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Today in History: September 11
Scots under William Wallace defeat the English at Stirling Bridge.
Imperial troops under Eugene of Savoy defeat the Turks at the Battle of Zenta.
John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, wins the bloodiest battle of the 18th century at great cost, against the French at Malplaquet.
The first mention of an African American doctor or dentist in the colonies is made in the Pennsylvania Gazette.
General George Washington and his troops are defeated by the British under General Sir William Howe at the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania.
The Convention of Annapolis opens with the aim of revising the Articles of Confederation.
Piedmont, Italy, is annexed by France.
U.S. forces led by Thomas Macdonough route the British fleet on Lake Champlain.
Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna" is first performed in a saloon in Pittsburgh.
Soprano opera singer Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," makes her American debut at New York's Castle Garden Theater.
Indians incited by Mormon John D. Lee kill 120 California-bound settlers in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
A 10-day truce is declared between generals William Sherman and John Hood so civilians may leave Atlanta, Georgia.
The battleship Connecticut, launched in New York, introduces a new era in naval construction.
The "Star Spangled Banner" is sung at the beginning of a baseball game for the first time in Cooperstown, New York.
American troops enter Luxembourg.
Thurgood Marshall is appointed a judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) arrives in South Vietnam and is stationed at An Khe.
Haile Selassie I is deposed from the Ethiopian throne.
In an unprecedented, highly coordinated attack, terrorists hijack four U.S. passenger airliners, flying two into the World Trade Center towers in New York and one into the Pentagon, killing thousands. The fourth airliner, headed toward Washington likely to strike the White House or Capitol, is crashed just over 100 miles away in Pennsylvania after passengers storm the cockpit and overtake the hijackers.
Israel completes its unilateral disengagement of all Israeli civilians and military from the Gaza Strip.
Russia detonates a nano-bomb dubbed the "Father of All Bombs," it is the largest non-nuclear weapon developed to date.
US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is attacked and burned down 4 Americans are killed including the US ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.
9/11: The Day of the Attacks
Ten years ago, 19 men trained by al-Qaeda carried out a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States that had been planned for years. The attackers simultaneously hijacked four large passenger aircraft with the intention of crashing them into major landmarks in the United States, inflicting as much death and destruction as possible. Three of the planes struck their targets the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. In a single day, these deliberate acts of mass murder killed nearly 3,000 human beings from 57 countries. More than 400 of the dead were first responders, including New York City firefighters, police officers, and EMTs. It was one of the most-covered media events of all time, and after a decade, the images are still difficult to view. These attacks and the global reaction to them have profoundly shaped the world we live in, so it remains important to see the images and remember just what happened on that dark day. This entry is part two of a three-part series on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks -- (see also Part 1: The Week Before and Part 3: The Decade Since).
The Statue of Liberty, seen from a vantage point in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the lower Manhattan skyline is shrouded in smoke following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Photo taken on September 15, 2001. #
Smoke pours from a gaping hole and the upper floors of the World Trade Center's North Tower, shortly after hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the building on September 11, 2001 in New York City. #
United Airlines Flight 175 flies low toward the South Tower of the World Trade Center, shortly before slamming into the structure. The north tower burns after an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York City, on September 11, 2001. #
Flames erupt from the South Tower of the World Trade Center, after it was struck by hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, in New York City, on September 11, 2001. The aircraft crashed into the tower traveling at a speed of approximately 586 miles per hour. #
Moments after United Airlines Flight 175, with 56 passengers (including the 5 hijackers) and 9 crew members, struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center between floors 77 and 85 on September 11, 2001, in New York City. #
Some of the estimated 10,000 gallons of jet fuel aboard United Airlines Flight 175 erupts in a fiery blast from the side of the South Tower of the World Trade Center after the plane crashed into it on September 11, 2001, in New York City. #
Two women hold each other as they watch the World Trade Center burn following a terrorist attack on the twin skyscrapers in New York City on September 11, 2001. #
The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. #
Smoke billows from the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan in this image taken by a U.S. Geological Survey satellite that flew over the region at about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. #
People hang from the windows of the North Tower of the World Trade Center after a hijacked airliner hit the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. #
A man leaps to his death from a fire and smoke filled North Tower of the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001 in New York City after terrorists crashed two hijacked passenger planes into the twin towers. #
A man jumps from the upper floors of the burning North Tower of New York's World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001. #
A man jumps from the North Tower of New York's World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. #
This photo from a Pentagon surveillance camera shows the fireball that resulted when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, with 58 passengers and 6 crew members aboard, slammed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. #
Flames and smoke pour from the Pentagon building, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, after a direct, devastating hit from an aircraft. #
The Pentagon building burns after American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into it on September 11, 2001. #
Medical personnel and volunteers help injured people outside the Pentagon after a hijacked commercial airliner crashed into the southwest corner of the building, on September 11, 2001. #
One side of the Pentagon building is exposed after a hijacked aircraft crashed into it, on September 11, 2001. #
Smoke pours from a tower of the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes hit the twin towers in a terrorist attack on New York City. #
At 9:59 a.m., after burning for 56 minutes, the South Tower of New York's World Trade Center begins to collapse after a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. #
Debris rains down on the street as the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses after hijacked planes crashed into the towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City. #
Police and pedestrians run for cover during the collapse of the World Trade Center South Tower, on September 11, 2001 in New York. #
People covered in dust walk over debris near the World Trade Center in New York City, on September 11, 2001. #
Mark Stahl of Somerset, Pennsylvania displays a photo he took early on September 11, 2001 after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed just outside of Shanskville. Stahl heard the crash and wandered up to the site where he took the photo before the area was cordoned off by rescue workers. The plane crashed shortly after two hijacked commercial planes slammed into the twin towers of the New York's World Trade Center, causing both 110-story landmarks to collapse. #
An FBI aerial photograph shows the crash site of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 12, 2001. The Boeing 757 was headed from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco when it made an abrupt turn near Cleveland and veered back east across Pennsylvania before crashing in Shanksville, killing all 44 aboard. Flight 93 was the fourth plane to crash in a coordinated terrorist attack that included New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the only one that didn't take lives on the ground. #
Firefighters and emergency personnel investigate the scene of the fatal crash of United Airlines Flight 93, on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. #
At 10:28 a.m., after burning for 102 minutes, the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses on September 11, 2001 in New York City. #
One of the World Trade Center Towers crumbles as it collapses on September 11, 2001 in New York City. #
This photo taken September 11, 2001 by the New York City Police Department shows smoke and ash engulfing the area around the World Trade Center as the North Tower collapses in New York. #
Dust, smoke and debris fill the air as one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City collapses in this September 11, 2001 photo. #
Dust, smoke and ash engulf buildings around the World Trade Center in New York City, after the collapse of both towers on September 11, 2001. Photo taken by the New York City Police Department. #
People run from the collapse of World Trade Center towers in New York, on September 11, 2001, after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center and brought down the twin 110-story towers. #
The North Tower of the World Trade Center dissolves in a cloud of dust and debris about a half hour after the first twin tower collapsed, on September 11, 2001. The photo was taken from across the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey. #
People make their way amid debris near the World Trade Center in New York, on Tuesday September 11, 2001. #
A priest aids people making their way through debris just outside a churchyard near the World Trade Center in New York City, on September 11, 2001. #
People cover their faces as they cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot, escaping the smoke and dust in Manhattan, on September 11, 2001. #
People walk in the street in the area where the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers. #
A U.S. marshal helps a woman after she was injured in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, in this Sept. 11, 2001, photo. #
A man cries on September 11, 2001 after witnessing the collapse of the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. #
A firefighter pauses on a bench as he works in lower Manhattan at the scene of the World Trade Center terrorist attack, on September 11, 2001. #
Rubble and ash fill lower Manhattan streets in an apocalyptic scene after two hijacked airliners were crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York, collapsing them and killing thousands. #
A New York City fireman calls for more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center. Photo taken on September 15, 2001. #
A tire from one of the hijacked planes lies in the street near the destroyed World Trade Center in New York City, on September 11, 2001. #
Firemen search for survivors after the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on on September 11, 2001. #
Light streams through the smoke and dust amid the debris at ground zero on September 12, 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks. #
New York City firefighters pour water on the wreckage of 7 World Trade Center in New York City early on September 12, 2001. 7 World Trade Center was destroyed along with both the landmark World Trade Center towers after being struck by planes in a terrorist attack on September 11. #
A group of firefighters walk amid rubble near the base of the destroyed south tower of the World Trade Center in New York, on September 11, 2001. #
Rubble covers the tracks of the New York City Subway #1 and #9 lines in the Cortland Street station under the World Trade Center, in this photo taken shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001. According to the New York Times, New York City Transit officials determined that the damage was so extensive, that more than one mile of the line would have to be rebuilt. #
Rescue workers conduct search and rescue attempts, descending deep into the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York on Friday September 14, 2001. #
A man stands in the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York City, calling out, asking if anyone needs help, after the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001. #
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Cantor Fitzgerald was formed in 1945 by Bernard Gerald Cantor and John Fitzgerald as an investment bank and brokerage business. It later became known for its computer-based bond brokerage, for the quality of its institutional distribution business model, and for being the market's premier dealer of government securities. 
In 1965, Cantor Fitzgerald began "large block" sales/trading of equities for institutional customers. It became the world's first electronic marketplace for US government securities in 1972 and in 1983, it was the first to offer worldwide screen brokerage services in US government securities.
In 1991, Howard Lutnick was named president and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald he became chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P., in 1996. 
Cantor Fitzgerald's corporate headquarters and New York City office,   on the 101st to the 105th floors of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan (2 to 6 floors above the impact zone of a hijacked airliner), were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks. At 8:46:46 a.m., six seconds after the tower was struck by the plane, a Goldman Sachs server issued an alert saying that its trading system had gone offline because it was unable to connect with the server.    Since all stairwells leading past the impact zone were destroyed by the initial crash or blocked with smoke, fire, or debris, every employee who reported for work that morning was killed in the attacks 658 of its 960 New York employees were killed,  or 68.5% of its total workforce, which was considerably more than any of the other World Trade Center tenants, the Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department, the Fire Department, or the Department of Defense. CEO Howard Lutnick himself was not present because he was taking his son to his first day of kindergarten, but his younger brother, Gary, was among those killed. Lutnick vowed to keep the company alive, and the company was able to bring its trading markets back online within a week.  
On September 19, Cantor Fitzgerald made a pledge to distribute 25% of the firm's profits for the next five years, and it committed to paying for ten years of health care for the benefit of the families of its 658 former Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed, and TradeSpark employees (profits that would otherwise have been distributed to the Cantor Fitzgerald partners).  In 2006, the company had completed its promise, having paid a total of $180 million (and an additional $17 million from a relief fund run by Lutnick's sister, Edie). 
Until the attacks, Cantor had handled about a quarter of the daily transactions in the multitrillion-dollar treasury security market. Cantor Fitzgerald has since rebuilt its infrastructure, partly by the efforts of its London office,  and it now has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. The company's effort to regain its footing was the subject of Tom Barbash's 2003 book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal as well as a 2012 documentary, Out of the Clear Blue Sky.
On September 2, 2004, Cantor and other organizations filed a civil lawsuit against Saudi Arabia for allegedly providing money to the hijackers and Al Qaeda.  It was later joined in the suit by the Port Authority of New York.  Most of the claims against Saudi Arabia were dismissed on January 18, 2005. 
In December 2013, Cantor Fitzgerald settled its lawsuit against American Airlines for $135 million. Cantor Fitzgerald had been suing for loss of property and interruption of business by alleging the airline to have been negligent by allowing hijackers to board Flight 11. 
In 2003, the firm launched its fixed income sales and trading group.
In 2006, the Federal Reserve added Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. to its list of primary dealers.
In 2009, the firm launched Cantor Prime Services, a provider of multi-asset, perimeter brokerage prime brokerage platforms to exploit its clearing, financing, and execution capabilities.
Cantor Fitzgerald began building its real estate business with the launch of CCRE in 2010.
On December 5, 2014, two Cantor Fitzgerald analysts were said to be in the top 25 analysts on TipRanks. 
Cantor Fitzgerald has a prolific special-purpose acquisition company underwriting practice, having led all banks in SPAC underwriting activity in both 2018 and 2019. 
Edie wrote An Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and the charities that it assists. 
The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund provided $10 million to families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Howard Lutnick and the Relief Fund "adopted" 19 elementary schools in impacted areas by distributing $1,000 prepaid debit cards to each family from the schools.  A total of $10 million in funds was given to families affected by the storm. 
Two days after the 2013 Moore tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people and injuring hundreds, Lutnick pledged to donate $2 million to families affected by the tornado. The donation was given out in the form of $1,000 debit cards given out to families.  
Each year, on September 11, Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate, BGC Partners, donate 100% of their revenue to charitable causes on their annual Charity Day, which was originally established to raise money to assist the families of the Cantor employees who died in the World Trade Center attacks.  Since its inception, Charity Day has raised $110 million for charities globally. 
The firm has many subsidiaries and affiliates such as the following:
- Aqua Securities is an alternative trading system for block trades that is currently used by nearly 200 institutions and brokers as an alternative to algorithmic trading of large orders. , named after fixed income trading innovator and founder B. Gerald Cantor, is a global brokerage company that services the wholesale financial markets and commercial real estate marketplace in New York, London, and other financial centers. BGC Partners includes Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the fourth-largest real estate service provider in the US.
- Cantor Ventures is the corporate venture capital and enterprise development arm of the company. Led by Henrique De Castro, the group's current investments include delivery.com, Ritani, TopLine Game Labs, AdFin, Lucera, NewsWhip, and XIX Entertainment.
- Delivery.com is an online destination for consumers to shop in their neighborhood merchants, including local restaurants, grocers, wine and liquor stores, florists, and other retail and service providers.
- Global Gaming Asset Management is an investment vehicle formed by Cantor and former executives of Las Vegas Sands to invest in, acquire, develop, manage, and advise casino operators and other gaming assets. , founded in 1996, is the world's virtual entertainment stock market.
- TopLine Game Labs is a technology company to create short-duration fantasy sports and entertainment-based social gaming. Headquartered in Los Angeles, TopLine Game Labs was, in 2013, building a platform-agnostic architecture to power game experiences for sports. 
- , chairman and chief executive officer  , president 
- Stephen Merkel, executive managing director, general counsel, secretary and director 
- Steve Bisgay, chief financial officer 
An employee, Venetia Thompson, published, in February 2008, an article in The Spectator about her and her colleagues' behavior, with an emphasis on the drinking culture.  She was subsequently fired for gross misconduct. She responded in 2010 by publishing a book, Gross Misconduct: My Year of Excess in the City, about her experiences. 
What was Trump actually doing on 9/11? An anniversary fact check.
At a 9/11 commemoration at the Pentagon on Wednesday, President Trump expanded on his lengthy history of recollections of Sept. 11, 2001, and its aftermath.
Before digging in, it is worth quoting at length.
As the millions of Americans who witnessed the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history on live TV can attest, news shows did cut away from regularly scheduled segments to broadcast a live view of the World Trade Center towers after the first plane hit. Those same millions watched with horror as the second plane struck the second tower a few minutes later.
But Trump’s claim here is a little different. He said he “was looking out of a window from a building at Midtown Manhattan” that he had previously identified as his “home” when he watched the second plane hit with his own eyes, not on TV.
Trump’s penthouse at Trump Tower is on the 58th floor — high in the New York skyline — so it is possible that he had an unimpeded view of the World Trade Center all the way down on the southern end of Manhattan.
There are reasons to be skeptical, though. While on the campaign trail in 2015, he told rallygoers:
“I have a window in my apartment that specifically was aimed at the World Trade Center because of the beauty of the whole Downtown Manhattan. And I watched as people jumped, and I watched the second plane come in.”
This an odd claim, considering that Trump Tower was four miles from the World Trade Center, and it would have been difficult to see people jumping from that distance. But for those millions who watched on TV, the sight of people jumping can never be forgotten.
However, in an April 2019 tweet, sports columnist Rick Reilly said he once visited Trump Tower and looked through a telescope aimed at Downtown Manhattan. He said Trump told him, “I saw the towers come down thr[ough] that telescope.”
“Oh, my God,” Reilly said he responded, to which Trump said, “Solid gold.”
There is one thing we do know for certain about Trump’s whereabouts 18 years ago. In the afternoon, producers for WWOR in Secaucus, N.J., were desperate to broadcast something besides a loop of the planes hitting the towers. As The Washington Post’s Timothy Bella reported last year, one of them thought to get a celebrity on the phone for an interview, and soon after, they reached Trump on his private penthouse line.
A few minutes later, he was live on air. “I have a window that looks directly at the World Trade Center, and I saw this huge explosion,” Trump said. “Now, I’m looking at absolutely nothing. It’s just gone. It’s just hard to believe.”
Then, when asked whether his building at 40 Wall Street, several blocks from Ground Zero, had seen any damage, Trump responded: “40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest — and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”
9/11 Conspiracy Theories Explained: What Really Happened On September 11
Americans and the much of the world watched in disbelief and horror on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 as the World Trade Center collapsed, the Pentagon burned and a field in Pennsylvania smoldered. The largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history put on clear display that some of the most potent symbols of American power were vulnerable to hate imported into the country from an area of the world most Americans couldn’t point out on a map.
But for some, the idea that 19 people could harbor so much hate that they voluntarily hijacked four jetliners and used them as missiles against innocent people was too likely a story to believe. More than a decade later, the conspiracy theories those skeptics developed are still alive and well.
Here are some of the most prominent theories that skeptics employ in their attempt to prove that the United States government was involved in the attacks — presumably to create a cover to carry out otherwise unpopular foreign policy — alongside explanations on why you probably shouldn’t pay them much mind.
The steel skeleton of the North tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 13, 2001. Photo: Getty
Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams
THE THEORY: Skeptics say that American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 — the planes that smashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City — wouldn’t have been able to produce enough heat to melt the steel beams that made up the skeletons of the buildings. The fuel in the jets simply doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature for the beams to collapse, they say, so some other weapon (say, planned explosions or military grade missiles) was used.
THE FACTS: Well, yeah, it’s true that jet fuel doesn’t actually burn at the temperature necessary to melt steel. Jet fuel burns between 800 and 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel melts at 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit. But, let’s be real: You don’t need to literally melt something for its structural integrity to be damaged.
Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, Farid Alfawak-hiri, a senior engineer at the American Institute of Steel Construction, has told Popular Mechanics. At 1,800 degrees it likely has less than 10 percent of the original strength. It is likely that a good amount of spray-on fireproofing insulation would have been knocked off of the beams when the jets crashed, leaving more steel exposed and vulnerable. Plus, the fuel wasn’t the only thing burning — the resulting inferno would have been fed by combustible material in the offices including rugs, paper, furniture and curtains (the National Institute of Standards and Technology estimate that some parts of the fire reached 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit).
An aerial view of the Pentagon destruction on Sept. 14, 2001. Photo: Getty
The Holes Aren’t Right, Debris Is Missing
THE THEORY: American Airlines Flight 77 left behind a 75 foot and 12 foot hole and skeptics say there’s no way that a 125-foot-jet made such small dents in the building. And, they wonder, where is all the debris from the crash anyway?
THE FACTS: Well, there was debris.
“It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why,” Allyn E. Kilsheimer, a structural engineer who was the first to arrive after the attack has said. “I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box … I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?”
The debris even helps explain that hole. One of the wings hit the ground instead of going through the building and the other was torn off from the force of impact because, as structural engineering expert at Purdue University Mete Sozen has said, “A crashing jet doesn’t punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building. What was left of the plane flowed into the structure in a state closer to liquid than a solid mass.”
The 12-foot hole was reported to have come from the plane’s landing gear.
Larry Moore of East Freedom, Pennsylvania, writes a note on a sign that reads, "I did not forget," on a hillside above the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site from the Sept. 11 attacks in Shanksville, Pennsylvania May 2, 2011. Photo: Reuters
United Airlines Flight 93 And The U.S. Military
THE THEORY: A lot has been said about the plane that went down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on its way to hit the White House and the two most prominent theories basically contradict one another. The first is that the Air Force was ordered to stand down even after the hijacking was confirmed and, as a result, no fighter jets were put in the air to take down the plane (or any of the other three, either). Another claim is that the U.S. military actually shot down Flight 93 and eyewitness accounts from the area say that a white plane was seen flying in that area.
THE FACTS: In reality, two F-15s and three F-16s were scrambled after the planes were reported missing or hijacked that morning (out of just 14 fighter jets on alert in the lower 48 states that day). But there was a problem for them: The hijacked planes were nowhere to be found. The hijackers turned off the transponders, making it almost impossible to figure out where they were. Radar at the time didn’t cover the United States internally.
And, as for that second plane, yes, there was another jet. It was a corporate plane that was actually contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration as it was descending to land and asked to do a fly-by to see what had happened with the downed Flight 93. The co-pilot of that marketing jet has confirmed this account.
The emotional distress caused by the attacks—particularly the collapse of the twin towers, New York City’s most visible landmark—was overwhelming. Unlike the relatively isolated site of the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941, to which the September 11 events were soon compared, the World Trade Center lay at the heart of one of the world’s largest cities. Hundreds of thousands of people witnessed the attacks firsthand (many onlookers photographed events or recorded them with video cameras), and millions watched the tragedy unfold live on television. In the days that followed September 11, the footage of the attacks was replayed in the media countless times, as were the scenes of throngs of people, stricken with grief, gathering at “Ground Zero”—as the site where the towers once stood came to be commonly known—some with photos of missing loved ones, seeking some hint of their fate.
Moreover, world markets were badly shaken. The towers were at the heart of New York’s financial district, and damage to Lower Manhattan’s infrastructure, combined with fears of stock market panic, kept New York markets closed for four trading days. Markets afterward suffered record losses. The attacks also stranded tens of thousands of people throughout the United States, as U.S. airspace remained closed for commercial aviation until September 13, and normal service, with more rigid security measures, did not resume for several days.
The September 11 attacks were an enormous tactical success for al-Qaeda. The strikes were well coordinated and hit multiple targets in the heart of the enemy, and the attacks were magnified by being broadcast around the world to an audience of untold millions. The September 11 “propaganda of the deed” took place in the media capital of the world, which ensured the widest possible coverage of the event. Not since television viewers had watched the abduction and murder of Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972 had a massive global audience witnessed a terrorist attack unfold in real time. If al-Qaeda had been a largely unknown organization before September 11, in the days after it became a household name.
After the attacks of September 11, countries allied with the United States rallied to its support, perhaps best symbolized by the French newspaper Le Monde’s headline, “We are all Americans now.” Even in Iran thousands gathered in the capital, Tehrān, for a candlelight vigil.
Evidence gathered by the United States soon convinced most governments that the Islamic militant group al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks. The group had been implicated in previous terrorist strikes against Americans, and bin Laden had made numerous anti-American statements. Al-Qaeda was headquartered in Afghanistan and had forged a close relationship with that country’s ruling Taliban militia, which subsequently refused U.S. demands to extradite bin Laden and to terminate al-Qaeda activity there.
For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invoked Article 5, allowing its members to respond collectively in self-defense, and on October 7 the U.S. and allied military forces launched an attack against Afghanistan (see Afghanistan War). Within months thousands of militants were killed or captured, and Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders were driven into hiding. In addition, the U.S. government exerted great effort to track down other al-Qaeda agents and sympathizers throughout the world and made combating terrorism the focus of U.S. foreign policy. Meanwhile, security measures within the United States were tightened considerably at such places as airports, government buildings, and sports venues. To help facilitate the domestic response, Congress quickly passed the USA PATRIOT Act (the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001), which significantly but temporarily expanded the search and surveillance powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law-enforcement agencies. Additionally, a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security was established.
Despite their success in causing widespread destruction and death, the September 11 attacks were a strategic failure for al-Qaeda. Following September 11, al-Qaeda—whose name in Arabic means “the base”—lost the best base it ever had in Afghanistan. Later some in al-Qaeda’s leadership—including those who, like Egyptian Saif al-Adel, had initially opposed the attacks—tried to spin the Western intervention in Afghanistan as a victory for al-Qaeda. Al-Adel, one of the group’s military commanders, explained in an interview four years later that the strikes on New York and Washington were part of a far-reaching and visionary plan to provoke the United States into some ill-advised actions:
Such strikes will force the person to carry out random acts and provoke him to make serious and sometimes fatal mistakes.…The first reaction was the invasion of Afghanistan.
But there is not a shred of evidence that in the weeks before September 11 al-Qaeda’s leaders made any plans for an American invasion of Afghanistan. Instead, they prepared only for possible U.S. cruise missile attacks or air strikes by evacuating their training camps. Also, the overthrow of the Taliban hardly constituted an American “mistake”—the first and only regime in the modern Muslim world that ruled according to al-Qaeda’s rigid precepts was toppled, and with it was lost an entire country that al-Qaeda had once enjoyed as a safe haven. And in the wake of the fall of the Taliban, al-Qaeda was unable to recover anything like the status it once had as a terrorist organization with considerable sway over Afghanistan.
Bin Laden disastrously misjudged the possible U.S. responses to the September 11 attacks, which he believed would take one of two forms: an eventual retreat from the Middle East along the lines of the U.S. pullout from Somalia in 1993 or another ineffectual round of cruise missile attacks similar to those that followed al-Qaeda’s bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Neither of these two scenarios happened. The U.S. campaign against the Taliban was conducted with pinpoint strikes from American airpower, tens of thousands of Northern Alliance forces (a loose coalition of mujahideen militias that maintained control of a small section of northern Afghanistan), and more than 300 U.S. Special Forces soldiers on the ground working with 110 officers from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In November, just two months after the September 11 attacks, the Taliban fell to the Northern Alliance and the United States. Still, it was just the beginning of what would become the longest war in U.S. history, as the United States tried to prevent the return of the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies.
In December 2001, faced with the problem of where to house prisoners as the Taliban fell, the administration decided to hold them at Guantánamo Bay, which the U.S. had been leasing from Cuba since 1903. As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put it on December 27, 2001, “I would characterize Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as the least worst place we could have selected.” Guantánamo was attractive to administration officials because they believed it placed the detainees outside the reach of American laws, such as the right to appeal their imprisonment, yet it was only 90 miles (145 km) off the coast of Florida, making it accessible to the various agencies that would need to travel there to extract information from what was believed to be a population of hundreds of dangerous terrorists. Eventually, some 800 prisoners would be held there, although the prison population was reduced to less than 175 by the time of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
In his State of the Union speech on January 29, 2002, President Bush laid out a new doctrine of preemptive war, which went well beyond the long-established principle that the United States would go to war to prevent an adversary launching an attack that imminently threatened the country. Bush declared:
I will not wait on events while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.
Bush identified those dangerous regimes as an "axis of evil" that included Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. At the graduation ceremony for West Point cadets on June 1, 2002, Bush elaborated on his preemptive war doctrine, saying to the assembled soon-to-be graduates and their families, “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.” Bush believed that there would be a “demonstration effect” in destroying Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq that would deter groups like al-Qaeda or indeed anyone else who might be inclined to attack the United States. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith later explained,
What we did after 9/11 was look broadly at the international terrorist network from which the next attack on the United States might come. And we did not focus narrowly only on the people who were specifically responsible for 9/11. Our main goal was preventing the next attack.
Thus, though there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq had collaborated with al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks, the United States prepared for conflict against Iraq in its global war against terror, broadly defined.
On March 19, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, President Bush issued the order for war:
For the peace of the world and the benefit and freedom of the Iraqi people, I hereby give the order to execute Operation Iraqi Freedom. May God bless the troops.
I’m diggin it so far
Good show and an interesting approach to a missing persons case. Host covers all sorts of angles and is informative. Host seems a little too afraid of being critical or coming across as not politically correct- and this is evident in the reporting. Otherwise not bad
3 stars because the first episode hooks you in. The rest srd a letdown. The host obviously wanted people familiar with sneha and her family do you talk to him so he could uncover new information about the case, but in every episode he reaches a dead end, gets ignored, or gets turned down.There are a few randos actually interviewed , but they add nothing. The impatient can save time by finding 10-15 min versions of this story (with all known. salient facts) onthe internet.
I agree with smooth carrington
This has a good premise but honestly stop listening after the first episode or two. Host literally says no one knows anything like 50 times. Only keep listening because I don’t know how they are going to end this.
Harrowing images show true horror of 9/11, 18 years after tragedy that changed the world
Aussie Simon Kennedy speaks about the moment he learned his mum was killed on a hijacked plane in 9/11 terror attacks.
Left: A hijacked commercial plane approaching the World Trade Centre shortly before crashing into the landmark skyscraper in New York. Picture: Seth McAllister/AFP Right: A fiery blasts rocks the south tower of the World Trade Center as the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the building September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
WARNING: Distressing content
On this day 18 years ago, unimaginable horror struck America when four commercial flights were hijacked by terrorists and crashed into sites including New York City’s Twin Towers.
The morning of Tuesday, September 11 was fine and sunny, with New Yorkers navigating the manic rush-hour commute to work or school under a cloudless blue sky.
But at 8.46am the unthinkable happened: American Airlines Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles, was hijacked by members of Al-Qaeda at Boston airport and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre.
People stared up in confusion and disbelief at the smoking building, wondering if perhaps it was an accident, until 17 minutes later a second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, hit the South Tower at 9.03am.
By 10.30am the Twin Towers had collapsed, sending people running for their lives covered in dust and debris. Meanwhile, 370 kilometres away, American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon building in Virginia at 9.37am, and United Airlines Flight 93 was crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10.03am.
In less than two hours, 2996 people had been killed and more than 6000 injured, including hundreds of firefighters and police officers who rushed to the scenes.
This file photo taken on September 11, 2001 shows a hijacked commercial plane approaching the World Trade Centre shortly before crashing into the landmark skyscraper in New York. Picture: Seth McAllister/AFP Source:AFP
Photographs captured the horrific tragedy as it unfolded across America’s northeast, including heartbreaking images of people plunging to their deaths from the Twin Towers. One of these is the infamous lling Man” taken by Richard Drew. To this day the man’s identity is still unknown, but his clothing indicates he was an employee at the Windows on the World restaurant on the top floors (106th and 107th) of the North Tower.
While difficult to look at, pictures of one of the darkest days in modern history ensure the innocent lives lost at the hands of terrorists will never be forgotten.
Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 aircraft about to fly into the second tower of the World Trade Centre. Picture: AP Source:AP
A jet airliner is lined up on one of the World Trade Centre towers. Picture: Carmen Taylor/AP Source:News Limited
A fiery blast rocks the south tower of the World Trade Centre as the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the building. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source:Supplied
Smoke and debris erupt from the south tower of the World Trade Centre as it collapses following the terrorist attacks on the buildings on September 11, 2001. Picture: Jerry Torrens, File/AP Source:AP
People below look up as the World Trade Centre goes up in flames on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
People hang from the windows of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre after a hijacked airliner hit the building on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
A person falls to his death from the World Trade Centre after two planes hit the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
People watch from Sixth Ave in Soho as the towers collapse. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A man covered with dust stands outside the World Trade Centre after one of its towers collapsed on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
This photo became known as ‘The Falling Man’ — the unknown man falls from the North Tower of the World Trade Centre at 9.41:15am on the morning of the terrorist attacks. Picture: Richard Drew/AP Source:AP
Onlookers cry in the street as they watch the terror attacks unfold. Picture: Ernesto Mora/AP Source:AAP
An image from AP photographer Richard Drew's sequence of ‘The Falling Man’ taken at the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Picture: Richard Drew/AP Source:News Corp Australia
The World Trade Centre collapses on September 11, 2001. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A firefighter covered with ash is helped by a civilian after the World Trade Centre collapses in a terrorist attack. Picture: Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images Source:Getty Images
A man leaps to his death from a fire and smoke-filled Tower One of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Jose Jimenez/Primera Hora/Getty Images Source:Getty Images
A young woman cries in lower Manhattan following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Picture: Don Halasy/Alamy Source:Alamy
Secret Service agent Thomas Armas carries an injured woman to an ambulance after Tower One of the World Trade Centre collapsed. Picture: Thomas Monaster/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images Source:Getty Images
Former chief of staff Andy Card whispers into the ear of then president George W. Bush to give him word of the plane crashes into the World Trade Centre during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. Picture: Doug Mills/AP Source:AAP
People run from the collapse of one of the World Trade Centre towers on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 in New York City. Picture: Suzanne Plunkett/AP Source:AAP
Marcy Borders is covered in dust as she takes refuge in an office building after one of the World Trade Centre towers collapsed in New York City. Ms Borders was caught outside on the street as the cloud of smoke and dust enveloped the area. Picture: Stan Honda/AFP Source:AFP
Pedestrians run from the scene as one of the World Trade Centre towers collapses in this September 11, 2001 file photo. Picture: Doug Kanter/AFP Source:AFP
An image from AP photographer Richard Drew. Picture: Richard Drew/AP Source:News Corp Australia
Police officer Michael Brennan helps a woman named Beverly to safety. She was covered in dust after the first tower went down. Picture: Joey Newfield/NY Post Source:News Corp Australia
This and other aerial photos from the 9/11 attacks were obtained by ABC News, which in 2009 filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Picture: ABC News/NYPD/Detective Greg Semendinger via AFP Source:AFP
Joseph Kelly, Srinath Jinadasa and George Sleigh covered in dust and debris as they walk away from the World Trade Centre. Picture: Splash News Source:News Corp Australia
FBI agents, firefighters, rescue workers and engineers work at the Pentagon crash site on September 14, 2001, where a hijacked American Airlines flight slammed into the building on September 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the building and followed similar attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City. Picture: Department of Defence/ Tech Sgt Cedric H. Rudisill Source:Supplied
Emergency vehicles at the devastated Pentagon on September 11, 2001 in Washington, DC, hours after a hijacked plane crashed into the facility, the centre of the US military, in a terrorist attack. Picture: Stephen Jaffe/AFP Source:News Limited
East side of the World Financial Centre on the Hudson River on September 17, 2001. The glass roof of the Winter Garden, a public space with full-size palm trees, is damaged and covered with debris from the Twin Towers. In the upper left is the Yacht Basin on the Hudson River. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A health club in the World Financial Centre after the 9/11 attacks. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A New York firefighter is overcome with emotion following the 9/11 attacks. Picture: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images Source:Getty Images
An aerial view of the destruction by terrorists of the World Trade Centre on September 15, 2001 in New York City. The view is to the west, with an American flag draped on one of the World Financial Centre towers. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
Picture found in the dust at the World Trade Centre ground zero. Picture: Nathan Edwards/News Corp Source:News Limited
An ash-covered man helps a woman following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York City on September 11, 2001. Picture: Don Halasy/Alamy Source:Alamy
The sequence shows the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York City on September 11, 2001. Picture: AFP Source:Alamy
A police officer reaches into a debris and ash-covered police car in lower Manhattan. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A rescuer on a break surrounded by the eerie reminder of what once was a bustling area of world commerce. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
Personal effects were hastily abandoned when buildings were evacuated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
What was once a glittering symbol of the financial centre of the world stood blanketed in ash and soot. Picture: Jim Watson/Alamy Source:Alamy
NYC firemen check a car on Barclay St after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Centre. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
Ground Zero. Picture: Nathan Edwards/News Corp Source:News Limited
A dust covered ambulance in the remains of the World Trade Centre. Picture: Alamy Source:Alamy
The rubble of the World Trade Centre. Picture: Alex Fuchs/AFP Source:Supplied
Brooklyn firefighters George Johnson (left) of ladder 157, Dan McWilliams (centre) of ladder 157, and Billy Eisengrein (right) of Rescue 2, raise a flag at the World Trade Centre in New York. Picture: Thomas E. Franklin/AP Source:Supplied
World Trade Center Health Registry
The World Trade Center Health Registry is now the largest registry in U.S. history to track the health effects of a disaster.
Enrollment in the Registry was voluntary for people who lived, worked or went to school in the area of the WTC disaster, or were involved in rescue and recovery efforts. To enroll, people completed a confidential "Wave 1" health survey (PDF) in 2003 or 2004. Each enrollee answered a series of questions about where they were on 9/11, their experiences and their health. This initial data allowed health professionals to compare the health of those directly exposed to the WTC disaster to the health of the general population. No blood tests or medical exams were required to enroll. Read more about the estimated number of people eligible for enrollment in the Registry (PDF).
The Registry completed its first follow-up survey "Wave 2" for adults (PDF) in 2007, and for children (PDF) the following year. In 2011, it launched its second follow-up survey "Wave 3" for adults (PDF), adolescents (PDF) and parents of adolescent enrollees (PDF). The fourth major survey, "Wave 4" for all age groups (PDF) and the asthma survey (PDF) were completed in 2015. The fifth major survey Wave 5 (PDF) for Adults was completed in 2021
The results of these surveys help determine to what extent physical and mental health conditions have persisted, and whether any new symptoms and conditions have emerged. Another important goal is to identify and help address gaps in physical and mental health treatment.
Registry findings are shared with:
- Enrollees and the public to help those affected by 9/11 make informed decisions about their health.
- Health researchers who are conducting studies about people affected by 9/11. who may treat people affected by 9/11.
In addition to completing Registry surveys, more than 90 percent of enrollees said they would be interested in participating in studies conducted by external researchers on the health effects of 9/11. Recent studies include depression, mortality, hearing loss and hospitalizations for asthma, among many others.
The Registry's publications include the quarterly e-Newsletter, past Annual Reports, health materials, as well as details on recent findings about the health consequences of 9/11.
Brief videos show some of our scientific findings.
If you or a loved one have a 9/11-related condition, we may be able to help.