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Facharbeit: 11. September 2001 : What happend? - Background, consequences, reactions

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11. September 2001

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 September, 11th 2001: What happened
2.1 The chronology of the attacks
2.2 Manhattan covered with dust
3 The reactions worldwide
4 The consequences and reactions in New York
5 The consequences for the economy
6 background
6.1 Why they attacked
6.1.2 A list of attacks aiming at the USA
6.2 Why they attacked the World Trade Center
7 My conclusions and results
8 Appendix
9 Bibliography

1 Introduction

It was September, 11th 2001, and I was preparing myself for lunch, when the telephone rang. It was one of my friends. He wanted me to switch on the TV, so I asked him which channel he meant and he just said "It makes no difference, just switch it on! You can see it on every channel . It's unbelievable!", and then he rang off. I switched on the TV and got to see those horrible pictures on every channel(p.40). One tower of the World Trade Center in New York was in flames. Before I could realize what was happening I got to see a shocking picture that

I will never forget:
A plane crashed directly into the other tower(p.25,38). In the next minutes I zapped through all channels because I wanted to get more information. I was shocked for another time when I found out that it was the second plane crashing into the world trade center. From then on I knew that something very cruel and precedentless had overcome Manhattan. I was sure that it could not be an accident. People everywhere started speculating. Some thought of the beginning of a new war and others of an attentat, but no-one thought of an accident. That it was no coincidence was proved right when got the information that a plane also had crashed into the Pentagon(p.20).
This day was surely a day that has changed the world completely. It seemed like the world stopped breathing for a moment.

My job was to find out what happened, why it happened,to give information about the background, what consequences it had, what changes it made and how the reactions were. For me, it was also a good opportunity to learn about reality, politics, weakness and especially to find a way how to deal with the occurences with the 11th of September.

2 September, 11th 2001 What happened?

The USA have become aim of the worst attack since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in the second World War. Two highjacked passenger aircrafts crashed into the skyscrapers of the World Trade Center. The two towers, each higher than 400 meters, later coincided into themselves(p.32,33,12) and buried thousands of people. Short time later another civilian airplane crashed into the Ministry of Defense in Washington.(p.20) President Bush talked about a national tragedy and announced that the responsible persons will be pursued and captured. Hours later either, the whole extent of the tragedy was not foreseeable yet. Of the two 110 stories high buildings, which determined the skyline of New York had remained only rubble mountains.(p.6,13) Shortly before 9 o'clock local time, at the beginning of the office hours at first an airplane had crashed into one of the two towers and had torn a gigantic hole.

Almost 20 minutes later a second airplane chopped through the other one of the 110 stories of high twin towers and put it into fire.(p.20) Later, the Ministry of Defense was partly destroyed with another kidnapped passenger machine in Washington. A fourth hijacked civilian machine fell away for still unknown reasons at Pittsburgh in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It should allegedly be steered on the presidents vacation seat camp David. It had been said from the USA inbetween, that even eight civilian airplanes should be hijacked.The attacks moved all of the USA into a shock condition.

On television the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger compared it with the trauma of the Japanese attack of Pearl Harborin the second world war. 2280 U.S. soldiers and 68 civilians were killed at that time. "The USA must answer just like on Pearl Harbor and the assassins must end so like the attackers of Pearl Harbor", Kissinger said. Worldwide, the U.S. Ministry of Defense moved the forces in the highest alert. "all military facilities are worldwide in alert stage delta", told a spokesman of the department journalists in front of the partly wrecked Pentagon in Washington. After this series of attacks the public life in the USA lies lamely. Federal roads and tourist attractions were closed as well as government and authorities and airports and flight and train connections had been cancelled in numerous towns.

2.1 Chronology of the attacks

08.42:(local time)
The first airplane crashes into one of the two towers of the World Trade center. At first the fall is regarded as an accident -- till, 18 minutes later a second machine crashes into the other tower of the WTC.The New York emblem of the economic power USA is attacked.

09.00: A second machine bumps against the other tower. The suspicion that it is a terrorist attack gets stronger and stronger. Nobody knows at first where the airplanes came from.

09.24: U.S. president George W. Bush talks of a "national tragedy" in Sarasota (federal state Florida). "Obviously" it is a terrorist attack.

09.35: Another airplane falls on the Ministry of Defense in Arlington at Washington. A part of the gigantic building at the Potomac river is devastated. The Pentagon, the White House, further departments and the capitol are evacuated.

09.50: One of the twin towers of the World Trade center collapses.

10.30: The second tower collapses

11.17: United Airlines confirmed that flight93 from Newark to San Francisco, a Boeing757, crashed near Pittsburgh.The fall happened at 10.29 hours. The machine had taken off at 08.42 hours.
A little later, United Airlines confirms also the "loss" of a Boeing 767 on the flight from Boston to Los Angeles. The flight 175 started into the ruin at 08.14 hours. The airline company American Airlines confirmed the fall of two airplanes before. They were wrapped to the World Trade center. A Boeing 767 with 81 passengers and 11 crew members was on the way from Boston to Los Angeles. A Boeing 757 with 58 passengers and 6 crew members was on the flight from Washington to Los Angeles.

2.2 Manhattan covered with dust

Five hours after the South control tower of the World Trade center also broke down into itself, a ghostly wailing lied over the sky of New York city: U.S. Air Force fight jets patroled in the airspace, the pilots with the order to shoot at everything which approaches New York. Warships and aircraft carrier are away to "protect the people in New York" like armed forces members insure. The police have turned off many streets. "we are in the war", says senator John Mc Cain. It was 10:28, when the second tower of the World Trade center collapsed and the Manhattan Financial District sank in dust.(p.19,27,23Before the television transmitter CNN could announce it at all, a screeching went through the streets. Half an hour before, the first tower had collapsed and since then one horror report hunted the next one.

The catastrophe had driven people on the roofs of their houses, many had burst into tears. "who can be so cruel?", people call to the sky(p.16,17). The people want a guilty person, a valve for their complete bewilderment, a compensation for their faint. Suddenly, everyone belongs together in a town which otherwise is shattered so -- the Hispanic immigrants, the Wall Street brokers, the taxi-drivers. The streets of Downtown Manhattan were covered by thick dust, smoke and ash, and many people running around with masks, you could only hardly breathe(p.52,50).

Nobody knew what hided himself behind the ash and the smoke. Many people lied on handbarrows in front of hospitals and ambulances passed quickly. But still nobody knew something exact about the number of the deaths or the injured. All streets to Manhattan were blocked and no subway drove onto the island. The people bought in the supermarkets like before start of the war. Electronic equipments turned out far-reaching and credit card readers did not work any more. The policemen at the roadblocks did not let anybody pass to get over to Manhattan, because further attacks were regarded as possible. Later the streets were full of people, it kept hardly anyone at home, New York has become a town of the pedestrians. And a topic gets still pure, still more urgent during the conversations between the people who are in the streets waiting for nothing :
How will president Bush react? Will there be war?

But nobody knew at that moment at whom this war should aim? George W. Bush stepped with an explanation in front of the press at 9:35. Bush was briefly. He was also noticeably shocked.(p.18) He talksed about a "national tragedy" and formulated what, at the moment, everybody already had suspectsed: These were apparently specific attentats, concerted terror attacks. "we will find the manipulators and bring them to justice", said Bush. Then he inserts a minute's silence and then flies to Washington. The whole country was in the state of emergency. The crisis was declared in New York and Washington, there was compulsory service round-the-clock for all employees in the hospitals of the two towns. All domestic flights were cancelled for the time being, and evensome airports were turned off completely. The international air traffic was diverted over Canada. The bus enterprise "Greyhound" also stopped its journeys. Therefore the car lenders had boom. Many travellers had changed over to cars.It came to bottlenecks in many places. Universities, public buildings and big purchase arcades were closed everywhere in the country. The people often did not simply merely go out but ran. Many of them saw to the sky to make sure that not another airplane also on them niederstürzt. The nuclear power stations were not switched off but but the security levels raised drastically. A ghostly atmosphere lay also over Washington.

The complete Museum-mall with its monuments and museums, in which thousand visitors stream daily, had closed completely. The Jefferson Memorial had been surrounded with yellow police ribbons, in front of this policemen patroled with firearm sure vests. The bridges over the Potomac river to Virginia were also not allowed to become passed for short time. The armed forces arm themselves for the reprisal in the meantime. Interceptors were filled up, and radar units taken to position. But one thing is still unclear: Who is responsible for this?

3 Reactions worldwide

Statesmen in all the world have expressed their solidarity and sentenced the international terrorism sharply for the United States. Pope Johannes Paul II. warned at the same time insistently of another escalation of violence. The talk was worldwide "black day for mankind" . Numerous European heads of governments expressed U.S. president George W. Bush and the American people their sympathy. The president of the EU commission, Romano Prodi explained: "Stick together European, the USA and all peace-loving people of the world and sentence and resist the terrorism in due strength".

All EU inspectors were called back to Brussels. The inspector responsible for development and humanitarian help, Poul Nielson, broke off his journey to Pakistan and Afghanistan on the same evening. The Belgian EU presidency sentenced sharpestly the terrorist attacks. Governor Guy Verhofstadt and Secretary of State Louis Michel showed themselves filled with consternation and confirmed the determination of the union to fight this terrorism with all available means. The British prime minister Tony Blair said with a tear suffocated voice in Brighton in front of the delegates of a labor union convention: "This mass terrorism is the new evil in our world. We must stamp out this evil together". It would bbe "fanatics" who do not have respect for the life of other people at work.

Also Italy's president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi expressed his sympathy to the USA: "Italy is on your side", he said. NATO Secretary General George Robertson also called for the common fight against the terrorism. "These barbarous actions are an inacceptable attack on the democracy and underline the necessity for the international community and the members of the alliance to unite their strengths in the fight against the scourge of the terrorism", explained Robertson But the reactions around the world have not been like that everywhere: Irak: The message about the bloody attack series was taken with joy in Baghdad.

"The explosions are the receipt for the American crimes against mankind", said a commentator of the state Iraqi television. "it is a black day in the history of America". He described the terror wave as a "blow into the face of U.S. politicians". Nigeria: Hundreds of militant Moslems cheered the terror against the USA in the north. The radio station BBC quoted a member of a militant Muslim group with the remark: "Moslems die in the Middle East daily. Now, it is time that the USA pay for it!" Nablus: 3000 Palestinians streamed into the streets, shouting "God is great" and gave out candy. Lebanon: Palestinians in refugee camps fired their weapons to express their joy.

4 The consequences and reactions in New York

Nothing in the town was easily comprehensibly. There was chaos everywhere. The whole south of Manhattan was shut. (p.11,2,19)The rescue teams were looking for survivors untiringly. It was very hard succeed in those ruins, but no-one wanted to give up hope. The firemen had to fight against tireness and disappointment.(p.1) The eyes of the men were suffused with blood, the uniforms were torn up and their faces werecovered(p.3) with dust. Television transmitters made them the heroes of the tragedy, but no-one of them felt so. There was a psychiatric hotline, and the town wanted the people to call because New York had to remain healthy. The town had established another two phone numbers, where you couldcall to get information about missed people. Mayor Giuliani calls upon the people to carry on with their normal life. "Come out. Make somthing! Use the day!Go shopping!", the mayor shouted at them. In those days the town felt united as probably never before.Everyone agrees that in those days the New Yorkers are as strong as never. In a never known agreement the New Yorkers try to help each other. U.S. president Bush thanked the rescue teams personally for their self-sacrificing inset. The whole world looks full of admiration on them: "thank you for making America proud!"

5 The consequences for the economy

It was not only that thousand people were torn into the death, and not only that the two towers of the World Trade center broke in. The stock exchange quotations also changed into the dive minutes after the fiasco. The devastating attacks on the New York World Trade center and the U.S. Ministry of Defense in Washington have thrown the finance markets into the chaos all around the world. The stock exchanges at the New York Wall Street and the raw material and forward markets remained closed in Chicago. At numerous European stock exchanges the trade was interrupted temporarily. The U.S. shares were stopped by the trade in Frankfurt at 16.35 hours for an hour. The stock exchange of Düsseldorf followed little later. In Mexico the stock exchange closed its gates for half an hour according to the fright reports from the USA. Most stock exchanges of Latin America had interrupted the trade. Before, it partly had come to drastic price collapses from more than 9.0 per cent. The trade was resumed briefly and then stopped just again after 50 minutes in Mexico City. It completely rested in São Paulo and Buenos Aires since the first news of the attacks. The heavy terrorist attacks in the USA also influenced the Russian stock market negatively. Most of the Blue chips were drawn to below. Papers of Russian mineral oil enterprises attracted on an average up to two per cent because at first the international prices for crude oil had increased drastically. Particularly concerned were not only the airplane companies, it was also the insurers and tourism groups. The terror hasn't only claimed many human lifes but also the destruction of immense material values the insurers must stand for upright, soon. Although the situation largely is still confused and around the WTC further skyscrapers threaten to collapse, experts of the London insurer of Lloyd have estimated the damage coming toward the complete line of business at up to 45 billions of euros. Not only the people broken into the death but also the four crashed airplanes and the World Trade center were insured. Together with the policies against operating failure of the companies established in the WTC the terrorist raids become the costliest catastrophe ever caused by people with.

6 Background

6.1 Why they attacked

All hints point to the suspicion that militant islamic groups could be the originator of the attacks. With the strike on World Trade center and Pentagon, maybe the hate of external fanatics has unloaded itself . The hate of these "Islamists" concentrates on the "tall Satan" the USA and the "little Satan" Israel. The anti-Semitic and anti-American attitude of these fanatics matches worldwide. These groups hold the USA and Israel responsible for globalization and being the "world-police department" and other "crimes". All these fundamentalistic groups like "Al Qaida" have the same aim: the "Jihad", the holy war against the unbelieving.

6.1.2 A list of terror-attacks aiming at the USA
For decades the USA are a target for terrorists' raids. A chronology of the heaviest acts of violence for one half decades.
September 11th, 2001: An unprecedented terror series affects the economy and power centers of the USA.
Within 18 minutes two airplanes crash into World Trade Center in New York and a few minutes later another machine to the Ministry of Defense The two world-famous twin towers of the World Trade center collapse little later. U.S. president George W. Bush talks about obvious terrorist acts.

October 12th, 2000: Raid on the U.S. fighter "Cole" in Aden (Yemen). The explosion tears a hole into the trunk and kills 17 soldiers. The presumed wire-drawer seems to be Saudi's extremist Osama Bin Laden

July 7th, 1998: Car bombs explode in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) before the U.S. ambassies at the same time. Among the altogether 230 victims, are twelve U.S. citizens. The notes indicate to Bin Laden.

June 25th, 1996: In front of housing estates of the U.S. air force in Dhahran (Saudi Arabia) a tanker flies into the air. 19 American soldiers die, 240 of their compatriots are hurt. The Shiite Hisbollah confesses the deed.

November 13th, 1995: Explosion of a car bomb in front of a training building of Saudi's National Guard in Riad. Five of seven dead bodies were U.S. instructors. Several radical Islamic organizations confess the deed.

February 26th, 1993: A car bomb goes rise under the World Trade center in New York. Balance sheets of the heaviest raid till then of foreign terrorists in the USA: 6 dead bodies, more than 1000 injured. Wire-drawer shall have been the Egyptian blind sheikh Omar Abderrahman.

December 21st, 1988: Explosion of a PanAm Jumbo jet above Lockerbie (Scotland), 270 dead bodies. Agents of the Libyan secret service have been supposed to have smuggled the explosive on board.

September 5th, 1985: The Palestinian Abu-Nidal group commandeers a Jumbo jet of the PanAm in Karachi (Pakistan) to force the release from prisoners. 17 people die.

6.2 Why they attacked the World Trade Center

The World Trade center is part of the most prominent emblems, established in the district Manhatten, which represents the historical germ cell of the town.
The most outstanding were two famous "Twin towers", two skyscrapers their dimensions still even impressed born New Yorkers. With their respectively almost 420 meters of height they were part of the worldwide most famous buildings.
The two towers consisted of 110 stories each and 104 elevators. More than 50 000 people worked in the twin towers. One of the towers was open to visitors, and up to 80 000 came daily. In the setting sun, the towers throw three kilometers long shades. The World Trade center altogether consists of a complex of seven buildings. It is located in a big place in the heart of the million metropolis: in the "Financial District" the shopping center of Manhattan at the south top of the island. For New York Manhatten is also the center of the public traffic system with connection to the national streets and railroad junction. It is a popular address for companies and business such as "American express". There are restaurants, primarily the usual fast food chains and business under the double tower. Outside it teems on the very busy place from restaurants and business.
The building complex was built in the context of a gigantic land reclamation project of the New York port company. In 1962 the American architect Minoru Yamasaki was engaged to design the complex. It took off the not far away "Empire State Building" as the highest building of the world at that time. The building costs amounted to 37 million dollars at that time.The towers are the last New York testimonials of the classic modern age architectural.
All these detailled facts lead to the other fact that the World Trade Center stood for a symbol. The symbol for the American wealth, flourishing economy and maybe capitalism. However, it is a worldfamous building complex that was part of the American pride. The destruction of it forces the Americans to show weakness. Till now the Americans seemed untouchable but this incident makes the USA "are" touchable, and that was the aim of the terrorists.

7 My conclusions and results
The attacks of the 11th of September have weakened America. Or not? After the terror it seemed like America has sticked together like never before. The outbreak of a boisterous patriotism helped the Americans to get over the tragedy. Millions of flags were sold and the president invited the Americans to be strong. He insured that he would find the wire-drawers and bring them to justice.

The Americans had always been patriots in some way, but after this tragedy the "now first rakes-mentality" makes them bigger patriots than ever before. In celebrations for example, as in the Madison Square Garden in New York some weeks after the shocking incidents, they honoured the heroes and helpers and remembered the victims. Many members of the show line of business also invited the people to remain strong and some of them, the musicians, published new songs dealing with the topic of the 11th of September.

It was not only the patriotism and the feeling of togetherness that helped the Americans to get over it, maybe it was also the reactions of the President. Having striked back and having won the war against the Al-Quaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan maybe makes them feel more safe now. The new aim of the President was to eliminate the wire-drawers of terror, because after the 11th of September terror is a new threat of mankind. So the United States fetched help from the Nato. The British army and other armed forces like Germany, Denmark and France are now fighting together at the Afghan front. US-president George W. Bush announced a very long war against terrorism. In the future we will see whether it was right strike back or not. Many people are having doubts against the aggresive American politics and strictly protest against them.

Today the life in New York has become quite normal. Most of the rubble mountains have been cleared away. In the beginning of March there was even a fascinating light show at Ground Zero. The twin towers had been rebuilt by extraordinary light-effects. The pictures of it went around the world demonstrating that America has stand up and has become strong again.
Komplette Facharbeit mit Inhaltsangabe zu den schrecklichen Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 auf das World Trade Center in New York. Chronologische Übersicht, Hintergründe, Reaktionen und Konsequenzen. (3983 Wörter)
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