Reference 2009 9/11 Unanswered Questions

07 Other Atrocities

9/11 – Unanswered Questions

by Moign Khawaja

Foreign Policy Journal, September 16, 2009

Eight years have passed since the fateful bombings took place on 11th of September, 2001 in New York and nearby states. Every year thousands of people gather in downtown Manhattan to commemorate the terrorist atrocities. Every year the President of the United States of America addresses the nation and renews his pledge to track down the terrorists and defeat them. The newspapers publish special supplements that weigh tons and media outlets fill hours of airtime to recall the incidents that took place eight years ago.

Since then, two wars have been waged, unknown number of terrorists have been nabbed, several inquiries have been launched and several regimes have been uprooted across the world. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives on 9/11 of 2001. Hundreds of thousands of more innocent civilians since then have lost their lives in events related to the 9/11 attacks. The worst thing – the end of bloodshed is no where in sight.

A lot has been debated about the events that took place as a result of 9/11 attacks. But, how much do we actually know about the incidents that took place on 11th of September, 2001 itself? Have we ever tried to understand the pattern of the events and debated them? Most of you would say a big NO. So, in order to get a clearer picture, let’s strip to 5 W’s, the ‘basics of journalism’, which is the key formula for getting the full story of any incident.

WHAT? What happened? What is the story?

According to the official account, four commercial airplanes were hijacked. Three of them were crashed into the buildings while the fourth one came down in a field in Pennsylvania. Following is the list of incidents that occurred on the morning of 9/11. Please note that the death toll and number of casualties is quoted from the official accounts:

Incident: Airline hijacking and terrorist attack
Location: North & South Towers, World Trade Centre, downtown Manhattan, New York City
Fatalities/Casualties: 3,017 (including 19 hijackers and 24 presumed dead); 6,300 approx.
Summary: Two Boeing airliners crashed into WTC towers kamikaze style to inflict maximum casualties on civilians. Buildings do not sustain the impact of the attacks and collapse within hours causing immense damage to thousands of human lives and property worth billions of dollars.

Incident: Airline hijacking and terrorist attack
Location: Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia
Fatalities/Casualties: 189 (64 people on the airliner and 125 in the Pentagon); 106 approx.
Summary: A hijacked Boeing airliner crashed into The Pentagon building in an apparent attempt to inflict damage on US military infrastructure. The building, recently renovated and empty at that time did sustain some impact, causing a few floors to collapse as a result of the crash and subsequent fire.

Incident: Airline hijacking and terrorist attack
Location: Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Fatalities/Casualties: 44 dead (including 4 hijackers)
Summary: A hijacked Boeing airliner crashed in a field in Somerset country, Pennsylvania state. The airliner was apparently heading to Washington D.C. before it crashed 240 km northeast of the capital. Remains of all the people on board the aircraft were identified. Official reports say there was an on board uprising staged by the passengers who tried to overpower the hijackers before the plane crashed.



What happened to the following unknown victims of the hijacked planes?

  • Only 87 out of the 92 people on board Flight 11 named. Fate of five people still remains unknown.
  • Only 59 out of the 65 people on board Flight 175 named. Six people yet to be named.
  • Only 59 out of the 64 people on board Flight 77 named. Five people remain missing.
  • Only 40 out of the 44 victims on board Flight 93 named. Four people yet to be named.
  • What happened to the remains of thousands of people who lost their lives following the crashing of the airliners into the towers?
  • What did officials knew about the terrorist plans? How did they find out and why was preemptive action not taken?
  • What about the other people who were arrested soon after the attacks on suspicion of aiding the hijackers and planning to stage more terrorist attacks on US soil? Were they charged or released?
  • What happened to the black boxes of the aircraft that became the target of terrorist attacks?
  • What happened to the flight control recordings of the four hijacked flights that were recorded by air traffic controllers?

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