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Allen shocked but not surprised by attacks

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Woody Allen, who has made a career of depicting Manhattan in films, said Thursday he was "terribly shocked but not really surprised" by last week's terrorist attacks.

The actor-writer-director, in Rome to promote his new movie, praised President Bush.

"It does seem that the president, whom I was certainly very critical of before he was elected . . . has a good grasp on the problem," Allen said, adding that the administration seems to understand that "this is not just a military problem, but a social, economic and political problem."

Allen said he was in New York during the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

"We knew that no country in the world, no city in the world was immune (from terrorism). We didn't expect that New York City would be immune," said Allen.

"But we were shocked by the irrationality of the act itself . . . the senseless murder of 5,000 people."

The 65-year-old Brooklyn native is promoting "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion," which is set in New York like many of his other films, including 1979's "Manhattan" and 1994's "Bullets Over Broadway."