HISTORY TANK : 9/11

9/11 has become a common term. Many people know at least a few things about what exactly 9/11 means. If you meet a stranger in the streets today and ask them what they know about 9/11, they will probably scratch their heads and scantily tell you about an attack that occurred on September 11, 2001. Well, that is what most people know about it.

Therefore, it is this scarcity of knowledge on a very vital event in the history of modern world that has made me come up with this article. I believe that in doing so, your knowledge and imagination about 9/11 will improve abundantly.
9/11 or September 11 refers to the day when Al Qaeda terrorists attacked targets in the United States killing hundreds of people. On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists associated with the Islamic extremist group of Al Qaeda hijacked four planes and attacked different strategic locations in the United States. Two of the planes were crashed into the twin towers of The World Trade Center in New York City, The third one was flown into The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed into the fields at Shanksville in Pennsylvania. On that day, around 3, 000 people were killed.


It is a clear Tuesday morning on the 11th day of September 2001 a few minutes to 9 am. An American Airlines Boeing 767 crashes into the North Tower of The World Trade Centre in New York. The 110 story skyscraper scrambles down with hundreds of people inside it. There is a burning hole at the 80th floor. Everyone seeing this, including those following it through live broadcasts believe it is an accident however something surprising happens eighteen minutes later. A United Airlines Boeing 767 model appears from the skies with its nose sharply approaching the World Trade Center. It slices into the building at the 60th floor causing a massive explosion followed with a heavy fall of debris around the building. It now became evident that this is not an accident but a design, and like never before, the most powerful nation on earth is under a terrorist attack. The horror in New York City took a horrific turn. The South Tower of WTC collapsed in a massive dust and smoke. The structural steel that held the skyscraper which could withstand winds beyond 200 miles per hour could not withstand the tremendous heat from the burning jet fuel. At 10. 30 am, the North Wing of the Tower collapsed, killing hundreds and leaving more than 10000 people with severe injuries.


Immediately after the shocking incidents in New York and the entire country terrified and horrifies, an American plane was seen going over the military headquarters, Pentagon. A few minutes to 10 Am the plane crashed into the giant concrete building housing The Pentagon. The jet fuel from this crashing plane caused huge fires at the Pentagon, completely destroying a large portion of it. 125 military officers and civilians were killed inside the Pentagon in addition to the 64 aboard the plane.
The fourth plane was hijacked 40 minutes after leaving Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. The takeoff of this flight had been delayed and the passengers were aware of the events in New York and The Pentagon. While in the skies, the terrorists took control of the cockpit but the passengers and the flight attendants responded by an insurrection. The passengers fought the four hijackers without much success. The plane slipped from their control and nosedived crashing at a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania a few minutes after 10 am. All the 44 passengers on board were died. The initial intended location of these hijackers is not known, but is widely alleged to be White House or Camp David in Maryland.


At the time of attack, President George W. Bush was in Florida. He spent the entire day being shuttled in different parts of the United States because of his security. He returned to the White House at 7 pm and made a televised address from the Oval office. He said, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundation of our biggest buildings but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.


As an immediate response. The US military ousted The Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroyed Al Qaeda network in under two months of the attack. (Seems like these people who stay Taliban started being a nuisance long time ago. Pun intended and my dry dry jokes on you). Osama Bin Laden was tracked and killed ten years later on May 2, 2011 under Barack Obama’s administration.


Back to The 9/11, the planes were hijacked by Islamic terrorists from the Middle east.  It was believed and later confirmed that this attack was organized by Al Qaeda under the directions of the then Saudi Arabia fugitive Osama bin Laden. They were acting on retaliation to the America’s support to Israel, American involvement in the war at the Persian Gulf and the continued presence of the forces of America in the Middle East.  Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States and attended flying lessons in some of the best aviation schools in America. The 19 terrorists smuggled weapons through the very tight security in the East Coast Airports and boarded four early morning California bound flights. They had chosen them because the planes were loaded with fuel due to the long journeys they were to cruise from the East Coast of the US to the West.Literally from one end of North American continent to the other end.  Soon after takeoff, the terrorists took control of the cockpits of the four planes transforming the ordinary passenger planes into missiles.

By Lincoln Oyugi

Just as Isaac Newton died a virgin, I'll die a writer!

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