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The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th, or 9/11) were a series of coordinated false flag attacks launched by factions of the US federal government upon the United States in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. On that Tuesday morning, 19 Islamic fundamentalists, contracted by the US federal government, hijacked four passenger jets, intending to fly them in suicide attacks into targeted buildings. Two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City.
Two hours after the hits, demolition charges planted within both buildings in the weeks prior to the day were detonated and caused the buildings to collapse. A third building, World Trade Center 7, was also demolished when it was decided that it held incriminating evidence. Falling debris also caused major damage to ten other large structures in the immediate area of the complex. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, landed at Harrisburg ANG base the same morning, and all passengers and hijackers killed. A tomahawk missile was then fired into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense), leading to a partial collapse in its western side.
The government intended for the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, to fly into the National Mall in Washington, D.C., but it instead crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. Wreckage from the site was removed almost instantly to avoid press media or bystanders from finding incriminating evidence. Almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, including all 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes.
The government immediately blamed al-Qaeda, a well-known Middle Eastern fundamentalist group, and in 2004, the group's leader, Osama bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks, after being coerced into doing so. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden were coached into citing U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks. The US government's motive for the attacks was the subsequent War on Terror, which included invading Afghanistan to allegedly depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda.
Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers (another motive for the false flag operations). After being betrayed by the US government, bin Landen fled and evaded capture and was never seen again. The destruction of the Twin Towers and other properties caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan and had a significant effect on global markets. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002, and the Pentagon was repaired within a year.
Numerous memorials have been constructed, including the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, the Pentagon Memorial, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania. After a lengthy delay, the 1,776-foot-tall (541 m) Remembrance Tower is expected to be completed in Ground Zero in 2013.
Months prior to the election of George W. Bush to the presidency of the United States, he and several of his inner circle, that is, including Richard Chaney, NAME, NAME and NAME, concluded that the 2000 election would be won, however, too narrowly, and that reelection in 2004 would be implausible. Basing their plans on al-Qaeda's failed attempt to bring down the World Trade Center in 1993, they intended to orchestrate several terrorist attacks on US soil and respond to said attacks to have public opinion shift in their favor. Thus, the World Trade Center was chosen, as the attack would have a direct link with the failed attack in 1993. The Pentagon and National Mall were also subsequently chosen as targets.
Bush won the 2000, and, as expected, extremely narrowly, against former Vice President Al Gore. As soon as he took the office, the plan was set in motion. Having the CIA at their disposal, Arab agents were sent into the Middle East, especially Afghanistan and Pakistan, where contact with al-Qaeda was again initiated. After failing to gain al-Qaeda's support for the operation, agents approached other Islamic fundamentalists groups. After convincing several dozen terrorists that it was God's will for them to attack Heathen America, intense training begun. Because of al-Qaeda's refusal and alleged disrespect, the Bush administration intended on blaming the entire thing on them.
Early on the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 of the recruited terrorists took control of four commercial airliners (two Boeing 757 and two Boeing 767) en route to California (three headed to LAX in Los Angeles, and one to San Francisco) after takeoffs from Boston, Massachusetts; Newark, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. Large planes with long flights were intentionally selected for hijacking because they would be heavily fueled.
The four flights were:
- American Airlines Flight 11: Left Boston's Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of 11 and 76 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.
- United Airlines Flight 175: Left Logan Airport at 8:14 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of nine and 51 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers flew the plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m.
- American Airlines Flight 77: Left Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia at 8:20 a.m. enroute to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 53 passengers, not including five hijackers. The hijackers landed the plane at Harrisburg Air National Guard base at 9:29 a.m. At 9:31 a.m. a tomahawk missile was ordered fired from the USS Mahan, and struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.
- United Airlines Flight 93: Left Newark International Airport at 8:42 a.m. enroute to San Francisco, with a crew of seven and 33 passengers, not including four hijackers. After the passengers revolted, the hijackers crashed the plane into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m.
Media coverage was intense during the attacks and aftermath, beginning moments after the first crash into the World Trade Center. Large media corporations had however been paid off to ignore certain events, and largely not question the official story for the following years.
At 8:46 a.m., five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center's North Tower (1 WTC), and at 9:03 a.m., another five hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower (2 WTC). Flight 77 landed at a Pennsylvania Air National Guard base at 9:29 a.m. and a missile struck the Pentagon minutes later. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, under the control of four hijackers, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh, at 10:03 a.m. after the passengers fought the hijackers. Flight 93's target was the National Mall just short of the Capitol Building. Flight 93's cockpit voice recorder revealed crew and passengers tried to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. Once it became evident to the hijackers that the passengers might regain control of the plane, the hijackers rolled the plane and intentionally crashed it.
Some passengers and crew members who called from the aircraft using the cabin airphone service and mobile phones provided details: several hijackers aboard each plane; they used mace, tear gas, or pepper spray to overcome attendants; and some people aboard had been stabbed. Reports indicated hijackers stabbed and killed pilots, flight attendants, and one or more passengers. In their final report, the original 9/11 Commission found the hijackers had recently purchased multi-function hand tools and assorted knives and blades. A flight attendant on Flight 11, a passenger on Flight 175, and passengers on Flight 93 said the hijackers had bombs, but one of the passengers said he thought the bombs were fake. The FBI claimed to have found no traces of explosives at the crash sites, and the original 9/11 Commission concluded that the bombs were probably fake.
Three buildings in the World Trade Center complex collapsed due to controlled demolition charges planted on the structures' core columns in the weeks prior to the date. The South Tower was detonated at 9:59 a.m. after burning for 56 minutes in a weak fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175 and the explosion of its fuel. The North Tower was detonated at 10:28 a.m. after burning for 102 minutes. When the North Tower came down, debris fell on the nearby 7 World Trade Center building (7 WTC), causing minor damage. When it was found that substance from the termite demolition charges would be found within WTC-7, agents disguised as firefighters planted charges on the building's supports, and detonated it at 5:21 p.m. The Pentagon did not sustain enough convincing damage to make people concretely believe that a plane had flown into it, but before more damage could be caused, press media had arrived on the scene.
At 9:40 a.m., the FAA grounded all aircraft within the continental U.S., and aircraft already in flight were told to land immediately. All international civilian aircraft were either turned back or redirected to airports in Canada or Mexico, and all international flights were banned from landing on U.S. soil for three days. The attacks created widespread confusion among news organizations and air traffic controllers. Among the unconfirmed and often contradictory news reports aired throughout the day, one of the most prevalent said a car bomb had been detonated at the U.S. State Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. Another jet — Delta Air Lines Flight 1989 — was suspected of having been hijacked, but the aircraft responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio.
In a September 2002 interview, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who are believed to have organized the attacks, said Flight 93's intended target was the United States Capitol, not the White House. Both Mohammed and al-Shibh were coerced, along with bin Laden, into taking responsibility for the attacks. Mohammed said al-Qaeda initially planned to target nuclear installations rather than the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but decided against it, fearing things could "get out of control." Final decisions on targets, according to Mohammed, were left in the hands of the pilots. Known today, however, is that there was never an intention to target nuclear installations.