The Timeline : September 11, 2001

  • New York City – 8:46 a.m. American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 going from Boston to Los Angeles, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew members.
  • New York City – 9.03 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center is hit between floors 77 and 85 by United Airlines Flight 175, another Boeing 767 with 65 people on board.
  • George W. Bush is warned less than two minutes later by White House Secretary General Andrew Card. « America is under attack, » he whispers in his ear as the president finds himself in a school near Sarasota, Florida.
  • Sarasota, Florida – 9.30 a.m. George W. Bush delivers his first address. « Terrorism against our Nation will not pass, » he says before boarding Air Force One and leaving Florida.
  • Washington, D.C. – 9:37 a.m. The Boeing 757 of American Airlines Flight 77, is hijacked at takeoff in Washington D.C. and crashes into a wing of the Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense. Authorities shut down US airspace and evacuate the White House and the Capitol, the seat of Congress.
  • Newark – 9:57 a.m. The Boeing 757 of American Airlines Flight 93 is hijacked after taking off from Newark, New Jersey. Passengers aware of the attacks in New York and Washington resist terrorists. The aircraft crashes at 10:03 a.m. in Shanksville, PA
  • New York – 9:58 a.m. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses. In ten seconds, the 110 floors of the building disappear in smoke.
  • New York – 10:28 a.m. The North Tower of the WTC collapses.
  • New York – 5:20 p.m. 7 World Trade Center, a tower next to the World Trade Center, also collapses.
  • Washington – 8:30 p.m. President Bush addresses the nation from the White House before leading a meeting with the National Security Council.

An Islamist extremist network called Al Qaeda had planned the attacks from Afghanistan. Led by Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaida blamed the United States and its allies for conflicts in the Muslim world. Less than a month after the attacks, President George W. Bush led an invasion of Afghanistan to eradicate Al Qaeda and track down Bin Laden. However, it was not until 2011 that US troops finally located and killed Bin Laden in neighboring Pakistan.

Osama Bin Laden is behind the 9/11 attacks

As a result of the attacks, flight security was tightened around the world in the years following 9/11. In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration was created to enhance security at airports and on airplanes. It took more than eight months to clean up « Ground Zero », the site of the collapsed Twin Towers. A memorial and a museum are now on the site, and buildings have been reconstructed, according to a different model.

With a total of 2,977 victims, this attack remains one of the most traumatic events of the century, not only for Americans but also for the whole world.

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