|September 11 attacks|
|Part of terrorism in the United States|
|Date||September 11, 2001|
8:46 a.m. – 10:28 a.m. (EDT)
|Deaths||2,996 (2,977 victims + 19 hijackers)|
No. of participants
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10
Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s in news reports and books covering the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the September 11 attacks in New York and at the Pentagon in 2001.
Islamic terrorism, Islamist terrorism or radical Islamic terrorism is defined as any terrorist act, set of acts or campaign committed by groups or individuals who profess Islamic or Islamist motivations or goals. Islamic terrorists justify their violent tactics through the interpretation of Quran and Hadith according to their own goals and intentions. The motivation for Islamic terrorism in part comes from the idea of Islamic supremacy which is encapsulated in the formula, "Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it."
Al-Qaeda is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden, Abdullah Azzam, and several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers (United Airlines and American Airlines)—all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for California—were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed. Debris and the resulting fires caused a partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, which led to a partial collapse of the building's west side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was initially flown toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers thwarted the hijackers. 9/11 is the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history and the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officersin the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.
An airliner is a type of aircraft for transporting passengers and air cargo. Such aircraft are most often operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an aircraft intended for carrying multiple passengers or cargo in commercial service.
United Airlines, Inc., commonly referred to as United, is a major United States airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. United operates a large domestic and international route network, with an extensive presence in the Asia-Pacific region. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance with a total of 28 member airlines. Regional service is operated by independent carriers under the brand name United Express. United was established by the amalgamation of several airlines in the late 1920s, the oldest of these being Varney Air Lines, which was founded in 1926.
American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a major United States airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world's largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served. American, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American Airlines is a founding member of Oneworld alliance, the third largest airline alliance in the world. Regional service is operated by independent and subsidiary carriers under the brand name American Eagle.
Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda. The United States responded by launching the War on Terror and invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had failed to comply with U.S. demands to extradite Osama bin Laden and expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent terrorist attacks. Although Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda's leader, initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he claimed responsibility for the attacks.Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives. After evading capture for almost a decade, bin Laden was located in Pakistan and killed by SEAL Team Six of the U.S. Navy in May 2011.
The War on Terror, also known as the Global War on Terrorism, is an international military campaign that was launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks against the United States. The naming of the campaign uses a metaphor of war to refer to a variety of actions that do not constitute a specific war as traditionally defined. U.S. president George W. Bush first used the term "war on terrorism" on 16 September 2001, and then "war on terror" a few days later in a formal speech to Congress. In the latter speech, George Bush stated, "Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them." The term was originally used with a particular focus on countries associated with al-Qaeda. The term was immediately criticised by such people as Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and more nuanced terms subsequently came to be used by the Bush administration to publicly define the international campaign led by the U.S.; it was never used as a formal designation of U.S. operations in internal government documentation.
The War in Afghanistan, code named Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan (2001–14) and Operation Freedom's Sentinel (2015–present), followed the United States invasion of Afghanistan of 7 October 2001. The U.S. was initially supported by the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and later by a coalition of over 40 countries, including all NATO members. The war's public aims were to dismantle al-Qaeda and to deny it a safe base of operations in Afghanistan by removing the Taliban from power. The War in Afghanistan is the longest war in United States history.
The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban's leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The destruction of the World Trade Center and nearby infrastructure seriously harmed the economy of Lower Manhattan and had a significant effect on global markets, which resulted in the closing of Wall Street until September 17 and the civilian airspace in the U.S. and Canada until September 13. Many closings, evacuations, and cancellations followed, out of respect or fear of further attacks. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. On November 18, 2006, construction of One World Trade Center began at the World Trade Center site. The building was officially opened on November 3, 2014.Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Lower Manhattan, also known as Downtown Manhattan or Downtown New York, is the southernmost part of Manhattan, the central borough for business, culture, and government in the City of New York, which itself originated at the southern tip of Manhattan Island in 1624, at a point which now constitutes the present-day Financial District. The population of the Financial District alone has grown to an estimated 61,000 residents as of 2018, up from 43,000 as of 2014, which in turn was nearly double the 23,000 recorded at the 2000 Census.
Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, or New York–based financial interests.
Many closings and cancellations followed the September 11 attacks, including major landmarks, buildings, restrictions on access to Lower Manhattan, and postponement or cancellation of major sporting and other events. Landmarks were closed primarily because of fears that they may be attacked. At some places, streets leading up to the institutions were also closed. When they reopened, there was heightened security. Many states declared a state of emergency.
The origins of al-Qaeda can be traced to 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden traveled to Afghanistan and helped organize Arab mujahideen to resist the Soviets.Under the guidance of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden became more radical. In 1996, bin Laden issued his first fatwā , calling for American soldiers to leave Saudi Arabia.
The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the rural countryside. The mujahideen groups were backed primarily by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South and Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences very cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, whilst the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get very hot in summers. Kabul serves as the capital and its largest city.
Mujahideen is the plural form of mujahid, the term for one engaged in Jihad.
In a second fatwā in 1998, bin Laden outlined his objections to American foreign policy with respect to Israel, as well as the continued presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.Bin Laden used Islamic texts to exhort Muslims to attack Americans until the stated grievances are reversed. Muslim legal scholars "have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries", according to bin Laden.
The foreign policy of the United States is its interactions with foreign nations and how it sets standards of interaction for its organizations, corporations and system citizens of the United States.
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.
The Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Shield for operations leading to the buildup of troops and defense of Saudi Arabia and Operation Desert Storm in its combat phase, was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait arising from oil pricing and production disputes. The war is also known under other names, such as the Persian Gulf War, First Gulf War, Gulf War I, Kuwait War, First Iraq War or Iraq War, before the term "Iraq War" became identified instead with the 2003 Iraq War.
Bin Laden orchestrated the attacks and initially denied involvement but later recanted his false statements.Al Jazeera broadcast a statement by bin Laden on September 16, 2001, stating, "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation." In November 2001, U.S. forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In the video, bin Laden is seen talking to Khaled al-Harbi and admits foreknowledge of the attacks. On December 27, 2001, a second bin Laden video was released. In the video, he said:
It has become clear that the West in general and America in particular have an unspeakable hatred for Islam. ... It is the hatred of crusaders. Terrorism against America deserves to be praised because it was a response to injustice, aimed at forcing America to stop its support for Israel, which kills our people. ... We say that the end of the United States is imminent, whether Bin Laden or his followers are alive or dead, for the awakening of the Muslim umma (nation) has occurred
but he stopped short of admitting responsibility for the attacks.The transcript refers several times to the United States specifically targeting Muslims.
Shortly before the U.S. presidential election in 2004, bin Laden used a taped statement to publicly acknowledge al-Qaeda's involvement in the attacks on the United States. He admitted his direct link to the attacks and said they were carried out because:
we are free ... and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security, we undermine yours.
Bin Laden said he had personally directed his followers to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.Another video obtained by Al Jazeera in September 2006 shows bin Laden with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, as well as two hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Wail al-Shehri, as they make preparations for the attacks. The U.S. never formally indicted bin Laden for the 9/11 attacks but he was on the FBI's Most Wanted List for the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. After a 10-year manhunt, bin Laden was killed by American special forces in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
Journalist Yosri Fouda of the Arabic television channel Al Jazeera reported that, in April 2002, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted his involvement, along with Ramzi bin al-Shibh.The 9/11 Commission Report determined that the animosity towards the United States felt by Mohammed, the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, stemmed from his "violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel". Mohammed was also an adviser and financier of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the uncle of Ramzi Yousef, the lead bomber in that attack.
Mohammed was arrested on March 1, 2003, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, by Pakistani security officials working with the CIA. He was then held at multiple CIA secret prisons and Guantanamo Bay where he was interrogated and tortured with methods including waterboarding.During U.S. hearings at Guantanamo Bay in March 2007, Mohammed again confessed his responsibility for the attacks, stating he "was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z" and that his statement was not made under duress.
In "Substitution for Testimony of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed" from the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, five people are identified as having been completely aware of the operation's details. They are bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Abu Turab al-Urduni, and Mohammed Atef.To date, only peripheral figures have been tried or convicted for the attacks.
On September 26, 2005, the Spanish high court sentenced Abu Dahdah to 27 years in prison for conspiracy on the 9/11 attacks and being a member of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. At the same time, another 17 al-Qaeda members were sentenced to penalties of between six and eleven years.On February 16, 2006, the Spanish Supreme Court reduced the Abu Dahdah penalty to 12 years because it considered that his participation in the conspiracy was not proven.
Also in 2006, Moussaoui—who some originally suspected might have been the assigned 20th hijacker—was convicted for the lesser role of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and air piracy. He was sentenced to life without parole in the United States.Mounir el-Motassadeq, an associate of the Hamburg-based hijackers, served 15 years in Germany for his role in helping the hijackers prepare for the attacks. He was released in October 2018, and deported to Morocco.
The Hamburg cell in Germany included radical Islamists who eventually came to be key operatives in the 9/11 attacks.Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji were all members of al-Qaeda's Hamburg cell.
Osama bin Laden's declaration of a holy war against the United States, and a 1998 fatwā signed by bin Laden and others, calling for the killing of Americans,are seen by investigators as evidence of his motivation. In bin Laden's November 2002 "Letter to America", he explicitly stated that al-Qaeda's motives for their attacks include:
After the attacks, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri released additional videotapes and audio recordings, some of which repeated those reasons for the attacks. Two particularly important publications were bin Laden's 2002 "Letter to America",and a 2004 videotape by bin Laden.
Bin Laden interpreted Muhammad as having banned the "permanent presence of infidels in Arabia".In 1996, bin Laden issued a fatwā calling for American troops to leave Saudi Arabia. In 1998, al-Qaeda wrote, "for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples."
In a December 1999 interview, bin Laden said he felt that Americans were "too near to Mecca", and considered this a provocation to the entire Muslim world.One analysis of suicide terrorism suggested that without U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, al-Qaeda likely would not have been able to get people to commit to suicide missions.
In the 1998 fatwā, al-Qaeda identified the Iraq sanctions as a reason to kill Americans, condemning the "protracted blockade" – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque of Mecca from their grip, and in order for their [the Americans'] armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim."among other actions that constitute a declaration of war against "Allah, his messenger, and Muslims." The fatwā declared that "the ruling to kill the Americans and their allies
In 2004, Bin Laden claimed that the idea of destroying the towers had first occurred to him in 1982, when he witnessed Israel's bombardment of high-rise apartment buildings during the 1982 Lebanon War.Some analysts, including Mearsheimer and Walt, also claimed that U.S. support of Israel was one motive for the attacks. In 2004 and 2010, bin Laden again connected the September 11 attacks with U.S. support of Israel, although most of the letter expressed bin Laden's disdain for President Bush and bin Laden's hope to "destroy and bankrupt" the U.S.
Other motives have been suggested in addition to those stated by bin Laden and al-Qaeda, including western support of Islamic and non-Islamic authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan and northern Africa, and the presence of western troops in some of these countries. [ page needed ] Some authors suggested the "humiliation" that resulted from the Islamic world falling behind the Western world – this discrepancy was rendered especially visible by the globalization trend and a desire to provoke the U.S. into a broader war against the Islamic world in the hope of motivating more allies to support al-Qaeda. Similarly, others have argued that 9/11 was a strategic move with the objective of provoking America into a war that would incite a pan-Islamic revolution.
The idea for the attacks came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who first presented it to Osama bin Laden in 1996.At that time, bin Laden and al-Qaeda were in a period of transition, having just relocated back to Afghanistan from Sudan. The 1998 African Embassy bombings and bin Laden's 1998 fatwā marked a turning point, as bin Laden became intent on attacking the United States.
In late 1998 or early 1999, bin Laden gave approval for Mohammed to go forward with organizing the plot. A series of meetings occurred in early 1999, involving Mohammed, bin Laden, and his deputy Mohammed Atef.Atef provided operational support for the plot, including target selections and helping arrange travel for the hijackers. Bin Laden overruled Mohammed, rejecting some potential targets such as the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles because "there was not enough time to prepare for such an operation".
Bin Laden provided leadership and financial support for the plot, and was involved in selecting participants. – or "muscle" – hijackers.Bin Laden initially selected Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, both experienced jihadists who had fought in Bosnia. Hazmi and Mihdhar arrived in the United States in mid-January 2000. In spring 2000, Hazmi and Mihdhar took flying lessons in San Diego, California, but both spoke little English, performed poorly with flying lessons, and eventually served as secondary
In late 1999, a group of men from Hamburg, Germany arrived in Afghanistan; the group included Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh.Bin Laden selected these men because they were educated, could speak English, and had experience living in the West. New recruits were routinely screened for special skills and al-Qaeda leaders consequently discovered that Hani Hanjour already had a commercial pilot's license. Mohammed later said that he helped the hijackers blend in by teaching them how to order food in restaurants and dress in Western clothing.
Hanjour arrived in San Diego on December 8, 2000, joining Hazmi. 6–7 They soon left for Arizona, where Hanjour took refresher training. :7 Marwan al-Shehhi arrived at the end of May 2000, while Atta arrived on June 3, 2000, and Jarrah arrived on June 27, 2000. :6 Bin al-Shibh applied several times for a visa to the United States, but as a Yemeni, he was rejected out of concerns he would overstay his visa and remain as an illegal immigrant. :4, 14 Bin al-Shibh stayed in Hamburg, providing coordination between Atta and Mohammed. :16 The three Hamburg cell members all took pilot training in South Florida. :6:
In spring of 2001, the secondary hijackers began arriving in the United States.In July 2001, Atta met with bin al-Shibh in Spain, where they coordinated details of the plot, including final target selection. Bin al-Shibh also passed along bin Laden's wish for the attacks to be carried out as soon as possible. Some of the hijackers received passports from corrupt Saudi officials who were family members, or used fraudulent passports to gain entry.
In late 1999, al-Qaeda associate Walid bin Attash ("Khallad") contacted Mihdhar, telling him to meet him in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Hazmi and Abu Bara al Yemeni would also be in attendance. The NSA intercepted a telephone call mentioning the meeting, Mihdhar, and the name "Nawaf" (Hazmi). While the agency feared that "Something nefarious might be afoot", it took no further action. The CIA had already been alerted by Saudi intelligence to the status of Mihdhar and Hazmi as al-Qaeda members, and a CIA team broke into Mihdhar's Dubai hotel room and discovered that Mihdhar had a U.S. visa. While Alec Station alerted intelligence agencies worldwide about this fact, it did not share this information with the FBI. The Malaysian Special Branch observed the January 5, 2000, meeting of the two al-Qaeda members, and informed the CIA that Mihdhar, Hazmi, and Khallad were flying to Bangkok, but the CIA never notified other agencies of this, nor did it ask the State Department to put Mihdhar on its watchlist. An FBI liaison to Alec Station asked permission to inform the FBI of the meeting, but was told that "'This is not a matter for the FBI.'"
By late June, senior counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke and CIA director George Tenet were "convinced that a major series of attacks was about to come", although the CIA believed that the attacks would likely occur in Saudi Arabia or Israel.In early July, Clarke put domestic agencies on "full alert", telling them that "Something really spectacular is going to happen here ... soon." He asked the FBI and the State Department to alert the embassies and police departments, and the Defense Department to go to "Threat Condition Delta." Clarke would later write that "Somewhere in CIA there was information that two known al Qaeda terrorists had come into the United States. ... in [the] FBI there was information that strange things had been going on at flight schools in the United States. ... They had specific information about individual terrorists. ... None of that information got to me or the White House."
On July 13, Tom Wilshire, a CIA agent assigned to the FBI's international terrorism division, emailed his superiors at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC), requesting permission to inform the FBI that Hazmi was in the country and that Mihdhar had a U.S. visa. The CIA never responded.
The same day in July, Margarette Gillespie, an FBI analyst working in the CTC, was told to review material about the Malaysia meeting. She was not told of the participants' presence in the U.S. The CIA gave Gillespie surveillance photos of Mihdhar and Hazmi from the meeting to show to FBI counterterrorism, but did not tell her their significance. The Intelink database informed her not to share intelligence material on the meeting to criminal investigators. When shown the photos, the FBI were refused more details on their significance, and also did not receive Mihdhar's date of birth or passport number.In late August 2001, Gillespie told the INS, the State Department, the Customs Service, and the FBI to put Hazmi and Mihdhar on their watchlists, but the FBI was prohibited from using criminal agents in the search for the duo, which hindered their efforts.
Also in July, a Phoenix-based FBI agent sent a message to FBI headquarters, Alec Station, and to FBI agents in New York, alerting them to "the possibility of a coordinated effort by Osama bin Laden to send students to the United States to attend civil aviation universities and colleges." The agent, Kenneth Williams, suggested the need to interview all flight school managers and identify all Arab students seeking flight training.In July, Jordan alerted the U.S. that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on the U.S.; "months later", Jordan notified the U.S. that the attack's codename was "The Big Wedding", and that it involved airplanes.
On August 6, 2001, the CIA's Presidential Daily Brief, designated "For the President Only", was entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S." The memo noted that "The FBI information ... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks."
In mid-August, one Minnesota flight school alerted the FBI to Zacarias Moussaoui, who had asked "suspicious questions." The FBI found that he was a radical who had traveled to Pakistan, and the INS arrested him for overstaying his French visa. Their request to search his laptop was denied by FBI headquarters due to the lack of probable cause.
The failures in intelligence-sharing were attributed to 1995 Justice Department policies limiting intelligence sharing, combined with CIA and NSA reluctance in revealing "sensitive sources and methods" such as tapped phones.Testifying before the 9/11 Commission in April 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft recalled that the "single greatest structural cause for the September 11th problem was the wall that segregated or separated criminal investigators and intelligence agents." Clarke also wrote that "There were failures in the organizations ... failures to get information to the right place at the right time."
Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners (two Boeing 757 and two Boeing 767) en route to California (three headed to LAX in Los Angeles and one to SFO in San Francisco) after takeoffs from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts; Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey; and Washington Dulles International Airport in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia.Large planes with long flights were selected for hijacking because they would be heavily fueled.
The four flights were:
Media coverage was extensive during the attacks and aftermath, beginning moments after the first crash into the World Trade Center.
At 8:46 am, five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern façade of the World Trade Center's North Tower (1 WTC). At 9:03 am, another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern façade of the South Tower (2 WTC). Five hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 am. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh, at 10:03 a.m. after the passengers fought the four hijackers. Flight 93's target is believed to have been either the Capitol or the White House. Flight 93's cockpit voice recorder revealed crew and passengers tried to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that Flights 11, 77, and 175 had been crashed into buildings that morning. Once it became evident that the passengers might gain control, the hijackers rolled the plane and intentionally crashed it.
Some passengers and crew members who called from the aircraft using the cabin airphone service and mobile phones provided details: several hijackers were aboard each plane; they used mace, tear gas, or pepper spray to overcome attendants; and some people aboard had been stabbed.Reports indicated hijackers stabbed and killed pilots, flight attendants, and one or more passengers. According to the 9/11 Commission's final report, the hijackers had recently purchased multi-function hand tools and assorted Leatherman-type utility knives with locking blades, which were not forbidden to passengers at the time, but were not found among the possessions left behind by the hijackers. A flight attendant on Flight 11, a passenger on Flight 175, and passengers on Flight 93 said the hijackers had bombs, but one of the passengers said he thought the bombs were fake. The FBI found no traces of explosives at the crash sites, and the 9/11 Commission concluded that the bombs were probably fake.
Three buildings in the World Trade Center collapsed due to fire-induced structural failure. a.m. after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175 and the explosion of its fuel. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. after burning for 102 minutes. When the North Tower collapsed, debris fell on the nearby 7 World Trade Center building (7 WTC), damaging it and starting fires. These fires burned for hours, compromising the building's structural integrity, and 7 WTC collapsed at 5:21 pm. The west side of the Pentagon sustained significant damage.The South Tower collapsed at 9:59
At 9:42 am, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all civilian aircraft within the continental U.S., and civilian aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and were banned from landing on United States territory for three days. The attacks created widespread confusion among news organizations and air traffic controllers. Among the unconfirmed and often contradictory news reports aired throughout the day, one of the most prevalent said a car bomb had been detonated at the U.S. State Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Another jet—Delta Air Lines Flight 1989—was suspected of having been hijacked, but the aircraft responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio.
In an April 2002 interview, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who are believed to have organized the attacks, said Flight 93's intended target was the United States Capitol, not the White House.During the planning stage of the attacks, Mohamed Atta, the hijacker and pilot of Flight 11, thought the White House might be too tough a target and sought an assessment from Hani Hanjour (who hijacked and piloted Flight 77). Mohammed said al-Qaeda initially planned to target nuclear installations rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but decided against it, fearing things could "get out of control". Final decisions on targets, according to Mohammed, were left in the hands of the pilots.
The attacks caused the deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others. as of October 2002 [update] . The attacks killed about 500 more people than the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and are the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history.The death toll included 265 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. Most of those who perished were civilians, with the exception of 343 firefighters, 72 law enforcement officers, 55 military personnel, and the 19 terrorists who died in the attacks. After New York, New Jersey lost the most state citizens, with the city of Hoboken having the most citizens that died in the attacks. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the September 11 attacks; for example, the 67 Britons who died were more than in any other terrorist attack anywhere
In Arlington County, Virginia, 125 Pentagon workers lost their lives when Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the building. Of these, 70 were civilians and 55 were military personnel, many of whom worked for the United States Army or the United States Navy. The Army lost 47 civilian employees, six civilian contractors, and 22 soldiers, while the Navy lost six civilian employees, three civilian contractors, and 33 sailors. Seven Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) civilian employees were also among the dead in the attack, as well as an Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) contractor.Lieutenant General Timothy Maude, an Army Deputy Chief of Staff, was the highest-ranking military official killed at the Pentagon.
In New York City, more than 90% of the workers and visitors who died in the towers had been at or above the points of impact.In the North Tower, 1,355 people at or above the point of impact were trapped and died of smoke inhalation, fell or jumped from the tower to escape the smoke and flames, or were killed in the building's eventual collapse. The destruction of all three staircases in the tower when Flight 11 hit made it impossible for anyone above the impact zone to escape. 107 people below the point of impact died as well.
In the South Tower, one stairwell, Stairwell A, was left intact after Flight 175 hit, allowing 14 people located on the floors of impact (including one man who saw the plane coming at him) and four more from the floors above to escape. New York City 9-1-1 operators who received calls from people inside the tower were not well informed of the situation as it rapidly unfolded and as a result, told callers not to descend the tower on their own.In total 630 people died in that tower, fewer than half the number killed in the North Tower. Casualties in the South Tower were significantly reduced because some occupants decided to start evacuating as soon as the North Tower was struck. The failure to fully evacuate the South Tower after the first jet crash into the North Tower was described by USA Today as "one of the day's great tragedies".
At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as exemplified in the photograph The Falling Man ), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below.Some occupants of each tower above the point of impact made their way toward the roof in the hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed for helicopter rescues, and the combination of roof equipment, thick smoke, and intense heat prevented helicopters from approaching. A total of 411 emergency workers died as they tried to rescue people and fight fires. The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 343 firefighters, including a chaplain and two paramedics. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) lost 37 officers. Eight emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics from private emergency medical services units were killed.
Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of the North Tower, lost 658 employees, considerably more than any other employer. am. Most people below the impact zone safely evacuated the buildings.Marsh Inc., located immediately below Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 93–100, lost 358 employees, and 175 employees of Aon Corporation were also killed. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated that about 17,400 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks. Turnstile counts from the Port Authority suggest 14,154 people were typically in the Twin Towers by 8:45
|New York City||World Trade Center||2,606|
|American 11||87 + 5|
|United 175||60 + 5|
|American 77||59 + 5|
|Near Shanksville||United 93||40 + 4|
|Total||2,977 + 19|
Weeks after the attack, the death toll was estimated to be over 6,000, more than twice the number of deaths eventually confirmed.The city was only able to identify remains for about 1,600 of the World Trade Center victims. The medical examiner's office collected "about 10,000 unidentified bone and tissue fragments that cannot be matched to the list of the dead". Bone fragments were still being found in 2006 by workers who were preparing to demolish the damaged Deutsche Bank Building. In 2010, a team of anthropologists and archaeologists searched for human remains and personal items at the Fresh Kills Landfill, where 72 more human remains were recovered, bringing the total found to 1,845. DNA profiling continues in an attempt to identify additional victims. The remains are being held in storage in Memorial Park, outside the New York City Medical Examiner's facilities. It was expected that the remains would be moved in 2013 to a repository behind a wall at the 9/11 museum. In July 2011, a team of scientists at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner was still trying to identify remains, in the hope that improved technology will allow them to identify other victims. On August 7, 2017, the 1,641st victim was identified as a result of newly available DNA technology, and a 1,642nd on July 26, 2018. Further 1,111 victims are yet to be identified.
Along with the 110-floor Twin Towers, numerous other buildings at the World Trade Center site were destroyed or badly damaged, including WTC buildings 3 through 7 and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. WTC), and 7 WTC were destroyed. The U.S. Customs House (6 World Trade Center), 4 World Trade Center, 5 World Trade Center, and both pedestrian bridges connecting buildings were severely damaged. The Deutsche Bank Building on 130 Liberty Street was partially damaged and demolished some years later, starting in 2007. The two buildings of the World Financial Center also suffered damage. The last fires at the World Trade Center site were extinguished on December 20, exactly 100 days after the attacks.The North Tower, South Tower, the Marriott Hotel (3
The Deutsche Bank Building across Liberty Street from the World Trade Center complex was later condemned as uninhabitable because of toxic conditions inside the office tower, and was deconstructed.The Borough of Manhattan Community College's Fiterman Hall at 30 West Broadway was condemned due to extensive damage in the attacks, and was reopened in 2012. Other neighboring buildings (including 90 West Street and the Verizon Building) suffered major damage but have been restored. World Financial Center buildings, One Liberty Plaza, the Millenium Hilton, and 90 Church Street had moderate damage and have since been restored. Communications equipment on top of the North Tower was also destroyed, with only WCBS-TV maintaining a backup transmitter on the Empire State Building, but media stations were quickly able to reroute the signals and resume their broadcasts.
The PATH train system's World Trade Center station was located under the complex. As a result, the entire station was demolished completely when the towers collapsed, and the tunnels leading to Exchange Place station in Jersey City, New Jersey were flooded with water.The station was rebuilt as the $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which reopened in March 2015. The WTC Cortlandt Street station on the New York City Subway's IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line was also within close proximity to the World Trade Center complex, and the entire station, along with the surrounding track, was reduced to rubble. The latter station was rebuilt and reopened to the public on September 8, 2018.
The Pentagon was severely damaged by the impact of American Airlines Flight 77 and ensuing fires, causing one section of the building to collapse. 310 feet (94 m) of the three outermost of the building's five rings.As the airplane approached the Pentagon, its wings knocked down light poles and its right engine hit a power generator before crashing into the western side of the building. The plane hit the Pentagon at the first-floor level. The front part of the fuselage disintegrated on impact, while the mid and tail sections kept moving for another fraction of a second. Debris from the tail section penetrated furthest into the building, breaking through
The New York City Fire Department deployed 200 units (half of the department) to the World Trade Center. Their efforts were supplemented by numerous off-duty firefighters and emergency medical technicians.The New York City Police Department sent Emergency Service Units and other police personnel and deployed its aviation unit. Once on the scene, the FDNY, the NYPD, and the PAPD did not coordinate efforts and performed redundant searches for civilians. As conditions deteriorated, the NYPD aviation unit relayed information to police commanders, who issued orders for its personnel to evacuate the towers; most NYPD officers were able to safely evacuate before the buildings collapsed. With separate command posts set up and incompatible radio communications between the agencies, warnings were not passed along to FDNY commanders.
After the first tower collapsed, FDNY commanders issued evacuation warnings. Due to technical difficulties with malfunctioning radio repeater systems, many firefighters never heard the evacuation orders. 9-1-1 dispatchers also received information from callers that was not passed along to commanders on the scene.Within hours of the attack, a substantial search and rescue operation was launched. After months of around-the-clock operations, the World Trade Center site was cleared by the end of May 2002.
The aftermath of the 9/11 attack resulted in immediate responses to the event, including domestic reactions, hate crimes, Muslim American responses to the event, international responses to the attack, and military responses to the events. An extensive compensation program was quickly established by Congress in the aftermath to compensate the victims and families of victims of the 9/11 attack as well.
At 8:32 am FAA officials were notified Flight 11 had been hijacked and they, in turn, notified the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts and they were airborne by 8:53 am. Because of slow and confused communication from FAA officials, NORAD had 9 minutes' notice that Flight 11 had been hijacked, and no notice about any of the other flights before they crashed. After both of the Twin Towers had already been hit, more fighters were scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia at 9:30 am. At 10:20 am Vice President Dick Cheney issued orders to shoot down any commercial aircraft that could be positively identified as being hijacked. These instructions were not relayed in time for the fighters to take action. Some fighters took to the air without live ammunition, knowing that to prevent the hijackers from striking their intended targets, the pilots might have to intercept and crash their fighters into the hijacked planes, possibly ejecting at the last moment.
For the first time in U.S. history, SCATANA was invoked,thus stranding tens of thousands of passengers across the world. Ben Sliney, in his first day as the National Operations Manager of the FAA, ordered that American airspace would be closed to all international flights, causing about five hundred flights to be turned back or redirected to other countries. Canada received 226 of the diverted flights and launched Operation Yellow Ribbon to deal with the large numbers of grounded planes and stranded passengers.
The 9/11 attacks had immediate effects on the American people.Police and rescue workers from around the country took a leave of absence from their jobs and traveled to New York City to help recover bodies from the twisted remnants of the Twin Towers. Blood donations across the U.S. surged in the weeks after 9/11.
The deaths of adults in the attacks resulted in over 3,000 children losing a parent.Subsequent studies documented children's reactions to these actual losses and to feared losses of life, the protective environment in the aftermath of the attacks, and effects on surviving caregivers.
Following the attacks, President George W. Bush's approval rating soared to 90%.On September 20, 2001, he addressed the nation and a joint session of the United States Congress regarding the events of September 11 and the subsequent nine days of rescue and recovery efforts, and described his intended response to the attacks. New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani's highly visible role won him high praise in New York and nationally.
Many relief funds were immediately set up to assist victims of the attacks, with the task of providing financial assistance to the survivors of the attacks and to the families of victims. By the deadline for victim's compensation on September 11, 2003, 2,833 applications had been received from the families of those who were killed.
Contingency plans for the continuity of government and the evacuation of leaders were implemented soon after the attacks.Congress was not told that the United States had been under a continuity of government status until February 2002.
In the largest restructuring of the U.S. government in contemporary history, the United States enacted the Homeland Security Act of 2002, creating the Department of Homeland Security. Congress also passed the USA PATRIOT Act, saying it would help detect and prosecute terrorism and other crimes.Civil liberties groups have criticized the PATRIOT Act, saying it allows law enforcement to invade the privacy of citizens and that it eliminates judicial oversight of law enforcement and domestic intelligence. In an effort to effectively combat future acts of terrorism, the National Security Agency (NSA) was given broad powers. NSA commenced warrantless surveillance of telecommunications, which was sometimes criticized since it permitted the agency "to eavesdrop on telephone and e-mail communications between the United States and people overseas without a warrant". In response to requests by various intelligence agencies, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court permitted an expansion of powers by the U.S. government in seeking, obtaining, and sharing information on U.S. citizens as well as non-U.S. people from around the world.
Shortly after the attacks, President Bush made a public appearance at Washington's largest Islamic Center and acknowledged the "incredibly valuable contribution" that millions of American Muslims made to their country and called for them "to be treated with respect."Numerous incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Muslims and South Asians were reported in the days following the attacks. Sikhs were also targeted because Sikh males usually wear turbans, which are stereotypically associated with Muslims. There were reports of attacks on mosques and other religious buildings (including the firebombing of a Hindu temple), and assaults on people, including one murder: Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh mistaken for a Muslim, was fatally shot on September 15, 2001, in Mesa, Arizona. Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden's family were urgently evacuated out of the country on a private charter plane under FBI supervision three days after the attacks.
According to an academic study, people perceived to be Middle Eastern were as likely to be victims of hate crimes as followers of Islam during this time. The study also found a similar increase in hate crimes against people who may have been perceived as Muslims, Arabs, and others thought to be of Middle Eastern origin.A report by the South Asian American advocacy group known as South Asian Americans Leading Together, documented media coverage of 645 bias incidents against Americans of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent between September 11 and 17. Various crimes such as vandalism, arson, assault, shootings, harassment, and threats in numerous places were documented.
Muslim organizations in the United States were swift to condemn the attacks and called "upon Muslim Americans to come forward with their skills and resources to help alleviate the sufferings of the affected people and their families".These organizations included the Islamic Society of North America, American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Circle of North America, and the Shari'a Scholars Association of North America. Along with monetary donations, many Islamic organizations launched blood drives and provided medical assistance, food, and shelter for victims.
The attacks were denounced by mass media and governments worldwide. Across the globe, nations offered pro-American support and solidarity.Leaders in most Middle Eastern countries, and Afghanistan, condemned the attacks. Iraq was a notable exception, with an immediate official statement that, "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity". The government of Saudi Arabia officially condemned the attacks, but privately many Saudis favored bin Laden's cause. Although Palestinian Authority (PA) president Yasser Arafat also condemned the attacks, there were reports of celebrations in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem—with a celebration involving 3,000 Palestinians dancing in the streets and handing out candy being filmed in Nablus despite alleged PA warnings that it could not guarantee the safety of journalists attempting to document the event. Similar demonstrations took place in Amman, Jordan, where there is a large population of Palestinian descent. As in the United States, the aftermath of the attacks saw tensions increase in other countries between Muslims and non-Muslims.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368 condemned the attacks, and expressed readiness to take all necessary steps to respond and combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with their Charter.Numerous countries introduced anti-terrorism legislation and froze bank accounts they suspected of al-Qaeda ties. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in a number of countries arrested alleged terrorists.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Britain stood "shoulder to shoulder" with the United States. km).A few days later, Blair flew to Washington to affirm British solidarity with the United States. In a speech to Congress, nine days after the attacks, which Blair attended as a guest, President Bush declared "America has no truer friend than Great Britain." Subsequently, Prime Minister Blair embarked on two months of diplomacy to rally international support for military action; he held 54 meetings with world leaders and travelled more than 40,000 miles (60,000
In the aftermath of the attacks, tens of thousands of people attempted to flee Afghanistan due to the possibility of a military retaliation by the United States. Pakistan, already home to many Afghan refugees from previous conflicts, closed its border with Afghanistan on September 17, 2001. Approximately one month after the attacks, the United States led a broad coalition of international forces to overthrow the Taliban regime from Afghanistan for their harboring of al-Qaeda.Though Pakistani authorities were initially reluctant to align themselves with the United States against the Taliban, they permitted the coalition access to their military bases, and arrested and handed over to the U.S. over 600 suspected al-Qaeda members.
The U.S. set up the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to hold inmates they defined as "illegal enemy combatants". The legitimacy of these detentions has been questioned by the European Union and human rights organizations.
On September 25, 2001, Iran's fifth president, Mohammad Khatami meeting British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said: "Iran fully understands the feelings of the Americans about the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11." He said although the American administrations had been at best indifferent about terrorist operations in Iran (since 1979), the Iranians instead felt differently and had expressed their sympathetic feelings with bereaved Americans in the tragic incidents in the two cities. He also stated that "Nations should not be punished in place of terrorists."According to Radio Farda's website, when the attacks' news was released, some Iranian citizens gathered in front of the Embassy of Switzerland in Tehran, which serves as the protecting power of the United States in Iran (U.S. interests protecting office in Iran), to express their sympathy and some of them lit candles as a symbol of mourning. This piece of news at Radio Farda's website also states that in 2011, on the anniversary of the attacks, United States Department of State, published a post at its blog, in which the Department thanked Iranian people for their sympathy and stated that they would never forget Iranian people's kindness on those harsh days. After the attacks, both the President and the Supreme Leader of Iran, condemned the attacks. The BBC and Time magazine published reports on holding candlelit vigils for the victims by Iranian citizens at their websites. According to Politico Magazine , following the attacks, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, "suspended the usual 'Death to America' chants at Friday prayers" temporarily.
In a speech by the Nizari Ismaili Imam at the Nobel Institute in 2005, Aga Khan IV stated that the "9/11 attack on the United States was a direct consequence of the international community ignoring the human tragedy that was Afghanistan at that time".
In September 2001, shortly after the attacks, Greek soccer fans burned an Israeli flag and unsuccessfully tried to burn an American flag. Though the American flag did not catch fire, the fans booed during a moment of silence for victims of the attacks.
At 2:40 p.m. in the afternoon of September 11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement. According to notes taken by senior policy official Stephen Cambone, Rumsfeld asked for, "Best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." (Saddam Hussein) "at same time. Not only UBL" (Osama bin Laden). Cambone's notes quoted Rumsfeld as saying, "Need to move swiftly – Near term target needs – go massive – sweep it all up. Things related and not." In a meeting at Camp David on September 15 the Bush administration rejected the idea of attacking Iraq in response to 9/11. Nonetheless, they later invaded the country with allies, citing "Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism". At the time, as many as 7 in 10 Americans believed the Iraqi president played a role in the 9/11 attacks. Three years later, Bush conceded that he had not.
The NATO council declared that the terrorist attacks on the United States were an attack on all NATO nations that satisfied Article 5 of the NATO charter. This marked the first invocation of Article 5, which had been written during the Cold War with an attack by the Soviet Union in mind.Australian Prime Minister John Howard who was in Washington D.C. during the attacks invoked Article IV of the ANZUS treaty. The Bush administration announced a War on Terror, with the stated goals of bringing bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by imposing economic and military sanctions against states harboring terrorists, and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing.
On September 14, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. Still in effect, it grants the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11 attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.
On October 7, 2001, the War in Afghanistan began when U.S. and British forces initiated aerial bombing campaigns targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda camps, then later invaded Afghanistan with ground troops of the Special Forces.This eventually led to the overthrow of the Taliban rule of Afghanistan with the Fall of Kandahar on December 7, 2001, by U.S.-led coalition forces. Conflict in Afghanistan between the Taliban insurgency and the Afghan forces backed by NATO Resolute Support Mission is ongoing. The Philippines and Indonesia, among other nations with their own internal conflicts with Islamic terrorism, also increased their military readiness.
The military forces of the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran cooperated with each other to overthrow the Taliban regime which had had conflicts with the government of Iran.Iran's Quds Force helped U.S. forces and Afghan rebels in the 2001 uprising in Herat.
Hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic debris containing more than 2,500 contaminants, including known carcinogens, were spread across Lower Manhattan due to the collapse of the Twin Towers.Exposure to the toxins in the debris is alleged to have contributed to fatal or debilitating illnesses among people who were at Ground Zero. The Bush administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue reassuring statements regarding air quality in the aftermath of the attacks, citing national security, but the EPA did not determine that air quality had returned to pre-September 11 levels until June 2002.
Health effects extended to residents, students, and office workers of Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown.Several deaths have been linked to the toxic dust, and the victims' names were included in the World Trade Center memorial. Approximately 18,000 people have been estimated to have developed illnesses as a result of the toxic dust. There is also scientific speculation that exposure to various toxic products in the air may have negative effects on fetal development. A notable children's environmental health center is currently analyzing the children whose mothers were pregnant during the WTC collapse, and were living or working nearby. A study of rescue workers released in April 2010 found that all those studied had impaired lung functions, and that 30–40% were reporting little or no improvement in persistent symptoms that started within the first year of the attack.
Years after the attacks, legal disputes over the costs of illnesses related to the attacks were still in the court system. On October 17, 2006, a federal judge rejected New York City's refusal to pay for health costs for rescue workers, allowing for the possibility of numerous suits against the city.Government officials have been faulted for urging the public to return to lower Manhattan in the weeks shortly after the attacks. Christine Todd Whitman, administrator of the EPA in the aftermath of the attacks, was heavily criticized by a U.S. District Judge for incorrectly saying that the area was environmentally safe. Mayor Giuliani was criticized for urging financial industry personnel to return quickly to the greater Wall Street area.
On December 22, 2010, the United States Congress passed the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law on January 2, 2011. It allocated $4.2 billion to create the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides testing and treatment for people suffering from long-term health problems related to the 9/11 attacks. The WTC Health Program replaced preexisting 9/11-related health programs such as the Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the WTC Environmental Health Center program.
The attacks had a significant economic impact on United States and world markets. points, or 7.1%, to 8921, a record-setting one-day point decline. By the end of the week, the DJIA had fallen 1,369.7 points (14.3%), at the time its largest one-week point drop in history. In 2001 dollars, U.S. stocks lost $1.4 trillion in valuation for the week.The stock exchanges did not open on September 11 and remained closed until September 17. Reopening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell 684
In New York City, about 430,000 job-months and $2.8 billion dollars in wages were lost in the first three months after the attacks. The economic effects were mainly on the economy's export sectors. The city's GDP was estimated to have declined by $27.3 billion for the last three months of 2001 and all of 2002. The U.S. government provided $11.2 billion in immediate assistance to the Government of New York City in September 2001, and $10.5 billion in early 2002 for economic development and infrastructure needs.
Also hurt were small businesses in Lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center, 18,000 of which were destroyed or displaced, resulting in lost jobs and their consequent wages. Assistance was provided by Small Business Administration loans, federal government Community Development Block Grants, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. 31,900,000 square feet (2,960,000 m2) of Lower Manhattan office space was damaged or destroyed. Many wondered whether these jobs would return, and if the damaged tax base would recover. Studies of the economic effects of 9/11 show the Manhattan office real-estate market and office employment were less affected than first feared, because of the financial services industry's need for face-to-face interaction.Some
North American air space was closed for several days after the attacks and air travel decreased upon its reopening, leading to a nearly 20% cutback in air travel capacity, and exacerbating financial problems in the struggling U.S. airline industry.
The September 11 attacks also led to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, trillion.as well as additional homeland security spending, totaling at least $5
The impact of 9/11 extends beyond geopolitics into society and culture in general. Immediate responses to 9/11 included greater focus on home life and time spent with family, higher church attendance, and increased expressions of patriotism such as the flying of flags.The radio industry responded by removing certain songs from playlists, and the attacks have subsequently been used as background, narrative, or thematic elements in film, television, music, and literature. Already-running television shows as well as programs developed after 9/11 have reflected post-9/11 cultural concerns. 9/11 conspiracy theories have become social phenomena, despite lack of support from expert scientists, engineers, and historians. 9/11 has also had a major impact on the religious faith of many individuals; for some it strengthened, to find consolation to cope with the loss of loved ones and overcome their grief; others started to question their faith or lost it entirely, because they could not reconcile it with their view of religion.
The culture of America succeeding the attacks is noted for heightened security and an increased demand thereof, as well as paranoia and anxiety regarding future terrorist attacks that includes most of the nation. Psychologists have also confirmed that there has been an increased amount of national anxiety in commercial air travel.
As a result of the attacks, many governments across the world passed legislation to combat terrorism.In Germany, where several of the 9/11 terrorists had resided and taken advantage of that country's liberal asylum policies, two major anti-terrorism packages were enacted. The first removed legal loopholes that permitted terrorists to live and raise money in Germany. The second addressed the effectiveness and communication of intelligence and law enforcement. Canada passed the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act, that nation's first anti-terrorism law. The United Kingdom passed the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. New Zealand enacted the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.
In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security was created by the Homeland Security Act to coordinate domestic anti-terrorism efforts. The USA Patriot Act gave the federal government greater powers, including the authority to detain foreign terror suspects for a week without charge, to monitor telephone communications, e-mail, and Internet use by terror suspects, and to prosecute suspected terrorists without time restrictions. The FAA ordered that airplane cockpits be reinforced to prevent terrorists gaining control of planes, and assigned sky marshals to flights. Further, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act made the federal government, rather than airports, responsible for airport security. The law created the Transportation Security Administration to inspect passengers and luggage, causing long delays and concern over passenger privacy.After suspected abuses of the USA Patriot Act were brought to light in June 2013 with articles about collection of American call records by the NSA and the PRISM program (see 2013 mass surveillance disclosures), Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds.
Immediately after the attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation started PENTTBOM, the largest criminal inquiry in the history of the United States. At its height, more than half of the FBI's agents worked on the investigation and followed a half-million leads.The FBI concluded that there was "clear and irrefutable" evidence linking al-Qaeda and bin Laden to the attacks.
The FBI was quickly able to identify the hijackers, including leader Mohamed Atta, when his luggage was discovered at Boston's Logan Airport. Atta had been forced to check two of his three bags due to space limitations on the 19-seat commuter flight he took to Boston. Due to a new policy instituted to prevent flight delays, the luggage failed to make it aboard American Airlines Flight 11 as planned. The luggage contained the hijackers' names, assignments, and al-Qaeda connections. "It had all these Arab-language [ sic ] papers that amounted to the Rosetta stone of the investigation", said one FBI agent. Within hours of the attacks, the FBI released the names and in many cases the personal details of the suspected pilots and hijackers. On September 27, 2001, they released photos of all 19 hijackers, along with information about possible nationalities and aliases. Fifteen of the men were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.
By midday, the U.S. National Security Agency and German intelligence agencies had intercepted communications pointing to Osama bin Laden.Two of the hijackers were known to have travelled with a bin Laden associate to Malaysia in 2000 and hijacker Mohammed Atta had previously gone to Afghanistan. He and others were part of a terrorist cell in Hamburg. One of the members of the Hamburg cell was discovered to have been in communication with Khalid Sheik Mohammed who was identified as a member of al-Qaeda.
Authorities in the United States and Britain also obtained electronic intercepts, including telephone conversations and electronic bank transfers, which indicate that Mohammed Atef, a bin Laden deputy, was a key figure in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. Intercepts were also obtained that revealed conversations that took place days before September 11 between bin Laden and an associate in Pakistan. In those conversations, the two referred to "an incident that would take place in America on, or around, September 11" and they discussed potential repercussions. In another conversation with an associate in Afghanistan, bin Laden discussed the "scale and effects of a forthcoming operation." These conversations did not specifically mention the World Trade Center or Pentagon, or other specifics.
|United Arab Emirates|
The FBI did not record the 2,977 deaths from the attacks in their annual violent crime index for 2001. In a disclaimer, the FBI stated that "the number of deaths is so great that combining it with the traditional crime statistics will have an outlier effect that falsely skews all types of measurements in the program's analyses."New York City also did not include the deaths in their annual crime statistics for 2001.
The Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted an internal review of the agency's pre-9/11 performance and was harshly critical of senior CIA officials for not doing everything possible to confront terrorism. He criticized their failure to stop two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, as they entered the United States and their failure to share information on the two men with the FBI.In May 2007, senators from both major U.S. political parties drafted legislation to make the review public. One of the backers, Senator Ron Wyden said, "The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11."
In February 2002, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence formed a joint inquiry into the performance of the U.S. Intelligence Community.Their 832-page report released in December 2002 detailed failings of the FBI and CIA to use available information, including about terrorists the CIA knew were in the United States, in order to disrupt the plots. The joint inquiry developed its information about possible involvement of Saudi Arabian government officials from non-classified sources. Nevertheless, the Bush administration demanded 28 related pages remain classified. In December 2002, the inquiry's chair Bob Graham (D-FL) revealed in an interview that there was "evidence that there were foreign governments involved in facilitating the activities of at least some of the terrorists in the United States." September 11 victim families were frustrated by the unanswered questions and redacted material from the Congressional inquiry and demanded an independent commission. September 11 victim families, members of congress and the Saudi Arabian government are still seeking release of the documents. In June 2016, CIA chief John Brennan says that he believes 28 redacted pages of a congressional inquiry into 9/11 will soon be made public, and that they will prove that the government of Saudi Arabia had no involvement in the September 11 attacks.
In September 2016, the Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act that would allow relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for its government's alleged role in the attacks.
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), chaired by Thomas Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, was formed in late 2002 to prepare a thorough account of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks.On July 22, 2004, the Commission issued the 9/11 Commission Report . The report detailed the events of 9/11, found the attacks were carried out by members of al-Qaeda, and examined how security and intelligence agencies were inadequately coordinated to prevent the attacks. Formed from an independent bipartisan group of mostly former Senators, Representatives, and Governors, the commissioners explained, "We believe the 9/11 attacks revealed four kinds of failures: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management". The Commission made numerous recommendations on how to prevent future attacks, and in 2011 was dismayed that several of its recommendations had yet to be implemented.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigated the collapses of the Twin Towers and 7 WTC. The investigations examined why the buildings collapsed and what fire protection measures were in place, and evaluated how fire protection systems might be improved in future construction. The investigation into the collapse of 1 WTC and 2 WTC was concluded in October 2005 and that of 7 WTC was completed in August 2008.
NIST found that the fireproofing on the Twin Towers' steel infrastructures was blown off by the initial impact of the planes and that, had this not occurred, the towers likely would have remained standing.A 2007 study of the north tower's collapse published by researchers of Purdue University determined that, since the plane's impact had stripped off much of the structure's thermal insulation, the heat from a typical office fire would have softened and weakened the exposed girders and columns enough to initiate the collapse regardless of the number of columns cut or damaged by the impact.
The director of the original investigation stated that "the towers really did amazingly well. The terrorist aircraft didn't bring the buildings down; it was the fire which followed. It was proven that you could take out two-thirds of the columns in a tower and the building would still stand." WTC caused floor beams and girders to heat and subsequently "caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down".The fires weakened the trusses supporting the floors, making the floors sag. The sagging floors pulled on the exterior steel columns causing the exterior columns to bow inward. With the damage to the core columns, the buckling exterior columns could no longer support the buildings, causing them to collapse. Additionally, the report found the towers' stairwells were not adequately reinforced to provide adequate emergency escape for people above the impact zones. NIST concluded that uncontrolled fires in 7
On the day of the attacks, New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani stated: "We will rebuild. We're going to come out of this stronger than before, politically stronger, economically stronger. The skyline will be made whole again."
The damaged section of the Pentagon was rebuilt and occupied within a year of the attacks. World Trade Center was completed in 2006. Work on rebuilding the main World Trade Center site was delayed until late 2006 when leaseholder Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed on financing. The construction of One World Trade Center began on April 27, 2006, and reached its full height on May 20, 2013. The spire was installed atop the building at that date, putting 1 WTC's height at 1,776 feet (541 m) and thus claiming the title of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. One WTC finished construction and opened on November 3, 2014.The temporary World Trade Center PATH station opened in late 2003 and construction of the new 7
On the World Trade Center site, three more office towers are expected to be built one block east of where the original towers stood. Construction has begun on all three of these towers.
In the days immediately following the attacks, many memorials and vigils were held around the world, and photographs of the dead and missing were posted around Ground Zero. A witness described being unable to "get away from faces of innocent victims who were killed. Their pictures are everywhere, on phone booths, street lights, walls of subway stations. Everything reminded me of a huge funeral, people quiet and sad, but also very nice. Before, New York gave me a cold feeling; now people were reaching out to help each other."
One of the first memorials was the Tribute in Light , an installation of 88 searchlights at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers.In New York City, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to design an appropriate memorial on the site. The winning design, Reflecting Absence , was selected in August 2006, and consists of a pair of reflecting pools in the footprints of the towers, surrounded by a list of the victims' names in an underground memorial space. The memorial was completed on September 11, 2011; a museum also opened on site on May 21, 2014.
In Arlington County, The Pentagon Memorial was completed and opened to the public on the seventh anniversary of the attacks in 2008.It consists of a landscaped park with 184 benches facing the Pentagon. When the Pentagon was repaired in 2001–2002, a private chapel and indoor memorial were included, located at the spot where Flight 77 crashed into the building.
In Shanksville, a concrete and glass visitor center was opened on September 10, 2015, 500 yards (457 m) from the crash site. New York City firefighters donated a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center and mounted on top of a platform shaped like the Pentagon. It was installed outside the firehouse on August 25, 2008. Many other permanent memorials are elsewhere. Scholarships and charities have been established by the victims' families, and by many other organizations and private figures.situated on a hill overlooking the crash site and the white marble Wall of Names. An observation platform at the visitor center and the white marble wall are both aligned beneath the path of Flight 93. A temporary memorial is located
On every anniversary, in New York City, the names of the victims who died there are read out against a background of somber music. The President of the United States attends a memorial service at the Pentagon,and asks Americans to observe Patriot Day with a moment of silence. Smaller services are held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which are usually attended by the President's spouse.
The FBI Most Wanted Terrorists was a list created and first released on October 10, 2001, with the authority of United States President Bush, following the September 11 attacks on the United States. Initially, the list contained 22 of the top terrorists chosen by the FBI, all of whom had earlier been indicted for acts of terrorism between 1985 and 1998. None of the 22 had been captured by US or other authorities by that date. Of the 22, only Osama bin Laden was by then already listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta was an Egyptian hijacker and one of the ringleaders of the September 11 attacks in which four United States commercial aircraft were commandeered with the intention of destroying specific civilian targets. He served as the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 and crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated attacks. At 33 years of age, he was the oldest of the 19 hijackers who took part in the attacks.
The September 11 attacks timeline is a chronological list of all the major events leading up to, during, and immediately following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that day. The timeline starts with the completion of the first World Trade Center tower in 1970 through the first anniversary of the attacks in 2002.
The hijackers in the September 11 attacks were 19 men affiliated with al-Qaeda. 15 of the 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, and the others were from the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt, and Lebanon. The hijackers were organized into four teams, each led by a pilot-trained hijacker with three or four "muscle hijackers," who were trained to help subdue the pilots, passengers, and crew.
There were several video and audio recordings released by Osama bin Laden between 2001 and 2011.
Ramzi bin al-Shibh is a Yemeni citizen being held by the U.S. as an enemy combatant detainee at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. He is accused of being a "key facilitator for the September 11 attacks" in 2001 in the United States.
John Patrick O'Neill was an American counter-terrorism expert, who worked as a special agent and eventually a Special Agent in Charge in the Federal Bureau of Investigation until late 2001. In 1995, O'Neill began to intensely study the roots of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing after he assisted in the capture of Ramzi Yousef, who was the leader of that plot.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Pakistani Islamist militant held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp under terrorism-related charges. He was named as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" in the 9/11 Commission Report.
On September 11, 2001, 19 Arab-Muslim hijackers took control of four commercial aircraft and used them as suicide weapons in a series of four coordinated acts of terrorism to strike the World Trade Center in New York City, The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and an additional target in Washington, D.C. Two aircraft hit the World Trade Center while the third hit the Pentagon. A fourth plane never arrived at its target, crashing in a field in Pennsylvania after a passenger revolt. The intended target is believed to have been either the United States Capitol or the White House. As a result, 2,977 victims were killed, making it the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil; also the deadliest foreign attack on U.S. soil, exceeding Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, which killed 2,403 victims. It was carefully planned by al-Qaeda, who sent 19 terrorists to take over Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 aircraft, operated by American Airlines and United Airlines.
PENTTBOM is the codename for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into the September 11 attacks of 2001, the largest criminal inquiry in the FBI's history. Its name stands for 'Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation'. The investigation was launched on September 11, 2001, and involved 4,000 special agents and 3,000 professional employees.
Inside 9/11 is a three-part television documentary film produced by Towers Productions that premiered on August 21 and August 22, 2005, on the National Geographic Channel. The program covers the September 11, 2001 attack, the events that led to it, and its aftermath. The first part consisted of examining, event by event, the build-up towards September 11. The second part consisted of the events of 9/11 itself and the aftermath. Experts and eyewitnesses provide their accounts of the attacks, and the events are covered in chronological order.
Zacarias Moussaoui is a French citizen who pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to conspiring to kill citizens of the United States as part of the September 11 attacks. As a result of his conviction, he is serving six life sentences without parole at the Federal ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
The Bin Laden Issue Station (1996–2005) was a unit of the Central Intelligence Agency dedicated to tracking Osama bin Laden and his associates.
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is a 2006 non-fiction book by Lawrence Wright. It is a historical look at the way in which the militant organization Al-Qaeda came into being, the background for various terrorist attacks and how they were investigated, and the events that led to the September 11 attacks. In 2007, Wright was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for the work. A 10-episode television miniseries adaptation aired in 2018 on Hulu.
The 9/11 advance-knowledge conspiracy theories center on arguments that certain institutions or individuals had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001.
Urban Terrorism, is the targeted use of terrorism in urban populations in order to cause the most harm, injury, death, or property damage. Since urban areas have significantly higher population densities than rural areas, targeting those areas can maximize the effect of the terrorist attack.
Two weeks after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation connected the hijackers to al-Qaeda, a global, decentralized terrorist network. In a number of video, audio, interview and printed statements, senior members of al-Qaeda have also asserted responsibility for organizing the September 11 attacks. It is believed that Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Mohammed Atef were the ones who plotted the attacks after meeting together in 1999. It is also believed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the one who planned the attacks and that Atef was the one who organized the hijackers.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the September 11 attacks and their consequences:
Hamza al-Ghamdi was one of five hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175 as part of the September 11 attacks.
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden appeared in a new message aired on an Arabic TV station Friday night, for the first time claiming direct responsibility for the 2001 attacks against the United States.
Reveling in the details of the fatal attacks, bin Laden brags in Arabic that he knew about them beforehand and says the destruction went beyond his hopes. He says the attacks "benefited Islam greatly".
While initially denying responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, Bin Laden took responsibility for them in a 2004 taped statement, saying that he had personally directed the hijackers.
Yosri Fouda of the Arabic television channel al-Jazeera is the only journalist to have interviewed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda military commander arrested at the weekend. Here he describes the two-day encounter with him and his fellow organiser of September 11, Ramzi bin al- Shibh: ... Summoning every thread of experience and courage, I looked Khalid in the eye and asked: 'Did you do it?' The reference to September 11 was implicit. Khalid responded with little fanfare: 'I am the head of the al-Qaeda military committee,' he began, 'and Ramzi is the coordinator of the Holy Tuesday operation. And yes, we did it.'
So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider
A total of 2,996 people died: 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims.
Almost all the 600 people in the top floors of the south tower died after a second hijacked airliner crashed in the 80th floor shortly after 9 am. The failure to evacuate the building was one of the day's great tragedies.
The video used on CNN was in fact shot on Tuesday, 11 September 2001, in East Jerusalem by a Reuters TV crew, not during the Persian Gulf conflict of 1990–91—a fact proved by its inclusion of comments from a Palestinian praising Osama Bin Laden (whose name was unlikely to have come up ten years earlier in connection with the invasion and liberation of Kuwait) as well as the appearance in the video of post-1991 automobiles. The person who made the claim quoted above has since recanted. ... The footage was real. It's a shame, in fact, that its provenance was doubted because the lives of journalists who have attempted to capture similar acts on video have been threatened. That this tape made it out at all is a miracle.
The Security Council today, following what it called yesterday's "horrifying terrorist attacks" in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, unequivocally condemned those acts, and expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the people and Government of the United States.
Article 5: The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.