September 11 attacks
2001 Islamist terrorist attacks in the United States / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The September 11 attacks, commonly known as 9/11,[lower-alpha 4] were four coordinated suicide terrorist attacks carried out by the militant Islamist extremist network al-Qaeda against the United States on September 11, 2001. That morning, 19 terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners scheduled to travel from the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the East Coast to California. The hijackers crashed the first two planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, two of the top five tallest buildings in the world at the time. The hijackers aimed the next two flights toward targets in the Washington metropolitan area as part of a similarly coordinated attack on the nation's capital, and successfully flew the third plane into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense in Arlington County, Virginia. The fourth was intended to strike a nearby federal government building in Washington, D.C., but crashed in rural Pennsylvania following a passenger revolt. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people and instigated the multi-decade global war on terror.
|September 11 attacks|
|Part of terrorism in the United States|
|Date||September 11, 2001; 21 years ago (September 11, 2001) |
c. 8:14 a.m.[lower-alpha 1] – 10:03 a.m.[lower-alpha 2] (EDT)
(2,977 victims + 19 al-Qaeda terrorists)
|Perpetrators||Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden (see also: responsibility)|
No. of participants
|Motive||Several; see Motives for the September 11 attacks and Fatawā of Osama bin Laden|
|Accused||Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid bin Attash, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi and Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi (see also: United States v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al.)|
The first impact was that of American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan at 08:46.[lower-alpha 5] Seventeen minutes later, at 09:03,[lower-alpha 6] the World Trade Center's South Tower was hit by United Airlines Flight 175. Both 110-story skyscrapers collapsed within an hour and forty-one minutes,[lower-alpha 7] bringing about the destruction of the remaining five structures in the WTC complex, as well as damaging or destroying various other buildings surrounding the towers. A third flight, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon at 09:37, causing a partial collapse. The fourth and final flight, United Airlines Flight 93, flew in the direction of the capital. Alerted to the previous attacks, the passengers retaliated in an attempt to take control of the aircraft, forcing the hijackers to crash the plane in a Stonycreek Township field, near Shanksville at 10:03 that morning. Investigators determined that Flight 93's target was either the United States Capitol or the White House.
Within hours of the attacks, the Central Intelligence Agency determined that al-Qaeda was responsible. The United States formally responded by launching the war on terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which rejected the conditions of U.S. terms to expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and extradite its leader, Osama bin Laden. The U.S.'s invocation of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty—its only usage to date—called upon allies to fight al-Qaeda. As U.S. and NATO invasion forces swept through Afghanistan, bin Laden disappeared into the White Mountains, eluding captivity by western forces. Although bin Laden initially denied any involvement, in 2004 he formally claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda's cited motivations included the 1982 Israeli invasion of South Lebanon, the presence of U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, and devastation caused to Iraq by the UNSC sanctions. After evading capture for almost a decade, bin Laden was assassinated by the U.S. military on May 2, 2011. U.S. and NATO troops remained in Afghanistan until 2021.
The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured thousands more, and gave rise to substantial long-term health consequences while also generating at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack in human history, the deadliest aviation-related disaster of all time, and the single deadliest incident for both firefighters and law enforcement personnel in the history of the United States, with 340 and 72 killed, respectively. The destruction of the World Trade Center and its environs seriously harmed the New York City economy and induced global market shocks. Many other countries strengthened anti-terrorism legislation and expanded their powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site (colloquially "Ground Zero") took eight months and was completed in May 2002, while the Pentagon was repaired within a year. After delays in the design of a replacement complex, the One World Trade Center began construction in November 2006 and opened in November 2014. Memorials to the attacks include the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial at the Pennsylvania crash site.