9/11On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremistgroup al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks againsttargets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the towers ofthe World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon justoutside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field inPennsylvania. Often referred to as 9/11, the attacks resulted in extensive deathand destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism anddefining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 people were killedduring the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., including morethan 400 police officers and firefighters. These attacks changed the way weviewed terrorism, national security, and ourselves. We were no longer‘invincible.’
AL-QAEDAA loosely-knit militant Islamic organization led and funded by Osama binLaden, by whom it was established in the late 1980s from Arab volunteerswho had fought the Soviet troops previously based in Afghanistan; known orbelieved to be behind a number of operations against Western, especially US,interests, including bomb attacks on two US embassies in Africa in 1998 andthe destruction of the World Trade Center in New York in 2001.
THE WORLD TRADE CENTEROn the morning of September 11th, terrorists hijacked four commercial jetplanes and attempted to fly them into several U.S. targets. One of the planes,American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into Tower One of the World TradeCenter at 8:50 AM. United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into Tower Two at 9:04AM. As the world watched Tower Two collapsed to the ground at about 10:00AM. Unfortunately, this horrible scene was duplicated at 10:30 AM whenTower One crashed to the ground. This terrorist attack brought about thedeath of approximately 3,000 men, women and children from nations aroundthe world.
THE PENTAGON Within 30 minutes of two planes hitting the World Trade Center twin towers,American Airlines Flight 77 departed Dulles International Airport bound forLos Angeles. The Boeing 757 was hijacked and crashed, loaded with 10,000gallons of fuel, at 345 mph into the west side of the Pentagon. The five-storyPentagon is made up of five pentagonal structures arranged in concentricrings. These rings surround a five-acre open courtyard and are connected by10 spike-like corridors. The plane took out light poles in the parking lot, hitthe ground just outside the outermost ring of the Pentagon, turned up on itswing, and penetrated the E ring (outermost) midway between corridors 4 and5. It then traveled through the D ring and into the C ring
UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 93United Airlines Flight 93 was a passenger flight which was hijacked by four al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks.It crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, during an attempt bysome of the passengers to regain control, killing all 44 people aboardincluding the 4 hijackers. No one on the ground was injured. The aircraftinvolved, a Boeing 757–222, was flying United Airlines daily scheduledmorning domestic flight from Newark International Airport in Newark, NewJersey, to San Francisco International Airport in San Mateo County, California.The hijackers breached the aircrafts cockpit and overpowered the flight crewapproximately 46 minutes after takeoff. Ziad Jarrah, a trained pilot, then tookcontrol of the aircraft and diverted it back toward the east coast of the UnitedStates in the direction of Washington, D.C. The hijackers specific target isbelieved to have been the United States Capitol.
UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 93 CONTINUEDAfter the hijackers took control of the plane, several passengers and flightattendants were able to make telephone calls and learn that attacks had alreadybeen made by other hijacked airlines on the World Trade Center in New York Cityand the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. Some of the passengers thenattempted to regain control of the aircraft. During the attempt, however, the planecrashed into a reclaimed strip mine in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville inSomerset County, Pennsylvania, about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Pittsburghand 130 miles (210 km) northwest of Washington, D.C. A few witnessed theimpact from the ground and news agencies began reporting the event within anhour.Subsequent analysis of the flight recorders recovered from the crash site revealedhow the actions taken by the passengers prevented the aircraft from reaching thehijackers intended target. Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11 – theothers were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and UnitedAirlines Flight 175 – United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that failed toreach its hijackers intended target.
AMERICA’S RESPONSEImmediately after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center attackson the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, both houses of Congress madeproposals to provide legitimate legal authority to detect, deter and preventfuture acts of terror on American soil or against Americans travelinganywhere else in the world.We truly entered the War on Terror.For more in-depth info on U.S. Response:http://www.11september2001memorial.com/a1.htmlhttp://www.history.com/topics/reaction-to-9-11
FOR MORE INFORMATION:http://timeline.national911memorial.org/ (interactive) timeline(s)http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks pictures, videos, articles, etchttp://library.columbia.edu/indiv/usgd/wtc.html official documents of theattacks