is now in Long Island City. As if. It's true that Citi no longer owns the building, but 399 Park is indeed still Citigroup's headquarters. All the senior officers are right there, on the third floor – Sandy Weill, Chuck Prince, Robert Rubin, the lot. The investment bankers, of course, are downtown, at 388 Greenwich ("the umbrella building", in Tribeca).

So which is it? The big tower, the investment bank, or the actual headquarters? It gets so confusing when Qaeda refuses to be specific on such matters...

Posted by Felix at 05:14 PM GMT

"...One random place in New Jersey?" It's the world HQ of Prudential Financial and its insurance arm - one of the largest institutions in the world and due to its proximity to numerous neighborhoods heavily populated with Muslims and lower security standing, probably the most like to be hit.

I won't list targets, but it's got to be easier to hit financial targets in NJ than in Manhattan, and it won't matter because the attack will be reported as "New York" or "just outside New York" in news reports. I explained this to people who thought I was nuts to be worried about riding the PATH after 9/11. They all said, "Oh, they'd attack the NYC Subway way before the PATH!" And I'd reply, "You think those clowns at the BBC, Al Jazeera or Reuters know the difference between the PATH and the NYC Subway?"

Posted by: Sterling on August 2, 2004 09:38 PM

Whatever you do, don't list those targets, as I know for a fact that some of our readers are BBC sympathizers.

Posted by: Stefan Geens on August 2, 2004 11:39 PM

Apparently without warning, the alert has spread to London. Using the same language to describe credible threats in the land of bobby's and birds, our boy Ridge now has the cops scrambling to determine which Citibank building in London to protect as well.

Posted by: bafc23 on August 3, 2004 12:44 AM

Well, maybe your BBC sympathizing friends should take cover in their HQ - it's a sure thing Al Qaeda won't bomb its allies.

Posted by: Sterling on August 3, 2004 03:20 PM