November 27, 2016

9/11 (Part-1)

The 9/11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the terrorist group al-Qaeda in the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11,2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage and $3 trillion in total costs. Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers (United Airlines and American Airlines)- all of which departed from airports on the northeastern United States bound for California- were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in NY city. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed, with debris and the resulting fires causing the partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47- story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse of the building's western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. It was the deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed, respectively.
Suspicion for the attack quickly fell on al-Qaeda. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to prevent terrorist attacks. Although al-Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he claimed responsibility for the attacks. al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Iraq as motives. The destruction of the WTC and nearby infrastructure caused severe damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan. They had a significant effect on global markets, closing Wall Street until Sept 17 and the civilian airspace in the U.S. and Canada until Sept 13. Many closings, evacuations, and cancellations followed, out of respect or fear of further attacks. Cleanup of the World Trade Centre site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year. On November 18,2006, the construction of One World Trade Center began at the WTC site. The building was officially opened on November 3,2014. Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 memorial & museum in NY city, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
In bin Laden's November 2002 "Letter to America," he explicitly stated that al-Qaeda's motives for their attacks include:
  • U, S support of Israel
  • support for the "attacks against Muslims" in Somalia
  • support of Russian "atrocities against Muslims" in Chechnya
  • pro- American governments in the Middle East (who "acts as your agents") being against Muslim interests
  • support of Indian "oppression against Muslims" in Kashmir
  • the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia
  • the sanctions against Iraq [line]
After the attacks, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri released additional videotapes and audiotapes, some of which repeated those reasons for the attacks. The idea for the attacks came from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who first presented it to Osama in 1996. After a series of meetings, they started planning for this attack, which was executed successfully later on. But nevertheless, words couldn't describe the horror. A further take on 9/11 can be found here. [left-sidebar]

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