Sarah AlMalik Prof. Edward O’Donnell

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Sarah AlMalik

Prof. Edward O’Donnell

College Writing

18 March 2010

What Happened on September 11, 2001?

The World Trade Centre, Twin Towers are two historical buildings in New York City. The buildings were built in 1966. The north tower was opened in December 1970 and the South tower was opened in January 1972. The two buildings were the world’s tallest buildings for a short time. The towers were ranked as fifth and sixth tallest buildings in the world at the time of the destruction September 2001. (infoplease)

The complex had its own zip code, 10048. Around 50,000 people worked in the buildings whilst another 200,000 people visited or passed through everyday. Statistically, both buildings contained 43,600 windows, 12,000 miles of electric cabled, 200,000 tons of steel and 425,000 cubic yards of concrete. Each tower had 110 floors, weighed 500,000 tons and was 208 ft by 208 ft at base. Each also contained 198 miles of heating ducts, 97 elevators for passengers and 6 for merchandise. The north tower was 1,368 ft high whereas the south tower was 1,362 ft high. (infoplease)

The Port Authority of New York City and New Jersey owned the Twin Towers. Associates of Michigan, Minoru Yamasaki, Emery Roth and Sons Consulting and were hired as architects. The engineers were John Skillings and Leslie Robertson of Worthington. A previous bombing occurred in the parking garage of the World Trade Centre in 1993. Terrorists drove a truck packed with 1,100 lbs of explosives into the parking garage. 6 people were killed and 1,000 were injured. The towers were repaired, cleaned and reopened in less than a month. (infoplease)

People around the world who visited New York City would tour the Twin Towers. Even nowadays, years after the destruction, people would still visit the area and remember the incident. Memorials are being carried around the world each year remembering the tragic history of 9/11. Nowadays, our new generation is learning about the history of 9/11 and what happened as it affected people nationwide. (infoplease)

Al-Qaeda is a group of people who were involved in many terrorist attacks throughout years. After the 9/11 attack, the group ran away to Pakistan as war was held by the US in Afghanistan. The US wanted to obliterate people who were in the Al-Qaeda organization. The US is also trying to limit the attacks to the US, which are planned by Al-Qaeda. The group is wanted by the US because of the attacks made in 9/11. The group has been regrouping and regaining strength, “In February 2009, the Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told lawmakers that the group's core "is less capable and effective than it was a year ago."” (CFR)

Al-Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden in the 1980’s and was assembled in 1988. The group was working on getting rid of what they thought was irreligious from the West. Al-Qaeda was run by Osama bin Laden and the Palestinian religious scholar, Abdullah Azzam. They formed, trained and financed thousands of mujahedeen from several different countries, and Osama bin Laden wanted his troops to continue with the war. (CFR)

Osama bin Laden and his fighters have been working in Pakistan and Afghanistan’s borders from 1991 to 1996. Osama bin Laden and a couple of his group members have been hiding in Pakistan. Osama bin Laden has trained many people and introduced the suicide bombing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. People assume that Al-Qaeda have independent underground cells in the US as well as many other countries. (CFR)

Al-Qaeda is related to other terrorist organizations such as the Islamic Army of Aden from Yemen, The Armed Islamic group from Algeria, The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and several other organizations from different countries. These groups share the same opinions and interests. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which was originated in Algeria, is the strongest team in Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is planning to destroy and eliminate the Al-Saud leadership in Saudi Arabia. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian suspect behind the 2009 Christmas day bombing, confessed that he received weapons from Al-Qaeda. (CFR)

Al-Qaeda is managed and directed by a council, which determines what they should do and approves terrorist attacks. The Chief of Al-Qaeda is Osama bin Laden, followed by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who is the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and who is also considered to be Bin Laden’s top lieutenant and Al-Qaeda’s Advisor. From Lybia, Abu Yahya al-Libi appeared as the public face of Al-Qaeda and a top leader. Abu Yahya al-Libi escaped from the US prison in Afghanistan in 2005. Some specialists consider him to be one of the most effective promoters of global jihad because of the how skilled he is, the information he has and his religious beliefs. (CFR)

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid who is Egyptian, has been Osama bin Laden’s Advisor for more than a decade. He served time in a prison in the 1980’s with the deputy leader Al-Zawahiri. Said al-Adel who is also Egyptian, plays and important role in the organization. Reports have been made that al-Adel and another member of the organization including Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, have been under house arrest in Iran. They are both wanted for the incident, which happened in Kenya and Tanzania, which was the bombing of the US embassies, which killed over 200 people. (CFR)

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian man who found and formed the Sunni Muslim extremist group al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) also directed a number of utterly fatal dreadful attacks in Iraq. Some of those attacks included the beheading of some kidnapped foreigners. Zaqrawi was killed in 2006 near Baghdad in a US air strike. Bin Laden honored Zaqrawi as the “Prince of Al-Qaeda in Iraq”. The Al-Qaeda division in Yemen is controlled by Nasser al-Wahishi who was a former secretary to bin Laden. Saeed al-Shihri has been sent back from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. (CFR)

US certified people say some top al-Qaeda leaders have been imprisoned. Some of those captured are the senior lieutenant, Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in Pakistan in 2002, as well as the Afghanistan senior commander Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Sent to the Guantanamo Bay along with those two men were Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi who were captured in Pakistan. Those four men were plead guilty and have been accused with murder, terrorism and violating rules of war in early 2008. (CFR)

Some other al-Qaeda leaders have died or been killed in the US war against terrorists. Some such as Muhammad Atef, died in the US air strikes whereas Abu Obaidah al-Masri died from hepatitis in April 2008 in Pakistan. Al-Masri has been involved with several bombings in London in 2005. Abdulrahman al-Muhajir and Abu Bakr al-Suri who were two of the top bomb makers, were killed in 2006 in Pakistan. (CFR)

Because al-Qaeda keep moving from one location to another and keep training more people to join the organization and fight in wars, it is impossible to know exactly how many people are in the organization. The organization could possibly contain several thousand members. The US is more focusing on the senior al-Qaeda members who are currently living in Pakistan. The network has many other groups which are related to them in several other countries. The other groups are engaging in other attacks against the US and other western countries. (CFR)

Al-Qaeda has been more effective in the past where they trained a very small amount of people, and used them to carry out the attacks. Nowadays, al-Qaeda has a lot of members in many different countries; who seem to carry out their own attacks without the support of the larger organization. They still remain dangerous as they keep attacking the US and European countries. Al-Qaeda has been losing many of its leaders after the 9/11 attack, where they were either captured or killed. (CFR)

Al-Qaeda has been responsible for many major attacks including, the bombing of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. The September 11, 2001 attack where they hijacked four US airplanes that crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Several bombings in Pakistan in spring 2002 were made by al-Qaeda as well. They have also attacked three residential compounds with a car, which was filled with bombs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in May 2003. There has been a bombing in London in 2005 in the transportation system, which killed several people. Al-Qaeda was also involved in many other attacks made in different countries. Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghrib, kidnapped two Italian citizens in 2009 in Mauritania as well as three Spanish aid workers were also captured in Mauritania. (CFR)

The morning of September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked. Two of which headed towards the twin towers. The first airplane which was an American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, came from Boston for Los Angeles had crashed into the north tower at 8:48 a.m. Eighteen minutes later, another United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which was also headed from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the second tower, the south tower. (TWF)

The other two hijacked airplanes crashed into two different areas. One of which was a crash into the western wall of the pentagon, which had serious damage, and the other crashed near Pittsburgh. The airplane that crashed into the pentagon was Flight 77, a Boeing 757 that was headed from Washington’s Dulles Airport to Los Angeles. The fourth plane was Flight 93, a Boeing 757 going from Newark to San Francisco. (TWF)

A couple of days after the tragic incident, people assumed that Osama bin Laden was behind all of what happened to the Twin Towers. Osama bin Laden has denied that he was involved in the attack through the Arabic channel, Al Jazeera and through an interview. (TWF)

There are two opposing views about what happened during September 11, 2001. Some people still believe that the American Government was behind all what happened, while others think Al-Qaeda was. The reason why some people think that the American government was behind it all was because, people think that there was no proof or evidence, and that what the government said about what had happened that day was not true. Some examples about why people are having such opinions are because, the day the incident happened, the officials who were on the top of the chain of command such as, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers and Montague Winfield were all busy that day doing something other than their own jobs about decision making. (911truth)

There were several failures with the Air Defense. The US air defense system did not follow the usual system and did not react to the redirected passenger flights. The officials and the bureau all had different explanations of what really happened in 9/11, which made it seem like several had lied, but, none were responsible and were to blame. The Pentagon was stuck an hour and 20 minutes after the attacks. The attack only struck the upgraded and reconditioned side, which was empty. There was also no response from the Andrews Air Force Base, which was only a few miles away. It was assumed that Hani Hanjour was the man who struck the Pentagon when in fact; he failed to be a Cessna pilot, and would not have been able to carry out or accomplish a complex aerobatic plan to strike the Pentagon. (911truth)

The year before the attack happened, the US military and officials have already planned on what to say about the attack, had their speeches ready and were prepared for the any questions they had to answer. Their preparation included several things such as, answering questions about the numerous and various airplane hijackings, the suicide crash bombings and the strike on the Pentagon. Some assumed that the officials were trying to hide what had happened in the last 3 minutes of the flight as, according to the seismic report, the crash occurred at 10:06 whereas according to the 9/11 Commission, the crash occurred at 10:03. They also believe that flight 93 was terminated. (911truth)

There are many arguments and doubts about how the third skyscraper, WTC 7 collapsed as it was not hit by a plane. Some suppose that explosives brought down the Twin Towers and WTC 7. The government was warned in advance about what was going to happen on September 11. They got information about the names of the people who were behind it, what and where the attack was going to happen and they also got details about the name of the operation which was “The Big Wedding”. Some people got warnings that they should not travel on the week or day of September 11.

Suspicious monetary transactions, which were worth hundreds of millions, were run and directed in offices in the Twin Towers the day the attack happened. Reports made on the trade were restrained and ignored but years after the attack happened, the 9/11 Commission provided a small explanation on a small portion of the transactions. Many documents and evidence about men or terrorists, who were accused of the attack, which were questionable and uncertain, surprisingly appeared unannounced in several locations. Some of the evidence were documents, which were found in the motel rooms where one of the men stayed in weeks before the attack. Another evidence found was a passport of an alleged hijacker, which was found at Ground Zero. The identities of the hijackers are still undetermined. (911truth)

There appeared an important video made in November 2001, of Osama Bin Laden, where he confessed that he was behind 9/11, but that video appears to be a fraud. Al-Qaeda was formed with what CIA used to sponsor, an organization called anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. It was very doubtful how Osama Bin Laden was always escaping or was allowed to escape. It was also unsure how Osama Bin Laden met a CIA agent in Dubai in July 2001. (911truth)

The National Transportation Safety Board and two officials found two boxes at Ground Zero but later in The 9/11 Commission Report, it was denied that the Black Boxes were prevailed. US officials also continued to destroy evidence that appeared about the incident such as videotapes. The Environmental Protection Agency were forced by the White House, to give out false information about the toxic air at Ground Zero, and that it was safe for people to breathe in. Investigations of weapons, which contained the most important evidence, were cancelled and the FBI destroyed the evidence. (911truth)

Many families of the people who died in 9/11 succeeded with having their own investigation about what happened in 9/11. These families also submitted around 400 questions, several of which were later ignored in the Commission’s hearing and final report. Many families wanted the Executive Director Phillip Zelikow, who was a member of the Bush Administration and a close associate of “Star Witness” to resign, but they were rebuffed. Later, a Commission member called Max Cleland, stepped down censuring that everything that happened was just a cover up and a scam. The 9/11 Commission report left out clear information and ignored anything that was not related to the official story. (911truth)

It was reported by the government that the two men of Al-Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohamed and Ramzi Binalshibh, were captured in 2002 and 2003, but a Pakistani newspaper mentioned that Khalid Sheikh Mohamed was killed earlier in an attempted capture. These two men are kept at unknown locations for years and the government is not willing to put them on trial. Furthermore, the Commission requested to see the two men in person, but their request was later denied. (911truth)

On the other side, the Commission Report maintains information relating to 9/11, which demonstrates that Al-Qaeda was involved in the incident. The Commission believes that the attack on the Twin Towers was a Terrorist Attack. The report also indicated that on “September 11, 2001, 19 men armed with knives, box-cutters, mace and pepper spray penetrated the defenses of the most powerful nation in the world.” (Commission Report)

There are many things the government failed to do such as, suspecting or observing closely the hijackers Hamzi and Midhar before their arrival to the Unites States. The government also didn’t try hard to catch them after they arrived. Moreover, the US government did not suspect anything wrong with the passports or visa applications, which the hijackers had, and if there was anything wrong with them or if they were forged. (Commission Report)

The government did not submit a no-fly list, which would have listed all the names of the terrorists, and airports were not notified that they had to be aware and look out for the suspected men. Additionally, the government failed to remove Bin Laden from his protection and shelter in Afghanistan. The military did not have the option to defeat Al-Qaeda or kill Bin Laden and his chief lieutenants. The law-enforcement agencies were not involved in the counterterrorism effort. (Commission Report)

Osama Bin Laden has formed an organization, which attracts and engages in aspiring objectives. The organization is advanced, deadly, disciplined and is patient. Osama Bin Laden and his organization, Al-Qaeda, loathe America and its policies. They also take advantage of the political injustice within the bounds of the Arab and Islamic world. Al-Qaeda seeks different kinds of procedures and techniques to kill as much American people as they can by using dangerous chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. (Commission Report)

As a result, today’s society people have changed a lot after all the terrorist attacks that have been happening. People are getting more emotional and are losing families and friends everywhere. Terrorist attacks keep taking place in different countries throughout the year. Governments are trying to preserve their country and people and protect them from harm and danger. Many are succeeding in capturing and killing terrorists who were involved.

In order for the American Government to protect its country and people in the future, they have to kill or capture terrorists right away and not allow them to move money or people around the world. They need to make certain that countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are determined in facing terrorism. They also want to ensure that the new generation of Arabs and the Islamic world become peaceful and have a productive road for hope and future.

The government must prepare to act and protect its people, as in the future, after what happened in September 11, 2001, attacks might happen any time by terrorists. Al-Qaeda is a very large organization, which keeps getting bigger; danger may appear any time in the future for many years ahead. Even if Osama Bin Laden is captured and killed, many other terrorists may plan something against America and its people.

Works Cited

Johnson, Davie, and Shumel Ross. "World Trade Center History." Infoplease. Pearson Education, 2007. Web. 16 Mar 2010.
Jayshree, Greg, and Bruno Bajoria. "al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Qaida, al-Qa'ida)." Council of Foreign Relations. CFR, 30 12 2009. Web. 16 Mar 2010.
Enver, Masud. "What Really Happened on September 11 Remains a Mystery." The Wisdom Fund. The Wisdom Fund, 10 04 2006. Web. 27 april 2002.
Matthews, Janice. "The Top 40 Reason To Doubt The Official Story Of September 11th, 2001." Janice Matthews, 16 05 2006. Web. 16 May 2006.
Thomas H. Kean and Lew H. Hamilton. “Release of 9/11 Commission Report.” . Web. July 22. 2004.

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