America has had a long history of the development. This history incorporates setbacks and successes. Successes have sidelined the setbacks due to proper policies and favorable political atmosphere for the development. America has been considering any factor that can affect its success. Its economy remains the main concept that officials are cautious about. Its economy has been rising gradually. However, in 2001, a major setback hit the country. A terrorist attack occurred on the eleventh of September, 2001 and hit the nation. This essay aims at analyzing the occurrence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and various stakeholders that were affected by the terrorist attack illustrating that the United States authorities need to exercise utmost caution in order to curb insecurity across the nation.
The terrorist attacks involved hijacking of four passenger planes. The nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists that had hijacked four planes (American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 17, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93) aimed at crashing them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Washington DC (Posner 43). The first plane crashed into the north tower of the building and the second crashed into the south one. The two towers collapsed resulting in debris and occurrence of fire. The neighboring buildings were also affected by the crash. The third plane crashed into the building of the Pentagon that hosts the American defense offices. This led to the collapse of the western part of the Pentagon. The forth plane, was aimed at crashing into Washington DC but the terrorists did not manage to hit their target. The plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, near Shanksville. The terrorist attacks killed approximately 2996 people including 227 civilians and 19 hijackers in the plane. This was an attack on the Americans. They had never experienced such an attack that led to huge losses. About 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers also died during the attacks (Berkin 32).
Before the attacks, America and the world had run its usual activities. In the US, sports were on their peak (Berkin 38). On September 9, there was the men’s final at the US Open Tennis Championship in New York. Many people converged in the Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch the final. At the same week, in America, Michael Jackson held his 30th Anniversary Celebration at Madison Square Garden. This shows that America was quite peaceful before the attacks (Berkin 41). The development activities run as normal until the attack was experienced. Although there were suspicions of the attack, it was not expected to be as huge as it was.
Initially, the al-Qaeda had denied its responsibility for the terrorist attack.. Immediately after the attack, the al-Qaeda leader at that time, Osama Bin Laden, released a statement claiming that the attack was done by individuals who were driven by their own motivations. Later in the year 2004, Osama released a taped statement claiming to have full responsibility for the attacks. Osama developed a harsh attitude towards America due to their cruel treatment of the Muslims. The origin of al-Qaeda dates back to the year 1979 when Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Army (Tarpley 64). This forced Osama to travel to Afghanistan to organize Arab mujahedeen to form resistance to the Soviets. At that time, Osama was under close guidance of Ayman al-Zawahiri, and helped him to be more radical. Consequently, Osama began releasing fatwas which were warnings to the Americans. In 1996, Osama issued the first fatwa that called for evacuation of American soldiers from Saudi Arabia. Another fatwa was released in 1998 outlining critical attitude to American external policy and availability of American troops across Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the terrorist attack was aimed at revenging against the alleged injustices the Americans were accused of committing in the Muslim countries by the al-Qaeda.
The main key players in the attacks were Muslims who strongly believed in Jihad. Jihad is a belief that states that any injustice against a Muslim had to be responded to individually by other Muslims. The main organizers of the attack were Mohammed Atef, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden (Tarpley 79). The motives behind the attack were clearly outlined by Osama in the letter. Osama wrote the letter called ‘Letter to America’ in November 2002 (Neria, Raz, and Randell 54). Although at that time he had not accepted full responsibility for the attacks, he supported the attacks so much that he wrote the letter. The motives outlined in the letter included US support of Israel in attacking Asian countries, support for attacks against Muslims in Somalia, support of Russian atrocities against Muslims in Chechnya, the presence of the US armed forces in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq among other motives. Osama stated that according to Prophet Muhammad, infidels were not allowed in Arabia.
The planning of the attacks was adequate and wise (Neria, Raz, and Randell 87). After Khalid presented the plot to Osama, he was given the go-ahead and the people were recruited to make the plan run smoothly. Mohammed Atef gave Osama operational support which included the selection of targets and traveling arrangements for hijackers. Bin Laden provided financial support and selected participants. Experienced Jihadists who fought in Bosnia were recruited and were sent to America to take flying lessons. Muslims who resided in Germany were also recruited because they were fluent in English and were also experienced in the western lifestyle. The secondary hijackers came to the US in spring 2001.
America had a 24-hour economy. It was always busy. According to the course book, ‘Making America’, Americans were always working to make their country more developed (Berkin 22). The al-Qaeda saw this as a weakness. It took the advantage of the busy activities in the US to plan and accomplish the attacks. This explains why the al-Qaeda selected the planes and the commercial buildings for their attack. They also did the attacks at a strategic time.
In the early morning of September 11, 2001, the hijackers positioned themselves in the respective planes. The planes, American Airlines Flight 77, American Airlines Flight 11, and United Airlines Flight 175, included five hijackers each and were all headed for Los Angeles (Hyen 23). United Airlines Flight 93 had four hijackers and was headed for San Francisco. The planes were to divert from their destinations to crash into the targeted locations. At 8.46 a.m., “American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the northern tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) and at 9.03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the southern tower of WTC” (Neria, Raz, and Randell 65). Moreover, the American plane Flight 77 hit into the Pentagon at 9.37a.m. The fourth plane, which is speculated to have been targeted for the White House or the Capitol, fell in Pennsylvania after the hijackers had realized that the passengers could overthrow them (Hyen 43).
The attacks created a large number of casualties. There were 2996 people who died, with including 19 hijackers and 2977 victims. 246 of the casualties were passengers of the planes while 2606 victims were in the buildings and the floors on the ground sites. Victims died because they were either trapped in the buildings or injured. 411 emergency officers also met their deaths as they helped the casualties.
The damage that was caused by the attacks was immense. It involved damaging of many World Trade Center buildings (Heyen 99). They included the Twin Towers and Deutsche Bank Building among many other. This was a huge loss for America as it lowered the country’s economy status. The attacks were heavily felt in the whole world due to their impacts. Mainly, the economy was affected (Richardson, Gordon and Moore 56). Many businesses closed. For instance, the stock exchange remained closed from September 11th to September 17th. After it was opened again, most stock rates declined heavily. In figures, the US stock market lost a valuation of $1.4 trillion. There was a decrease in jobs and wages in the US. The airspace, which contributes to the economy, was also closed for some days. This also contributed to the losses.
As a result, the US government became rigid with terrorism legislature (Posner 86). The legislature was changed to combat terrorism. These attacks called for attention in the whole world. In Germany, where most of the terrorists resided, anti-terrorism acts were imposed. The Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act was passed, which was the first anti-terrorism law in the country’s history. Several countries enacted necessary legislature that could combat terrorism. The United States created the Department of Homeland Security to organize and come up with anti-terrorism efforts.
The 9/11 attacks had a significant impact on the history of the United States. The events highlighted the universal significance of non-national participants as well as the radical Islam as part of American history. That way, such attacks drew the attention of the United States in order to understand the vulnerability of people’s way of life. It also brought in the fear and bitterness for the Americans to reside in Islamic nations. Most importantly, the effects of the attack revealed the mobilization of power in the United States and the negative influence it can have if not integrated with other nations’ authorities meaning that such a move can have a critical effect on global peace and safety. In history, the United States had been mentioned as a safe nation with necessary strategies to curb such happenings. However, that was not the case and that really affected its reputation or its position in fighting terrorism (Heyen 34). Most importantly, strategies to enhance economic development were always part of United States’ history, but that was eroded by the attack due to the increased defense expenditures that affected financial power along with flexibility.
In my personal view, the governments ought to be aware of security affairs. The attacks in the USA should teach us lessons on how to curb future attacks. The attacks showed the need for international cooperation to fight terrorism. It is vital for the American government to formulate effective policies that will play a huge role in bringing terrorism to an end. I also suggest that people should understand that terrorism attack techniques vary from time to time meaning that proper procedures should be implemented to detect such occurrences in advance (Berkin 45). I have also understood that the attack was a crucial monument to America’s History. It made the Americans be keener on their security issues than before. That has to be the reason as to why America came up with proper legislature that would help them combat terrorism. Although the attacks were a big blow to the Americans, it also had historical importance. It contributed to the advancements in the US. Moreover, that must have triggered the development of innovative technology that would help improve security.
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In conclusion, the 9/11 attacks left the whole world wondering whether people are safe. It was a critical tragedy that left many people dead and a lot of property was destroyed by the terrorists. The attacks had a significant effect that will be felt throughout American history and life. The security issues in the whole world were closely looked into by respective governments. Efforts have been made to combat the al-Qaeda terrorist group across the United States. These attacks have had a considerable effect on political, economic and social aspects of the development of the United States.
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