September 11, 2001 attacks

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Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
Background history
September 11, 2001
Rest of September
Foreign casualties
Hijacked airliners
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Sites of destruction
World Trade Center
The Pentagon
World political effects
World economic effects
Airport security
Closings and cancellations
Audiovisual entertainment
Government response
Rescue and recovery effort
Financial assistance
Memorials and services
Tower collapse
Slogans and terms
Conspiracy theories
U.S. Congressional Inquiry
9/11 Commission

The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11 <ref>The attacks are often referred to simply as September 11th, 9/11, or 9-11. The latter two are from the U.S. style for writing short dates, in which the month precedes the day. Both are pronounced "nine-eleven." With the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks on March 11, 2004, called "M11" or "3/11", and the Jordan Bombings on November 9, 2005 often called "11/9", the convention has been extended, however the 7 July 2005 London bombings occurred on a day when the month and the day were the same, so the speaker can decide if the US or the UK convention (day before the month) is implied. 9-1-1 also happens to be the telephone number used in the United States and Canada to dial for emergency assistance (police, ambulance, and fire department). </ref> or September 11th) were a series of coordinated terrorist attacks upon the United States of America carried out on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Four commercial airliners were hijacked and crashed, resulting in the deaths of nearly 3,000 civilians in the planes and on the ground.

On that morning, nineteen hijackers, affiliated with al-Qaeda<ref>Recently In Focus: Profile: Osama bin Laden."</ref>, crashed two planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City, and within two hours both towers collapsed. A third hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon, in Arlington County, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed into a rural field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. None of the passengers survived.

The September 11th attacks and the subsequent U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have made United States homeland security concerns much more prominent than they were in the previous decade.




According to official U.S. government sources, the September 11th attacks were consistent with the mission statement of al-Qaeda. The group's involvement in the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania is widely suspected, and al-Qaeda had declared responsibility for the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen.

The motivation for this campaign was set out in a 1998 fatwa issued by Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, and Fazlur Rahman (Amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh, Fazlur Rahman).<ref>Osama bin Laden; et al. "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: World Islamic Front Statement." February 23, 1998.</ref> The fatwa lists three "crimes and sins committed by the Americans":

  • U.S. support of Israel.
  • U.S. occupation of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people.

The fatwa states that the United States:

  • Plunders the resources of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Dictates policy to the rulers of those countries.
  • Supports abusive regimes and monarchies in the Middle East, thereby oppressing their people.
  • Has military bases and installations upon the Arabian Peninsula, which violates the Muslim holy land, in order to threaten neighboring Muslim countries.
  • Intends thereby to create disunion between Muslim states, thus weakening them as a political force.
  • Supports Israel, and wishes to divert international attention from (and tacitly maintain) the occupation of Palestine.

The Gulf War and the ensuing sanctions against and bombing of Iraq by the United States, were cited, in 1998, as further proof of these allegations. To the discrete disapproval of moderate Muslims, the fatwa uses Islamic texts to exhort violent action against American military and citizenry until the alleged grievances are reversed: stating "ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries".

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Statements of al-Qaeda recorded after 9/11 add weight to the U.S account of who was responsible for the attacks. In a 2004 video, apparently acknowledging responsibility for the attacks, bin Laden stated that he was motivated by the 1982 Lebanon War, which he held the U.S. partially responsible for. In the video, bin Laden also claims that he wants to, "restore freedom to our nation," to, "punish the aggressor in kind," and to inflict economic damage on America. He declared that a continuing objective of his holy war was to, "[bleed] America to the point of bankruptcy."<ref>Al-Jazeera. "Full transcript of bin Laden's speech." November 1, 2004.</ref> Bin Laden said, "We swore that America wouldn't live in security until we live it truly in Palestine. This showed the reality of America, which puts Israel's interest above its own people's interest. America won't get out of this crisis until it gets out of the Arabian Peninsula, and until it stops its support of Israel."

The 9/11 Commission Report determined that the animosity towards the United States felt by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the so-called, "principal architect" of the 9/11 attacks, stemmed "not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel." The same motivation has been imputed to the two pilots who flew into the WTC: Mohamed Atta was described by one Ralph Bodenstein - who traveled, worked and talked with him - as "most imbued actually about... U.S. protection of these Israeli politics in the region." Marwan al-Shehhi is said to have explained his humorless demeanor with the words: "How can you laugh when people are dying in Palestine?"

By contrast, the Bush administration says that Al-Qaeda was motivated by hatred of the freedom and democracy exemplified by the United States, and independent analysts say that one major Al-Qaeda motive is to encourage Islamic solidarity focused on a common enemy, and thus in the long term help pave the way for an Islamic world order.

The attacks

Main article: September 11, 2001 attacks timeline for the day of the attacks.


The attacks started with the hijacking of four commercial airliners. With jet fuel capacities of nearly 24,000 U.S. gallons (91,000 liters) per aircraft,<ref>Boeing. "Commercial Airplanes; Technical Characteristics: Boeing 767-200ER."</ref> the aircraft were used as flying incendiary bombs. American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north side of the north tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) at 8:46:40 AM local time (12:46:40 UTC). At 9:03:11 AM local time (13:03:11 UTC), United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower, an event covered live by television broadcasters that had their cameras trained on the North Tower. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37:46 AM local time (13:37:46 UTC). The fourth hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field near Shanksville and Stonycreek Township in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, at 10:03:11 AM local time (14:03:11 UTC), with parts and debris found up to eight miles away. The crash in Pennsylvania is believed to have resulted from the hijackers either deliberately crashing the aircraft or losing control of it as they fought with the passengers. No one survived in any of the hijacked aircraft.<ref>"September 11: Chronology of terror." CNN. September 12, 2001.</ref>

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The fatalities were in the thousands: 265 on the four planes; 2,595, including 343 New York City firefighters, 23 NYPD police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers, in the towers and on the ground; and 125 civilians and military personnel at the Pentagon. At least 2,986 people were killed in total. In addition to the 110-floor Twin Towers of the World Trade Center itself, five other buildings at the WTC site, including WTC building 7, and four subway stations were destroyed or badly damaged. In total, on Manhattan Island, 25 buildings were damaged. Communications equipment such as broadcast radio, television and two-way radio antenna towers were damaged beyond repair. In Arlington County, a portion of the Pentagon was severely damaged by fire and one section of the building collapsed.<ref>Kugler, Sara. "New WTC Death Toll Is 2,752." Associated Press (reported by CBS News). October 30, 2003.</ref>

Some passengers and crew members were able to make phone calls from the doomed flights. They reported that multiple hijackers were aboard each plane. A total of 19 were later identified by the FBI, four on United 93 and five each on the other three flights.

For a short period, the precise identity of the 19 hijackers was uncertain. For example, the BBC reported 14 days after the attack that 4 of the 19 were alive based upon the initial identification supplied by the FBI.<ref>BBC News. "Hijack 'suspects' alive and well." September 23, 2001.</ref>

The hijackers reportedly took control of the aircraft by using box-cutter knives to kill flight attendants and at least one pilot or passenger. The 9/11 Commission could only establish that two of the hijackers had recently purchased Leatherman multi-function hand tools,<ref>Ahlers, Mike M. "9/11 panel: Hijackers may have had utility knives." CNN. January 27, 2004.</ref> but some form of noxious chemical spray, such as tear gas or pepper spray, was reported to have been used on American 11 and United 175 to keep passengers out of the first-class cabin. Bomb threats were made on three of the aircraft, but not on American 77. Template:Further

The fourth aircraft

It has been speculated that the hijackers of the fourth hijacked aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93, intended to crash into the U.S. Capitol or the White House in Washington, D.C. Black box recordings reportedly revealed that crew and passengers attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers, who then rocked the plane in a failed attempt to subdue the passengers. According to 9-1-1 tapes, one of the passengers, Todd Beamer, had asked for the operator to pray with him before the passengers attempted to retake the aircraft. After praying, he simply said, "Let's roll." (The 9/11 Commission stated that Beamer actually said "Roll it," most likely referring to a drinks cart being used as a battering ram.) The term "Let's roll" would later become the war cry for those fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Soon afterward, the aircraft crashed in a field near Shanksville in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, at 10:03:11 AM local time (14:03:11 UTC). There is a dispute about the exact timing of the crash, founded on the seismic evidence which indicates that the impact actually occurred at 10:06.<ref>Kim, Won-Young; Baum, Gerald R. "Seismic Observations During September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attack." Center for Cooperative Research.</ref> The 9/11 Panel reports that captured al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said that Flight 93's target was the U.S. Capitol, which was given the code name, "The Faculty of Law."


Number of fatalities
World Trade Center Towers 2,595
Flight 11 92
Flight 175 65
Pentagon Building 125
Flight 77 64
Shanksville Flight 93 45
Total 2,986

At the World Trade Center, faced with a desperate situation of smoke and burning heat from the jet fuel, an estimated 200 people jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as depicted in the photograph The Falling Man), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below (a reaction to the attacks similar to the effects of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire). In addition, some of the occupants of each tower above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue. No rescue plan existed for such an eventuality. By some accounts, fleeing occupants instead encountered locked access doors upon reaching the roof. In any case, thick smoke prevented rescue helicopters from landing.

As many as 1,366 people were trapped at and above the floors of impact in the North Tower (1 WTC). None of them survived. As many as 600 people were trapped at and above the floors of impact in the South Tower (2 WTC). Only about 18 managed to escape in time from above the impact zone and out of the South Tower before it collapsed.

As the suburbs around New York City learned of the destruction so close to home, many schools closed for the day, evacuated, or were locked down. Other school districts shielded students from watching television because many of their parents held jobs in the World Trade Center towers. In New Jersey and Connecticut, private schools were evacuated. Scarsdale, New York schools closed for the day. In Greenwich, Connecticut, about 15 miles north of the city, hundreds of students had direct ties to victims of the attacks. Greenwich, Connecticut, and New Canaan, Connecticut, two of the wealthiest towns in the world, had more residents killed than any other town in the New York metro area.

According to Associated Press, the city identified over 1,600 bodies but was unable to identify the rest of the bodies (about 1,100 people). They report that the city has "about 10,000 unidentified bone and tissue fragments that cannot be matched to the list of the dead."<ref>Associated Press. February 23, 2005.</ref>.



20th hijacker

Allegedly 27 members of al-Qaeda attempted to enter the United States to take part in the September 11 attacks. In the end, only 19 allegedly participated. Other would-be hijackers are often referred to as the 20th hijacker.

Ramzi Binalshibh allegedly meant to take part in the attacks, but he was repeatedly denied a visa for entry into the U.S. Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi Arabian citizen, may also have been planning to join the hijackers but U.S. Immigration authorities at Orlando International Airport refused his entry into the U.S. in August, 2001. He was later captured in Afghanistan and imprisoned at the U.S. military prison known as Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Zacarias Moussaoui was reportedly considered as a replacement for Ziad Jarrah, who at one point threatened to withdraw from the scheme because of tensions amongst the plotters. Plans to include Moussaoui were allegedly never completed because the al-Qaeda hierarchy allegedly had doubts about his reliability. In April 2005, Moussaoui pled guilty to conspiring to hijack planes, and to involvement with al-Qaeda, but he denies foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks. His plea makes him eligible for the death penalty. At his sentencing trial, FBI agent Greg Jones testified that prior to the attacks, he urged his supervisor, Michael Maltbie, "to prevent Zacarias Moussaoui from flying a plane into the World Trade Center." Maltbie had refused to act on 70 requests from another agent, Harry Samit, to obtain a warrant to search Moussaoui's computer.[1]

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Other al-Qaeda members who allegedly may have attempted, but were unable, to take part in the attacks include Saeed al-Ghamdi (not to be confused with the successful hijacker of the same name), Mushabib al-Hamlan, Zakariyah Essabar, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Tawfiq bin Attash. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the attack's mastermind, wanted to remove at least one member — Khalid al-Mihdhar — from the operation, but he was overruled by Osama bin Laden.

Other planned attacks

According to Mohammed Afroze, a planned simultaneous attack in London on the Palace of Westminster and Tower Bridge was aborted at the last minute when the would-be hijackers, waiting to board the planes they were to hijack, saw the damage in the U.S., panicked, and fled.

Zacarias Moussaoui, at his sentencing hearing in March 2006, claimed that, upon the personal directive of Osama bin Laden, he and Richard Reid were due to hijack a fifth plane and fly it into the White House[2]. His own defence lawyers dismissed this as fantasy on the part of Moussaoui, saying that he was not an operative in Al Qaida, but only a "hanger-on".[3] In February of 2006, President Bush revealed that an Al Qaeda plan to crash a plane into Library Tower in Los Angeles, also on the same day, had been foiled. [4]. Similar attacks may also have been planned in New Delhi, Melbourne, and Montreal.

Immediate aftermath



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The United States government determined (in part based on classified information) that al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden bear responsibility for the attacks. Bin Laden initially denied, but later admitted, involvement in the incidents. He had earlier declared a holy war against the United States and this is seen as a motive for the 9/11 attacks.

On September 16, 2001, Osama bin Laden denied any involvement with the attacks by reading a statement which was broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel: "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation."<ref>Fox News. "Pakistan to Demand Taliban Give Up Bin Laden as Iran Seals Afghan Border." September 16, 2001.</ref> This denial was broadcast on U.S. news networks and worldwide. This was in stark contrast to an earlier Fatwa, signed by bin Laden and others, calling for the killing of American civilians in 1998.<ref> "Saudi Arabia: Bin-Ladin, Others Sign Fatwa To 'Kill Americans' Everywhere. February 23, 1998.</ref>

In November, 2001, U.S. forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in which a man who apparently is Osama bin Laden is talking to Khaled al-Harbi. In the tape, bin Laden admits to planning the attacks.<ref>CNN. "Bin laden on tape: Attacks 'benefited Islam greatly.'" December 14, 2001.</ref> The tape was broadcast on various news networks in December, 2001.

Shortly before the U.S. presidential election in 2004 in a taped statement, 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 a free people who do not accept injustice, and we want to regain the freedom of our nation."

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States was formed by the United States government and was commonly called the 9-11 Commission. It released its report on July 22, 2004, concluding that the attacks were conceived and implemented by members of al-Qaeda.<ref>9-11 Commission. "Report." July 22, 2004.</ref> The Commission stated that, "9/11 plotters eventually spent somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct their attack," but that the specific origin of the funds used to execute the attacks remained unknown. To date, only peripheral figures have been tried or convicted in connection with the attacks.


International reaction

Image:September 14 2001 Ground Zero 02.jpg The attacks had major global political ramifications. They were denounced by mainstream media and governments worldwide,<ref> "International Reaction to the September 11, 2001 Attacks in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington."</ref> with the headline of Paris, France's Le Monde newspaper summing up the international mood of sympathy: "We Are All Americans" (Nous sommes tous Américains). Approximately one month after the attacks, the United States led a broad coalition of international forces into Afghanistan in pursuit of al-Qaeda forces in order to topple the Taliban government for harboring what it referred to as a terrorist organization.<ref>Bush, George W. "Remarks by the President to the United Nations General Assembly." USUN Press Release #162. November 10, 2001.</ref> The Pakistani authorities moved decisively to align themselves with the United States in a war against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. It gave the U.S. a number of military airports and bases for its attack on Afghanistan, and arrested over 600 supposed al-Qaeda members, whom it handed over to the U.S.<ref>Khan, Aamer Ahmed. "Pakistan and the 'key al-Qaeda' man." BBC News. May 4, 2005.</ref>

Numerous countries, including the UK, India, Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, China, Canada, Russia, Pakistan, Jordan, Mauritius, Uganda and Zimbabwe introduced "anti-terrorism" legislation<ref>Hamilton, Stuart. "September 11th, the Internet, and the effects on information provision in Libraries." 68th IFLA Council and General Conference, August 18, 2002August 24, 2002</ref> and froze the bank accounts of businesses and individuals they suspected of having al-Qaeda ties.<ref>"G8 counter-terrorism cooperation since September 11th backgrounder." G8. Kananaskis Summit 2002.</ref> Law enforcement and intelligence agencies in a number of countries, including Italy, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines arrested people they labeled terrorist suspects for the stated purpose of breaking up militant cells around the world.<ref>Walsh, Courtney C. "Italian police explore Al Qaeda links in cyanide plot." Christian Science Monitor, March 7, 2002.</ref><ref>Staff report. "SE Asia unites to smash militant cells." CNN, May 8, 2002.</ref> This process aroused controversy, as critics such as the Bill of Rights Defense Committee argued that traditional restrictions on federal surveillance (e.g. COINTELPRO's monitoring of public meetings) were, "dismantled" by the USA PATRIOT Act;<ref>Talanian, Nancy. "A Guide to Provisions of the USA Patriot Act and Federal Executive Orders that threaten civil liberties." Bill of Rights Defense Committee, 2002.</ref> civil liberty organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Liberty argued that certain civil rights protections were also being circumvented.<ref>"Reform the Patriot Act -- Don't Expand It!" American Civil Liberties Union. Liberty.</ref><ref>"[5] Liberty and Security]." Liberty.</ref> The United States set up a detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to hold, illegal enemy combatants. The legitimacy of these detentions has been questioned by, among others, member states of the European Union, the Organization of American States, and Amnesty International. (See Camp X-Ray for further details.)

Public response in the United States

Following the incidents of September 11, 2001, George W. Bush spoke before both houses of Congress, regarding the events of that day, the intervening nine days of rescue and recovery efforts, and his intent in response to those events. In the speech, he characterized the speech itself as being akin to the President's customary State of the Union address.

Image:Honoluluadvertiser11september2001.jpg The attacks also had immediate and overwhelming effects upon the United States population. People began rallying around the popularized phrase, "United We Stand," in hopes of being resilient and keeping the American spirit alive in the face of a devastating attack. Gratitude toward uniformed public-safety workers, and especially toward firefighters, was widely expressed in light of both the drama of the risks taken on the scene and the high death toll among the workers. Many people paid tribute to the police officers and fire fighters by wearing NYPD and FDNY hats. The number of casualties among the emergency service personnel was unprecedented. Many police officers and rescue workers elsewhere in the country took leaves of absence to travel to New York City to assist in the grim process of recovering bodies from the twisted remnants of the Twin Towers. The highly visible role played by Rudy Giuliani, then Mayor of New York City, won him high praise nationally. He was named Person of the Year by Time magazine for 2001, and at times had a higher profile in the U.S. than President George W. Bush. At the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show that took place in February 2002, a touching tribute was paid to the search and rescue dogs who not only assisted in locating survivors and bodies from the rubble, but were also inside the World Trade Center buildings before they collapsed.

New York City bore the brunt of the attacks. Blood donations saw a surge in the weeks after 9/11. According to a report by the Journal of the American Medical Association, "...the number of blood donations in the weeks after the September 11, 2001, attacks was markedly greater than in the corresponding weeks of 2000 (2.5 times greater in the first week after the attacks; 1.3–1.4 times greater in the second to fourth weeks after the attack)."<ref>Glynn, Simone A. "Effect of a National Disaster on Blood Supply and Safety: The September 11 Experience." Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 2246-2253.</ref>

There were some incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Middle Easterners and other, "Middle Eastern-looking" people, particularly Sikhs, due to the fact that Sikh males usually wear turbans, stereotypically associated with Muslims in the United States. A total of nine people were murdered within the United States as part of retaliation. Balbir Singh Sodhi, one of the first victims of this backlash, was shot dead on September 15. He, like others, was a Sikh who was mistaken for a Muslim.

Conspiracy theories

Template:Main Since the attacks, various conspiracy theories have emerged. These include speculation that individuals in the government of the United States knew of the impending attacks and failed to act on that knowledge, or that they actually planned the attacks. Some of those questioning the mainstream account of 9/11 have speculated that the collapse of the World Trade Center was caused by explosives, that a commercial airliner did not really crash into the Pentagon, and that United Airlines Flight 93 was shot down.

Long-term effects

Economic aftermath

Image:National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg The attacks had a significant economic impact on the United States and world markets. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange and NASDAQ did not open on September 11 and remained closed until September 17. NYSE facilities and remote data processing sites were not damaged by the attack, but member firms, customers and markets were unable to communicate due to major damage to the telephone exchange facility near the World Trade Center. When the stock markets reopened on September 17, 2001, after the longest closure since the Great Depression in 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“DJIA”) stock market index fell 684 points, or 7.1%, to 8920, its biggest-ever one-day point decline. By the end of the week, the DJIA had fallen 1369.7 points (14.3%), its largest one-week point drop in history. U.S. stocks lost $1.2 trillion in value for the week. As of 2005 Wall and Broad Streets near the New York Stock Exchange remain barricaded and guarded to prevent a physical attack upon the building.

The economy of Lower Manhattan, which by itself is the third-largest business district in the United States (after Midtown Manhattan and the Chicago Loop) was devastated in the immediate aftermath. Thirty percent (28.7 million sq. ft) of Lower Manhattan office space was either damaged or destroyed. The nearly 40 floor Deutsche Bank Building, neighboring the World Trade Center was subsequentially closed because of extensive damage made it unfit for habitation and beyond repair and was scheduled for demolition. Power, telephone and gas were cut off in much of lower Manhattan. Citzens were not permitted to enter the SoHo and lower Manhattan area without extensive inspection. Much of what was destroyed was valuable Class-A space. The pre-2001 trend of moving jobs out of Lower Manhattan to Midtown and New Jersey was accelerated. Many questioned whether this loss of jobs and its associated tax base would ever be restored.<ref>Parrott, James. (Ed.) "The Employment Impact of the September 11 World Trade Center Attacks: Updated Estimates based on the Benchmarked Employment Data." The Fiscal Policy Institute, March 8, 2002.</ref><ref>"9/11 and the New York City Economy." United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 1, 2004.</ref>

The rebuilding has been inhibited by a lack of agreement on priorities. For example, Mayor Bloomberg had made New York's bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics the core of his capital development plan from 2002 until mid-2005, and Governor Pataki largely delegated his role to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation which has been widely criticized for doing little with the enormous funding directed to the rebuilding efforts.<ref>Lubell, Sam; Linn, Charles. "Power Struggle Heats Up While Development Moves Slowly at Ground Zero." Architectural Record, December 5, 2005.</ref><ref>Buettner, Russ; et al. "Fat cats miled Ground Zero." New York Daily News, December 3, 2005.</ref>

On the sites of the totally destroyed buildings, one, 7 World Trade Center, has a new office tower. Only Ameriprise Financial, Inc., a spin off of American Express Financial Advisors has been named as a potential tenant for it.<ref>Canfield, Clarke. "Portland agency takes on campaign for World Trade Center.", November 19, 2005.</ref> There is no consensus regarding the demand for office space looking forward to 2010, so the market for 7 WTC and other new construction in the financial district is soft.

North American air space was closed for several days after the attacks and air travel decreased significantly upon its reopening. The attacks led to nearly a 20% cutback in air travel capacity, and severely exacerbated financial problems in the struggling U.S. airline industry.<ref>Bhadra, Dipasis; Texter, Pamela. "Airline Networks: An Econometric Framework to Analyze Domestic U.S. Air Travel", 2004. Journal of Transportation and Statistics, 7(1).</ref>

Many towers in the United States metropolitan areas were evacuated hours after the attacks, including Los Angeles, where traffic was at its lowest volume ever for that city, and the major downtown business district was virtually deserted.

Rescue, recovery, and compensation

Template:Main articles Rescue and recovery efforts took months to complete. It took several weeks to simply put out the fires burning in the rubble of the buildings, and the clean-up was not completed until May, 2002. Temporary wooden, "viewing platforms" were set up for tourists to view construction crews clearing out the gaping holes where the towers once stood. These platforms were closed on May 30, 2002.

Many relief funds were immediately set up to assist victims of the attacks - the task of providing financial assistance to the survivors and the families of victims. At the deadline for victim's compensation, September 11 2003, 2,833 applications were received from the families of those killed (from an official death toll of 2,986).<ref>Barrett, Devlin. "9/11 Fund Deadline Passes." CBS News, December 23, 2003.</ref>

Potential health effects

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Thousands of tons of toxic debris resulting from the collapse of the Twin Towers included asbestos, lead, and mercury, as well as unprecedented levels of dioxin and PAHs from the fires which burned for three months. This has led to debilitating illnesses among rescue and recovery workers, as well as some residents, students, and office workers of Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown.<ref>"Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero: Why It Could Happen Again: Updated Ground Zero Report Examines Failure of Government to Protect Citizens." 2005. Sierra Club.</ref>

There is scientific speculation that exposure to various toxic products and the pollutants in the air surrounding the Towers after the WTC collapse may have negative effects on fetal development. Due to this potential harm, 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 near the World Trade Center towers. The staff of this study assess the children using psychological testing every year and interview the mothers every six months. The purpose of the study is to determine whether there is significant difference in development and health progression of children whose mothers were exposed versus those who were not exposed after the WTC collapse.


The collapse of the World Trade Center

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There has been much speculation on the "performance" of the Twin Towers after the impacts, and the reasons for the collapse are under active debate by structural engineers, architects, and the relevant U.S. government agencies. The design of the WTC included many basic innovations distinguishing it from all previous skyscrapers and from many built since. Although the kinetic energy of the jetliner impacts and the resulting fires were unprecedented in the history of building disasters, some engineers strongly believe skyscrapers of more traditional design (such as New York City's Empire State Building and Malaysia's Petronas Towers) would have fared much better under the circumstances, perhaps standing indefinitely. If they are correct, super tall buildings that share the WTC's major design elements (for example, Chicago's Sears Tower and John Hancock Center) could be considered particularly vulnerable.

7 World Trade Center collapsed in the late afternoon of September 11. (See 7 World Trade Center for more details).

A federal technical building and fire safety investigation of the collapses of the Twin Towers and 7 WTC has been conducted by the United States Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The goals of this investigation, completed on April 6, 2005, were to investigate the building construction, the materials used, and the technical conditions that contributed to the outcome of the WTC disaster. The investigation was to serve as the basis for:

  • Improvements in the way buildings are designed, constructed, maintained, and used
  • Improved tools and guidance for industry and safety officials
  • Revisions to building and fire codes, standards, and practices
  • Improved public safety


The report concludes that the fireproofing on the Twin Towers' steel infrastructures was blown off by the initial impact of the planes and that if this had not occurred the WTC would likely have remained standing. The fires weakened the trusses supporting the floors, making the floors sag. The sagging floors pulled on the exterior steel columns to the point where exterior columns bowed inward. With the damage to the core columns, the buckling exterior columns could no longer support the buildings, so they collapsed. In addition, the report asserts that the Towers' stairwells were not adequately reinforced to provide emergency escape for people above the impact zones. NIST stated that the final report on the collapse of WTC 7 will appear in a separate report.<ref>"Final Reports of the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster." National Institute of Standards and Technology, October 26, 2005.</ref>

Congressional inquiries


The "War on Terrorism"


In the aftermath of the attacks, many U.S. citizens held the view that they had "changed the world forever," that the United States was now vulnerable to terrorist attacks in ways it had not been previously. The Bush administration declared a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing. The second-biggest operation outside of the United States was the invasion of Afghanistan, by a U.S.-led coalition. The U.S. was not the only nation to increase its military readiness, with other notable examples being the Philippines and Indonesia, countries that have their own internal conflicts with Islamic extremist terrorism.

President Bush said "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001..."<ref>Bush, George W. "President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended." White House (Official Press Release), May 1, 2003.</ref> Also, the U.S. government has continued to maintain that the war on Iraq is critical to the American "War on Terrorism": "In the war on terror, Iraq is now the central front..." President Bush said on December 14, 2005.<ref>Bush, George W. "President Discusses Iraqi Elections, Victory in the War on Terror." White House (Official Press Release), December 14, 2005.</ref>

Two years after the attacks, the Program on International Policy Attitudes reported on an opinion poll it conducted of the American public from January through September 2003. The poll asked, "How likely it is that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the September 11th Terrorist attacks?" The response was 32% very likely, 37% somewhat likely, 12% not very likely and 3% not at all likelyTemplate:Ref.<ref>Kull, Steven. "Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War." Program on International Policy Attitudes (Pipa), University of Maryland. October 2, 2003.</ref> This unsubstantiated view was promoted by the U.S. government in the lead up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when for example, Vice President Dick Cheney suggested that Iraq was involved in the September 11 attack during a, "Meet the Press" interview: Iraq is, "the geographic base of the terrorists who had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9-11."<ref>Davies, Frank. "Study: Misperceptions About Iraq War Contributed to Support For It." Knight-Ridder, October 3, 2003.</ref> No clear evidence has emerged to support the claim. (Unsubstantiated U.S. government claims to the contrary include: (1) allegations by Czech intelligence of a meeting between 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague on the same day Atta was seen in Florida; and (2) evidence that Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, allegedly a contact of Iraqi intelligence, was present at a meeting in Malaysia where future 9/11 hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar is believed by the CIA to have attended.)

Within the United States, President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, representing the largest restructuring of the U.S. government in contemporary history. Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act, stating that it would help detect and prosecute terrorism and other alleged future crimes. Civil liberties groups have criticized the PATRIOT Act, saying that it allows law enforcement to invade the privacy of citizens and eliminates Judicial oversight over law-enforcement and domestic intelligence gathering. The Bush Administration also invoked 9/11 as the reason to initiate a secret National Security Agency operation, "to eavesdrop on telephone and e-mail communications between the United States and people overseas without a warrant."<ref>VandeHei, Jim; Eggen, Dan. "Cheney Cites Justifications For Domestic Eavesdropping." Washington Post. January 5, 2006.</ref>


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Memorials to the victims and heroes of the attacks of September 11 have been planned. An outdoor public memorial at the Pentagon has been designed by Keith Kaseman and Julie Beckman of KBAS in New York City.<ref>Pentagon Memorial Fund Website.</ref> Construction of the memorial is scheduled for completion in Fall 2006. Within the Pentagon itself, the America's Heroes Memorial was added in September, 2002 when the building repairs were completed. However, public access to this memorial is restricted to group tours.

The proposed design for Flight 93 National Memorial is called, "Crescent of Embrace," which has created some controversy due to its large red crescent that also points toward Mecca. Recently, due to the amount of public pressure, it has been announced that the memorial will be redesigned so as to avoid any confusion with the sign of Islam.

Currently, there is no memorial at the World Trade Center site. There is one planned called Reflecting Absence, which was designed by Michael Arad and selected through a design competition. This memorial design has been generally praised, while other proposals for the site have drawn controversy, such as The Drawing Center, which later withdrew from the competition, and the International Freedom Center (IFC), which, in consideration of objections raised by some victims' families, was barred by New York Governor, George Pataki.

In addition to physical monuments, a number of September 11th family members and friends have set up memorial funds, scholarships, and charities in honor of lost loved ones. Template:Further



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See also




<references />

External links





  • - 'September 11 One Year Later: A Monitor Guide to Books of September 11: A year after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the publishing industry has produced more than 300 related books', Christian Science Monitor
  • - 'Historical 9-11-01 Books'
  • The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Acts Upon The United States (2004)
  • The Terror Timeline: a comprehensive chronicle of the road to 9/11 and America's response.


  • "A Memorial" from CNN with names and photos
  • - 'Lists of Victims', CNN
  • - 'In-Depth Special: War Against Terror Damage report from the city of New York'
  • - 9/11 by the Numbers: Death, destruction, charity, salvation, war, money, real estate, spouses, babies, and other September 11 statistics', New York Times
  • Dwyer, Jim and Flynn, Kevin (2005). 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers, New York, NY: Times Books.
  • - 'September 11th Attacks' (directory category)
  • 9/11 Memoirs - Memories by people

Newspaper articles archive

ar:11 سبتمبر 2001 bs:Napadi 11. septembra 2001. bg:Атентати от 11 септември cy:Ymosodiadau 11 Medi 2001 da:Terrorangrebet den 11. september 2001 de:Terroranschläge am 11. September 2001 in den USA es:Atentados del 11 de septiembre de 2001 eo:11-a de septembro 2001 fr:Attentats du 11 septembre 2001 ga:9/11 gl:Ataques do 11 de setembro de 2001 ko:9·11 테러 hr:Napadi 11. rujna 2001. io:Atenti ye 11 di septembro 2001 id:Serangan 11 September 2001 it:Attentati dell'11 settembre 2001 he:פיגועי 11 בספטמבר la:11 Septembris 2001 hu:2001. szeptember 11-i terrortámadás ml:സെപ്റ്റംബര്‍ 11ലെ ഭീകരാക്രമണം ms:Serangan 9/11 nl:Terroristische aanslagen op 11 september 2001 ja:アメリカ同時多発テロ事件 no:Terrorangrepet 11. september 2001 pl:Zamach na World Trade Center i Pentagon pt:Ataques de 11 de Setembro de 2001 ro:Atentatele din 11 septembrie 2001 ru:Террористический акт 11 сентября 2001 simple:September 11, 2001 attacks sk:Útoky z 11. septembra 2001 sl:Teroristični napadi 11. septembra 2001 sr:Напади 11. септембра 2001. fi:Syyskuun 11. päivän iskut sv:11 september-attackerna th:วินาศกรรม 11 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2544 vi:Sự kiện 11 tháng 9 tr:11 Eylül 2001 Saldırıları uk:Терористичний акт 11 вересня 2001 року в США zh:九一一袭击事件