9/11: Tribute to victims of deadliest terror attack on American soil on 18th anniversary
On the 18th anniversary of 9/11 attack, while the world remembered the nearly 2,996 victims who perished in the terror attacks, a rocket exploded near the US embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan early Wednesday. Fortunately, there were no casualties and officials at the compound declared all-clear about an hour later.
In the deadliest 9/11 attack, nearly 6,000 people were injured and at least 10 billion dollars in infrastructure and property suffered damage. About 19 hijackers took over four planes and flew three of them into major US landmarks while one crash-landed.
As it happened:
It all started on the morning of September 11, 2001, When 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes destined for San Francisco and Los Angeles. Two passenger planes - American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 - ploughed into north and south twin towers of World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan, New York - the financial capital of United State. All 157 passengers on board were killed along with approximately 2,606 people who were in and around the towers.
The aircrafts were loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel. While the first aircraft struck near the 80th floor of the 110-story north skyscraper collapsing, the second one struck nearly 20 minutes later near the 60th floor of the south tower.
Terrorists took over American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles International Airport and flew straight into the US State Department of Defence Pentagon, Virginia. All 64 passengers and crew and 125 people in the western wing of the building died.
United Airlines Flight 93 headed for the White House in Washington DC, crash landed in a field near Shanksville in Pennsylvania. All 40 passengers and four hijackers in it died.
The incident changed the dynamics of world politics. The US under the leadership of the then-President George W Bush waged a war against terrorism and invaded Afghanistan. The mastermind of the attack and Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in the year 2011, where he was living in hiding.
Trial of accused:
In all 14 alleged terrorists were detained and sent to prison for the terror attacks. Trial for the five prime accused, including prime conspirator Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Walid Bin Attash will commence on January 11, 2020, at a military court in Guantanamo Bay. All five were captured in Pakistan in 2002-2003 from undisclosed locations and were termed as ‘high-value detainees in secret interrogation centers’ by President Bush.