The Terrorist Attacks On 9 / 11 Essay

The incredible toll of 9/11 essay.

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September 11, 2011, started like every normal day in New York City. People rushing to work, children going to school, and people taking a morning walk or jog. But no one knew that this day would turn into a horror film. A terrorist organization call al-Qaeda hijacked airplanes and hammered them into the World Trade Centers North and South Tower along with the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The September 11, 2001, attacks changed America forever (9/11 Attacks - 102 minutes That Changed America).

Criminal Activity Vs Terrorist Activity

Criminal activity and terrorist activity have a relationship that is closely related, with only minor differences separating the two. Terrorist activity are criminal acts that are motivated by a higher cause beyond the basic causes of crime. Terrorist attack are highly planned out, and the same can be said about criminal activity. Serial killers often plan out their acts just as much as terrorist organizations, however the same cannot be said for certain crimes like random assaults. (Newman & Clarke, 2008) The relationship between crime and terrorism is brought closer when terrorist organizations use common crime to fund their attacks. For example, a terrorist organization may resort to stealing chemical agents to make their dirty bombs. The

9/11 Argumentative Essay

Throughout the years that have passed many changing have been going on, either good or bad depends how people take it. Since 9/11, there have been different profiling due to that fact. For example, Detention and questioning at airports, Investigation of Muslim charities, bullying at schools, and workplace discrimination.

The Terrorist Attacks Of The United States Essay

Before the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 in the United States, the CIA was very aware of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups who’s aim was to target the United States. The CIA became aware of Al Qaeda when they were tracking Osama Bin Laden in 1991 for financing terrorist attacks. As previously discussed, the CIA followed Bin Laden to Afghanistan where they eventually declared war on him. In 1999 the CIA was aware of and defeated Bin Laden operatives planning a series of attacks against the US alongside the FBI. The CIA broke up a large terrorist cell in Jordan that was planning to blow up the Radisson Hotel, holy sites, and Israeli tour buses, and had plans to use chemical weapons. During this time, Ahmad Ressam was arrested coming into the United States from the Canadian border, which provided the CIA with knowledge that Bin Laden was planning to attack the United States. In 2000 there was an increase in Ramadan related threats in which the CIA, in conjunction with a number of foreign governments, was able to thwart planned attacks, including one against US interests. During the spring and summer of 2001, the CIA noticed a substantial increase in the amount of threats being reported. While working with the FBI and foreign liaison services, the CIA prevented attacks against US facilities and people in Europe and the Middle East. The CIA considered themselves to be at war with Al Qaeda since 1998 and for the most part was on the

Terrorist Attacks on 9/11 Part 1 Essay

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The attacks of 9/11 changed the way that the world, and especially the United States, views and reacts to terrorism. The four coordinated attacks were thought out and launched by an Islamic terrorist group known as al-Qaeda. These attacks killed almost 3,000 people and caused close to 10 billion dollars in damages. The casualties and costs are considerably high if the fight against terrorism and those that have fought in the war on terrorism are taken into account. The attacks were focused on the North and South World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, and an unknown target. The unknown target is thought to be Washington, D.C. but it never occurred due to the passengers of the hijacked airliner causing

The Racial Shift In Terrorist Organizations

Professor and CIA veteran Paul R. Pillar writes on the evolving characteristics of terrorism: "The disciplined, centralized organization that carried out the September 11 attacks is no more… The small, secretive nature of terrorist plots and the indeterminate nature of the target - likely to become an even greater problem as the Islamic terrorist threat further decentralizes - have always made terrorism a particularly difficult target

Terrorism And The Al Qaeda Terrorist Groups

Terrorism has become the lead issue in today’s society, dominating the political agenda when discussing counter terrorism and national security (Walsh, 2016). Terrorist often act on emotional actions rather than rational or intellectual thoughts using unconventional violence in order to create a sense of fear (Walsh, 2016). Osama Bin laden leader of the Al Qaeda terrorist group became one of the most powerful, fearful and well known terrorist group in the world, to this day Citation. The Al Qaeda terrorist group is one of the wealthiest terrorist groups to date giving thousands of trained and motivated fighter’s access to deadly weapons Citation. Many of these Solders carried out vicious acts contributing in the killings of thousands. The research shown below will help explore the reasoning behind the Al Qaeda terrorist group, specifically focusing on Osama Bin Laden and the history of the organization, the objectives and strategy of the Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda’s beliefs and Ideologies, The scale of operation and finally the fate of the organization.

Hezbollah vs Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia

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Terrorism is a problem that has been affecting our world since humans have been walking on this planet. Whether it’s dealing with suicide bombings, cyber warfare, Eco terrorism, or even nuclear terrorism it is something that all countries have to deal with at some point. One of the main priorities of the United States is to keep terrorist attacks from occurring in our country at all costs. When looking at terrorists, two dangerous groups that will be discussed in this paper are the Hezbollah and the Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamia (Hamas). These two groups both have strong beliefs and seem as though to go to any means possible to get their way and they will not stop until they get it.

Old Terrorism

After the 9th of September attack on the United States, the study of terrorism received major publicity. The timeline after the violence has seen tens of thousands of new books and articles about terrorism being published. Despite this vast growth in the field, there is a lot we do not know about the effects of terrorism, and there are several areas of debate amongst terrorism scholars and experts. It is evident that terrorism tactics are growing increasingly complex. “The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today” (If you quoted someone you need a reference here). It is important to know what terrorism is in the present day and what is not.

As Shown By The British Security Service Mi5 And The French

As shown by the British security service MI5 and the French government’s estimations of the current threat level of international terrorism, respectively defined as SEVERE in the United Kingdom (Security Service MI5, 2016) and HIGH in France (French Government, n.d.), terrorism is considered to be among the most significant security threat nowadays. Understanding what encourages the development of terrorism and being able to develop effective counterterrorism strategies is therefore a central goal to many governments and policy makers today. As a result, an entire field of study has emerged dedicated to analyzing and researching the evolution of terrorism. Bruce Hoffman (2006:40) defines terrorism as “the deliberate creation and

To What Extent Today is the Terrorism Challenge Unique?

This literature review looks at the question of terrorism from a top-down standpoint. In the three sections the act of terrorism itself is discussed, then who the leading terrorist organizations are and have been, and finally what significant events have taken place. The final issue is whether terrorism is, to some extent, a means, eventually, to a more positive form of change.

Terrorism: September 11th, 2001 Essay

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Everyone in America remembers 9/11/ in the United States it was a horrible day. Since then America has never been the same, but we cannot let that day change the way we think and act. Since the attack on September 11th, 2001 American citizens have been afraid of terrorists. The biggest contributor to this fear was 9/11, but that was not the only recent world attack. Terrorist attacks in Syria have also created fear, yet Syria is nowhere near the United States. While terrorism is definitely a threat, this concern is exaggerated.

Islamic Terrorism and the Attack of September 11 Essay

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“I am scared because I don't exactly know and understand the complex world problems that would cause people to direct their hatred toward America"  (Mary Coleman, New York Times News Service 9/14)       Even during the initial shock of September 11 that swelled my patriotism, even amidst the solemn mood of heroism that stirred my respect for the victims, their families, the New York City workers, and in spite of a sudden admiration for the media and for our leaders in government for their strength, resolve and composure, something in me knew that after the dust and debris had settled that this would be the essential question we would be left to wrestle with.

Global Terrorism Is An Act Of Violence And Strategy

The rise on terrorism has dramatically increased in a diverse range of countries around the world. Within the last year, the world has achieved the highest number of attacks. Terrorism is an act of violence and strategy towards the government. One of the main purpose of terrorism is to not only add fear into the public, but also change the public’s eye. Now, global terrorism is a bigger issue that affects the world. Global terrorism does not just affect how the economies work but how civilizations continue to manifest. Global terrorism affects and targets religious groups, governments, and political parties. Terrorism can be caused by an individual or a group of people referred to as terrorist. People who are terrorist are able to break down their mental state of mind and risk their lives for what they believe in. It is almost impossible to track down these dangerous criminals because they keep such a low profile that no one can single them out from the regular public. There have been countries that have harbored terrorism worldwide, especially in the Middle East. There have been numerous events that led to disaster and eventually war. Most terrorist organizations are radical fundamentalists who commit terror in the name of their religion. Due to the shocking event of September 11, 2001, the US government made the “war on terror” the number one issue. Terrorism has been a part of global history

Future Of Terrorism And Its Future Prospects Within Pakistan

The threat of terrorism which existed prior to 9/11 got accentuated and transformed into a potent, dynamic and multi-dimensional phenomenon. As of today, few countries in the world are threatened by such diverse forms and manifestations of terrorism as we are; both in the present and futuristic context. There are external influences and there are internal dissentions. While the vested interests of the regional and global players denote one facet, the socio-political fault lines that exist within, constitute the other dimension of the problem. Finally a large array of foreign and Pakistan based terrorist organizations with varying agendas; add yet another angle to this complex matrix. The threat of terrorism is thus, dangerous and challenging, but by no means insurmountable. It simply merits realism in analysis, craft and far sightedness in working out the response and boldness in execution.

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98 9/11 Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best 9/11 topic ideas & essay examples, 👍 good essay topics on 9/11, 📌 simple & easy 9/11 essay titles, ❓ research questions about 9/11.

  • September 11: Terror Attack and Huge Casualties As the police and the emergency staff trying to help those at the World Trade Center, the South tower, collapsed and tumbled down killing hundreds of the police and emergency personnel.
  • September 11th 2001 Analysis That is from the rapid and complex growth of the Islam fundamentalism to the rise of the al-Qaeda and finally the failures of the intelligence services.
  • Tourism, Travel and 9/11 Despite the fact that the U.S.economy was slowing in the months prior to this incident, the consequences of the terrorist act tipped the economy further into depression.
  • Consequence Management After the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks On November 25, 2002, the United States Department of Homeland Security was formed with the aim of guarding the territory of the United States from terrorist attacks and take appropriate action in case there is […]
  • Law Enforcement after 9/11 The response of the US government in the wake of September 11 was important and has proved to be effective in averting terror acts.
  • Benefits of Post 9/11 Security Measures Fails to Outway Harm on Personal Freedom and Privacy War on terror and the countermeasures on terror threats such as security appraisals have pushed citizens to a point of critically analyzing the benefits and outweighing them against the compromised privacy and personal freedom.
  • Domestic Terrorism in the Post 9/11 Era However, according to the FBI news, no act of terrorism can be compared to the terrorism attacks of 9/11, which cost thousands of lives and a negative impact on the United States economy.
  • U.S. Border Security: 9/11 Aftermath In the immediate consequence of the 9/11 attacks, the US congress ruled to add the security agents deployed along the US-Canada border, and the US sent its National Guard troops to inspect, secure and patrol […]
  • What Attitudes, Beliefs, and Assumptions Correlate with Individual Support for Hate Crimes Directed at the Muslim Community Post September 11, 2001? Ample evidence shows that the increase in cases of hate crimes against Muslims has been due to negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media, especially among the communities of Muslims in the Middle East)..
  • Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright: The Failure to Prevent 9/11 Lawrence Wright’s book The Looming Tower Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is aimed at examining at the origins of Al-Qaeda, the development of this terrorist organization, and the main events that preceded the September […]
  • Changes in Crisis Work Since 9/11 The attacks changed the style of appointment and training, and today they is excellent support of local emergency teams on roles that expounds on emergency management locally and at state levels.
  • Effects of the September 11th attack on the geopolitics of the US The budge in geopolitical relations that is mounting as the U.S.acts in response to the attacks on its people is already pressurizing oil trades and supplies relationships and also changing ways can be anticipated in […]
  • Pentagon 9/11, Actions and Durations The following are the objectives of my study: To find out the major loopholes that was exploited by the terrorists in the attack To find out the measures that can be put in place to […]
  • Facts about September 11 Attacks One of the most spread theories was that the jet provided the terrorists with the necessary observational data in order to carry out the attacks properly.
  • The Impact of 9/11 on Global Logistics Following the adverse effects of the September eleventh terrorist attack in the US, the security of citizens and businesses has become the main concern in both the public and the private sectors of the economy.
  • U.S. Government Response to the 9/11 Attacks There was a powerful set of shared assumptions we had in the wake of 9/11, and one of the most powerful was the assumption that we would never be forgiven if we failed to do […]
  • The History of the 9/11 Decade The U.S.economy, the military needs and strategies of the country, the oil crisis and the U.S.relations with other countries, China and the countries of the Middle East in particular, are the main themes which need […]
  • The Advancements of Airport Security since September 11, 2001 The 19 hijackers who terrorized the US in the twin attacks were able to go through the normal security checks and even shut the alarms of the metal detectors.
  • Post September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks Despite the fact that there were several Muslims in America who were victims of the attacks, Muslims in America are still being discriminated as a result of that incidence.
  • “9/11 and New York City Firefighters” Post Hoc Unit Support and Control Climates The independent variables of intensity of critical incident involvement were based on a measurement scale of 0 or 1 for affirmative to the 15 modes of involvement while for the four involving self injury a […]
  • Terrorism Before and After the September 11 Attacks In light of the change in our perception of terrorisms as a result of the events of September 11 and the raising impact of religious fanatics who are quoted many a times declaring death and […]
  • Lessons Learned From 9/11 It was suspected to have taken the form of Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the sense that the Al-Qaeda group had not always been in good terms with the Americans.
  • “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” by Lawrence Wright The second part of the book looks at the Al Qaeda’s activities in the rest of the world. The book covers some of the problems faced in the fight against terrorism, especially the lack of […]
  • The Biggest News; The 9/11 Attack Exposing the Plight The American media placed more emphasis on the emergency response and the plight of the people who were exposed to the tragedy; this was aimed at exposing to the world that America […]
  • The controversy behind the 9/11 tragedy In fact, sources reveal that most people believe the contrary that is the allegation that the US government initiated the attacks as a strategy of gaining control of oil in the Middle East.
  • American Foreign Policy after 9/11 The government is likely to incite members of the public to support its policies by claiming that the country’s values and ideas are in danger. President Wilson noticed that the world was in need of […]
  • The Concept of the Homeland Security After the September 11 Incident The experts repeatedly identified the lack of cooperation and poor coordination as the eminent concern amongst the several bodies linked to the Homeland Security.
  • Terrorism: Post-9/11 Maritime Security Initiatives in the USA The degree of fatality and devastation prompted the industry players and the state to look for new strategies of moderating the inherent risks in the whole maritime transport system.
  • Pearl Harbor and 9/11: Intelligence Failure Based on the findings of the bodies and the ongoing discussion among Americans concerning the similarities, the ensuing discourse compares the events of 7 December and 11 September.
  • The 9/11 Attacks and Its Consequences on the Health The mounting menace of global terrorism has facilitated the need for scholars to research on the impacts of such traumatic incidences on the health of the victims.
  • Global Universities’ Reforms After the 9/11 Attack The members of the team use the above competencies to support different students whenever there is an attack. An agreement is also “established in order to outline the commitment and participation of different response organizations”.
  • The 9/11 Tragedy: One of the Deadliest Disasters in the US History For instance, the government presented the right equipment and evacuation strategies to respond to the tragic event. The leaders and human service professionals provided the right resources, materials, and counseling in order to deal with […]
  • Risk Management in Organizations After 9/11 If a company is able to have a recent backup of all the information critical to its operation, it should be able to minimize losses and recovery time.
  • 9/11 in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Foer However, this approach is central to this novel because it is aimed at translating a potentially excessive amount of feeling, which may be too difficult to embody in the text.
  • “Feminist Geopolitics and September 11” by Jenifer Hyndman Feminist Geopolitics and September 11 is the article that presents the evaluation of the events on September 11 from the perspective inherent mostly to women; it is not about male criticism and their evident mistakes; […]
  • Dudley’s Subjectivity in “9/11 Attacks on America” Article According to Dudley, both of these attacks led to the loss of the lives of many Americans. This is due to the nature of subjectivity that the writer has developed in his theme of discussion.
  • Bill Clinton’s Impeachment from Post-9/11 Perspective Impeachment is the act of removing a public official from a public office due to misconduct in the office. His actions in the Watergate scandal clearly depicted the kind of person he was, something that […]
  • September 11 Attacks as a Political Impression As a matter of fact, the aftermath of these attacks led to various political motivations that enabled me to know more about the political side of terrorism.
  • Homeland Security Regarding the 9/11 Report The intelligent agencies struggled throughout the years prior to 9/11 on the collection of intelligence data and the analysis of the transformations of transnational terrorist activities.
  • Richard Drew’s Photography: Visualizing September 11 This would have ensured that I had accommodated the rights of media, clients, society, and other stakeholders while still adhering to media ethics.
  • US History Since 1877: “9/11 – Loose Change” The main argument of the documentary 9/11 – Loose Change is that the US secret services stood behind the perpetration of the worst terrorist act in the history of America the attacks of 9/11.
  • September 11 Attacks in the US News Media The nature of US news media coverage of the political responsibility for the September 11, 2001 terror attack is the point of concern that is highlighted in both articles.
  • David Foster Wallace on 9/11, as Seen from the Midwest It is important to mention that the revised version of the work had a few changes to protect the privacy of the involved.”The View from Mrs.
  • Terrorism and Security Dilemma After 9/11 This is especially a terror threat and the twentieth-century struggles, such as the’ Cold War.’ The authors note that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the global perception of terrorism has been enhanced.
  • Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 is one of the primary laws governing the provision of financial assistance to veterans of the US armed forces to pursue higher educational and vocational training.
  • Post-9/11 Era and the Attitudes Toward Muslim Americans According to Flanagin’s account of the relationships between Muslim Americans and the rest of the U.S.population, the victimization of Muslim Americans is comparable to that one of German Americans after WWI, although it may not […]
  • Terrorism: 9/11 Conspiracy Theories While on the one hand, it signified the failure of a number of government agencies, lack of a coordinated approach amongst the world community in dealing with the menace of terrorism, but it showed to […]
  • The Tragic Effects of 9/11 The attacks on the world trade center and pentagon on September 11 2001 were tragic and devastating not only for the victims and the people of the United States of America; they came as a […]
  • Conspiracy Theories of 9/11 Another layer of theories states that the events of September 2001 were initiated by the US military and the government which tried to gain the confidence of the American people and inspires racial envy and […]
  • Effects of the September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks on Sino-American Relations Thesis: In the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, China and the USA have come together on a common platform to combat terrorism reshaping Sino-American relations and redefining Asia Pacific security concerns.
  • Israel-Palestine after 9/11: Relations and Policies Of concern is that the discussion comes out with facts that Israel has developed policies that favor them with the backing of the US.
  • The Psychological Effect of 9/11 on Young Adults Many a people are being wrongly suspected of being terrorists, this has been one of the biggest changes in the psychology of the adults which has taken place since the 9/11 incident.”The majority of participants […]
  • Islamophobia: Bias to Muslims and War After the 9-11 Incident In view of the 9/11 incident it became a scope of the authorities and the media to defend the position of government in the context of security as it was formulated that a constant threat […]
  • Rebuttal Assignment: The Untold Facts and Stories of 9-11 The investigations that were published by the National Institute of standards and Technology dismissed these allegations and the community engineers supported the move by stating that the building was brought down by the impact of […]
  • The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright The book of Lawrence Wright impressed the readers with an innovative, unusual approach to the narration of the story that occupied the minds of all people around the world for several years, being the only […]
  • Comparing World War II to September 11th Both attacks were condemned on a global scale, and a huge fraction of the rest of the world rallied behind the US. Over 16 million soldiers were deployed to settle the score with the Japanese, […]
  • Rudy Giuliani’s Leadership During 9/11 Crisis He was able to recognize the urgency of addressing the crisis to salvage the city. Giuliani was able to raise the bar in order to confront new Yorkers to respond to the crisis.
  • “13 Days”, “The Hunt for Red October”, and “Fahrenheit 9-11”: Analysis The political team with President Kennedy in the forefront composes a plan to solve the problem without violent involvement since the U.S.military attacks could cause military strikes on the part of the Soviet Union despite […]
  • The Key 9-11 Conspiracy Theory The adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement believe in a conspiracy theory that the building of the World Trade Center began blowing up even before the impact of the airplane, which points to the possibility […]
  • The Cold War and the Events of September 11 The anxieties arising from the issue of European immigrants echo the sentiments of securitization and Islamophobia following the events of September 11.
  • Securing Airports in the Aftermath of 9-11 This will enable the Federal government to link and associate different information and this system can easily find the connection between suspected terrorists and suspicious activities. This type of technology must be installed in every […]
  • 9/11 Unmasked: Investigation of Attacks Graeme MacQueen, who presents concrete evidence on the anthrax deception by the administration have attributed the administration as a conspiracy that has lied to its citizens.
  • 9/11 Reminder That History Is Always Incomplete Thus, history cannot be regarded in one common way as all events are interpreted by people individually on the basis of their knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics.
  • Post-9,11 Veterans in Business The objective of the study is to explore how the adoption of a military mindset might influence the company culture and identify the competitive advantages of the post-9/11 veterans in the business setting.
  • Economic and Political Impacts of the 9-11 on the American Society The economic impacts of the 9/11 terrorist attack were immediately experienced in all spheres of the nation’s development. However, as the nation grappled with drastic changes after the event, Arab Americans were negatively affected as […]
  • 9/11: Impact on the American Society Also known as the ‘9/11,’ the long-brewing attack on the Twin Towers forced many Americans to reconsider their perception of the safety that the government can provide.
  • September 11, 2001 Attacks: What We Have Learned About Terrorism Since 9,11 The world has remembered one of the most tragic attacks in the USA in 2001, and the consequences of this event stay one of the most discussed.
  • Global Impact of 9-11 Events on Terrorism Prevention Many people resorted to religion and faith, and the majority reported that they were praying more frequently. Moreover, it stimulated the intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight terrorist groups.
  • Why Is 9/11 an Important Day to Remember?
  • How Did Travel and Airport Security Change After 9/11?
  • What Effect Did 9/11 Have on the Economy?
  • How Did the World React to 9/11?
  • What Are the Conspiracy Theories Around 9/11?
  • How to Control Irrational Fears After 9/11?
  • How Many Died on September 11th?
  • What Was the Intention Behind the 9/11 Attacks?
  • What Reorganization of the Government Took Place After 9/11?
  • Who Survived 9/11 From the Highest Floor?
  • What Islamic Reform Took Place After 9/11?
  • How Many Firefighters Died on 9/11?
  • How Many People Lost Their Jobs on 9/11?
  • Who Was the Last Person Found on 9/11?
  • Have There Been Any Personal Changes With You Since 9/11?
  • What Is the Impact of President Bush´s Speech After 9/11?
  • How Much Money Did 9/11 Survivors Receive?
  • Are There Still People Missing From 9/11?
  • How Did the Criminal Justice System Change After 9/11?
  • How the Day of 9/11 Changed America Forever?
  • What Are the Political, Social, and Economic Changes Following 9/11?
  • What Are the Consequences of the Tragedy of 9/11?
  • Was the U.S. Government Involved With 9/11?
  • Why Was America Targeted on 9/11?
  • Why Discrimination Against Arab-Americans Happened After 9/11?
  • What Is the Essence of the 4th Amendment After 9/11?
  • What Was the Reason Given for 9/11?
  • Who Was in Charge of 9/11?
  • How Long Did It Take To Find Out Who Was Responsible for 9/11?
  • What Did the 9/11 Commission Find?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

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9/11 essay thesis statement

Two Decades Later, the Enduring Legacy of 9/11

Table of contents.

Americans watched in horror as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left nearly 3,000 people dead in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 20 years later, they watched in sorrow as the nation’s military mission in Afghanistan – which began less than a month after 9/11 – came to a bloody and chaotic conclusion.

Chart shows 9/11 a powerful memory for Americans – but only for adults old enough to remember

The enduring power of the Sept. 11 attacks is clear: An overwhelming share of Americans who are old enough to recall the day remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. Yet an ever-growing number of Americans have no personal memory of that day, either because they were too young or not yet born.

A review of U.S. public opinion in the two decades since 9/11 reveals how a badly shaken nation came together, briefly, in a spirit of sadness and patriotism; how the public initially rallied behind the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, though support waned over time; and how Americans viewed the threat of terrorism at home and the steps the government took to combat it.

As the country comes to grips with the tumultuous exit of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, the departure has raised long-term questions about U.S. foreign policy and America’s place in the world. Yet the public’s initial judgments on that mission are clear: A majority endorses the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, even as it criticizes the Biden administration’s handling of the situation. And after a war that cost thousands of lives – including more than 2,000 American service members – and trillions of dollars in military spending, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that 69% of U.S. adults say the United States has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan.

This examination of how the United States changed in the two decades following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is based on an analysis of past public opinion survey data from Pew Research Center, news reports and other sources.

Current data is from a Pew Research Center survey of 10,348 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 23-29, 2021. Most of the interviewing was conducted before the Aug. 26 suicide bombing at Kabul airport, and all of it was conducted before the completion of the evacuation. Everyone who took part is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the  ATP’s methodology .

Here are the questions used  for the report, along with responses, and  its methodology .

A devastating emotional toll, a lasting historical legacy

Shock, sadness, fear, anger: The 9/11 attacks inflicted a devastating emotional toll on Americans. But as horrible as the events of that day were, a 63% majority of Americans said they couldn’t stop watching news coverage of the attacks.

Chart shows days after 9/11, nearly all Americans said they felt sad; most felt depressed

Our first survey following the attacks went into the field just days after 9/11, from Sept. 13-17, 2001. A sizable majority of adults (71%) said they felt depressed, nearly half (49%) had difficulty concentrating and a third said they had trouble sleeping.

It was an era in which television was still the public’s dominant news source – 90% said they got most of their news about the attacks from television, compared with just 5% who got news online – and the televised images of death and destruction had a powerful impact. Around nine-in-ten Americans (92%) agreed with the statement, “I feel sad when watching TV coverage of the terrorist attacks.” A sizable majority (77%) also found it frightening to watch – but most did so anyway.

Americans were enraged by the attacks, too. Three weeks after 9/11 , even as the psychological stress began to ease somewhat, 87% said they felt angry about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Fear was widespread, not just in the days immediately after the attacks, but throughout the fall of 2001. Most Americans said they were very (28%) or somewhat (45%) worried about another attack . When asked a year later to describe how their lives changed in a major way, about half of adults said they felt more afraid, more careful, more distrustful or more vulnerable as a result of the attacks.

9/11 essay thesis statement

Even after the immediate shock of 9/11 had subsided, concerns over terrorism remained at higher levels in major cities – especially New York and Washington – than in small towns and rural areas. The personal impact of the attacks also was felt more keenly in the cities directly targeted: Nearly a year after 9/11, about six-in-ten adults in the New York (61%) and Washington (63%) areas said the attacks had changed their lives at least a little, compared with 49% nationwide. This sentiment was shared by residents of other large cities. A quarter of people who lived in large cities nationwide said their lives had changed in a major way – twice the rate found in small towns and rural areas.

The impacts of the Sept. 11 attacks were deeply felt and slow to dissipate. By the following August, half of U.S. adults said the country “had changed in a major way” – a number that actually increased , to 61%, 10 years after the event .

A year after the attacks, in an open-ended question, most Americans – 80% – cited 9/11 as the most important event that had occurred in the country during the previous year. Strikingly, a larger share also volunteered it as the most important thing that happened to them personally in the prior year (38%) than mentioned other typical life events, such as births or deaths. Again, the personal impact was much greater in New York and Washington, where 51% and 44%, respectively, pointed to the attacks as the most significant personal event over the prior year.

Chart shows in 2016 – 15 years after 9/11 – the attacks continued to be seen as one of the public’s top historical events

Just as memories of 9/11 are firmly embedded in the minds of most Americans old enough to recall the attacks, their historical importance far surpasses other events in people’s lifetimes. In a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in association with A+E Networks’ HISTORY in 2016 – 15 years after 9/11 – 76% of adults named the Sept. 11 attacks as one of the 10 historical events of their lifetime that had the greatest impact on the country. The election of Barack Obama as the first Black president was a distant second, at 40%.

The importance of 9/11 transcended age, gender, geographic and even political differences. The 2016 study noted that while partisans agreed on little else that election cycle, more than seven-in-ten Republicans and Democrats named the attacks as one of their top 10 historic events.

9/11 essay thesis statement

9/11 transformed U.S. public opinion, but many of its impacts were short-lived

It is difficult to think of an event that so profoundly transformed U.S. public opinion across so many dimensions as the 9/11 attacks. While Americans had a shared sense of anguish after Sept. 11, the months that followed also were marked by rare spirit of public unity.

Chart shows trust in government spiked following Sept. 11 terror attack

Patriotic sentiment surged in the aftermath of 9/11. After the U.S. and its allies launched airstrikes against Taliban and al-Qaida forces in early October 2001, 79% of adults said they had displayed an American flag. A year later, a 62% majority said they had often felt patriotic as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

Moreover, the public largely set aside political differences and rallied in support of the nation’s major institutions, as well as its political leadership. In October 2001, 60% of adults expressed trust in the federal government – a level not reached in the previous three decades, nor approached in the two decades since then.

George W. Bush, who had become president nine months earlier after a fiercely contested election, saw his job approval rise 35 percentage points in the space of three weeks. In late September 2001, 86% of adults – including nearly all Republicans (96%) and a sizable majority of Democrats (78%) – approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president.

Americans also turned to religion and faith in large numbers. In the days and weeks after 9/11, most Americans said they were praying more often. In November 2001, 78% said religion’s influence in American life was increasing, more than double the share who said that eight months earlier and – like public trust in the federal government – the highest level in four decades .

Public esteem rose even for some institutions that usually are not that popular with Americans. For example, in November 2001, news organizations received record-high ratings for professionalism. Around seven-in-ten adults (69%) said they “stand up for America,” while 60% said they protected democracy.

Yet in many ways, the “9/11 effect” on public opinion was short-lived. Public trust in government, as well as confidence in other institutions, declined throughout the 2000s. By 2005, following another major national tragedy – the government’s mishandling of the relief effort for victims of Hurricane Katrina – just 31% said they trusted the federal government, half the share who said so in the months after 9/11. Trust has remained relatively low for the past two decades: In April of this year, only 24% said they trusted the government just about always or most of the time.

Bush’s approval ratings, meanwhile, never again reached the lofty heights they did shortly after 9/11. By the end of his presidency, in December 2008, just 24% approved of his job performance.

9/11 essay thesis statement

U.S. military response: Afghanistan and Iraq

With the U.S. now formally out of Afghanistan – and with the Taliban firmly in control of the country – most Americans (69%) say the U.S. failed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

Chart shows broad initial support for U.S. military action against 9/11 terrorists, even if it entailed thousands of U.S. casualties

But 20 years ago, in the days and weeks following 9/11, Americans overwhelmingly supported military action against those responsible for the attacks. In mid-September 2001, 77% favored U.S. military action, including the deployment of ground forces, “to retaliate against whoever is responsible for the terrorist attacks, even if that means U.S. armed forces might suffer thousands of casualties.”

Many Americans were impatient for the Bush administration to give the go-ahead for military action. In a late September 2001 survey, nearly half the public (49%) said their larger concern was that the Bush administration would not strike quickly enough against the terrorists; just 34% said they worried the administration would move too quickly.

Even in the early stages of the U.S. military response, few adults expected a military operation to produce quick results: 69% said it would take months or years to dismantle terrorist networks, including 38% who said it would take years and 31% who said it would take several months. Just 18% said it would take days or weeks.

The public’s support for military intervention was evident in other ways as well. Throughout the fall of 2001, more Americans said the best way to prevent future terrorism was to take military action abroad rather than build up defenses at home. In early October 2001, 45% prioritized military action to destroy terrorist networks around the world, while 36% said the priority should be to build terrorism defenses at home.

9/11 essay thesis statement

Initially, the public was confident that the U.S. military effort to destroy terrorist networks would succeed. A sizable majority (76%) was confident in the success of this mission, with 39% saying they were very confident.

Support for the war in Afghanistan continued at a high level for several years to come. In a survey conducted in early 2002, a few months after the start of the war, 83% of Americans said they approved of the U.S.-led military campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan. In 2006, several years after the United States began combat operations in Afghanistan, 69% of adults said the U.S. made the right decision in using military force in Afghanistan. Only two-in-ten said it was the wrong decision.

Chart shows public support for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan increased after Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011

But as the conflict dragged on, first through Bush’s presidency and then through Obama’s administration, support wavered and a growing share of Americans favored the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. In June 2009, during Obama’s first year in office, 38% of Americans said U.S. troops should be removed from Afghanistan as soon as possible. The share favoring a speedy troop withdrawal increased over the next few years. A turning point came in May 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs launched a risky operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and killed the al-Qaida leader.

The public reacted to bin Laden’s death with more of a sense of relief than jubilation . A month later, for the first time , a majority of Americans (56%) said that U.S. forces should be brought home as soon as possible, while 39% favored U.S. forces in the country until the situation had stabilized.

Over the next decade, U.S. forces in Afghanistan were gradually drawn down, in fits and starts, over the administrations of three presidents – Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Meanwhile, public support for the decision to use force in Afghanistan, which had been widespread at the start of the conflict, declined . Today, after the tumultuous exit of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a slim majority of adults (54%) say the decision to withdraw troops from the country was the right decision; 42% say it was the wrong decision. 

There was a similar trajectory in public attitudes toward a much more expansive conflict that was part of what Bush termed the “war on terror”: the U.S. war in Iraq. Throughout the contentious, yearlong debate before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Americans widely supported the use of military force to end Saddam Hussein’s rule in Iraq.

Importantly, most Americans thought – erroneously, as it turned out – there was a direct connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. In October 2002, 66% said that Saddam helped the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In April 2003, during the first month of the Iraq War, 71% said the U.S. made the right decision to go to war in Iraq. On the 15th anniversary of the war in 2018, just 43% said it was the right decision. As with the case with U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, more Americans said that the U.S. had failed (53%) than succeeded (39%) in achieving its goals in Iraq.

9/11 essay thesis statement

The ‘new normal’: The threat of terrorism after 9/11

There have been no terrorist attacks on the scale of 9/11 in two decades, but from the public’s perspective, the threat has never fully gone away. Defending the country from future terrorist attacks has been at or near the top of Pew Research Center’s annual survey on policy priorities since 2002.

Chart shows terrorism has consistently ranked high on Americans’ list of policy priorities

In January 2002, just months after the 2001 attacks, 83% of Americans said “defending the country from future terrorist attacks” was a top priority for the president and Congress, the highest for any issue. Since then, sizable majorities have continued to cite that as a top policy priority.

Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats have consistently ranked terrorism as a top priority over the past two decades, with some exceptions. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have remained more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say defending the country from future attacks should be a top priority. In recent years, the partisan gap has grown larger as Democrats began to rank the issue lower relative to other domestic concerns. The public’s concerns about another attack also remained fairly steady in the years after 9/11, through near-misses and the federal government’s numerous “Orange Alerts” – the second-most serious threat level on its color-coded terrorism warning system.

A 2010 analysis of the public’s terrorism concerns found that the share of Americans who said they were very concerned about another attack had ranged from about 15% to roughly 25% since 2002. The only time when concerns were elevated was in February 2003, shortly before the start of the U.S. war in Iraq.

In recent years, the share of Americans who point to terrorism as a major national problem has declined sharply as issues such as the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and racism have emerged as more pressing problems in the public’s eyes.

Chart shows in recent years, terrorism declined as a ‘very big’ national problem

In 2016, about half of the public (53%) said terrorism was a very big national problem in the country. This declined to about four-in-ten from 2017 to 2019. Last year, only a quarter of Americans said that terrorism was a very big problem.

This year, prior to the U.S. withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and the subsequent Taliban takeover of the country, a somewhat larger share of adults said domestic terrorism was a very big national problem (35%) than said the same about international terrorism . But much larger shares cited concerns such as the affordability of health care (56%) and the federal budget deficit (49%) as major problems than said that about either domestic or international terrorism.

Still, recent events in Afghanistan raise the possibility that opinion could be changing, at least in the short term. In a late August survey, 89% of Americans said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was a threat to the security of the U.S., including 46% who said it was a major threat.

9/11 essay thesis statement

Addressing the threat of terrorism at home and abroad

Just as Americans largely endorsed the use of U.S. military force as a response to the 9/11 attacks, they were initially open to a variety of other far-reaching measures to combat terrorism at home and abroad. In the days following the attack, for example, majorities favored a requirement that all citizens carry national ID cards, allowing the CIA to contract with criminals in pursuing suspected terrorists and permitting the CIA to conduct assassinations overseas when pursuing suspected terrorists.

Chart shows following 9/11, more Americans saw the necessity to sacrifice civil liberties in order to curb terrorism

However, most people drew the line against allowing the government to monitor their own emails and phone calls (77% opposed this). And while 29% supported the establishment of internment camps for legal immigrants from unfriendly countries during times of tension or crisis – along the lines of those in which thousands of Japanese American citizens were confined during World War II – 57% opposed such a measure.

It was clear that from the public’s perspective, the balance between protecting civil liberties and protecting the country from terrorism had shifted. In September 2001 and January 2002, 55% majorities said that, in order to curb terrorism in the U.S., it was necessary for the average citizen to give up some civil liberties. In 1997, just 29% said this would be necessary while 62% said it would not.

For most of the next two decades, more Americans said their bigger concern was that the government had not gone far enough in protecting the country from terrorism than said it went too far in restricting civil liberties.

The public also did not rule out the use of torture to extract information from terrorist suspects. In a 2015 survey of 40 nations, the U.S. was one of only 12 where a majority of the public said the use of torture against terrorists could be justified to gain information about a possible attack.

9/11 essay thesis statement

Views of Muslims, Islam grew more partisan in years after 9/11

Concerned about a possible backlash against Muslims in the U.S. in the days after 9/11, then-President George W. Bush gave a speech to the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., in which he declared: “Islam is peace.” For a brief period, a large segment of Americans agreed. In November 2001, 59% of U.S. adults had a favorable view of Muslim Americans, up from 45% in March 2001, with comparable majorities of Democrats and Republicans expressing a favorable opinion.

Chart shows Republicans increasingly say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence

This spirit of unity and comity was not to last. In a September 2001 survey, 28% of adults said they had grown more suspicious of people of Middle Eastern descent; that grew to 36% less than a year later.

Republicans, in particular, increasingly came to associate Muslims and Islam with violence. In 2002, just a quarter of Americans – including 32% of Republicans and 23% of Democrats – said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. About twice as many (51%) said it was not.

But within the next few years, most Republicans and GOP leaners said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence. Today, 72% of Republicans express this view, according to an August 2021 survey.

Democrats consistently have been far less likely than Republicans to associate Islam with violence. In the Center’s latest survey, 32% of Democrats say this. Still, Democrats are somewhat more likely to say this today than they have been in recent years: In 2019, 28% of Democrats said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers than other religions.

The partisan gap in views of Muslims and Islam in the U.S. is evident in other meaningful ways. For example, a 2017 survey found that half of U.S. adults said that “Islam is not part of mainstream American society” – a view held by nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (68%) but only 37% of Democrats. In a separate survey conducted in 2017, 56% of Republicans said there was a great deal or fair amount of extremism among U.S. Muslims, with fewer than half as many Democrats (22%) saying the same.

The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the aftermath of 9/11 has had a profound effect on the growing number of Muslims living in the United States. Surveys of U.S. Muslims from 2007-2017 found increasing shares saying they have personally experienced discrimination and received public expression of support.

9/11 essay thesis statement

It has now been two decades since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93 – where only the courage of passengers and crew possibly prevented an even deadlier terror attack.

For most who are old enough to remember, it is a day that is impossible to forget. In many ways, 9/11 reshaped how Americans think of war and peace, their own personal safety and their fellow citizens. And today, the violence and chaos in a country half a world away brings with it the opening of an uncertain new chapter in the post-9/11 era.

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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

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  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)

The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

11 September 2001


Attack on the pentagon on 9/11, attack on the world trade center on 9/11, 9/11 terrorist attacks (general), selected imagery.

A bouquet lies on a bench at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

A bouquet lies on a bench at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, 11 September 2019. Department of Defense photo by Lisa Ferdinando.

On the morning of 11 September 2001, 19 terrorists from the Islamist extreme group al Qaeda hijacked four commercial aircraft and crashed two of them into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. After learning about the other attacks, passengers on the fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93, fought back, and the plane was crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania about 20 minutes by air from Washington, D.C. The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed, due to the damage from the impacts and subsequent fires. Nearly 3,000 people were killed from 93 different countries. Most of the fatalities were from the attacks on the World Trade Center. The Pentagon lost 184 civilians and servicemembers and 40 people were killed on Flight 93. It was the worst attack on American soil since the  Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor  in 1941.

After the Taliban refused to turn over the mastermind of the attacks, Osama Bin Laden,  Operation Enduring Freedom  officially began 7 October 2001 with American and British bombing strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Initially, the Taliban was removed from power and al Qaeda was seriously crippled, but allied forces continually dealt with a stubborn Taliban insurgency, infrastructure rebuilding, and corruption among the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Border Police. Bin Laden would go into hiding for nearly 10 years.

On 2 May 2011,  U.S. Navy SEALs  launched a nighttime raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the al Qaeda leader. Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended 28 December 2014, although coalition forces remained on the ground to assist with training Afghan security forces. American troops departed Afghanistan in August 2021.

Oral Histories - Navy Archives

Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206 Pentagon 9/11 Oral Histories

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on 11 September, the Department of Defense and all of the branches of the Armed Forces began efforts to document the attacks. The Naval Historical Center (the predecessor of NHHC) activated its reserve unit, Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206 (DET 206) to assist in the documentation efforts. Over the next ten months, DET 206 reservists and NHC Historians interviewed hundreds of individuals who were in the Pentagon on the day of the attack or were directly involved in the Navy’s response and the work that followed. The Navy Archives has received permission to release a portion of the oral histories to the public for the first time since they were recorded. The oral histories that have been authorized for release can be found at the link above.

Archives Collections - Navy Archives

  • AR/668 Pentagon Attack Narrative Accounts
  • AR/670 DET 206: Documenting the Attack on the Pentagon on 9/11


  • Rescue Activity at the Pentagon after al Qaeda Terrorist Attack, 11 September 2001 , recollections of Lieutenant Commander David Tarantino.
  • Emergency Medical Activity after Pentagon Attack, 11 September 2001 , recollections of Captain John P. Ferrick
  • Escape From the Pentagon: NSWC Crane Group on 9/11 , article by NHHC Historian Guy Nasuti

Artifact Collection

  • Terror Attack, 11 September 2001 , artifacts that were at the Pentagon at the time of the attack to include a laptop, window glass, and a door sign from the Pentagon’s E-Ring

Photo Gallery

  • The Attack on the Pentagon . The photos in this gallery are a small portion of those found in the Pentagon 9/11 collections held by Navy Archives.
  • Documenting the Attack on the Pentagon on 9/11 . These graphics were originally printed in  Pentagon 9/11 (Defense Studies Series), the official Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) account of the attack on the Pentagon. 

Suggested Reading

  • Defense Studies Series: Pentagon 9/11
  • Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, 11 September 2001: A Selected Bibliography
  • The 9/11 Commission Report
  • The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206: Documenting the Experiences of the Navy in New York City After 9/11

The oral histories document the experiences of Navy personnel in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island on the day of the attacks and in the days and weeks following.

Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206 Pentagon 9/11 Oral History: CDR Terrence Dwyer

Commander Dwyer was the head of medical services on the USNS Comfort in September 2001.  His oral history documents the service of USNS Comfort in New York City following the attacks.

Archives Collection - Navy Archives

  • AR/643 DET 206: Documenting the Experiences of the Navy in New York City After 9/11
  • Fleet Combat Camera Atlantic in New York City After 9/11 . U.S. Navy Fleet Combat Camera Atlantic photographers deployed to New York City to document the aftermath of the attacks on 11 September 2001.  These photographs are a few of those taken by these Navy combat photographers.
  • USNS Comfort in New York City After 9/11 . The photos in this gallery were taken onboard USNS Comfort beginning on 12 September 2001.
  • USNS  Comfort  (T-AH 20) Deployment to New York City following the al Qaeda Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center , recollections of Captain Ralph Bally
  • National September 11 Memorial Museum

Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206: Documenting Operation Enduring Freedom - Experiences at CINCUSNAVEUR London on 11 September 2001 and in the Aftermath

The oral histories focus on the experiences of Naval Staff on duty in London at Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) on 9/11, as well their work in the aftermath and their observations on foreign reactions to the attacks.

Navy Combat Documentation Detachment 206: Documenting Operation Enduring Freedom - CINCLANTFLT & COMSECONDFLT Norfolk

DET 206 reservists deployed to Norfolk in December 2001 to document CINCLANTFLT and SECONDFLT operations leading up to September 11, the immediate response following the attacks; and operations in the days and weeks after the attacks.  The oral histories in this collection offer overlapping and complementary perspectives.

  • AR/688 DET 206: Documenting Operation Enduring Freedom - CINCLANTFLT & COMSECONDFLT Norfolk
  • AR/705 DET 206: Documenting Operation Enduring Freedom & 9/11 - CINCUSNAVEUR London
  • Selected Photos from Navy Archives Collections
  • “We Stand By You” banner , displayed by German destroyer FGS  Lutjens  to USS  Winston Churchill  (DDG-81) following 9/11 attacks

Artifact Conservation

  • Highlighted Projects . Recently, NHHC's Conservation Branch was tasked with assessing, analyzing, and conserving two evocative objects associated with the  September 11 Terrorist Attack: a  banner of solidarity produced from a bedsheet by crew members from the German destroyer FGS  Lutjens  displayed while alongside USS  Winston Churchill  on 14 September 2001, and a severely damaged laptop recovered from the rubble of the Pentagon.
  • Flight 93: National Memorial Pennsylvania

A clock frozen at the time of impact

A clock, frozen at the time of impact, sat on a desk inside the Pentagon following the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001. Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Larry A. Simmons.

World Trade Center

Devastation at the World Trade Center site in New York City in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack. National Archives identifier, 5609777.

President George W. Bush greeted rescue workers

President George W. Bush greeted rescue workers, firefighters, and military personnel, 12 September 2001, while he surveyed damage caused by the previous day’s terrorist attacks on the Pentagon. Photo by Eric Draper. Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Two Navy F/A-18 Hornets patrol the skies over Afghanistan

Two Navy F/A-18 Hornets patrol the skies over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Both carry external fuel tanks and are armed with Paveway II laser guided GBU-16 1,000-pound bombs and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. In response to the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 at the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President George W. Bush initiated Operation Enduring Freedom in support of the Global War on Terrorism. National Archives identifier, 6602325.

Shanksville, Pennsylvania

The tall gray walls are the walls of the Visitor Center at the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The black walkway is the Flight Path Walkway. The Flight Path Overlook is beyond the second set of walls. National Park Service photograph.

Francis Assessing Laptop

Conservator Francis Lukezic begins assessing the laptop recovered from the Pentagon shortly after 9/11.

Overall Lab

Conservators stabilizing historic artifacts, including the “We Stand by You” bedsheet flown from FGS Lutjens as a banner of solidarity shortly after 9/11, at the Conservation Laboratory within the Collection Management Facility in Richmond, Virginia.

AT Glamour

Senior Conservator and textile specialist Yoonjo Lee completes the treatment process for the FGS Lutjens bedsheet at NHHC’s Conservation Laboratory in Richmond, Virginia.

Emergency response teams responded to the Pentagon

Emergency response teams responded to the Pentagon following a terrorist attack on 11 September 2001. Photo courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Washington, DC, skyline

Smoke and flames in the Washington, DC, skyline in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon, 11 September 2001. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Houlihan.

Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Flight 93 impact crater with debris taken early in the investigation near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Department of Justice photograph.

An American flag was among the mementos left by German citizens

An American flag was among the mementos left by German citizens who marched from Ramstein Village to Ramstein Air Base on 14 September 2001. The march was a show of support and empathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers and at the Pentagon. Hijackers deliberately flew civilian airliners into the buildings, killing themselves, the passengers, and thousands on the ground, 11 September 2001. National Archives identifier, 6598788.

A U.S. Navy lieutenant dropped to one knee and placed flowers on a gravesite

A U.S. Navy lieutenant dropped to one knee and placed flowers on a gravesite, while family, friends and coworkers of the 184 victims of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, look on during a memorial service at the Arlington National Cemetery, 11 September 2003. National Archives identifier, 6647599.

Laptop with Keys

Badly damaged laptop recovered from the Pentagon shortly after 9/11, prior to assessment by Conservation Branch staff.

Heat Damage

Heat damage from the fire after the attack on the Pentagon caused thermoplastic components to melt, warp, and keys to separate from the base of the laptop. Additionally, heat formed an impression of a security strap on the exterior of the laptop and cracked the screen. 

9/11 essay thesis statement

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Home — Essay Samples — Government & Politics — Terrorism & Political Violence — 9/11

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9/11 Attacks: Facts, Background and Impact

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September 11, 2001

New York City, New York, U.S.

The tragic events of September 11, 2001, commonly known as the 9/11 attacks, involved a series of coordinated hijackings and deliberate suicide attacks carried out by 19 militants affiliated with the extremist Islamic group al-Qaeda. These attacks, which remain the deadliest acts of terrorism on American soil, targeted several locations in the United States. The hijackers were successful in crashing two planes into the iconic North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, causing their eventual collapse. Another plane struck the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane, intended for a federal government building in Washington, D.C., was heroically thwarted by passengers who revolted, resulting in its crash in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. These heinous acts had a profound impact on global security, reshaping the course of international relations and forever altering the lives of countless individuals affected by the tragedy.

The 9/11 attacks were a culmination of various historical factors and events that set the stage for this tragic event. The primary cause behind the attacks can be traced to the rise of Islamic extremism, particularly the extremist group al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden. It emerged as a response to perceived injustices faced by Muslims, including the presence of American military forces in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policies in the region. The prerequisites leading to the attacks involved a combination of factors, such as ideological radicalization, recruitment efforts, and meticulous planning by the terrorists. These efforts aimed to exploit existing vulnerabilities within the aviation security system and target symbolic landmarks in the United States. Additionally, geopolitical conflicts, such as the Soviet-Afghan War and the Gulf War, played a role in shaping the ideological landscape and providing a breeding ground for extremist ideologies. The attacks were also facilitated by intelligence failures and a lack of coordination between various agencies responsible for counterterrorism efforts.

The effects of the 9/11 attacks were far-reaching and had a profound impact on various aspects of society. Primarily, the attacks resulted in the loss of thousands of innocent lives and caused immense physical destruction, particularly with the collapse of the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The attacks had significant socio-political consequences. They led to a heightened sense of fear and insecurity within the United States and around the world. The incident prompted the implementation of stricter security measures, including enhanced airport screenings and increased surveillance efforts, to prevent future terrorist acts. Moreover, the attacks influenced U.S. foreign policy, leading to military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The attacks also had economic repercussions. The destruction of the World Trade Center had a severe impact on global financial markets and the economy, leading to a decline in stock markets and increased job losses. Additionally, the attacks had a lasting psychological impact, causing trauma and grief among survivors, families of the victims, and communities affected by the events.

The 9/11 attacks have had a significant impact on media and literature, with numerous works exploring the events, their aftermath, and their implications. Various forms of media, including films, documentaries, books, and poems, have depicted the 9/11 attacks and their consequences. One notable example is the film "United 93" (2006), directed by Paul Greengrass. The movie reconstructs the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to regain control from the hijackers. The film offers a gripping and emotional portrayal of the heroic actions taken by the passengers in the face of tragedy. Another prominent work is "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (2005), a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. The book follows a young boy named Oskar Schell, who lost his father in the World Trade Center collapse. Through Oskar's perspective, the novel explores themes of grief, trauma, and the search for meaning in the aftermath of the attacks.

The 9/11 attacks had a profound impact on public opinion, eliciting a range of responses and shaping perceptions worldwide. In the immediate aftermath, people expressed feelings of anger towards the perpetrators and a desire for justice to be served. The attacks also sparked debates and discussions on various topics, including national security, terrorism, and foreign policy. Public opinion regarding the government's response to the attacks and the subsequent military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq varied, with some supporting the actions taken and others expressing concerns about civil liberties and the potential escalation of conflicts. Furthermore, the 9/11 attacks prompted increased awareness and scrutiny of issues related to religious tolerance, Islamophobia, and the treatment of Muslim communities. Public discourse on these topics became more prominent, reflecting a heightened focus on understanding and combating prejudice.

1. The collapse of the Twin Towers following the 9/11 attacks remains a striking fact. The South Tower (WTC 2) collapsed only 56 minutes after being hit by United Airlines Flight 175, while the North Tower (WTC 1) collapsed 102 minutes after being struck by American Airlines Flight 11. These unprecedented structural failures shocked the world and demonstrated the devastating impact of the attacks. 2. The 9/11 attacks resulted in a tragic loss of life. In total, 2,977 people from over 90 countries lost their lives in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Among the casualties were not only office workers and first responders but also individuals from diverse backgrounds, including tourists, airline passengers, and individuals attending business meetings. 3. Economic consequences: The attacks had a profound impact on the economy, not only in terms of immediate destruction but also long-term effects. It is estimated that the attacks caused a loss of $123 billion in economic output during the first two to four weeks. Additionally, sectors such as tourism, aviation, and finance experienced significant disruptions and faced substantial financial losses, leading to a ripple effect on employment and global markets.

The topic of the 9/11 attacks holds significant importance as it marks a pivotal moment in contemporary history that changed the global landscape in numerous ways. Understanding and exploring this event through an essay allows for a comprehensive examination of its profound impact on society, politics, security, and international relations. Firstly, the 9/11 attacks shattered the sense of security and invulnerability that many nations had previously enjoyed. It exposed vulnerabilities in security systems, leading to significant changes in counterterrorism measures and policies worldwide. Secondly, the attacks prompted a reevaluation of international relations and the United States' role in global affairs. It fueled the war on terror, leading to military interventions, the establishment of new alliances, and shifts in foreign policies. Furthermore, the 9/11 attacks raised important questions about religious extremism, ideological motivations, and the delicate balance between security and civil liberties. Examining these aspects in an essay fosters critical thinking and provides an opportunity to delve into the complexities surrounding terrorism and its aftermath.

1. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States. W. W. Norton & Company. 2. Summers, A., & Swan, R. (2011). The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden. Ballantine Books. 3. Jenkins, B. M. (2006). The 9/11 Wars. Hill and Wang. 4. Smith, M. L. (2011). Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez. University of Chicago Press. 5. Bowden, M. (2006). Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam. Grove Press. 6. Wright, L. (2006). The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Vintage. 7. Bamford, J. (2008). The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. Anchor Books. 8. Thompson, W., & Thompson, S. (2011). The Disappearance of the Social in American Social Psychology. Cambridge University Press. 9. Boyle, M. (2007). Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us. Potomac Books. 10. Zelikow, P., & Shenon, P. (2021). The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Interlink Publishing Group.

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9/11 essay thesis statement

How 9/11 Changed the World

Photo of two people on bikes and other bystanders looking towards the twin towers as they burn. The air is filled with ash and the photo is very hazy.

The World Trade Center buildings in New York City collapsed on September 11, 2001, after two airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

BU faculty reflect on how that day’s events have reshaped our lives over the last 20 years

Bu today staff.

Saturday, September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the largest terrorist attack in history. On that Tuesday morning, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American commercial flights destined for the West Coast and intentionally crashed them. Two planes—American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175—departed from Boston and Flight 11 struck New York City’s World Trade Center North Tower at 8:46 am and Flight 175 the South Tower at 9:03 am, resulting in the collapse of both towers. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, leaving from Dulles International Airport in Virginia, crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 am, and the final plane, United Airlines Flight 93, departing from Newark, N.J., crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa., at 10:03 am, after passengers stormed the cockpit and tried to subdue the hijackers.

In the space of less than 90 minutes on a late summer morning, the world changed. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day and the United States soon found itself mired in what would become the longest war in its history, a war that cost an estimated $8 trillion . The events of 9/11 not only reshaped the global response to terrorism, but raised new and troubling questions about security, privacy, and treatment of prisoners. It reshaped US immigration policies and led to a surge in discrimination, racial profiling, and hate crimes.

In observance of the anniversary, BU Today reached out to faculty across Boston University—experts in international relations, international security,  immigration law, global health, terrorism, and ethics—and asked each to address this question: “How has the world changed as a result of 9/11?”

Find a list of all those with ties to the BU community killed on 9/11 here.

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Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 42 comments on How 9/11 Changed the World

this is very scary to me.

Yes this is very scary

This was a very sad moment in time but we need to remember the people that sacrificed themselves to save us and the people that died during this event. It was sad but at least it brought us closer together. I wonder what the world would be like if 9/11 never happened?..

Yes that is a good thing to rember…

We will all remember 9/11, a very important moment in our life, and we honor the ones who sacrificed their lives to save others in there.

It changed the world forever, it is infact a painful memory to remember

I feel bad for all the families that had family and friends die.

i feel bad for all the people and their family and friends that died

9/11 is tragic and it will always be remembered though I have to say that saying 9/11 changed the word is quite an overstatement. More like how it changes America in certain ways and the ones responsible for it but saying something like what you said makes it sound like it was Armageddon or something.

Whether or not those of us in other countries like it, for the last several decades and certainly still in the current time, when something changes the USA in significant ways that impact policy, legislation, education, the economy, health care, etc. (not to mention the ways in which public opinion drives the American political machine), the US’s presence on the international stage means those changes ripple outward through their foreign policy, treatment of both residents/citizens of the USA and local people where the USA has a military, economic and/or other presence around the world.

The complex web of international agreements, alliances, organizational memberships, and financial interdependency means that events that happen locally often have both direct and indirect implications, short and long term, around the world, for individuals and for entire segments of society.

As for the direct results of 20 years of military response to 9/11 on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, it certainly changed their world.

The original BU 9/11 Memorial webpage is still up:

Reading through the remembrances from that day onward …

Omg scary .

I honor them all.

I wonder how much time people had to get out before the building collapsed

the south tower collapsed in 10 seconds.

Yes but it didnt colapse untill 56 minutes after it was hit

Shall all the people who risked their lives, never be forgotten.

am i blind or was there no mention of how it actually affected the world afterwards??

I know right?

My dad died in 9/11, He was a great pilot

Wow. I’m really sorry for your loss I hope you can still go far in life even without your dad. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and let them go.

i dont really think you understood that comment

i just read the story and im so sade for the dad that died . If i was there i wouls of creiyed and i saw someone in the chare that someone dad died and i felt so bad when i saw the comment but i dont know if that is real but if it is i feal bad for you if my dad died or my mom i woulld been so sade i would never get over it but this story changed my life when i read it.Also 1 thing i hoop not to any dads diead because i feel bad fo thos kids.

yo all the dads and moms died all of them will never get forgoten every single one of them

Never forget, always remember

everyone is talking about the twin towers but what about the pentagon.

I know, right?

it is super scary

Sorry for all the people who Lost their family

Thanks for helping me with this report, and yes so sorry for all yall who lost family

So, so sorry to all y’all who lost family

I am deeply sorry for anyone who lost family, friends, co workers, or anybody you once knew. This really was a tragedy to so many.

my dad almost died from the tower

very scary but needs too be remembered!

I have to say this is most definitely a U.S. American write up. Saying the word is an overstatement in many ways. It would be more better if you were to specifically point out you mean the US and those others involved with the attacks. Overall if we are going to be completely factual “people/individuals” are the ones who change things depending on whatever. The world changes every day since the start of time.

While I agree with your first point, I would say that the attacks did in fact change the world. At the very least, they changed the way airline security is done everywhere.

great article,

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    9/11 essay thesis statement

  2. Thesis Statement on and how it affected the United States

    9/11 essay thesis statement

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    9/11 essay thesis statement


    9/11 essay thesis statement

  5. Analytical Thesis Statement Examples

    9/11 essay thesis statement

  6. How to create a thesis statement

    9/11 essay thesis statement


  1. Thesis Statement Assignment for Narrative Essay

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  1. Tips for Making a Solid Thesis Statement

    Writing a thesis statement can be one of the most challenging parts of writing an essay. A thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point or argument of an essay. It should be clear, concise, and to the point.

  2. What Is an Example of a Tentative Thesis Statement?

    A thesis statement is defined as a statement in a paper or essay that states the claim of the argument presented. Sometimes a thesis statement includes a brief summary of the reasons that will be addressed to support the thesis later in the...

  3. The Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Winning Thesis Statement

    Writing a thesis statement can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. A thesis statement is a concise and clear statement that outlines the main argument of your paper. It is typically placed at the end of your in...


    The large number of academic and popular writing on September 11, 2001 proves how every attempt to understand 9/11 as a discrete event inevitably leads to

  5. The Terrorist Attacks On 9 / 11 Essay

    Free Essay: Name: Title: Institution: Thesis Statement Since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, America has been on edge about the topic of terrorism. Groups...

  6. 98 9/11 Topic Ideas to Write about & Essay Samples

    Looking for a good essay, research or speech topic on 9/11? ✓ Check our list of 94 interesting September 11th title ideas to write about!

  7. Two Decades Later, the Enduring Legacy of 9/11

    Twenty years ago, Americans came together – bonded by sadness and patriotism – after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But a review of public

  8. The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

    Devastation at the World Trade Center site in New York City in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack. National Archives

  9. 9/11

    Stay up to date on the latest news, analysis, and commentary on 9/11. Browse our archives of magazine articles, interviews, and in-depth essays from experts

  10. 9/11 Essay • Examples of Thesis Statement, Topics Ideas

    Our topics base contains the most diverse topics of 9/11 to write about in essays. Choose perfect titles and start to write your paper.

  11. How 9/11 Changed the World

    Saturday, September 11, 2021, marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the largest terrorist attack in history. On that Tuesday morning

  12. High School Assignment

    As a 11th grader, you are not old enough to remember 9/11 as it happened. You may have studied about the attacks through school. This assignment is...

  13. 9/11 Essay Examples Examples

    9/11 Attack Essays. 30 samples in this category. Essay examples. Essay topics. September 11th, 2001

  14. Terrorism and Anti-Americanism: 9/11 Ten Years After

    The shocking attacks on the United States by al-Qaeda terrorists on. September 11, 2001 changed the course of history. It was a cataclysmic.