On September 11, 2001, 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists had hijacked four flights and carried out coordinated suicide attacks against the targets in the United States. Two of the planes were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, third plane hit the Pentagon office, just outside Washington DC, while the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The biggest terror attack in history triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George Bush. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Main characters in 9/11
George Washington Bush on September 11, 2001
George Washington Bush was the President of United States when 9/11 attacks took place. The President was informed of the attacks in front of the cameras when he was reading The Pet Goat to second-graders in Sarasota, Florida. His aide told him about 9/11 attacks when television cameras were rolling.
Bush reached ground zero on the third day of attacks and had declared war against terrorism in a powerful speech. “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon,” he said in the bullhorn at Ground Zero amid patriotic chants by those around him.
The US had then launched attacks on Afghanistan to oust the Taliban and hunt down Bin Laden.
After 9/11 and 2008:
Bush retired in 2008 as Republicans lost the US elections in 2008. His administration was unsuccessful in capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden in next seven years of 9/11 attacks.
US vice president Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce Cheney was the vice president of the United States from 2001 to 2009 under George W. Bush. After the 9/11 attacks, the former US vice president Dick Cheney was put in a bunker inside the White House where he helped direct the government’s actions as President Bush was being shuttled to military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska amid fears over more attacks.
After he left office, Cheney reportedly had five heart attacks and underwent a heart transplant in 2012. Cheney hit the headlines after he criticised former president Trump and was sidelined by the Republican Party.
Osama Bin Laden
Osaman Bin Laden had orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. He initially denied involvement, but later recanted his false statements. Bin Laden had personally directed his followers to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Later, in November 2001, U.S. forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In the video, bin Laden is seen admitting foreknowledge of the attacks.
US Killed him in 2011 in Pakistan
After a 10-year manhunt, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that bin Laden was killed by American special forces in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted his involvement in the 9/11 attacks, along with Ramzi bin al-Shibh in April 2002. He was the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks. The 2004 9/11 Commission Report determined that hostility towards the United States felt by Mohammed, stemmed from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.
Arrested on March 1, 2003
Mohammed was arrested on March 1, 2003, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, by Pakistani security officials working with the CIA. He was then held at multiple CIA secret prisons and Guantanamo Bay. However, during U.S. hearings at Guantanamo Bay in March 2007, Mohammed again confessed that he was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z.
However, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other alleged conspirators, resumed Tuesday.
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