By Mario Lotmore | Lynnwood Times Staff
On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four commercial airplanes – two were crashed into the World Trade Center, one crashed in the Pentagon and the other crashed just outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A total of 2,977 people were killed by this terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland.
At 8:46 a.m. EST, American Airlines Flight 11, traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, New York. Then at 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 17 struck the south tower of the World Trade Center.
Of the 2,753 people perished at the World Trade Center terrorist attack, 343 were New York City firefighters, 23 were New York City police officers and 37 were officers at the Port Authority.
In Washington DC, 184 people were killed when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, all 40 passengers and crew on United Airlines Flight 93 perished when their plane crashed into a field. It is believed that the hijackers crashed the plane after the passengers and crew attempted to retake control of the plane.
The hijackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. They were reportedly financed by the al Qaeda terrorist organization of Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden was killed by United States Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011. The operation was code-named Operation Neptune Spear.
As a result of the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was created by the passing of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 25, 2002. The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for preventing terrorist attacks, border security, immigrations and customs and disaster relief and prevention.