The Causes and Effects of 9/11

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For several years, the United States of America has been struggling with the subtle question of terrorism; but, since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2011, the battle has become more serious. These incidents are generally referred to as the attacks on 9/11. On the day of the bombings, terrorists linked to Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes with the sole aim of using them as guided missiles against America ( It is suspected that 19 terrorists planned these suicide attacks and acted as aircraft commanders. Two of the aircraft slammed into the skyscrapers of New York City's World Trade Center. The third airliner crashed into the Pentagon military headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. while the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania ( The series of attacks are recorded as one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the United States of America. This essay seeks to analyze the causes and effects of the attacks in September 11, 2001 as well as describe the attacks as they unfolded.

Description of the Attacks

The day of the ill-fated occurrences, began on a good note with clear blue skies commanding the morning. At around 8: 45 am, an American Airlines Boeing 767 smashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At first people assumed it was a gruesome airline accident and rushed over to help those they could. The plane had hit the eightieth (80th) floor of the tower, leaving hundreds of people dead and more others stranded in the additional thirty (30) floors above. However things took a turn for the worse like jumping from the frying pan to direct fire.

The south tower was hit by another plane, Boeing 767-United Airlines Flight 175. The evacuation procedures that had commenced in the second tower became more risky and difficult since the plane hit the sixtieth (60) floor of the skyscraper causing a massive explosion. Burning rubbles spread over the nearby building thus extending the damage. Television cameras near the scene broadcasted live images on the attacks as they took place ( America was in a stand still moment, all eyes gazing at the World Trade Center not knowing that these attacks were just a tip of the iceberg. In Washington D.C. a third plane, American Airline Boeing 757 crashed into the Pentagon military command center causing a devastating inferno that caused the building to collapse. The final incident occurred after United Flight 93 was hijacked some minutes after the previous terrorist attacks. Evidence indicates that the passengers on board the airliner put up a fight that resulted in the plane crashing in a field in Pennsylvania (


Most of the victims of the 9/11 attacks were from the first terrorist attack in which about three thousand (3000) people lost their lives. This number includes the three hundred and forty three (343) firefighters and paramedics, twenty-three (23) police officers from the New York Police Department and thirty-seven (37) Port Authority police officers who were involved in the rescue missions. It is estimated that around ten thousand (10,000) individuals were treated for injuries caused during the incidents. One hundred and twenty five (125) military staff and civilians in addition to the sixty four (64) passengers aboard the plane were killed in the attack at Pentagon. In the last terrorist attack, all of the forty five (45) passengers on board the United Flight 93 passed away (

Causes of the Attacks

There are numerous theories as to the reasons behind the terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda; however three of them seem more plausible. The first cause is the foreign policies applied in the Middle East by the United States of America. According to Bergen (2006), Osama Bin Laden had indicated in one of his videos in which he claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, that the reason for the attacks was retaliation for the support that America had accorded Israel. The main issue was the fact that in 1982 the United States had buttressed Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon. Another bone of contention the involvement of America in the Persian Gulf War whereby the United States of America deployed half a million US troops to Saudi Arabia after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. The third reason was the unending American military presence in Middle East which humiliated and degraded the Islamic world (Bergen).

Effects of the 9/11 Attack

The effects of the 9/11 attack are still being felt today. Americans learnt to be well prepared and be alert for anything at any time. First and foremost, the government put more effort in securing the nation through stringent airport security policies. The Federal Aviation Administration established policies to prevent the takeover of planes such as the locking of cockpits by pilots. The Immigration policies were amended to provide further scrutiny for Visa applicants. In addition the National Security Agency was authorized to conduct domestic spying on citizens, foreigners and other governments (Poladian).

In conclusion, the 9/11 attack will forever be inked in our history books. Furthermore, the effects of the 9/11 attack are still being felt today. Americans learnt to be well prepared and alert for anything at any time. The government beefed up the national security by enacting and enforcing stringent laws dealing with immigration and terrorism.

Works Cited

“9/11 Attacks.”, 2010, Accessed 25Feb. 2017.

Bergen, Peter. What were the causes of 9/11? Prospect magazine, 2006, Accessed 25Feb. 2017

Poladian, Charles. The United States after 9/11: 6 things that have changed since 2001.International Business Times, 2015, Accessed 25 Feb. 2017

September 21, 2021

World Social Issues


United States Terrorism

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