On September 11, 2001 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and followed through with their plans to attack the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. The third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.


On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. One of these targets was the at 8:45 in the morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping burning hole near the 80th floor which instantly killed hundreds of people and trapping many more. At first it appeared to be a freak accident until soon after the second United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South tower. It quickly became clear that America was under attack. Both world trade centers later that morning collapsed leaving a massive cloud of dust and smoke. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 others were treated for injuries, many severe.


As millions watched the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington, D.C., before crashing into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to the structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon, along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.


The fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Officials believe that the terrorists on that plane intended to destroy either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. Passengers on the plane fought the terrorists and prevented them from reaching their goal. In all, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks.


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