September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Talk

< September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack

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See also /Casualties Talk, Give_Blood/Talk, /US governmental response Talk and /Hijackers Talk.

Would anyone care to refactor and carefully edit this page? It's got a lot of good information, but I think we can do better.

Also, it might be better to approximate all times unless the media settle on a time that the events happen. Currently there are a lot of discrepancies.

  • [1] has it that the times are 8:48 and 9:03. An earlier graphic available there had the times as 8:50 and 9:01.
  • [2] says 8:45 and 9:03.

Originally on the main page: 8:48 AM EDT on September 11, 2001 ... 9:06 AM EDT,

It is very clear that this attack was well planned. You can see from the choice of date, time, target and even flight number is picked around the US emergency number 911. The date is Sept 11, the time is around around 9am, they probably wanted to hit exactly on 9:11am but it would be hard to really control the flight time. One of the flight chosen was flight 11. The WTC twin towers look like 11 in new york skylines.

The news said this week also coincide with the Israeli Palestine peace talk by Jimmy Carter at Camp David. One of the plane crashed in Pennsylvania and believed to target Camp David.

There are many symbolism used in this attack and everything seems to point to the Palestinian though they denied their involvement.

The Palestinian claims responsibility initially when the damage was relatively minor. They probably only wanted to leave two big holes in one of US icon. But when the buildings collapsed and killed tens of thousands of people, they realized they have done more than they planned so they reverted their claim. That is just what any coward would do.

This is purely speculative, and I should think, doubtful.  - Tim

Someone had set up a memorial wiki of sorts at By the way, I'd like to thank those people who were so quick to document the tragedy here...I found out more from wiki than I found out from the news. The text of Bush's address should be added too.

Yes, it is quite remarkable. This article has received quite a lot of attention--well over 200 edits in about 27 hours--I just look forward to the time when we get that same unity of purpose on less tragic subjects too. --KQ

I know this isn't a discussion forum but i'd like to thank Wikipedia too for keeping me up to date yesterday. I was stuck in my office here in Northern Ireland during the attack with no tv, no radio and all the news sites were down. - JamieTheFoool

I haven't yet heard the phrase "Terror Tuesday." Has anyone else? Also, does anyone know why, after some people edit a page, an extra carriage return is added at the end of every paragraph? That's very annoying to remove for such a huge article! --LMS

I've included The Terror Tuesday expression (I've read it somewhere). Didn't know that I should edit this page first...

Who said it? I don't think Wikipedia should call it that just because you've "read it somewhere." You don't need to edit this page first, usually.

Please, , when you edit a page, it (automatically, apparently) adds carriage returns after EVERY PARAGRAPH. This is extremely annoying. Can you think of any reason why this is happening? --LMS --- Regarding the carriage returns... perhaps it's because I'm running Linux and there's a difference between Win32 CrLf and *nix "\n" I think... it also could be because I'm using Opera (but this is less likely).

Well, until you figure it out, could you please not edit pages? I'm getting tired of removing all the extra spaces. --LMS

Actually, it's more likely to be your browser's fault than the OS. I've edited pages from Unix boxes with no problem--the edited text gets passed back to Bomis via HTTP by the browser, and HTTP is very standardized regardless of the OSes at each end, so it the text gets mangled it's probably the browser. --LDC

It is in fact an Opera-for-Linux bug. I reported this bug to Opera several months ago when I discovered it but it's not been fixed. It occurs with other versions of Wiki besides UseModWiki. I know of no workaround except to use a different browser when editing wiki pages (which is what I do). It is probably a simple thing to fix but since Opera is closed source we've no recourse but to use something else until Opera fixes it.

Can anyone verify that the northern tower (tower number one, the one to be hit first) was actually hit from the south side? I've seen conflicting reports. --AxelBoldt

There were references about using cell phones from the plane. Should it mean the air phone on the back of the passenger seat. I don't know if cell phone would work when the plane is in the air. I remember I heard air phone, not cell phone in the news. Can anyone confirm and correct?

I've heard rumors about a Nostradamus prophecy, something along the lines of "Two twin brothers will fall. The third great war will begin as the city of gold burns" - Anyone have a link to the full text. It would be interesting to read, if it is indeed true. Or maybe it's just an urban myth. - JamieTheFoool

Perhaps you can find it at --css

i'm not sure, but it sounds like a blatant urban myth to me. i was on #worldtradecenter on the night (UK time) of the 11th and that was going round. also it was in one of our stupid tabloid papers, every time i heard it, it was worlded totaly differently. -- Asa

just pulled it from my IRC logs (just so you can see how blatantly bogus it is) -- Asa:
"In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb" , "The third big war will begin when the big city is burning" - Nostradamus 1654
Nostradamus died in 1566, after which he tended not to write much. Actually, this "prophecy" appears to come from, where it is given as a fictitious example of the sort of thing that Nostradamus wrote, not as something that he actually did write. But according to the HTTP header this page dates from 20 May 1998 22:45:23 GMT... --Zundark

Bogus, all right. Whoever heard of New York being described as the City of God? I've only ever heard Mammon mentioned in that context before.... Every 10 years someone brings out a new version of Nostradamus, with new retrospective interpretations. Whatever happened to the invasion from mars in 1999 that the 1970s edition predicted? Malcolm Farmer

- I think these prophecys come from the wildly innacurate English translations of Nostradamus' 17th Century French. Is this an actual prophecy, wrongly translated or is it completely fabricated. It would be interesting to see what is the case.

For a different kind of prophecy, see this story on 'wired':,1284,46771,00.html

What to do with misinformation? The bogus Nostradamus prophecy comes to mind; another example might be the recent edit to the main page: "Removed reference to Kashmiri claiming; haven't heared anything of it since the first time, so I assume it was shown to be a fake quickly." I can imagine that retaining misinformation and rumor -- but *clearly labeling it as misinformation or rumor* might be of some value to researchers in the future trying to understand how people deal with crises. On the other hand, it makes sense to remove it if keeping it could lead to more harm than good. I don't know.

I see no harm in keeping it, if it is moved to /Rumours of /Misinformation or something. This could prove usefull for future research as many of these rumours may be lost completely as time goes on. - JamieTheFoool
Started a /Misinformation page. RjLesch

Should we add a Personal Recollections--September 11, 2001 page for cataloguing the mundane events of everyone on that day? A social history should start as soon as possible so as to avoid the degradation and inflation of memory over time. I think the non-events, those little moments of wonder and fear, from around the country, will be immensely important for this project, which can gather such data so quickly.

I just found [SeptEleven], a Wiki site for the terrorist attack. Unfortunately it's using the standard wiki, not the sexier wikipedia wiki. I'm not sure if that would be a better place for some of this, etc. Eh. Time to go outside. --The Cunctator

This page is getting us a lot of traffic...would someone (who is following the page more closely than I am...) please render it in consistent formatting, copyedit, etc.? This would be a great service... --Larry Sanger

I really hope I wasn't too bold in editing, but I think this was the right thing to do. We need to add back information to the main page, basically summarizing what's in each category, I think. Or you can say I really erred and undiff it. --The Cunctator

Okay, I went wholesale on the site. I really, really don't like that "airport security" link. Maybe it should be "Background history" or something? The See also's should probably have links to the airplane flights. There's plenty of improvement still.

Is there a way to make templates? It would be so great if there could be one footer page, so that it could be updated for all the pages. (So you could write something like #INCLUDE Footerpage and it would wiki...) If that isn't a current feature, I hope it gets implemented at some point. Though of course the footer is actually different for each page, at the moment. Eh.

Finally: should the external news pages be on its own page? I lean toward keeping them at the bottom of the main page...each subpage has their external links/references at the bottom. I don't feel strongly enough to revert it, though. --The Cunctator

I just moved off the Casualties Talk to (natch) /Casualties Talk. --The Cunctator

Added link to, the amazingly definitive site about urban legends and rumor-mongering. David Emery's coverage of the attack is astoundingly good. There's no need for us to try to duplicate the effort, but Wikipedia certainly could complement it. --The Cunctator

I just realized that the "related" links to Palestine, Gaza Strip, etc. on the bottom of the page, and on the homepage, are unfair and inflammatory. They were part of the news at the beginning, but are less directly related to the story now than say, Boston, Canada, or box cutters. Shouldn't those links be removed? (I don't think the Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan etc. links should be removed.) --The Cunctator

Hey Cunctator, the way we've been writing biographies has been generally as follows: Full Name In Bold (date-date) was a [occupation or other significant fact]... In other words, full sentences are good. --Larry

Okay. Though I am partial to the other way.

More importantly, I'd like to encourage people to submit photos, especially people. Is there a way to allow people to do that, even an email address they could send images to that someone with access to the server could add? I know this is a general feature request, but I'd like to set something up as soon as possible. --The Cunctator

Let me voice my support for full sentences. :-) As for graphics, we've so far had to submit them to jasonr at to have him upload them. So far I think that has been done only for banners, though Jimbo et al may wish to make an exception. :-) --KQ

Re the footer on all the September 11 pages: I think it would be nice with a ruler separating it from the body text of the page. It seems a bit overenthusiastic to edit all the pages (quite a few now!) just to put that in, but perhaps we should add it as we do other edits? --Pinkunicorn

I'm actually less enthusiastic than you are about the rules. As long as the elements of a page are recognizable as blocks, then blank space is usually the best separator. Rules should be used sparingly. IMHO. But I really don't care; right now there's no uniformity in the pages. The person who wants to make the effort to make them uniform wins, in my book. 'Swhy we need that #INCLUDE mechanism; see above or InsertPagesIntoOtherPages while I work on fixing up the Feature requests monstrosity. --The Cunctator

There is a link to an external donations page. While I don't have a problem in principle with such a link, the way the text is currently written implies that wikipedia somehow approves the link. Is this appropriate? -- Robert Merkel

I moved it to the donation page and removed the plea. The same pice of text also appeared at the homepage sometime yesterday. --css

There's a story on what happened on the plane that crashed in the field here:

(re U.S. attack on Sudan plant) The US claimed the plant was involved in the manufacture of chemical weapons, but never released the results of soil tests it had conducted at the site which it said proved its claim; a government spokesman said the information was classified. Some have argued that Clinton ordered the attack in order to deflect attention from the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. (See the amazingly prescient movie "Wag the Dog", released in January 1998, in which a famous spin doctor (Robert De Niro) is enlisted along with a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to create a quick (but phony) war in order to take the public's focus off of the president's scandalous personal life. The US also tried to

Someone just changed "what might be the most devastating terrorist attack in the history of the world" to "...on United States' land". While there have been more devastating battles, attacks, acts (e.g. bombing of Dresden, Holocaust, etc.), I think the original description was entirely justifiable. I'm changing it back, unless someone can point to a more devastating terrorist attack. "the history of the world" is slightly misleading hyperbole, as terrorism is a modern phenomenon, but in pretty much any measure I can think of, this is an act that is more than just an American history event. --TheCunctator

It's a useful perspective; I think Wikipedia needs comprehensive entries about all the things listed in that article: Hiroshima, Mai Lai, the Gulf War, various starvation, etc. I know my emphasis on this attack is in a way selfish, but I don't intend to ignore everything else. The /Back history page does a reasonable job at mentioning some of the things mentioned in that article. And the History of Afghanistan article is getting quite good.

The best way, I believe, to be "fair" to all the victims of injustice on Wikipedia is to create sober entries for each act, to tell the history as factually as possible. --TheCunctator

NOTE: Saudi Arabia stopped recognizing the Taliban as the official Afghan government in 1998, when it asked Afghanistan to hand over bin Laden, and Afghanistan refused.

(Moved from the /Back history page)
I think this page should be located at /Background history, not /Back history. I'd make the change but then I'd have to change all those subpages and links lists. :-)

I think /Back history is fine, but I don't feel strongly either way. --TheCunctator

The War on Terror I don't want to make any changes, as so much fine work has been done, but the general phrase used by everyone (World media, politicians, etc) seems to be "The War On Terror". The anthrax events happening worldwide, the attack on afghanistan all fall under this heading, and I am thinking that the Sept 11 pages belong under than as well.

And I know that "the War on Terror" seems a bit vague, but then so does "The Gulf War", "The Great War", "The War of the Roses". This is what people will call it for all time I am guessing. - MB

I kind of doubt it, actually, since it's so freaking propagandistic. I suspect the historical name will be something like The American War on Islamic Terrorism or The First World War of the Third Millenium (depending on how it pans out).
And I really don't want Wikipedia to have its main entry called "The War on Terror". I've started collecting the /Slogans and terms used. Right now a The War on Terror entry should be more about the propagandic use of the phrase rather than a clearinghouse for the developing events. Note that in the Islamic world the name being used by everyone (World media, politicians, etc.) is The War on Islam. --TheCunctator, can you state where you're getting the information from? These pages, for obvious reasons, need to be assiduously referenced. It's truly great that you're adding the information, but if it can't be confirmed, then we'll get in trouble. Also, it seems like some of the info is being copied verbatim from some other reference, which is also dangerous (such as the Zoe Johnson entry). Please alleviate my fears. --TheCunctator


Ahh... thanks for that. Has your medication been checked lately?

Should add that the World Trade Center fire was finally extinguished on December 19 after burning for three months. But I can't find where to put it. --rmhermen

The trick is to first add to the Timeline: /Timeline December 2001 (which didn't exist yet because I don't like adding to Wikipedia much any more)

then the best place for the entry within the current framework is probably /Rescue and recovery effort, a page which needs a lot of work.

But the number one answer is to be bold in editing pages. Just stick it in somewhere, and if you can't find a place to put it, make one.