September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Hijackers

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The Hijackings

American Airlines flight 11 is crashed into the north side of the northern tower of the World Trade Center at 8:48 AM EDT. A member of the flight crew pressed a switch that permitted air traffic controllers to overhear at 8:28 AM EDT: "Don't do anything foolish. You are not going to get hurt. We have more planes. We have other planes."

A passenger on United Airlines flight 175, Peter Hanson, called his father from the plane reporting that hijackers were stabbing flight attendants in order to force the crew to open the cockpit doors. At 9:03 AM EDT, the plane is crashed into the south side of the southern tower of the World Trade Center.

On American Airlines flight 77, Barbara K. Olson called her husband, Solicitor General Theodore Olson at the Justice Department at 9:25 from the plane to tell him about the hijacking and to report that the passengers and pilots were held in the back of the plane. It is crashed into the western side of the Pentagon at 9:43 AM EDT, starting a violent fire.

On United Airlines flight 93, a passenger reached officials on his cell phone from the plane's rest room, repeatedly claiming that the plane was hijacked and that the call was not a hoax. Passengers speaking on cell phones had learned about the World Trade Center crashes and were planning on resisting the hijackers. One passenger told his wife that one person had already been stabbed to death by the hijackers. There is speculation that the passenger's resistance led to the plane crashing before it reached its intended target. At 10:10 AM EDT, the plane crashes southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset county, Pennsylvania.

The Hijackers

There were 19 hijackers in all; five on three of the flights, four on one.

Many of the terrorist hijackers appeared to be traveling with false passports, assuming the identities of other people. Saudis Saeed Alghamdi, Abdulaziz Alomari, and Waleed M. Alshehri, whose photographs have appeared on CNN and other media outlets, have spoken to Saudi newspapers since the attack.

Their profiles do not seem to match that of past suicide terrorists (young, poor, uneducated and indoctrinated): many were in their late twenties and thirties, most with college educations, and had lived for prolonged periods of time in western countries.

The suspected hijackers aboard American Airlines flight 11 used the names

Aboard United Airlines flight 175 the suspected hijackers used the names

Those believed to be the hijackers aboard American Airlines flight 77 used the names

The suspected hijackers aboard United Airlines flight 93 used the names

September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack - Full Timeline
In Memoriam - Casualties - Missing Persons - Survivors - Personal experiences
Give Blood - Donations - Assistance - Closings and Cancellations - Memorials and Services
US Governmental Response - Responsibility - Hijackers - World political effects - World economic effects

See also: World Trade Center -- Pentagon -- New York City -- Washington, D.C. -- AA Flight 11 -- UA Flight 75 -- AA Flight 77 -- UA Flight 93 -- U.S. Department of Defense -- terrorism -- domestic terrorism -- Osama bin Laden -- Taliban -- Islamism -- Afghanistan -- collective trauma -- September 11


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