By Ron Howells •
Published: 11 Sep 2021 • 0:01
America marks the 20th anniversary of the 911 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. image: Pixabay
America marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Saturday, September 11.
Today, Saturday, September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the largest terrorist attack in history. On that Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, a total of 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American commercial flights destined for the West Coast and intentionally crashed them.
Disturbing memories were bought back as ITV broadcast 9/11: Life Under Attack on Tuesday, September 7, as a lead into Saturday’s forthcoming commemorative ‘celebrations’.
9/11/2001- A date that changed the world forever.
Two planes—American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175—departed from Boston and Flight 11 struck New York City’s World Trade Center North Tower at 8:46 am and Flight 175 the South Tower at 9:03 am, leading to the collapse of both towers. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, leaving from Dulles International Airport in Virginia, crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 am, and the final plane, United Airlines Flight 93, departing from Newark, N.J., crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa., at 10:03 am., after passengers stormed the cockpit and tried to subdue the hijackers.
In the space of less than 90 minutes on a late summer morning, the world changed. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day and the United States soon found itself mired in what would become the longest war in its history, a war that cost an estimated $8 trillion.
The events of 9/11 not only reshaped the global response to terrorism, but raised new and troubling questions about security, privacy, and treatment of prisoners. It reshaped US immigration policies and led to a surge in discrimination, racial profiling, and hate crimes.
How has the world changed as a result of 9/11?
When President George W. Bush addressed Congress and the nation on September 20, 2001, he made a case for a new kind of military response; not a targeted airstrike on a single training facility or weapons bunker, but a wide-ranging global War on Terror.
“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated,” said President Bush.
When American troops invaded Afghanistan less than a month after September 11th, they were launching what became the longest sustained military campaign in U.S. history. The fight in Afghanistan had support from the American people and the backing of NATO allies to dismantle al Qaeda, crush the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden, the murderous mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
On August 31, 2021, the last American troops left Kaul airport in Afghanistan.
A U.S. military C-17 carried the last American troops out of Afghanistan on Monday, marking the formal end of the longest war in U.S. history but leaving between 100 and 200 Americans and tens of thousands of America’s Afghan allies to face a future of uncertainty and danger.
The final U.S. withdrawal came one minute before the Aug. 31 deadline set by President Biden, an exit under the persistent threat of terrorist attacks that already had claimed the lives of 13 American service members and more than 200 Afghans, who were killed in a suspected Islamic State suicide bombing at the Kabul airport on Thursday, August 26.
The Patriot Act
The Patriot Act was passed just six weeks after 9/11 as lawmakers scrambled to fix the intelligence failures that allowed known terrorists to enter the United States and execute the deadliest plot in American history.
The highly controversial act authorised a host of sweeping changes in how domestic intelligence agencies like the FBI conducted surveillance. Long-standing rules meant to protect Americans from “unreasonable search and seizure” were loosened or thrown out in the name of national security.
After the hijackers apparently easily board commercial aircraft with crude weapons and force their way into the cockpit it was clear that 9/11 was both a failure of America’s intelligence apparatus to identify the attackers and a failure of airport security systems to stop them.
Jeffrey Price, a professor of aviation and aerospace science at Metropolitan State University and a noted aviation security expert said: “Airports had security departments and employees wore badges and they did screenings, but none of it was nearly at the level of what we do today.”
The fabric of American life has changed forever
Americans who have been inspired by jihadist ideology have killed 107 people in domestic terrorist attacks (as of September 2020).
Almost half those deaths occurred in one horrific shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, but there have been no large-scale terrorist attacks on U.S. cities like the ones many believed would inevitably follow September 11th.
The security measures put in place after 9/11 appear to have foiled or discouraged other ambitious plots by foreign agents on American soil. But in the process, the country has since faced an “endless” War on Terror that has indelibly altered the fabric of American life.
Two more victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center have been identified in New York City — just days before the nation marks the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.
Dorothy Morgan of Hempstead, N.Y., is the 1,646th victim to be identified through ongoing DNA analysis of unidentified remains recovered from the World Trade Center site, where 2,753 lives were lost. The second person — and the 1,647th victim — is a man whose name is being withheld at his family’s request.
Morgan and the man were identified by New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner using new forensic technology and advances in DNA science.
“Twenty years ago, we made a promise to the families of World Trade Center victims to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to identify their loved ones, and with these two new identifications, we continue to fulfil that sacred obligation,” said Dr Barbara A. Sampson, chief medical examiner of the city of New York.
Morgan’s identity was confirmed through DNA testing of remains recovered in 2001, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said. The unnamed man’s identity was confirmed through remains found in 2001, 2002 and 2006.
According to The New York Times, forensic scientists are testing and retesting more than 22,000 body parts that were recovered from the World Trade Center site. Much of the testing is done using bone fragments the size of a Tic Tac.
The longtime effort to identify victims of the World Trade Center attacks is considered the largest and most complex forensic investigation in U.S. history, according to New York City’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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