9/11 Senior Research Paper

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When former President George W. Bush said, "Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” He had no idea how precise his words were more than a decade later. It has been about twelve years since 9/11 and for many people it seems like just yesterday when they witnessed the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center tumbling to the ground, United Airlines Flight 93 hurtling into a meadow in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the abysmal hole left behind at the Pentagon after the impact of American Airlines Flight 77. Countless people lost family members or knew someone who did. However, whether or not you lost one of the 2,996 victims, everyone felt the singe left behind by the sinister and corrupt events that transpired that fateful day. Although the terrorist attacks affected everyone in ways we cannot imagine, by learning more about the origins of 9/11, we can comprehend the perplexing situation and possibly find a way to safeguard lives to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.

Many people have some understanding as to why it happened, but no matter how much we absorb, more questions arise in our consciousness. What made those terrorists take countless innocent lives while taking their own lives in the process of their heinous act? After 9/11, Americans were shocked that terrorists could hijack planes and destroy buildings and be responsible for the incredible loss of life. Needless to say, the 9/11 hijackers started out as unexceptional men, and the frightening thing about this is that there are more people just like them. Though it may be difficult to try and put a human countenance on these atrocious men, it is necessary in order to comprehend and combat the rising threat and influence of terrorism. Surprisingly, many of the hijackers came from homes of very little or a mild influence of religion and politics. Nonetheless, as they came of age, they were influenced by politics and personal circumstance, and coincidentally evolved into fundamentalist, pious Muslims. In a way, they saw themselves as soldiers of God, fighting for a cause they came to believe was righteous. In the end, is this not merely, the power of belief remaking ordinary men into murderers we must combat?

The plot for the attacks first took place in the mind of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani born in Kuwait and responsible for his role in a foiled airline bomb plot. At the time, investigators had no idea that he had joined forces with Osama Bin Laden. Around late 1998 or early 1999, Osama Bin Laden gave approval to organize the plot. Originally, they had planned to use as many as twelve airliners for their jihad but found reasons against using that many. They debated countlessly over potential targets and rejected targets such as the U.S Bank Tower and the Sears Tower. They wanted to choose targets that were symbolic with the American pride. In the end, four targets were selected: the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center. Ironically, Osama Bin Laden never expected the Twin Towers to tumble to the ground, he had just hoped to cause sufficient damage, but he outdid his expectations. Bin Laden provided the leadership, financial support, and participated in selecting the ideal men capable of doing their bidding. In order to carry out this plot, they needed manpower, people to act out their incentives on their behalf. These men had to be devout, dedicated, and they would not back out on what was expected of them. In 1999, their expectations became a reality, when a group of men from Hamburg, Germany, consisting of Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh came forward. Bin Laden selected these men because they were educated, spoke English, and had...
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