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September 11th Attacks : What Happened on 09/11/2001?

On Tuesday 11 September 2001 suicide attackers seized US passenger jets and crashed them into two New York skyscrapers, killing thousands of people.

The attack remains one of the most traumatic events of the century, not only for Americans but also for the world.

What were the targets?

Four planes flying over the eastern US were seized simultaneously by small teams of hijackers.

They were then used as giant, guided missiles to crash into landmark buildings in New York and Washington.

Two planes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.

The first hit the North Tower at 08:46 Eastern Time (13:46 GMT). The second crashed into the South Tower at 09:03.

The buildings were set on fire, trapping people on the upper floors, and wreathing the city in smoke. In less than two hours, both 110-storey towers collapsed in massive clouds of dust.

At 09:37 the third plane destroyed the western face of the Pentagon – the giant headquarters of the US military just outside the nation’s capital, Washington DC.

The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 after passengers fought back. It is thought the hijackers had meant to attack the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

Civilians flee as a tower of the World Trade Center collapses September 11, 2001
image captionNew Yorkers fleeing the debris from the attack

How many people died?

In all, 2,977 people (not counting the 19 hijackers) lost their lives, most of them in New York.

  • All 246 passengers and crew aboard the four planes were killed
  • At the Twin Towers, 2,606 people died – then or later of injuries
  • At the Pentagon, 125 people were killed

The youngest victim was two-year-old Christine Lee Hanson, who died on one of the planes with her parents Peter and Sue.

The oldest was 82-year-old Robert Norton, who was on another plane with his wife Jacqueline, en route to a wedding.

When the first plane struck, an estimated 17,400 people were in the towers. Nobody survived above the impact zone in the North Tower, but 18 managed to escape from the floors above the impact zone in the South Tower.

Citizens of 77 different countries were among the casualties. New York City lost 441 first responders.

Thousands of people were injured or later developed illnesses connected to the attacks, including firefighters who had worked in toxic debris.

Ruins of the twin towers, two days after the attack.

Who were the attackers?

An Islamist extremist network called al-Qaeda planned the attacks from Afghanistan.

Led by Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda blamed the US and its allies for conflicts in the Muslim world.

Nineteen people carried out the hijackings, working in three teams of five and one of four (on the plane which crashed in Pennsylvania).

Each group included someone who had received pilot training. This was carried out at flying schools in the US itself.

Fifteen hijackers were Saudis like Bin Laden himself. Two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt and one was from Lebanon.

Map showing four locations of attacks

How did the US respond?

Less than a month after the attacks, President George W Bush led an invasion of Afghanistan – supported by an international coalition – to eradicate al-Qaeda and hunt down Bin Laden.

However, it was not until 2011 that US troops finally located and killed Bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan.

The alleged planner of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was arrested in Pakistan in 2003. He has been held in US custody at Guantanamo Bay since then, and is still awaiting trial.

Al-Qaeda still exists. It is strongest in Sub-Saharan Africa but even now has members inside Afghanistan.

US troops left Afghanistan this year after nearly 20 years, stoking fears from many that the Islamist network could make a comeback.

Tributes to the dead of 9-11
image captionA collection of photos of the victims of 11 September 2001, in the 9/11 museum in New York

The legacy of 9/11

Flight safety was tightened around the world in the years following 9/11.

In the US, the Transportation Security Administration was created to beef up security at airports and on planes.

It took more than eight months to clean up “Ground Zero” – the site of the fallen Twin Towers.

A memorial and a museum now stands on the site, and buildings have risen up again, to a different design.

The completed centrepiece – One World Trade Center, or “Freedom Tower” – stands even higher (1,776ft (541m) than the original North Tower, which was 1,368ft.

Reconstruction at the Pentagon took just under a year, with staff back in their offices by August 2002.

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Dr Mwele Malecela (@mwelentuli) Among 100 Most Influential African Women. Three Other Tanzanians, President @SuluhuSamia, Dr Stigmata Tenga and Elizabeth Mrema Made it to the Prestigious List too.

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English News Tanzanian News

US Embassy in Tanzania Urges its Citizens To Avoid Area Near French Embassy in Dar es Salaam Following Shootout.

There has been a shootout near the French embassy in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.

The suspected shooter has been neutralised by a sniper.

The motive of the attack is still not clear and authorities are yet to comment.

The shooting occurred as President Samia Suluhu met police chiefs at a different location in Dar es Salaam.

The US embassy in Tanzania has issued an advisory urging its citizens to avoid the area near the French embassy and monitor local media for information.

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English News Politics Tanzanian News

Tanzania’s First Ever Female President Lambasted For Her Remarks On Female Footballers Having “Flat Chests” And Being “Unattractive For Marriage.”

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan is being criticised online for her remarks on female footballers having “flat chests” and being unattractive for marriage.

The president was speaking at state house in Dar es Salaam to receive a trophy won by the national under-23 football team for the season’s Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) challenge cup.

She said while women were making the country proud by winning trophies, some of them did not stand a chance at getting married because of the way they looked.

“If we bring them here and line them up, for those with flat chests, you might think they are men – not women,” she said of the women’s football team.

She said while some of the sportswomen were married, most of them were not, “and for the way they are, a life of marriage… is a just a dream”.

The president said sportspeople were living a tough life after their career in sports and asked the authorities to ensure their future was well taken care of after retirement. She noted that it was particularly harder for women “where their legs are tired, when they have retired from the sport”.

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English News Tanzanian News

Tanzania Blocks Access To Porn Sites

A Jamii Forums’ user complaining about alleged government ban on access to porn sites.
Another Jamii Forums’ user lauding the government for blocking access to porn sites.

However, there has not been any statement from the Tanzanian government regarding the rumoured ban.

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African Politics Uncategorized

Who Is Zambia’s President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema?

After five failed campaigns, Zambian politician Hakainde Hichilema has finally won the presidency. But he has to deal with a devastated economy. Experts believe that Hichilema’s business background could prove pivotal.

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English News

Taliban Capture Capital Kabul, To Declare Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Read more HERE

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English News

Zambia: Incumbent Lungu Declares Election “Not Free And Fair” As Long-Time Rival, Opposition Leader Hichilema Takes Lead

Meanwhile

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English News

Majid Iddy Shaban: A Graduate From @moodewji’s “Dewji Foundation’s Mo Scholars Program” (Which Provides Scholarships To Over 100 Tanzanians) Has Been Accepted To Become A Fulbright Scholar

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Diplomacy English News Military

Tanzania: US Ambassador Mourns Death of Defence Minister Kwandikwa