September 11, 2001 attacks

September 11, 2001 attacks

Overview
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation. The name is frequently used in British as well as American English usage even though the dating conventions differ: "9/11" in British English would normally refer to 9 November.) were a series of four coordinated suicide attack
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

s upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C., area on September 11, 2001.
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Quotations

Should terrorists launch new attacks, we believe their preferred targets will be U.S. Government facilities and national symbols, financial and transportation infrastructure nodes, or public gathering places. Civil aviation remains a particularly attractive target in light of the fear and publicity that the downing on an airline would evoke.

National Intelligence Estimate (1995), contained in the 9/11 Commission Report|9/11 Commission Report (2004) p.54

Nobody move please, we are going back to the airport, don't try to make any stupid moves.

Mohamed Atta, at 08:33, as quoted in Guardian Unlimited (17 October 2001)

We may have a hijack. We have some problems over here right now.

Air traffic controller, at 08:53, as quoted in Guardian Unlimited (17 October 2001)

Something is wrong. We are in a rapid descent... we are all over the place. ... I see water. I see buildings. We are flying low. We are flying very, very low. We are flying way too low. ... Oh my God, we are way too low... Oh my God! Oh my God.

Flight attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney|Madeline Amy Sweeney, at the end of her phone call to a supervisor describing the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 11|American Airlines Flight 11.

What do I tell the pilots to do?

CNN commentator Barbara Olson|Barbara Olson, passenger on American Airlines Flight 77|American Airlines Flight 77, cell phone call to her husband, Solicitor General of the United States|Solicitor General Theodore Olson|Theodore Olson.

Are you guys ready? Let's roll.

Todd Beamer|Todd Beamer, passenger on United Airlines Flight 93|United Airlines Flight 93, last reported words from his cell phone call to Lisa D. Jefferson|Lisa D. Jefferson, a GTC telephone switchboard operator
Encyclopedia
The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation. The name is frequently used in British as well as American English usage even though the dating conventions differ: "9/11" in British English would normally refer to 9 November.) were a series of four coordinated suicide attack
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

s upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C., area on September 11, 2001. On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 hijacked
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

 four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11
American Airlines Flight 11
American Airlines Flight 11 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California...

 and United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

 into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

 into the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

 crashed into a field near Shanksville
Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Shanksville is a borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a population of 245, as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area and is approximately 60 miles southeast from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

 Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the hijacker's intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks
Casualties of the September 11 attacks
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by Al-Qaeda resulted in 2,996 immediate deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. 372 foreign nationals perished in the attacks, representing just over 12% of the total...

.

Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

, and in 2004, the group's leader Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks
Responsibility for the September 11 attacks
Two weeks after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified the hijackers and connected them to al-Qaeda, a global, decentralized terrorist network...

. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an operation conducted by Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with the mission of monitoring and controlling airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.-Summary:Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992...

, and sanctions against Iraq
Iraq sanctions
The Iraq sanctions were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 , and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait...

 as motives for the attacks. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda members. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was found and killed
Death of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden, then head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1 a.m. local time by a United States special forces military unit....

.

The destruction of the twin towers caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

 and had a significant impact on global markets. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site
World Trade Center site
The World Trade Center site , also known as "Ground Zero" after the September 11 attacks, sits on in Lower Manhattan in New York City...

 was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. Numerous memorials were constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, the Pentagon Memorial
Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 men and women who lost their lives as victims of the attack, killed both in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 in the September 11, 2001...

, and the Flight 93 National Memorial
Flight 93 National Memorial
The Flight 93 National Memorial is located at the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked in the September 11 attacks, in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, about north of Shanksville, and southeast of Pittsburgh. The memorial was made to honor the passengers of Flight...

 in Pennsylvania. Adjacent to the National Memorial, the 1776 feet (541.3 m) One World Trade Center is expected to be completed in 2013.

Attacks


Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco or Los Angeles after takeoffs from Boston, Massachusetts, Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

, and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 Planes with long flights were intentionally selected for hijacking because they would be heavily fueled.

The four flights involved were:
  • American Airlines Flight 11
    American Airlines Flight 11
    American Airlines Flight 11 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California...

    : Left Boston’s Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of 11 and 76 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.
  • United Airlines Flight 175
    United Airlines Flight 175
    United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

    : Left Logan Airport at 8:14 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of nine and 51 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.
  • American Airlines Flight 77
    American Airlines Flight 77
    American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

    : Left Washington Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia at 8:20 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 53 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.
  • United Airlines Flight 93
    United Airlines Flight 93
    United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

    : Left Newark International Airport
    Newark Liberty International Airport
    Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

     at 8:42 a.m. enroute to San Francisco, with a crew of seven and 33 passengers, not including four hijackers. After the passengers revolted the hijackers crashed the plane into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
    Shanksville, Pennsylvania
    Shanksville is a borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a population of 245, as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area and is approximately 60 miles southeast from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

     at 10:03 a.m.

Media coverage was intense during the attacks and aftermath, beginning moments after the first crash into the World Trade Center.

Events



At 8:46 a.m., five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

's North Tower (1 WTC), and at 9:03 a.m., another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower (2 WTC).

Five hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the The Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 at 9:37 a.m.

A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, under the control of four hijackers, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Shanksville is a borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a population of 245, as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area and is approximately 60 miles southeast from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...

, southeast of Pittsburgh, at 10:03 a.m. after the passengers fought the hijackers. Flight 93's ultimate target is believed to have been either the Capitol or the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. Flight 93's cockpit voice recorder revealed crew and passengers attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. Once it became evident to the hijackers that the passengers might regain control of the plane, the hijackers rolled the plane and intentionally crashed it.
Some passengers and crew members who were able to make phone calls from the aircraft using the cabin airphone service and mobile phones provided details that there were several hijackers aboard each plane; that mace
Mace (spray)
Chemical Mace is a tear gas in the form of an aerosol spray which propels a lachrymatory agent mixed with a volatile solvent. It is sometimes used as a self-defense device...

, tear gas, or pepper spray was used and that some people aboard had been stabbed. Reports indicated hijackers stabbed and killed pilots, flight attendants, and one or more passengers. In their final report, the 9/11 Commission
9/11 Commission
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was set up on November 27, 2002, "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks", including preparedness for and the immediate response to...

 found the hijackers had recently purchased multi-function hand tools and assorted knives and blades. 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 also said he thought the bombs were fake. The FBI found no traces of explosives at the crash sites, and the 9/11 Commission concluded the bombs were probably fake.

Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed
Collapse of the World Trade Center
The twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001, as a result of al-Qaeda's September 11 attacks, in which terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners, flying one into the North Tower and another into the South Tower...

 due to structural failure. The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175. 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
7 World Trade Center
7 World Trade Center is a building in New York City located across from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. It is the second building to bear that name and address in that location. The original structure was completed in 1987 and was destroyed in the September 11 attacks...

 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 p.m. The Pentagon also sustained major damage.

At 9:40 a.m., the FAA grounded all aircraft within the continental U.S., and 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 all international flights were banned from landing on U.S. soil 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
Delta Air Lines Flight 1989
Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 was a regularly scheduled flight offering nonstop morning service from Logan International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. On September 11, 2001, this flight was one of several flights considered by the U.S. Government as ...

—was suspected of having been hijacked, but the aircraft responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

.
| style="text-align: left;" | "I see water. I see buildings. We’re flying low, we’re flying way too low...Oh, my God."
|-
|Last words of Amy Sweeney, flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11>


In a September 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
Mohamed Atta
Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta was one of the masterminds and the ringleader of the September 11 attacks who served as the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, crashing the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the coordinated attacks.Born in 1968...

, the hijacker and pilot of Flight 11, thought the White House might be too tough a target and sought an assessment from Hani Hanjour
Hani Hanjour
Hani Saleh Hasan Hanjour was the hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, crashing the plane into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks....

, who would later hijack and pilot Flight 77. Mohammed also 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 targeting, according to Mohammed, were left in the hands of the pilots.

Casualties




The attacks resulted in the death of 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. The victims included 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,606 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. Nearly all of the victims were civilians; 55 military personnel were among those killed at the Pentagon.

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. A further 107 people below the point of impact did not survive. In the South Tower one stairwell remained intact, allowing 18 people to escape from above the point of impact. In the South Tower 630 people died, fewer than half the number killed in the North Tower. Casualties in the South Tower were significantly reduced by the decision of some occupants to start evacuating when the North Tower was struck.
At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as exemplified in the photograph The Falling Man
The Falling Man
The Falling Man is a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City...

), 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 hope of helicopter rescue, but the roof access doors were locked. No plan existed for helicopter rescues, and the thick smoke and intense heat would have 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
New York City Fire Department
The New York City Fire Department or the Fire Department of the City of New York has the responsibility for protecting the citizens and property of New York City's five boroughs from fires and fire hazards, providing emergency medical services, technical rescue as well as providing first response...

 (FDNY) lost 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics. The New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 (NYPD) lost 23 officers. The Port Authority Police Department 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. Marsh Inc.
Marsh & McLennan Companies
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. is a US-based global professional services and insurance brokerage firm. In 2007, it had over 57,000 employees and annual revenues of $10.49 billion. Marsh & McLennan Companies was ranked the 221st largest corporation in the United States by the 2009 Fortune 500...

, 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
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

 (NIST) estimated that about 17,400 civilians were in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks though turnstile counts from the Port Authority suggest 14,154 people were typically in the Twin Towers by 8:45 a.m. The vast majority of people below the impact zone safely evacuated the buildings.
Deaths (excluding hijackers)
New York City World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

2,606
American 11
American Airlines Flight 11
American Airlines Flight 11 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California...

87
United 175
United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

60
Arlington Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

125
American 77
American Airlines Flight 77
American Airlines Flight 77 was American Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Washington Dulles International Airport, in Dulles, Virginia to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

 
59
Shanksville United 93
United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

40
Total 2,977

After New York, New Jersey lost the most state citizens, with the city of Hoboken sustaining the most deaths. More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Two people were later added to the official death toll after dying from health conditions linked to exposure to dust from the collapse of the World Trade Center.

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
Deutsche Bank Building
The Deutsche Bank Building was a skyscraper at 130 Liberty Street in New York City, United States, adjacent to the World Trade Center . Opened in 1974 as Bankers Trust Plaza, the building was acquired by Deutsche Bank when it acquired Bankers Trust in 1998. It was part of the skyline of Lower...

. In 2010, a team of anthropologists and archaeologists searched for human remains and personal items at the Fresh Kills Landfill
Fresh Kills Landfill
The Fresh Kills Landfill was a landfill covering in the New York City borough of Staten Island in the United States. The name comes from the landfill's location along the banks of the Fresh Kills estuary in western Staten Island...

, where seventy-two more human remains were recovered, bringing the total found to 1,845. DNA profiling continues in an attempt to identify additional victims. As of August 2011, 1,631 victims have been identified, while 1,122 (41%) of the victims remained unidentified. The remains are being held in storage in Memorial Park, outside the New York City Medical Examiner’s facilities. It is expected that the remains will be moved in 2013 to a repository behind a wall at the 9/11 museum. As of July 2011, a team of scientists at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner continues to try to identify remains, in the hope that improved technology will allow them to identify other victims.

Damage



Along with the 110-floor Twin Towers
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

, 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. The North Tower, South Tower, the Marriott Hotel (3 WTC) and 7 WTC were completely 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 later. The two buildings of the World Financial Center
World Financial Center
The World Financial Center is a complex of buildings across West Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. This complex is home to offices of companies including Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Nomura Group, the Wall Street...

 also suffered damage.

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
Deconstruction (building)
In the context of physical construction, deconstruction is the selective dismantlement of building components, specifically for re-use, recycling, and waste management. It differs from demolition where a site is cleared of its building by the most expedient means. Deconstruction has also been...

. The Borough of Manhattan Community College
Borough of Manhattan Community College
The Borough of Manhattan Community College is one of six two-year colleges within the City University of New York system and the only one in Manhattan. Founded in 1963, BMCC originally offered business-oriented and liberal arts degrees for those intending to enter the business world or transfer...

's Fiterman Hall at 30 West Broadway was condemned due to extensive damage in the attacks, and is being rebuilt. Other neighboring buildings including 90 West Street
90 West Street, New York City
90 West Street or West Street Building is a building in Lower Manhattan designed by architect Cass Gilbert and structural engineer Gunvald Aus for the West Street Improvement Corporation. When completed in 1907, the building's Gothic styling and ornamentation served to emphasize its 23-story...

 and the Verizon Building
Verizon Building
The Verizon Building is a 32-story Art Deco building in New York City, located in Lower Manhattan. It is named for Verizon Communications, for which it is the headquarters. The building is located at 140 West Street, adjacent to the World Trade Center site and 7 World Trade Center, and is bounded...

 suffered major damage but have been restored. World Financial Center
World Financial Center
The World Financial Center is a complex of buildings across West Street from the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan in New York City, overlooking the Hudson River. This complex is home to offices of companies including Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Nomura Group, the Wall Street...

 buildings, One Liberty Plaza
One Liberty Plaza
One Liberty Plaza, formerly the U.S. Steel Building, is a skyscraper in lower Manhattan, New York City, at the location of the former Singer Building . 1 Liberty Plaza is currently owned and operated by Brookfield Properties. The building is tall and 54 floors. It was built in 1973...

, 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, but media stations were quickly able to reroute signals and resume broadcasts.

The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

, across the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 from Washington, D.C., was severely damaged by the impact of American Airlines Flight 77 and ensuing fires, causing one section of the building to collapse. As it approached the Pentagon, the airplane's wings knocked over light poles and its right engine smashed into a power generator before crashing into the western side of the building, killing all 53 passengers, 5 hijackers, and 6 crew. 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 310 feet (94 m) of the three outermost of the building's five rings.

Rescue and recovery




The New York City Fire Department quickly deployed 200 units (half of the department) to the site. 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, NYPD, and Port Authority police did not coordinate efforts and ended up performing 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; however, due to technical difficulties with malfunctioning radio repeater systems, many firefighters never heard the evacuation orders. 9-1-1
9-1-1
9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan .It is one of eight N11 codes.The use of this number is for emergency circumstances only, and to use it for any other purpose can be a crime.-History:In the earliest days of telephone technology, prior to the...

 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.

Attackers and their background



Al-Qaeda



The origins of al-Qaeda can be traced to 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

. Soon after, Osama bin Laden traveled to Afghanistan and helped organize Arab mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 to resist the Soviets. Under the guidance of Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

, bin Laden became more radical. In 1996 bin Laden issued his first fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

, calling for American soldiers to leave Saudi Arabia.

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
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. Bin Laden used Islamic texts to exhort Muslims to attack Americans until the stated grievances are reversed, and according to bin Laden, Muslim legal scholars, "have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries."

Osama bin Laden


Bin Laden, who orchestrated the attacks, initially denied but later admitted involvement. Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

 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 tape, bin Laden is seen talking to Khaled al-Harbi
Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harbi
Khaled bin Ouda bin Mohammed al-Harbi, is a Saudi national who was associated with Osama bin Laden's mujahadeen group in the 1980s, and is thought to have rejoined bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the mid-1990s...

 and admits foreknowledge of the attacks. On December 27, 2001, a second bin Laden video was released. In the video, he states, "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", but he stopped short of admitting responsibility for the attacks.

Shortly before the U.S. presidential election in 2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

, in a taped statement
2004 Osama bin Laden video
On October 29, 2004, at 21:00 UTC, the Arab television network, Al Jazeera, broadcast excerpts from a videotape of Osama bin Laden addressing the people of the United States, in which he accepts responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks, condemns the Bush government's response to those...

, bin Laden publicly acknowledged al-Qaeda's involvement in the attacks on the U.S. and admitted his direct link to the attacks. He said that the attacks 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. 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
Hamza al-Ghamdi
Hamza al-Ghamdi was one of five hijackers of United Airlines Flight 175 as part of the September 11 attacks....

 and Wail al-Shehri
Wail al-Shehri
Wail Mohammed al-Shehri was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks....

, 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 nearly 10-year manhunt, bin Laden was killed by American forces in Abbottabad
Abbottabad
Abbottabad is a city located in the Hazara region of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in Pakistan. The city is situated in the Orash Valley, northeast of the capital Islamabad and east of Peshawar at an altitude of and is the capital of the Abbottabad District...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 on May 1, 2011.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed




The 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
9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is the official report of the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

 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
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

 and the uncle of Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef
Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and United States Diplomatic Security Service, then extradited to the...

, the lead bomber in that attack.

Mohammed was arrested on March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

, Pakistan by Pakistani security officials working with the CIA, then transported to Guantanamo Bay and interrogated using methods including waterboarding
Waterboarding
Waterboarding is a form of torture in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning...

. 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.

Motives


Osama bin Laden's declaration of a holy war
Religious war
A religious war; Latin: bellum sacrum; is a war caused by, or justified by, religious differences. It can involve one state with an established religion against another state with a different religion or a different sect within the same religion, or a religiously motivated group attempting to...

 against the United States, and a fatwā signed by bin Laden
Fatawā of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden wrote what is referred to as a fatwā in August 1996, and was one of several signatories of another and shorter fatwa in February 1998. Both documents appeared initially in the Arabic-language London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi...

 and others calling for the killing of American civilians in 1998, are seen by investigators as evidence of his motivation. In various pronouncements before and after the attacks, al-Qaeda explicitly cited three motives for its activities against Western countries: the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an operation conducted by Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with the mission of monitoring and controlling airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.-Summary:Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992...

, U.S. support of Israel
Israel-United States military relations
Military relations between Israel and the United States have been extremely close, reflecting shared security interests in the Middle East.Israel is the largest total recipient of direct economic and military assistance from the United States since World War II, and it was the largest annual...

, and sanctions against Iraq
Iraq sanctions
The Iraq sanctions were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 , and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait...

. After the attacks, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri released additional video tapes
Videos of Osama bin Laden
There were several video and audio recordings released by, or claiming to be produced by, Osama bin Laden between 2001 and 2011. Most of the tapes were released directly to Arabic language satellite television networks, primarily Al Jazeera....

 and audio tapes, some of which repeated those reasons for the attacks. Two particularly important publications were bin Laden's 2002 "Letter to America", and a 2004 video tape by bin Laden.

Bin Laden interpreted the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 as having banned the "permanent presence of infidels in Arabia". In 1996, bin Laden issued
Fatawā of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden wrote what is referred to as a fatwā in August 1996, and was one of several signatories of another and shorter fatwa in February 1998. Both documents appeared initially in the Arabic-language London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi...

 a fatwā
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 calling for American troops to get out of 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
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

", and considered this a provocation to the entire Muslim world.

In his November 2002 "Letter to America", bin Laden cited the United States' support of Israel as a motivation: "The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its price, and pay for it heavily." In 2004 and 2010, bin Laden again connected the September 11 attacks with U.S. support of Israel. Bin Laden claimed in 2004 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 invasion of Lebanon. Several analysts, including Mearsheimer and Walt, also say one motivation for the attacks was U.S. support of Israel. In the 1998 fatwā, al-Qaeda identified the Iraq sanctions as a reason to kill Americans, condemning the "protracted blockade" among other actions constituting a declaration of war against "Allah, his messenger, and Muslims."

In addition to those cited by bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, analysts have suggested other motives, including western support of non-Islamist authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and northern Africa, and western troups in some of these countries. Other authors suggest that humiliation resulting from the Islamic world falling behind the Western world – this discrepancy made especially visible by recent globalization, 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.

Planning of the attacks


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
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. The 1998 African Embassy bombings
1998 United States embassy bombings
The 1998 United States embassy bombings were a series of attacks that occurred on August 7, 1998, in which hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous truck bomb explosions at the United States embassies in the East African capitals of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. The date of the...

 and bin Laden's 1998 fatwā marked a turning point, as bin Laden became intent on attacking the United States. In December 1998, the CIA's Counterterrorist Center
Counterterrorist Center
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center was established in 1986. It is not to be confused with the National Counterterrorism Center, a separate entity.-Foundation and early years:...

 reported to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the U.S. that might include hijacking aircraft.

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
Mohammed Atef
Mohammed Atef was the alleged military chief of al-Qaida, although his role in the organization was not well known by intelligence agencies for years...

. 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. Bin Laden initially selected Nawaf al-Hazmi
Nawaf al-Hazmi
Nawaf Muhammed Salim al-Hazmi was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks....

 and Khalid al-Mihdhar
Khalid al-Mihdhar
Khalid Muhammad Abdallah al-Mihdhar was one of five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon as part of the September 11 attacks....

, both experienced jihadists who had fought in Bosnia
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

. 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, did poorly with flying lessons, and eventually served as secondary – or "muscle" – hijackers.

In late 1999, a group of men from Hamburg, Germany arrived in Afghanistan, including Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi
Marwan al-Shehhi
Marwan Yousef Mohamed Rashid Lekrab al-Shehhi was the hijacker-pilot of United Airlines Flight 175, crashing the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center as part of the September 11 attacks....

, Ziad Jarrah
Ziad Jarrah
Ziad Samir Jarrah was one of the masterminds of the September 11 attacks who served as the hijacker-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93, crashing the plane into a field in a rural area near Shanksville—after a passenger uprising—as part of the coordinated attacks.After a wealthy and secular...

, 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.

Hanjour arrived in San Diego on December 8, 2000, joining Hazmi. They soon left for Arizona, where Hanjour took refresher training. Marwan al-Shehhi arrived at the end of May 2000, while Atta arrived on June 3, 2000, and Jarrah arrived on June 27, 2000. Bin al-Shibh applied several times for a visa to the United States, but as a Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

i, he was rejected out of concerns he would overstay his visa and remain as an illegal immigrant. Bin al-Shibh stayed in Hamburg, providing coordination between Atta and Mohammed. The three Hamburg cell
Hamburg cell
The Hamburg cell was, according to U.S. and German intelligence agencies, a group of radical Islamists based in Hamburg, Germany that included students who eventually came to be key operatives in the 9/11 attacks...

 members all took pilot training in South Florida.

In spring 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.

Other al-Qaeda members


In "Substitution for Testimony of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed" from the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui is a French citizen who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the US as part of the September 11 attacks...

, 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
Abu Turab Al-Urduni
The son-in-law of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Turab al-Urduni is a Jordanian who has been described by the United States government as one of five individuals who were aware of the operational details of the September 11th attacks. The other four being Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Ramzi bin...

 and Mohammed Atef. To date, only peripheral figures have been tried or convicted for the attacks.

On September 26, 2005, the Spanish high court
Audiencia Nacional of Spain
The Audiencia Nacional is a a special and exceptional high court in Spain. It has its seat in Madrid and jurisdiction over all of Spain and international crimes which come under the competence of Spanish courts....

 sentenced Abu Dahdah
Abu Dahdah
Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas alias Abu Dahdah is a Syrian-born Spaniard sentenced to a 27-year prison term in Spain for his part in the September 11, 2001 attacks and for his membership in the banned terrorist organization al-Qaeda...

 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 is serving a life sentence without parole. Mounir el-Motassadeq, an associate of the Hamburg-based hijackers, is serving 15 years for his role in helping the hijackers prepare for the attacks.

Immediate response


At 8:32 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 (FAA) officials were notified Flight 11 had been hijacked and they in turned notified the North American Aerospace Defense Command
North American Aerospace Defense Command
North American Aerospace Defense Command is a joint organization of Canada and the United States that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for the two countries. Headquarters NORAD is located at Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colorado...

 (NORAD). NORAD scrambled two F-15s from Otis Air National Guard Base
Otis Air National Guard Base
Otis Air National Guard Base is an Air National Guard installation located within the Massachusetts Military Reservation , a military training facility, located on the western portion of Cape Cod, in western Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States...

 in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 and they were airborne by 8:53 a.m. 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
Joint Base Langley–Eustis
Joint Base Langley–Eustis is a United States military facility located in Hampton and Newport News, Virginia. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 633rd Air Base Wing, Air Combat Command...

 in Virginia at 9:30 a.m. At 10:20 a.m. Vice President Dick Cheney issued orders to shoot down any commercial aircraft that could be positively identified as being hijacked. However, 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 history SCATANA
Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids
The Plan for the Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids is an emergency preparedness plan of the United States which prescribes the joint action to be taken by appropriate elements of the Department of Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Federal Communications...

 was invoked, establishing an ATC Zero
ATC Zero
ATC Zero is an aviation term used when local airspace is closed. All aircraft going to any destination inside of the airspace must re-route, and any aircraft already in the airspace must either land or fly outside of the affected airspace.ATC Zero gained widespread notability in the aftermath of...

 condition, closing all airspace and immediately grounding all non-emergency civilian aircraft in the United States, Canada, and several other countries, and so stranding tens of thousands of passengers across the world. The Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 closed American airspace 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
Operation Yellow Ribbon
Operation Yellow Ribbon was commenced by Transport Canada to handle the diversion of civilian airline flights in response to the September 11 attacks in 2001. Canada’s goal was to ensure that potentially destructive air traffic be removed from U.S. airspace as quickly as possible, and away from...

 to deal with the large numbers of grounded planes and stranded passengers.

The 9/11 attacks had immediate and overwhelming effects upon the American people. Police and rescue workers from around the country took leaves of absence, traveling 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 who were killed in the attacks or died in rescue operations resulted in over 3000 children losing a parent. Subsequent studies regarding children's reactions to these actual losses and also to feared losses of life, and the protective environment in the aftermath of the attacks were documented, as were the effects on surviving caregivers.

Military operations following the attacks




At 2:40 p.m. in the afternoon of September 11, Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 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."

The NATO council declared the attacks on the United States were an attack on all NATO nations which 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. Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n Prime Minister John Howard invoked Article IV of the ANZUS
ANZUS
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks...

 treaty. The Bush administration announced a War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, 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 perceived as harboring terrorists, and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing.

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
Special forces
Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

. The overthrow of the Taliban rule of Afghanistan by a U.S.-led coalition was the second-biggest operation of the U.S. Global War on Terrorism outside of the United States, and the largest directly connected to terrorism. Conflict in Afghanistan between the Taliban insurgency
Taliban insurgency
The Taliban insurgency took root shortly after the group's fall from power following the 2001 war in Afghanistan. The Taliban continue to attack Afghan, U.S., and other ISAF troops and many terrorist incidents attributable to them have been registered. The war has also spread over the southern and...

 and the ISAF
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 is ongoing. The Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, among other nations with their own internal conflicts with Islamic terrorism, also increased their military readiness.

Domestic response



Following the attacks, President 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
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

'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
Casualties of the September 11 attacks
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by Al-Qaeda resulted in 2,996 immediate deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims. 372 foreign nationals perished in the attacks, representing just over 12% of the total...

 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
Continuity of government
Continuity of government is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event....

 and the evacuation of leaders were also implemented almost immediately after the attacks. However, 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
Homeland Security Act
The Homeland Security Act of 2002, , 116 Stat. 2135 was introduced in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and subsequent mailings of anthrax spores. The HSA was cosponsored by 118 members of Congress. It was signed into law by President George W...

 of 2002, creating the Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

. Congress also passed the USA PATRIOT Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

, 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
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 (NSA) was given broad powers. NSA commenced warrantless surveillance
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

 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".

Hate crimes


Numerous incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Muslims and South Asians were reported in the days following the 9/11 attacks. Sikh
Sikh
A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

s were also targeted because Sikh males usually wear turban
Turban
In English, Turban refers to several types of headwear popularly worn in the Middle East, North Africa, Punjab, Jamaica and Southwest Asia. A commonly used synonym is Pagri, the Indian word for turban.-Styles:...

s, which are stereotypically associated with Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s. There were reports of verbal abuse, attacks on mosques and other religious buildings (including the firebombing of a Hindu temple), and assaults on people, including one murder: Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi
Balbir Singh Sodhi , a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the first of several cases across the United States that were reported to the police as acts of retaliation for the terrorist attacks...

, a Sikh mistaken for a Muslim, was fatally shot on September 15, 2001 in Mesa, Arizona.

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 September 17. Various crimes such as vandalism, arson, assault, shootings, harassment, and threats in numerous places were documented.

Muslim American reaction


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
Islamic Society of North America
The Islamic Society of North America , based in Plainfield, Indiana, USA, is a Muslim umbrella group. It has been described in the media as the largest Muslim organization in North America.-History:...

, American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, Council on American-Islamic Relations
Council on American-Islamic Relations
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization that deals with civil advocacy and promotes human rights...

, Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Circle of North America
Islamic Circle of North America , formally chartered in 1971 but active since 1968, is an Islamic North American grassroots umbrella organization....

, 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.

International response



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". While the government of Saudi Arabia officially condemned the attacks, privately many Saudis favored bin Laden's cause. 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
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368, adopted unanimously on September 12, 2001, after expressing its determination to combat threats to international peace and security caused by acts of terrorism and recognising the right of individual and collective self-defense, the Council condemned...

 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.

Tens of thousands of people attempted to flee Afghanistan following the attacks, fearing a response by the United States. Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, already home to many 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.

Economic aftermath


The attacks had a significant economic impact on United States and world markets. The stock exchanges did not open on September 11 and remained closed until September 17. Reopening, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 (DJIA) fell 684 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.

In New York City, about 430,000 job-months and $2.8 billion dollars in wages were lost in the three months after the attacks. The economic effects were mainly on the economy's export sectors. The city's GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 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
Government of New York City
The government of New York City is organized under the City Charter and provides for a "strong" mayor-council system. The government of New York is more centralized than that of most other U.S...

 in September 2001, and $10.5 billion in early 2002 for economic development and infrastructure needs.

Also hurt were small businesses in Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

 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
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is a United States government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The mission of the Small Business Administration is "to maintain and strengthen the nation's economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses...

 loans, federal government Community Development Block Grants, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Some 31900000 square feet (2,963,607 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.

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
Airline
An airline provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines lease or own their aircraft with which to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for mutual benefit...

.

Health effects


The thousands of tons of toxic debris resulting from the collapse of the Twin Towers contained more than 2,500 contaminants, including known carcinogens. Subsequent debilitating illnesses among rescue and recovery workers are said to be linked to exposure to these carcinogens. The Bush administration ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
United States Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...

 to issue reassuring statements regarding air quality in the aftermath of the attacks, citing national security; however, the EPA did not determine that air quality had returned to pre-September 11 levels until June 2002.

Health effects also extended to residents, students, and office workers of Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown
Chinatown, Manhattan
Manhattan's Chinatown , home to one of the highest concentrations of Chinese people in the Western hemisphere, is located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City...

. Several deaths have been linked to the toxic dust, and the victims' names will be 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
Wall Street
Wall Street refers to the financial district of New York City, named after and centered on the eight-block-long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, or...

 area.

Government policies toward terrorism


As a result of the attacks, many governments across the world passed legislation to combat terrorism
Anti-terrorism legislation
Anti-terrorism legislation designs various types of laws passed in the aim of fighting terrorism. They usually, if not always, follow specific bombings or assassinations...

. 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
Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act
The Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act was passed by the Liberal government of Canada in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. It received Royal Assent on December 18, 2001, as Bill C-36. The "omnibus" bill extends the powers of government and institutions within the Canadian...

, that nation's first anti-terrorism law. the United Kingdom passed the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
The Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 was formally introduced into the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 19 November 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks on New York on 11 September. It received royal assent and came into force on 14 December 2001...

 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005
Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005
The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, intended to deal with the Law Lords' ruling of 16 December 2004 that the detention without trial of eight foreigners at HM Prison Belmarsh under Part 4 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001...

. Similarly, New Zealand enacted the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
The Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 is a piece of anti-terrorism legislation from New Zealand.In the first test of the Act, during the 2007 New Zealand anti-terror raids, the Solicitor-General declined to press charges under it, because the legislation was too complex. It was amended in late 2007....

.

In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security was created to coordinate domestic anti-terrorism efforts. The USA Patriot Act
USA PATRIOT Act
The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001...

 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 Federal Aviation Administration 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
Aviation and Transportation Security Act
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act was enacted by the 107th United States Congress in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Act created the Transportation Security Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation...

 made the federal government, rather than airports, responsible for airport security. The law created a federal security force to inspect passengers and luggage, causing long delays and concern over passenger privacy.

FBI investigation




Immediately after the attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 started PENTTBOM
PENTTBOM
PENTTBOM is the codename for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe into the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the largest criminal inquiry in United States history. Its name stands for 'Pentagon/Twin Towers Bombing Investigation'...

, 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 able to quickly identify the hijackers, including leader Mohamed Atta, when his luggage was discovered at Boston's Logan Airport. Due to a mix-up, 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 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. By midday, the U.S. National Security Agency and German intelligence agencies had intercepted communications pointing to Osama bin Laden. On September 27, 2001, the FBI released photos of the 19 hijackers, along with information about possible nationalities and aliases. Fifteen of the men were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, one (Atta) from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.

9/11 Commission



The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, 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 9/11 Commission issued the 9/11 Commission Report
9/11 Commission Report
The 9/11 Commission Report, formally named Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, is the official report of the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

. 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.

Collapse of the World Trade Center


The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology investigated the collapses of the Twin Towers and 7 WTC. The investigations examined why the buildings collapsed, 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 but that of 7 WTC wasn't finalized until August 2008.

The 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 would likely have remained standing. A study published by researchers of Purdue University
Purdue University
Purdue University, located in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S., is the flagship university of the six-campus Purdue University system. Purdue was founded on May 6, 1869, as a land-grant university when the Indiana General Assembly, taking advantage of the Morrill Act, accepted a donation of land and...

 confirmed that, if the thermal insulation on the core columns were scoured off and column temperatures were elevated to approximately 700 °C (1,292 °F), the fire would have been sufficient to initiate collapse.

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." 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
Fire escape
A fire escape is a special kind of emergency exit, usually mounted to the outside of a building or occasionally inside but separate from the main areas of the building. It provides a method of escape in the event of a fire or other emergency that makes the stairwells inside a building inaccessible...

 for people above the impact zones. NIST concluded that uncontrolled fires in 7 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".

Internal review of the CIA


The Inspector General of the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 conducted an internal review of the CIA'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
Ron Wyden
Ronald Lee "Ron" Wyden is the senior U.S. Senator for Oregon, serving since 1996, and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1996....

 said, "The American people have a right to know what the Central Intelligence Agency was doing in those critical months before 9/11."In the President's Daily Brief
President's Daily Brief
The President's Daily Brief , sometimes incorrectly referred to as the President's Daily Briefing or the President's Daily Bulletin, is a top-secret document produced each morning for the President of the United States...

, dated August 6, 2001, a CIA memo mentions uncorroborated reporting from a foreign intelligence service suggesting that Bin Laden was "Determined To Strike in US" and may want to hijack an airplane to secure the release of Islamic extremist prisoners.

Rebuilding


On the day of the attacks, New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani proclaimed, "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. The temporary World Trade Center PATH station
World Trade Center (PATH station)
The World Trade Center PATH station originally opened on July 19, 1909 as the Hudson Terminal. When the Hudson Terminal was torn down to make way for the World Trade Center, a new station was built, which opened in 1971...

 opened in late 2003 and construction of the new 7 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
Larry Silverstein
Larry A. Silverstein is an American businessman, and real estate investor and developer in New York City.Silverstein was born in Brooklyn, and became involved in real estate, together with his father, establishing Silverstein Properties...

 and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey agreed on financing. 1 World Trade Center is currently under construction at the site and at 1,776 ft (541 m) upon completion in 2013, will become the tallest building in North America.

On the World Trade Center site, three more towers were expected to be built one block east of where the original towers stood. Though initial construction has commenced on all three towers, they are expected to be completed slightly after the completion of One World Trade Center.

Memorials


In the days immediately following the attacks, many memorials and vigils were held around the world. In addition, people posted photographs of the dead and missing all around Ground Zero
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

. 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
Tribute in Light
The Tribute in Light is an art installation of 88 searchlights placed next to the site of the World Trade Center to create two vertical columns of light in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. It is produced annually by The Municipal Art Society of New York...

, an installation of 88 searchlights at the footprints of the World Trade Center towers. In New York, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition
World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition
The World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was an open, international memorial contest, initiated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation , as per the specifications of architect Daniel Libeskind, to design a World Trade Center Site Memorial on a portion of the World Trade Center site...

 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. Plans for a museum on the site have been put on hold, following the abandonment of the International Freedom Center
International Freedom Center
The International Freedom Center was a proposed museum to be located adjacent to the site of Ground Zero at the former World Trade Center in New York City, USA...

 in reaction to complaints from the families of many victims.

The Pentagon Memorial
Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 men and women who lost their lives as victims of the attack, killed both in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 in the September 11, 2001...

 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 permanent Flight 93 National Memorial
Flight 93 National Memorial
The Flight 93 National Memorial is located at the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked in the September 11 attacks, in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, about north of Shanksville, and southeast of Pittsburgh. The memorial was made to honor the passengers of Flight...

 is planned to include a sculpted grove of trees forming a circle around the crash site, bisected by the plane's path, while wind chimes will bear the names of the victims. A temporary memorial is located 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 being constructed elsewhere, and scholarships and charities have been established by the victims' families, along with many other organizations and private figures.

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 also attends a memorial service at the Pentagon. Smaller services are held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which are usually attended by the President's spouse.

See also



  • 9/11 conspiracy theories
    9/11 conspiracy theories
    9/11 conspiracy theories are theories that disagree with the widely accepted account that the September 11 attacks were perpetrated solely by al-Qaeda. These theories arose because of what proponents of the conspiracy theories believe to be inconsistencies in the official conclusions or some...

  • Families of September 11
    Families of September 11
    Families of September 11, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in October 2001 by families of those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Membership is open to anyone affected by the events of September 11, 2001, be they family members, survivors, responders, or others as well as...

  • Legal issues related to the September 11 attacks
    Legal issues related to the September 11 attacks
    A number of incidents stemming from the September 11 attacks have raised questions about legality.These include:* Detentions of U.S. residents soon after the attacks....

  • List of terrorist incidents, 2001
  • Post-9/11
    Post-9/11
    Post-9/11 is a term used to describe state of living in the United States or other parts of the world after the September 11 attacks, in reference to the many changes that have occurred due to the attacks...

  • Survivor registry
    Survivor registry
    A survivor registry is a list of survivors of a disaster. This assists families and acquaintances in re-establishing contact, after they have been separatedby the disruption caused by the disaster.-Holocaust:...

  • United 93 (film)
    United 93 (film)
    United 93 is a 2006 fact-based historical drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Paul Greengrass that chronicles events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked during the September 11 attacks...

  • World Trade Center (film)
    World Trade Center (film)
    World Trade Center is a 2006 American disaster-drama film directed by Oliver Stone and based on the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center. It stars Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon. The film was shot from October 19, 2005 - February 10, 2006...



External links



Multimedia

  • Understanding 9/11 – A Television News Archive at Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

  • CNN.com – Video archive, including the first and second planes.
  • Inside 9/11 – National Geographic Society
    National Geographic Society
    The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

  • Latest video of Sept 9/11 attack emerges published by International Business Times HK
  • Time.com – 'Shattered: a remarkable collection of photographs', James Nachtwey
    James Nachtwey
    James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer.He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science ....

  • September 11, 2001 Screenshot Archive – Database of 230 screenshots from news sites around the world.