Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda
  • Crashing Into the Twin Towers
  • Crashing Into the Pentagon
  • Flight 193
  • Going to War


The definition of trust is the when one person thinks another person is reliable. They have confidence in the other person and feel safe with them physically and emotionally. Each and every day, the citizens of the United States put trust into their government, so they get a sense of wellbeing. Betrayal is when someone violates a person's trust or confidence of a moral standard. On September 11th, 2001, the US experienced one of the worst attacks in its history, which betrayed its citizens. The organization of the attacks by Osama Bin Laden before and American troops going to war in Afghanistan after were two things that made 9/11 such a scary time to live through.

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Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda

Osama bin Laden was a rich Saudi Arabian that was born on March 10th, 1957 with 17 other children (Rittenmeyer 2005). His family had owned one of the largest construction companies in Saudi Arabia, which was why his family was rich and consisted of 17 children. Bin Laden's siblings had decided that they wanted to get educate in West Saudi Arabia, working for their dad's company, but Bin Laden had decided that it would be better for him to stay close to home and get educated there (Rittenmeyer 2005). Bin Laden had gone to school in Jeddah, where he got a good education. After that, he married his wife and decided to create a terrorist group that would plan terrorist attacks that would cause a lot of problems for other countries around the world.

The terrorist group that Bin Laden created was called al-Qaeda and this group would focus on symbolic acts of terrorism instead of military operations. Bin Laden's family had become worried that he would get sidetracked with other things instead of planning terrorist attacks. To help with this, his family decided to take away his passport so that he could not travel anywhere and be as quiet as he could be so no one would know that he was planning terrorist attacks (National Commission 2002). In 1989, Afghanistan and the Soviets were fighting a war against each other due to them getting into some conflicts, during the Cold War period. That year, the Soviets gave up and withdrew, so the war was over (National Commission 2002). This meant that Bin Laden had more time on his hands. Bin Laden had returned to Saudi Arabia, which would be to help and organize a new and complicated mission, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Crashing Into the Twin Towers

There were many events that had happened during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At 8:46 am, Osama Bin Laden's hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 to 99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center followed by United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the South Tower at 9:03 am into floors 75 to 85 (9/11 Interactive Timelines). This killed everyone on board the planes and hundreds of people inside the buildings. When the first plane had crashed into the North Tower, everyone had originally thought that this was simply an accident because a plane crashing into a big, giant tower is not very common at all. But when the second plane crashed into the South Tower, people started to think differently. Once people saw the planes crash, firefighters came to help and rescue the people that were inside the buildings. The reason that the firefighters came in to help the people and risk their own lives was because they knew that the buildings were made of steel and sturdy. In fact, the steel used to build these skyscrapers doesn't melt below 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit (Rittenmeyer 2005). According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the reason that the buildings collapsed was due to the weakening of the World Trade Center 1 and World Trade Center 2 (National Commission 2002). The jet fuel is very hot in all kinds of planes, which is the reasoning on why the steel started to melt on the building when the planes crashed. But not too long after, another crash had taken place in another location.

Crashing Into the Pentagon

At 9:37 am, hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash a plane into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., which killed 59 people aboard the plane and 125 military and civilians inside the building (9/11 Interactive Timelines). When this happened, everyone had started to become concerned and asked themselves what was going on? The pilot of the plane had decided that he wanted to crash into the western side of the pentagon, where there were no people around (Rittenmeyer 2005). The pilot had done this because he wanted to keep it as oblivious as he could without anyone noticing the crash happening right away. It was reported by the 9/11 Commision Report that the pilot of the plane made a 330 degree turn when he crashed into the western side of the Pentagon (National Commission 2002). In addition, they also reported that the pilot was not a very good driver and that he had a hard time controlling the plane so that could point the plane in the right place (National Commission 2002). It is unknown to anyone if Osama Bin Laden and the rest of the Al-Qaeda had purposely wanted a bad pilot on board but that is still up for future research. After this crash happened, the attacks were not over yet. Shortly after this, the last crash took place in Pennsylvania.

Flight 193

At 10:07 am, passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93 hijacked the plane knowing that three other attacks had happened in New York and Washington, DC (9/11 Interactive Timelines). The people onboard contacted their friends and family to learn more about the attacks, and they all knew that they had to attack the hijackers onboard the plane. While attacking the hijackers, the plane had crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which killed all passengers and crew on board. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, this plane was going to crash into the Capitol Building in Washington, DC if it had not crashed into the field in Shanksville (National Commission 2002). But since the passengers onboard had attacked the hijackers driving the plane, they were able to save the plane from crashing into the Capitol Building. Some researchers have said that Flight 193 was shot down by a missile and was not crashed because of the passenger over taking the plane (Rittenmeyer 2005). Other researchers just believe that the passengers overtook the plane and there was no missile involved (Rittenmeyer 2005). It is hard to say who is right in the situation, but the case of Flight 193 will probably never get solved for people to know the full truth behind it. After this crash happened, all the attacks and crashed on the United States were over for the day, and it left America speechless.

Going to War

At 8:30 pm that night, President Bush addresses the nation. He said that these attacks are "evil, despicable acts of terror" and said that America and its Allies will "stand together to win the war against terrorism." (National Commission 2002). President Bush knew that America was very upset over the losses of family and friends during the attacks and that he had to do something about it because this was a big deal for our country. President Bush had made a decision to go to war and it was a decision that had to be done in order to defend our country against other enemies of our country.

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