September 11, 2001

Background

Osama bin Laden, leader of terrorist group al-Qaeda, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, architect of the attacks, were the main leaders in this event that took place on September 11, 2001. In 1996 bin Laden signed his first fatwā telling American soldiers to leave Saudi Arabia. Again in 1998, he signed his second fatwā objecting American foreign policy and told Muslims to attack Americans "until the stated grievances are reversed."

Left: Osama bin Laden Right: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 left Logan Airport in the morning and were each taken over by five hijackers who flew the planes into the World Trade Center towers in New York, USA

American Airlines a Flight 77 left Washington Dulles Internationl Airport in the morning and was taken over by five hijackers who flew the plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia

United Airline Flight 93 left The Newark International airport in the morning toward San Francisco and five hijackers crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania due to passengers attempting to stop the hijackers

Aftermath

As a result of the attack 2,996 people were killed and over 6,000 were injured.In November 2002, bin Laden stated that al-Qaeda attacked because of:

  • "U.S. support of Israel
  • Support for the 'attacks against Muslims' in Somalia
  • Support of Philippines against Muslims in the Moro conflict
  • Support for Israeli 'aggression' against Muslims in Lebanon
  • Support of Russian 'atrocities against Muslims' in Chechnya
  • Pro-American governments in the Middle East (who 'act as your agents') being against Muslim interests
  • Support of Indian 'oppression against Muslims' in Kashmir
  • The presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia
  • The sanctions against Iraq"

Impact on America

After 9/11, the US airlines became more strict for security purposes and Transportstion Security Administrstion (TSA) was created. Also the government created more than 130 new bills and acts relating to the attacks. In addiction, there was an increase in border security and tourism rates dropped for the next three years

Impact on the World

Many Middle Eastern countries' governments formally condemned the actions, but in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq it is noted that people favored bin Laden's actions. Many countries also began to install anti-terrorism legislation. This also started the war on terror that continues to this very day.

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