September 11 – The Day The World Stood Still!

September 11, 2001 is a date, the memories of which will bring great awe and despair to the minds of every American. It was the day America saw the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in the history of United States of America. The overwhelming destruction and extensive death caused by this attack triggered America to take effective measures to combat terrorism.

The attack on September 11, 2001 was a series of four suicide attacks that struck New York City and Washington DC killing around 2,750 people in New York, 184 at the Pentagon near Washington DC and 40 in Pennsylvania. The attacks were carried out by 19 militants who were associated with Al Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group.

Four commercial jet planes were hijacked by these militants. One of these planes – American airlines flight 11 – crashed into Tower One of the World Trade Center at 8:50 AM on the morning of September 11, 2001. Tower Two was attacked with United Airlines flight 175 by 9:04 AM. Both the towers crashed to the ground within the next hour and a half killing men, women and children from different nations.

Meanwhile at 9:38 AM the militants crashed American airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon building in Washington DC. Part of the building collapsed killing around 189 civilians and military personal. The fourth hijacked plane – United Airlines flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania killing 40 passengers when the passengers attempted to retake the plane.

The September 11 attacks were compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor during 1941 due to the immense emotional distress it caused. The world markets were badly shaken and the New York stock market remained closed for four trading days. The US airspace remained closed for commercial aviation until rigid security measures were employed.

The attack of September 11 caused nations across the world to support United States of America. President Bush set up the 9-11 commission in 2002 to investigate the terrorist attacks of 2001. In response to the overwhelming disaster, President George W Bush mobilized the military of the United States for war against Afghanistan under the codename Enduring Freedom. Osama Bin Laden of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was declared the prime suspect. Bush also sent troops to Iraq on March 19, 2003 claiming that Iraq led by Saddam Hussein was helping the operations of Al-Qaeda.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was identified to be the key operational planner of the attacks. It was found that Khalid received his degree in 1986 from Northern Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The enquiry done by the 9-11 commission revealed that the attack was well organized. Al-Qaeda representatives held meetings in Malaysia, the militants took flight lessons in US, received financial help from Dubai and even recruited the suicide operatives from around the Middle East countries. And some of the major parts of the plot to attack US took shape in Hamburg.

Despite the small success that Al Qaeda had with the September 11 attacks, the attack was a strategic failure for the terrorist group. Osama Bin Laden was shot dead by the US Navy Seals on May 2, 2011 as per the orders from the US President Barak Obama.