September 11 attacks, also called 9/11 attacks, series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed in 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda against targets in the United States, the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in U.S. history. The attacks against New York City and Washington, D.C., caused extensive death and destruction and triggered an enormous U.S. effort to combat terrorism. Some 2,750 people were killed in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, and 40 in Pennsylvania (where one of the hijacked planes crashed after the passengers attempted to retake the plane); all 19 terrorists died. Police and fire departments in New York were especially hard-hit: hundreds had rushed to the scene of the attacks, and more than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed.
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Nineteen men hijacked four fuel-loaded US commercial airplanes bound for west coast destinations. A total of 2,977 people were killed in New York City, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The attack was orchestrated by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
At the World Trade Center (WTC) site in Lower Manhattan, 2,753 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were intentionally crashed into the North and South Towers, or as a result of the crashes. Of those who perished during the initial attacks and the subsequent collapses of the Towers, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority. The victims ranged in age from two to 85 years. Approximately 75-80% of the victims were men.
At the Pentagon in Washington, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when the plane crashed into a field. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather than their unknown target, after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the flight deck.
As of October 2019, 1,645 (60%) of 2,753 WTC victims’ remains have been positively identified, according to the medical examiner’s office.
September 11, 2001
-8:46 a.m. ET – American Airlines Flight 11 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
– 9:03 a.m. ET – United Airlines Flight 175 (traveling from Boston to Los Angeles) strikes the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
– 9:37 a.m. ET – American Airlines Flight 77 (traveling from Dulles, Virginia, to Los Angeles) strikes the Pentagon Building in Washington.
– 9:59 a.m. ET – South Tower of WTC collapses in approximately 10 seconds.
– 10:03 a.m. ET – United Airlines Flight 93 (traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco) crashes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
– 10:28 a.m. ET – North Tower of WTC collapses. The time between the first attack and the collapse of both World Trade Center Towers is 102 minutes.
December 13, 2001– The US government releases a tape in which Osama bin Laden takes responsibility for the attacks.
December 18, 2001 – Congress approves a measure to allow the president to designate September 11 as “Patriot Day” on each anniversary of the attacks.
December 2001-June 15, 2004 – The original Victims Compensation Fund processes death and injury claims from families and relatives of September 11 victims. Families of those killed had until December 22, 2003, to apply for compensation. The fund reopens in 2011.
May 24, 2007– The Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, rules that the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones in 2002, from dust exposure, is directly linked to the 9/11 attack and therefore a homicide.
July 19, 2007 – The New York Medical Examiner’s Office announces that the remains of three more people are positively identified. 1,133 victims, 41% of the total, remain unidentified.
January 2009– The medical examiner’s office rules that Leon Heyward, who died the previous year of lymphoma and lung disease, is a homicide victim because he was caught in the toxic dust cloud just after the towers collapsed.
January 2, 2011 – President Barack Obama signs James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, reopening and expanding the scope of the Victim Compensation Fund.
June 17, 2011– The New York medical examiner rules that Jerry Borg’s death on December 15, 2010, is a result of inhaling toxic substances from the dust cloud generated by the collapsing twin towers.
May 10, 2014 – The unidentified remains of those killed in the attacks are returned to the World Trade Center site where they will be kept in a repository under the jurisdiction of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York.
August 7, 2017 – The New York City medical examiner’s office announces that the remains of a man killed at the World Trade Center are positively identified due to more sophisticated DNA testing being available.
2019 – The remains of three victims are identified by the New York City medical examiner’s office through DNA testing.
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
The original fund operated from December 2001 to June 2004.
The initial Victim Compensation Fund received 7,408 applications for both death claims and personal injury claims.
America is mourning the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people and helped shape the 21st century.
Joe Biden is due this morning to join families of the victims at three separate locations in what he may have hoped would prove a rare moment of national unity. But anger at the US president’s recent botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is still raw.
People from all over the world were killed in the initial explosions, jumping to their deaths or being pulverised by the collapsing twin towers, a spectacle that horrified audiences on live television.
Former president Donald Trump will reportedly visit the 9/11 memorial on Saturday afternoon, once the ceremony has finished and after Biden has left the city.