Albany Senior High School September 11 Attacks by Samuel Barnaby

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September 11 2001 Attacks

       North face south tower after plane strike                         From top to bottom: the World Trade Center burning; a section of the Pentagon collapses; Flight 175 crashes into 2 WTC; a fireman requests help at Ground Zero; an engine from Flight 93 is recovered; Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.

The September 11 Attacks also known as 9/11 were a series of four suicide attacks that were carried out by 19 hijackers from the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. these attacks took place on Tuesday the 11th of September 2001 in the United States of America. They flew American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia and they tried to fly United Airlines Flight 93 into a target in Washington D.C. but failed because some of the passengers on the flight tried to regain control of the plane, during their attempt United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. These attacks resulted in 3,000 deaths including the 19 hijackers from al-Qaeda and  the 246  people that were on the hijacked planes from American Airlines and United Airlines. Osama bin Laden the al-Qaeda leader from 1988-2011 originaly denied involvement in the attacks  but then in 2004 he claimed responsibility for them. Both  al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited that there motives for the attacks were U.S. support of Israel, U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Iraq. As a result of the september 11 attacks the United States launched the War on Terror which started on the 7th of October 2001 and is still ongoing 10 years and 263 days after it started. They also invaded Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban. This war like the War on Terror is still ongoing. Also many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and gave their law enforcement organisations more power.

Attackers and their background


 Flag of al-Qaeda in Iraq

Al-Qaeda came about because of the Soviet Union invading Afghanistan in 197. during this time Osama bin Laden traveled to Afghanistan  where he helped organise the Arab Mujahideen (Muslims who believe they struggle in the path of God) to resist the invading Soviet forces. Then in 1996 bin Laden issued his first Fatwā (in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar) calling for all American troops to leave Saudi Arabia. then in 1998 he issued a second Fatwā in which he outlined his oposition to American Foreign policy with respect to Israel, this was as well as the continued presence of American Troops in Saudi Arabia after the  Fist Gulf War 1990-1991. He also used islamic texts to call upon  Muslim people to attack Americans untill the grievances that he had outlined in his two Fatwā's were reversed.

Osama bin Laden

 Osama bin Laden portrait

Osama bin Laden originaly denied any involvement in the September 11 Attacks on the twin towers, Al Jazeera  broardcasted  a statement of bin Laden saying "I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation" on the 16th of September 2001. But then in 2004 he admited responsibility and said "we are free ... and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours". The United States government never formaly accused bin Laden for the September 11 Attacks, but the FBI had him on their most wanted list for  the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Tanzania and in Kenya. Finaly after a 10 year long man hunt bin Laden was killed by American forces on the 1st of May 2011 in Abbottabad Pakistan.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

 Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after his capture in Pakistan in 2003

it was reported that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admited his involvement in the September 11 attacks in April 2002 along with his fellow al-Qaeda member Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Khalid was the main architect of the september 11 attacks. It was determind in a 9/11 Commission Report that his bitternes towards the United States came from his "violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel". Khalid was also an adviser and financier of the previous World Trade Center bombing in 1993 eight years before the September 11 attacks. He was arrested by Pakistani security officials working with the CIA ( Central Intelegence Agency) in Rawalpindi Pakistan on the 1st of March 2003. Later he was taken to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp where he was interrogated using methods like waterboarding. He admited his responsibility for the attacks again in hearings at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in March 2007.

Other al-Qaeda members

Abu Dahdah was sentenced to 27 years in prison by the spanish high court for being a member of the terrorist group al-Qaeda and conspiracy to do with the 9/11 attacks. 17 other members of al-Qaeda at the same time were sentenced to between six to eleven years in prison. In the next year the spanish high court decided to reduce Abu Dahdah's sentence to 12 years because his involvement in the 9/11 conspiracy could not be proven. Another member Moussaoui who people originally thought might have been the 20th hijacker assigned to the 9/11 attacks was convicted of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and air piracy, he is currently serving a life sentece in prison with out parole. Mounir el-Motassadeq who was an associate of the hijackers that were based in Hamburg Germany  was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role of helping the hijackers to prepare for the September 11 attacks.

Motives for the September 11 2001 Attacks


Osama bin Laden's Fatawā of 1998 calling for the killing of American civilians to be killed is thought to be evidence of his motovations for the September 11 attacks on the United States, also before and after the attacks the terrorist group al-Qaeda cited three motives for their activities against countries in the west as being the fact that U.S. soldiers were in Saudi Arabia, that the American government supported Israel and their third motive was that there were sanctions against Iraq. bin Laden also interpreted  Allah's/Gods prophet Muhammad as having banned the "permanent presence of infidels in Arabia". Apart from those motives that were cited by Osama bin Laden analysts have suggested that there are other motives such as western support of non-Islamist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and northern Africa, and western troops in some of these countries, some other authors said that humiliation from the fact that the Islamic world was falling behind the western world as a motive, other people have argued that the September 11 attacks were a way to provoke the United States of America into a war that causes a pan-Islamic revolution (Pan-Islamism is a political movement advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic state often a Caliphate)

Planning of the September 11 2001 attacks on the United States

 Map showing the attacks on the World Trade Center (the planes are not drawn to scale)                 Diagram showing the attacks on the World Trade Center

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed aparently got the idea for the September 11 attacks from a similar but different  plan of hijacking a plane and then flying it into the CIA's (Central Intelligence Agency) headquarters in Langley Virginia. Khalid first proposed his plan to Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora a cave complex that is along the Afghan-Pakistan border in 1996, then in late 1998/ early 1999 bin Laden gave his approval for Khalid to go forward with organising the attacks. Mohammed Atef who was bin Ladens deputy at the time gave operational support that included selecting targets to attack and helping to provide travel for the hijackers that were going to carry out the attacks, Osama bin Laden himself provided leadership and financial support for the attacks, he was also involved in selecting who would carry out the attacks. He selected  Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar who were both experienced jihadists that had fought in Bosnia, they arrived in the United States in mid January 2000 and ended up becoming muscle hijackers instead of pilots because both spoke little english and did badly at flying lessons. Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah and Ramzi bin al-Shibh had all come from Hamburg Germany  and arrived in Afghanistan in late 1999, these four men were selected by bin Laden because they could speak english, were educated and they had experience living in the west.  Marwan arrived in the U.S. at the end of May 2000, Mohamed arrived on the 3rd of June 2000 and Ziad arrived on the 27th of June 2000. Ramzi applied several times to get a visa so he could get in to the United States of America but was denied because he was a Yemeni and the U.S. immigration department thought he would overstay his visa and stay in the United States as an illegal immigrant, so he stayed in Hamburg Germany to provide coordination. Mohamed, Marwan and Ramzi all took pilot training in South Florida. The secondary hijackers began arriving in Spring 2001, in july that year Mohamed met with Ramzi in Spain to coordinate details for the attacks, this included final target selection. Ramzi also passed along bin Ladens wish for the attacks to be carried out as soon as possible.

Aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks

   Eight hours after the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld, then U.S. Secretary of Defense, declares "The Pentagon is functioning."                          U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan

as a result of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon about 3000 people died, this included some of the rescue workers that were trying to get people out of both the North and South towers of the World Trade center. Another result was that for the first time in American history SCATANA ( Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids) was invoked which meant that all airspace was closed and all non-emergency civilian aircraft in the United States of America and Canada as well as several other countries through out the world so tens of thousands of passengers ended up getting stranded. one of the most major results of the September 11 attacks was the U.S. led War on Terror which started on the 7th of October 2001 and is still going on in 2012, this includes the War in Afghanistan (2001–present), Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines that started on the 15th of January 2002 and is still ongoing, Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa which started on the 7th of October 2002 and is also still ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara which started on the 6th of February 2007 and is still ongoing, the Iraq War which started on the 20th of March 2003 and ended on the 15th of December 2011 and there has also been fighting in Pakistan, Yemen and Kashmir. Since the September 11 attacks in 2001 airport security in America and other countries around the world was made better by introducing things like bullet proof and locked cockpit doors on aircraft, another measure that was taken by airports was that most passengers were patted-down and then checked with hand held metal detectors also the security personel were starting to be better trained to perform searches. In 2003 John Gilmore sued United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft because he argued that the fact that passengers now had to show some sort of identification  before bording domestic  flights  is almost the same as having an internal passport and is therefore is unconstitutional, Gilmore lost the case and an apeal to the U.S. supreme court was denied.

One World Trade Center

  One World Trade Center rises above the lower Manhattan skyline and the National September 11 Memorial, lower right, in New York.                                Height comparison of buildings in New York City, with One World Trade Center shown at far left.                       Us 0430 worldtrade 480x360.jpg

The One World Trade Center formerly known as the Freedom Tower is one of the main buildings of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City and is being built on the site of the 6 World Trade Center that was destroyed along with the North and South towers of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks in 2001. It is estimated that when the One World Trade Center is completed in 2013 it would have cost $3.8 billion dollars.  It will be 541 meters high (1,776 feet) which will make it the tallest office building in the world surpassing the Taipei 101 building in Taiwan by 32 meters (105 feet) and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere surpassing the Willis Tower in chicargo by 99 meters (325 feet), when its completed it will also be the third tallest skyscraper in the world behind the Abraj Al-Bait Towers in Mecca Saudi Arabia and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 6th tallest freestanding structure in the world. The building is mostly owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, some of the tenants in the One World Trade Center will be Government tenants from the state of New York and the the General Services Administration, a chinese company bassed in Beijing called Vantone Industrial Co will have a "China Center" in the building which will combine business and cultural facilities and will represent chinese cultural and business links to the United States of America, also it will serve American companies that want to conduct business in china. Another company called Condé Nast Publications will move its headquarters and offices of its magazines to the One World Trade Center. The One World Trade Center has been featured in the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which is set in the year 2016, the 2012 movie called The Dictator, the movie called Men in Black 3, the new Batman movie called The Dark Knight Rises, the movie called Madagascar 3, the movie called Click, the film called Babylon A.D, and in the TV series Fringe episode called The Last Sam Weiss.

September 11 2001 Attacks Conspiracy Theories

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There have been many different conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks in 2001 some people like Michael Meacher a former British Environment Minister and member of former British Prime minister Tony Blair's cabnet believe that the United States of America had foreknowledge of the attacks but knowingly failed to stop them from happening, and author David Ray Griffin claimed that the 9/11 commission report "is constructed in support of one big lie: that the official story about 9/11 is true". Other conspiracy theorists claim that the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) issued an order to stand down or scrambled Jet fighters to late so the hijacked planes from American Airlines and United Airlines could reach their targets unopposed, the website believes that the U.S. military failed to do their job, Mark R. Elsis from also believed the theory that NORAD issued an order to stand down because he said "There is only one explanation for this .... Our Air Force was ordered to Stand Down on 9/11". Another one of the many theories was that Israeli agents had prior knowledge of the attacks, the FBI did arrest five Israelis who had been filming the aftermath from the roof of a white van that was in the parking lot of one of the apartment blocks, The Forward a Jewish magazine bassed in New York stated that the FBI had concluded that only two of the men that they arrested were Israeli agents, eventually the FBI concluded that the five Israelis that they had arrested had no prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks. Some more popular conspiracy theories are that the the world trade centers twin towers were destroyed by controlled demolitions, that United Airlines flight 93 wich crashed into a field in Pennsylvania was actually shot down by a missile, the four planes that were hijacked were actually remotely controlled, and another was that Al Qaida were not responsible for the september 11 attacks. Most if not all of these conspiracy theories have been disproved.

Memorials For The September 11 2001 Attacks

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In the days following the September 11 attacks there were many memorials and vigils that were held by people around the world, as well as that people posted photographs of the missing and dead around Ground Zero. One witness at the time 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.” The Tribute in Light wich was an instellation of 88 search lights at the footprints of the world trade centers twin towers was one of the first memorials that were set up in New York City. Also the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was held to design a memorial  on the World Trade Center site, the winning design done by Michael Arad and Peter Walker was chosen in August 2006. It consisted of a pair of reflecting pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers  this was surrounded by a list of the victims names who had died in the September 11 attacks and the February 26th 1993 attacks that would be in an underground memorial space. There was also the Pentagon memorial that was completed  and opened to the public on the 11th of September 2008 seven years after the attacks, it was made up of a landscaped park with 184 benches facing the Pentagon. A private chapel and indoor memorial were included and were located in the spot where flight 77 crashed when the Pentagon was repaired in 2001-2002. In Shanksville, Pennsylvania they are building a permanent memorial for United Airlines Flight 93 wich is going 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. There is a temporary memorial located about 457 meters (500 yards) away from the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93. on every anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York City the names of the people who died are read out against a background of sad music. The President of the United States of America attends a memorial service that is in the Pentagon where they ask Americans to observe a moment of silence on patriot day. As well as New York City and the Pentagon there are smaller services held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania which the Presidents partner usually attends.

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