New American Roles (detail from a Gulf War photograph)

September 11, 2001

Stunning attacks in the United States by al Qaeda, an international Islamist terrorist group, killed nearly 3,000 people and launched an American-led war on terrorism.

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked and crashed a passenger jet into the north tower of New York City’s World Trade Center. Fire and rescue crews rushed to the scene. As live television coverage began, Americans watched in horror as a second plane slammed into the south tower at 9:03 a.m. Thirty-five minutes later, a third airliner dove into the Pentagon right outside the capital. A fourth jet, bound for Washington, D.C., crashed in Pennsylvania, its hijackers thwarted by passengers. The nation reeled, but resolved to fight back. For more information visit

South tower of the World Trade Center in flames after being hit by hijacked United Airlines Flight 175
Crash site of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Aftermath of the attack on the Pentagon by hijacked American Airlines Flight 77

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