September 11 Attacks

On September 11, 2001, 19 men, part of the Al Qaeda organization, a militant Muslim terrorist network, hijacked four passenger airplanes in the United States. Two of the planes were deliberately crashed into New York City's World Trade Center, one was flown into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and one crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania.

The attacks, which killed approximately 3,000 people, targeted two potent symbols of U.S. military and economic might: the Pentagon, which houses the nation's military leadership, and the World Trade Center, which symbolized U.S. global financial power. The United States responded with a military campaign in Afghanistan to destroy the Al Qaeda network, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, had found sanctuary in that country with the radical Islamic Taliban government.

The September 11 attacks were extraordinarily deadly—instead of killing dozens, a more typical toll for a terrorist attack, ...

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