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September 11th, 2001; Before & After

On the morning of September 11th 2001, 19 al-Qaeda members hijacked four planes. American Airlines Flights 11 and 77 and United Airlines Flights 93 and 175.


Two-Thousand Nine-Hundred and Ninety-Six people died as a result of the 9/11 Attacks. Today, we remember.


History of War in Afghanistan

Soviet tanks rumbled across the Amu Darya River on December 24th, 1979 and into Afghanistan. The Soviet presence touched off a nationwide rebellion by the mujahideen, who drew upon Islam as a uniting source of inspiration.


These fighters benefited from covert backing from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States and were joined in their fight by foreign volunteers. These volunteers later formed al-Qaeda. This guerrilla war against the Soviet forces led to their departure on February 15th, 1989.


With the Soviets gone, the mujahideen dissolved Afghanistan’s government and established a transitional one. In 1994, conflict between the mujahideen exploded, and the Taliban emerged. Two years later they seized Kabul. Under Taliban rule, female education was forbidden and petty crimes were punishable by the severing of hands, or even execution.


In 1996, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was expelled from Sudan and was welcomed by the Taliban into Afghanistan. The Afghan Civil War began on September 27th, 1996. During which time with al-Qaeda's assistance, the Taliban won control of more than 90 percent of Afghanistan by the summer of 2001.


On September 9th 2001, al-Qaeda hit men assassinated famed mujahideen leader Ahmad Shah Masoud, leader of the Northern Alliance. He commanded a loose coalition of militias that maintained control of a small section of northern Afghanistan.


September 11th, 2001

At 8:46am five hijackers flew AA 11 into the northside of the World Trade Center's North Tower.


At 9:03am, another five hijackers flew UA 175 into the southside of the South Tower.


At 9:37am, an additional five hijackers flew AA 77 into the Pentagon.


At 9:45am, United States airspace is shut down; all operating aircraft are ordered to land at the nearest airport.


At 9:57am, the passengers aboard Flight 93 begin a revolt against the hijackers in an attempt to take back the plane.


At 9:59am, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.


At 10:03am, once it became clear that passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 would gain control of the cockpit, the four al-Qaeda members rolled the plane and intentionally crashed it near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Cockpit voice recordings revealed crew and passengers tried to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning that Flights 11, 175, and 77 had been crashed into buildings that morning. The White House or Capitol were suspected targets.


At 10:28am, the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses. The Marriott Hotel, located at the base of the two towers, is also destroyed.


At 10:50am, parts of five stories of the Pentagon collapse due to the fire.


Within one hour and seventeen minutes, Two-Thousand Nine-Hundred and Ninety-Six people perished.


Passengers and crew members who called from the aircraft via cabin air phone service and mobile phones provided details. They stated several hijackers were aboard each plane; they used mace, tear gas, or pepper spray to overcome flight crew. Reports indicated hijackers stabbed and killed pilots, flight attendants, and one or more passengers.


The 9/11 Commission's final report, explained the hijackers had purchased multi-function hand tools and assorted Leatherman-type utility knives with locking blades, which were not forbidden at the time. A flight attendant on Flight 11, a passenger on Flight 175, and passengers on Flight 93 claimed the hijackers had bombs, but one of the passengers said he thought the bombs were fake. The FBI found no traces of explosives at the crash sites.


The Afghan Civil War ended on October 7th, 2001. The War in Afghanistan started on October 7th 2001 and concluded on August 30th 2021. By the first week of December, the Taliban had fallen.


At 19 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days, the War in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history. The war was code-named Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–2014) and Operation Freedom's Sentinel (2015–2021).





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