and Its Aftermath: a Timeline
11, 2001, 8:45 AM
hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 from Logan International
Airport in Boston, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center.
second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes
into the south tower of the WTC and explodes.
FAA halts all flight operations at U.S. airports—the first time in U.S.
history air traffic has been halted.
Airlines Flight 77, departing Washington Dulles International Airport
and bound for Los Angeles, crashes into the Pentagon.
Somerset County, Pennsylvania, a hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight
members invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, declaring an attack
against one to be an attack against all.
of State Colin Powell names Osama bin Laden a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces that 4,763 people are
missing in New York. The Pentagon announces that 188 people are missing
or dead in the Washington attack. The Federal Aviation Administration
reopens U.S. airports except Logan International in Boston and Reagan
National in Washington, D.C. Evangelical Christian leader Rev. Jerry
Falwell says that “the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays
and the lesbians” were to blame for the terrorist attacks. He also says
that groups like the ACLU and People for the American Way “helped this
happen” by angering God.
U.S. Treasury Department announces it is setting up a new agency to
probe terrorist funds with the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center,
which would include CIA and FBI investigators. Europe observes three
minutes of silence in a day of mourning. Some 200,000 people gather
at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. In England, newspapers print U.S.
flags for people to display. Bush calls up 50,000 reservists for “homeland
defense.” Congress approves $40 billion in emergency funding for increased
public safety, anti- terrorism activities, disaster recovery efforts,
and assistance for the victims of 9/11. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland,
votes to oppose military action against those responsible for the attacks.
The Senate approves the resolution 98-0, while the House votes 420-1.
A Bush spokesperson calls Falwell’s remarks from Sept. 13 “inappropriate.”
Falwell issues a statement that his remarks were taken out of context
and that he held only terrorists responsible for the attacks.
Adel Karas, 48, is shot to death in his import shop, the International
Market, in San Gabriel, Calif. In Mesa, Ariz., Balbir Singh Sodhi, a
49-year-old Sikh, is shot to death outside his gas station. The man
accused of killing him, Frank Roque, also shoots at a convenience store
owned by a Lebanese man and at a house he had sold to a family from
Afghanistan. He is quoted in police reports saying, “all Arabs had to
be shot.” In Dallas, Tex., Waqar Hasan, 46, is shot to death in his
store, Mom’s Grocery. The Council on American-Islamic Relations says
it has collected reports of more than 700 possible hate crimes across
the U.S. since Sept. 11. Bush names bin Laden the “prime suspect” and
tells the military to ready themselves. Pentagon activates “Operation
President Dick Cheney announces that as the terrorist attack unfolded
on Sept. 11, Bush had ordered the military to shoot down any other passenger
jets believed to have been hijacked for use in the attack.
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cancel their annual
meeting in Washington, D.C. Falwell apologizes for his remarks made
letters dated Sept. 11 and postmarked Sept. 18 are sent to NBC anchorman
Tom Brokaw and the New York Post. Attorney General John Ashcroft
announces new rules allowing the INS to detain immigrants suspected
of terrorism for a maximum of 48 hours before charging them. The Defense
Department reveals that after the first plane crashed into the WTC,
two Air Force F-15 fighters were dispatched to New York from Otis Air
National Guard base in Falmouth, Mass. At the time of the second crash,
they were 71 miles away, about eight minutes’ traveling time at the
fighters’ maximum speed.
Defense Department orders the deployment of dozens of combat aircraft
to the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the former Soviet republics
of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which border Afghanistan. The Pentagon
dubs the campaign “Operation Infinite Justice.”
a nationally televised joint session to Congress, Bush demands that
the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and shut down every terrorist
camp in Afghanistan or face military attack. Bush announces the creation
of an Office of Homeland Security and names Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge
to head it. Amtrak says it plans to request $3 billion in emergency
funding from the federal government to help it cope with the spike in
passenger traffic following Sept. 11.
approves a $15 billion package to bail out the airline industry and
compensate it for losses incurred after the terrorist attacks. The Dow
Jones industrial average is down 14.26 percent during the first week
of trading after the U.S. stock markets reopen following the attacks.
It’s the worst-ever weekly point loss and the second-largest weekly
percentage decline ever, the biggest being a 15.55 percent drop in July
1933 during the Great Depression. The Taliban rejects Bush’s ultimatum
that it hand over bin Laden until the United States can present evidence
implicating him in the attacks. Bush administration officials say that
is out of the question. Four television networks and dozens of cable
channels broadcast the live two-hour program America: A Tribute to
Heroes. The event raises $150 million in donations.
flee Afghanistan in anticipation of U.S. military action.
member nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,
the United Arab Emigrates (UAE), Kuwait, Oman and Qatar—pledge to cooperate
with the war against terrorism.
FAA for two days grounds all crop-dusting planes after authorities express
concern that the planes could be used in an airborne chemical or biological
issues an executive order instructing U.S. financial institutions to
freeze the assets of 27 groups and individuals suspected of supporting
terrorists. In a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll, Bush’s approval rating is
90 percent; the highest presidential rating ever measured by Gallup.
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announces that the name “Operation Infinite
Justice” is being replaced with “Operation Enduring Freedom” after Muslims
complain that according to the Islamic faith, only God can dispense
Sept. 26, 2001
abandoned U.S. embassy in Kabul is torched by pro-Taliban protesters.
announces plan to bolster airline security, including expanded use of
federal marshals on planes.
Ali Ahmed, a 51-year-old convenience store owner, is shot to death in
Reedley, Calif. Police say he had received threats a week before he
Stevens, 63, a photo editor at American Media, Inc. in Florida, dies
from inhalation anthrax.
and Britain launch military strikes in Afghanistan.
postmarked in Trenton, N.J., are sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle and Sen. Patrick Leahy. The letters later test positive for
unveils list of 22 most-wanted terrorists, including Osama bin Laden.
south Los Angeles, Abdullah Nimer, 53, a Palestinian-American, is murdered
while selling clothing door to door.
Senate offices are closed; hundreds of staffers are tested for anthrax
is discovered in House of Representatives office building. The letter
to the New York Post tests positive for anthrax.
Washington, D.C., postal worker dies of inhalation anthrax. Officials
begin testing thousands of postal workers.
passes $100 billion economic stimulus package. Bush authorizes $175
million to help the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service deal with the
anthrax threat. House approves Uniting and Strengthening America by
Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism,
or the USA PATRIOT Act, in a 357-66 vote.
Senate approves 98-1 (Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., dissenting) the
USA PATRIOT Act.
signs the USA PATRIOT Act into law. Members of Congress establish an
expiration date—Dec. 31, 2005—for the new wiretapping and surveillance
York hospital worker Kathy Nguyen, 61, dies from inhalation anthrax.
In all, five people die from anthrax.
firefighters are arrested and five police officers injured after a clash
at Ground Zero. The groups had gathered to protest Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s
action to limit the number of firefighters and police officers at Ground
Airlines announces a plan to put laser stun guns in the cockpits of
each of its 500 planes.
American Red Cross, which received nearly $850 million in donations
and thousands of extra units of blood after the attacks, announces it
had to destroy blood because it did not have the resources to freeze
it before its shelf life of 42 days had passed.
approves the Airport Security Federalization Act of 2001, a law intended
to improve security at America’s airports. Under the law, all airport
security screening personnel must be American citizens—a provision that
immediately draws fire from current immigrant airport personnel. The
law also requires that more air marshals be present on flights, cockpit
doors be fortified and video monitors be used to alert pilots of suspicious
activity in the cabin.
bloody Taliban prison uprising erupts at the Qala-i-Jangi prison in
northern Afghanistan. CIA operative Johnny Micheal Spann interrogates
John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban.” Spann is later shot and killed
in the uprising.
Walker Lindh is taken into U.S. custody in Afghanistan.
restricts Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s movements. He is grounded
in the West Bank town of Ramallah when his helicopters are destroyed
in air strikes.
Pentagon releases an amateur videotape of bin Laden meeting a Saudi
radical in a house near Kandahar, in which bin Laden boasts about his
role in planning the Sept. 11 attacks.
nearly a month of fighting, the Battle of Tora Bora ends. Bin Laden
reportedly escapes the region with the help of local sympathizers.
Reid, 28, allegedly tries to ignite an explosive in his sneaker while
on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami. Two flight attendants
and a half-dozen passengers restrain him, while two doctors sedate him
with drugs from a medical kit. The plane carrying 197 people is diverted
to Boston and escorted by two fighter jets.
Arab-American Secret Service agent is removed from an American Airlines
flight. Airline chief executive Don Carty says the agent was “not behaving
appropriately.” Bush says of the incident, “If he was mistreated because
of his ethnicity, I’m going to be plenty hot.”
troops are deployed to the Philippines in preparation for a counterterrorism
training program for the country’s armed forces. The U.S.-led training
program is part of a large package in which the U.S. provides warplanes,
debt relief and trade assistance.
first 20 Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners of war in Afghanistan arrive
at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba. The facility, named Camp
X-Ray, holds more than 2,000 inmates.
Walker Lindh is returned to the United States. Wall Street Journal
reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan, while researching
links between militant groups in Pakistan and British citizen Richard
Laden’s second-in-command, Egyptian militant Ayman al-Zawahiri, is captured
and jailed in Tehran, Iran.
Daniel Pearl’s captors deliver a videotaped recording of the
reporter’s decapitation to the U.S. consulate.
General John Ashcroft announces the new Justice Department program,
Operation TIPS, or Terrorism Information and Prevention System, which
asks Americans to report suspicious activity as part of homeland security.
Ridge unveils a new color-coded national threat-alert system to better
prepare Americans for potential terrorist attacks. The Homeland Security
Advisory System uses five colors to signify the level of threat: severe
(red), high (orange), elevated (yellow), guarded (blue) and low (green).
military offensive begins in the West Bank.
100 European and American peace activists enter Palestinian President
Yassir Arafat’s compound in Ramallah. Sixty of them visit Arafat, the
other 40 say they will act as human shields.
officials announce the capture of Osama bin Laden’s top deputy, Abu
Zubaydah, the highest-ranking al-Qaeda leader taken into custody since
the Bush administration launched the war on terrorism.
Powell begins his 10-day Middle East mission. He departs Jerusalem without
the cease-fire he had sought and is unable to secure a withdrawal of
Israeli occupation of West Bank cities and refugee camps. President
Bush says Powell “made progress toward peace.”
34 days of confinement in his West Bank headquarters, Arafat is released
in a U.S.-brokered deal that includes the transfer of six wanted men
in his compound to a West Bank prison.
The New York Times
reports that a memo by an FBI agent in Arizona last summer urged bureau
headquarters to investigate Middle Eastern men enrolled in American
flight schools. Bureau Chief Mueller acknowledges that the bureau gave
the memo little attention. Senior Bush administration officials say
that Bush’s daily intelligence briefings in the weeks leading up to
the Sept. 11 attacks included a warning of the possibility that the
Al Qaeda network would attempt to hijack a U.S.-based airliner. White
House spokesman Ari Fleischer refuses to discuss the specifics of the
briefings, saying only that in the summer of 2001 Bush had “a general
awareness” that bin Laden’s network was considering attacks “around
the world, including the United States.”
dismembered head and torso is found in a shallow grave on the outskirts
of Karachi. The remains are believed to be that of Daniel Pearl.
lawyer Colleen Rowley writes a 13-page letter to FBI Director Robert
Mueller and flies to Washington to hand-deliver copies of it to two
members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The letter accuses the
bureau of deliberately standing in the way of thwarting the Sept. 11
announces an investigation by the Justice Department inspector general
into what went wrong in Minneapolis. From Berlin, Bush says he opposes
establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt
with terror warnings before Sept. 11.
acknowledges that his agency missed warning signals on terrorism. He
announces in the next week that his department will reorganize by hiring
more analysts, officers and terrorism experts.
and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence,
confirm a report in Newsweek that the CIA waited a year and a
half after two Al Qaeda terrorist suspects entered the United States
before sharing their names with other agencies.
al Mujahir, 31, born in Brooklyn as Jose Padilla, is arrested on suspicion
of plotting to build and detonate a radiocative “dirty” bomb in a U.S.
attack. Bush calls Mujahir an “enemy combatant.”
House votes to allow airline pilots to carry guns in cockpits to prevent
hijackings, ordering the Transportation Security Administration to train
any pilot who volunteers to be armed. The White House opposes the idea.
an Alexandria, Va., courtroom, John Walker Lindh, 21, pleads guilty
to two criminal counts, admitting that he illegally provided services
to the Taliban. In exchange for his 20-year term in federal prison,
government prosecutors drop terrorism and conspiracy charges that could
have brought him three life terms plus 90 years.
tests confirm that the dismembered body dug up May 17 is that of Daniel
Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, changes his plea from guilty
to four counts of conspiring to commit terror, mayhem and murder with
hijacked airliners, to not guilty.
House votes to create a $38 billion Department of Homeland Security.
The new department would consolidate the work of existing federal agencies
such as the Coast Guard and the Customs Service under one umbrella,
led by a cabinet secretary.
District Judge Colleen Kollar- Kotelly rules that the 600 suspected
terrorists at Guantanamo Bay have no right to bring their cases to U.S.
courts. The decision allows the government to continue holding the detainees
indefinitely. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say they will appeal the decision.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings on the possibility
of invading Iraq. Countless experts, such as former U.N. weapons inspector
Scott Ritter, are not invited to participate in the discussion.
District Judge Gladys Kessler rules that the government must release
the names of the nearly 1,200 people the U.S. government detained after
the 9/11 attacks. Civil liberties groups hail it as a major victory.
As of June 13, the most recent date for which information was provided,
74 people were still being held on immigration violations by the INS;
73 others were in federal custody on criminal charges.
White House rejects an Iraqi offer to let members of Congress tour suspected
biological, chemical and nuclear weapons sites.
Airways files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; it becomes the first
airline to declare bankruptcy since Sept. 11. Daniel Pearl is buried
in a private ceremony in Los Angeles.
Airlines announces it will cut 7,000 jobs.
Steven Hatfill announces he has never been to Princeton, N.J., where
many of last fall’s anthrax-tainted letters were believed to have originated
from. The FBI calls Hatfill, 48, “a person of interest,” reportedly
a milder version of “suspect.”
troops begin withdrawing from Bethlehem under an agreement with Palestinian
officials that they will be responsible for reducing tensions in Bethlehem
and the Gaza Strip. The New York City medical examiner releases the
first comprehensive account of 2,819 victims killed at the WTC on Sept.
11, a list to be read at the one-year observance.
by Genevieve Roja