Today is the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on Sept. 11, 2001. The horrific attack killed 2,977 people in New York.
Terrorist militant organization al-Qaida hijacked four U.S. airliners and carried out suicide attacks at four different locations in the country.
American 11, United 175, American 77 and United 93 were hijacked, two of them decimating the Twin Towers in New York City, the third one crashing into the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth aircraft brought down by passengers in a field in Pennsylvania.
Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden, living in Afghanistan, and his extremist organization al-Qaida claimed the responsibility for the inhumane act.
But how the terrorists got in the cockpit remains a mystery.
According to a comprehensive report of the commission created to investigate the attacks, which was published in 2004, no one could determine how the hijackers got into the cockpits of the four commercial airliners that were hijacked. A flight attendant on American Flight 11 speculated that they had "jammed their way" in.
The phrase “war on terror” was introduced after the 9/11 attacks, and what followed was a muscular military response by the Bush administration, in Afghanistan to get hold of bin Laden.
He was killed by a Navy Seal team in 2011 in Pakistan.
However, over the years, the “war on terror” spread to Yemen and Libya. Thousands of civilians have died in these endless wars, while the U.S. military also saw large numbers of fatalities since 2001.
Following 9/11, many Muslims condemned the vile act of terrorism in the United States and worldwide.
Learn more about some of the important facts behind the 9/11 attack in the video above.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Sara K. Schwittek