On September 11, 2001, one of the worst terrorist attacks unfolded on the soil of the United States of America (US). At 8:45 on the morning of September 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks were launched on the U.S.
Nineteen militants belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorist group hijacked four domestic airlines that were to be crashed into selected and high-profile targets in the country. Two of these planes crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, while the third one crashed into the Pentagon causing damages to the building. The impact was disastrous and in less than two hours, both the 110-story WTC towers collapsed. The fourth plane was flown towards Washington DC, but due to the heroic efforts of its passengers who tried to overpower the hijackers, the plane missed its target and crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Reason for the Attacks
The terrorists involved in what came to be known as the deadly 9/11 attacks belonged to Saudi Arabia and some other Arab nations. The terrorists were financed by al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization led by the Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden. The main reasons for the terrorist attacks were the United States support to Israel, military presence in the Middle East, and involvement in the Persian Gulf War.
Timing of the Attacks
At 8.45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, the first attack took place when an American Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into World Trade Center’s north tower, located in New York City. Eighteen minutes later, a second Boeing 767-United Airlines Flight 175-appeared to strike World Trade Center’s south tower.
The third plane crashed into the Pentagon military headquarters’ western side at 9.45 a.m. A little while later, at 10:03 a.m., the fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa. In the latter case, upon hearing news of the attacks on World Trade Center from their loved ones on their cell phones, the passengers had decided to fight back and divert the plane from its target.
Facts regarding 9/11
- The 9/11 attacks in New York caused massive fires and it took firefighters 100 days to put out the flames.
- Due to the deadly attacks, 2,996 people were killed directly. This included 19 terrorists, and 400 policemen and firefighters who perished in the rescue efforts in the aftermath of the attacks. Three people died due to smoke inhalation.
- In addition, it is said that 11 unborn babies also died in the attacks.
- It is estimated that the attacks caused a loss of $100 million of art. This included works of Picasso and Hockney.
Today, the phrase Ground Zero is used for the site of the World Trade Center. However, the term was originally used for the site of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945. In the United States, September 11 is remembered as the Patriot Day. This is in memory of those killed in the attacks.
In less than a month, on October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom began. It was an American-led international effort to defeat the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there.
Below is the table giving the timeline of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) Attacks:
|Timeline of the Attacks|
|7:59 a.m.||The first of the airplanes that were hijacked to launch the deadly 9/11 attacks took off from the airport. American Airlines Flight 11, with 92 people on board, departed from Boston’s Logan International Airport for Los Angles.|
|8.14 a.m.||The second plane, United Airlines Flight 175 carrying 65 passengers, departed Logan for Los Angeles.|
|8.20 a.m.||American Airlines Flight 77, with 64 people on board, left Washington Dulles International Airport for Los Angeles.|
|8.42 a.m.||The fourth and final flight, United Airlines Flight 93 to San Francisco, took flight from Newark International Airport. It had 44 people on board.|
|8:46 a.m.||The first attack took place with Flight 11 crashing into the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center.|
|9:03 a.m.||The second attack took place when Flight 175 crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center causing heavy damages.|
|9:05 a.m.||President George Bush learned about the attacks.|
|9:31 a.m.||Bush called the attacks a national tragedy.|
|9:37 a.m.||Flight 77 slammed into Pentagon.|
|9:59 a.m.||The south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Around 600 workers and first responders were killed.|
|10:03 a.m.||The fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA.|
|10:28 a.m.||The north tower of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed, around 1,400 people got killed.|
|5:20 p.m.||The 47-story, 7 World Trade Center building, collapsed from ancillary damage. There were no reports of casualties as no one was in the building at that time.|
|8:30 p.m.||Bush gave his final address from the White House.|