Early Morning of 11th September 2001, people were walking on the streets of Lower Manhattan, New York City. Suddenly an American Airline Boeing 767 plane loaded with 20,000 gallons of fuel came flying and struck the North Tower of the World Trade Centre (The then tallest buildings of the world) at 8.45 Am, Tuesday. People were unable to understand what happened.
The fire-fighters came rushing to the accident spot. Media Channel started streaming the news of a plane crash in New York’s one of the most renowned building. Before the people could even grasp the situation, another Boeing 767 plane but from United States Airline came flying by and smashed into the south tower just 18 minutes after the first one. People started wailing, crying and screaming on the streets. It was a terrorist attack on one of the most important buildings of a major city in the world.
Attacks of 9/11, whenever you hear these words, you get the image of two building burning with clouds of smoke rising to the skies. A terrorist attack which involved 4 plane hijacks by 19 terrorists, 2996 dead, 6000 plus injured and an infrastructural loss of $ 10 Billion. The 110 storeys WTC towers collapsed within 1 hour and 42 minutes of the impact.
The terrorists belonged to Al-Qaeda, the infamous terrorist organization, led by terrorist Osama Bin Laden.
An incident that is written with blood in the history of the USA and the world, that took thousands of lives. The incident is infamously known for crashing of two planes in two towers of WTC. However, there were two more planes involved in the incident, hijacked by the terrorist. One plane was being headed to US Military Headquarter, Pentagon Building and the other one was headed to Washington DC but could not make it and was crushed in between the route.
As later identified by the FBI, 15 of those 19 men were citizens of Saudi Arabia while two were from UAE, one from Lebanon and one from Egypt. These men were divided into 4 groups with one pilot hijacker in each group accompanies and assisted by 3 or 4 muscle hijackers who would subjugate the pilot, crew and passengers.
Name of Hijackers, Flights Hijacked and Impact Location
|Place of Impact||Flight Name||Terrorist Name||Age||Country of Origin|
|World Trade Center – North Tower||American Airlines Flight-11 (Boeing -767)||Mohamed Atta (Pilot)||33||Egypt|
|World Trade Center – North Tower||American Airlines Flight-11 (Boeing -767)||Abdulaziz al-Omari||22||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – North Tower||American Airlines Flight-11 (Boeing -767)||Wail al-Shehri||28||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – North Tower||American Airlines Flight-11 (Boeing -767)||Waleed al-Shehri||22||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – North Tower||American Airlines Flight-11 (Boeing -767)||Satam al-Suqami||25||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – South Tower||United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing -767)||Mohand al-Shehri||22||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – South Tower||United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing -767)||Hamza al-Ghamdi||20||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – South Tower||United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing -767)||Ahmed al-Ghamdi||22||Saudi Arab|
|World Trade Center – South Tower||United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing -767)||Marwan al-Shehhi (Pilot)||23||UAE|
|World Trade Center – South Tower||United Airlines Flight 175 (Boeing -767)||Fayez Banihammad||24||UAE|
|Pentagon||American Airlines Flight 77||Hani Hanjour (Pilot)||29||Saudi Arab|
|Pentagon||American Airlines Flight 77||Khalid al-Mihdhar||26||Saudi Arab|
|Pentagon||American Airlines Flight 77||Majed Moqed||24||Saudi Arab|
|Pentagon||American Airlines Flight 77||Nawaf al-Hazmi||25||Saudi Arab|
|Pentagon||American Airlines Flight 77||Salem al-Hazmi||20||Saudi Arab|
|Target – Washington DC, US Capitol but crashed midway||American Airlines Flight 93||Ahmed al-Haznawi||20||Saudi Arab|
|Target – Washington DC, US Capitol but crashed midway||American Airlines Flight 93||Ahmed al-Nami||24||Saudi Arab|
|Target – Washington DC, US Capitol but crashed midway||American Airlines Flight 93||Saeed al-Ghamdi||21||Saudi Arab|
|Target – Washington DC, US Capitol but crashed midway||American Airlines Flight 93||Ziad Jarrah (Pilot)||26||Lebanon|
Plausible attempts were made to hide the identity of the terrorists. However, they were identified by the FBI within 72 hours of the attack by initiating the largest FBI investigation ever conducted. FBI investigated the flight records, their credit card info and every precise detail to access the backgrounds of the terrorists.
However, the question remains that how did they manage to deflect the plane and fly them right into the most important building of the USA? Since 1994, there were made several attempts to execute a mass terror attack on WTC towers. However, many attempts were unsuccessful. The terror org Al-Qaeda made a full proof plan with lots of funding for putting a devastating end to their intentions.
The arrival of the Hijacker in US & Hijacking of Flights
The hijackers were not the citizens of the USA, but they were living in the USA since 15th January 2000. The first ones to arrive were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. They settle in San Diego County, California. Afterwards, the four hijacker-pilots, Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Ziad Jarrah & Hani Hanjour arrived in mid-2000. They settled to undertake flight training in South Florida. The rest of the muscle hijackers came in early and mid-2001. Some of them were even denied visa but somehow they managed to get into the country.
The hijacker pilots applied to many flight training institutes for obtaining flight training before coming to the country. Academy of Lakeland in Florida is where they got the chance to learn how to drive an aero-plane.
Atta applied for a visa in May 2000 and after obtaining his Vis. They managed to get Pilot License from Huffman Aviation from Venice, Florida by misrepresenting themselves as a flight school student. They got their licenses by December 2000.
Terrorists managed to easily smuggle box-cutters and knives through the security check at three East Coast airports and boarded four early-morning flights bound for California. These flights were chosen because they were loaded with a large quantity of fuel for the long transcontinental journey. The planes took off from the airports and within very few time, the terrorists became active and commandeered the four planes taking the controls and transforming ordinary passenger jets into guided missiles.
The 3rd and the 4th Attack
After the first attack that struck the WTC, another attack took place after the American Airlines Flight 77 (a Boeing 757) circled downtown Washington, D.C. for a while before finally crashing into the west side of the Pentagon, the US military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. The onboard fuel caused a devastating inferno resulting in structural damage of one of the strongest facilities in the world. 125 military personnel, some civilians and 64 onboard passengers got.
The 4th flight United Airline Flight-93 got hijacked 40 minutes after its takeoff from ark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The people on board soon learned that the plane was not returning to any airport.
Passenger Thomas Burnett, Jr., Passenger Todd Beamer & flight attendant Sandy Bradshaw talked to their families for the last time on the phone, giving them the final messages, and then braved forward to the cockpit to fight the 4 terrorists. As a result, the plane lost control and flipped over and sped towards the ground at a speed of 500 miles an hour and crashed in a rural field in west-Pennsylvania at 10.10 am. 44 onboard passengers lost their life. Theories suggest that the terrorist intended to crash the flight at White House or Camp David presidential retreat, Maryland or Nuclear Power Plant near eastern sea-boards.
Number of Death Counts
In the entire four events, a total of 2996 people lost their lives. It included citizens of 78 countries who were either present on-board flights or were present at the impact of the place.
At WTC, 2763 people died in and around the twin towers. It includes 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers who were continuously attempting to fight the situation and evacuate buildings to save the office workers trapped on higher floors.
Apart from this At the Pentagon, 189 people were killed, including 125 military personnel and 64 people ob-board American Airlines Flight 7. The 4th impact took 44 lives of people who were on-board the flight in Pennsylvania.
An attack that affected thousands of families, from 78 different countries causing billions of dollars of asset loss, left an impact on the human civilization that can never be forgotten. Islamic organizations still operate amongst various countries and persuade young Muslim guys to become terrorists. The people who conducted the whole hijacking and attacking were between the age group of 20 to 33 years only, coming from 4 different nations. The organization Al-Qaeda led by deceased terrorist Osama Bin Laden is still in operation and conducting terror funding and terror attacks across various countries.
Here are some of the most terrifying scenes from the 9/11 grounds: