Source Pravda.Ru

On September 11, 2001, US was faced with the biggest terrorist act in the history of humanity

At 8:45, local time, the Boeing-767, hijacked by terrorists during its Boston-Los Angeles flight, rammed through the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in New York. Eighteen minutes later, another airliner, Boeing-757, which was on the route from Washington to Los Angeles, slammed into the South Tower of the Trade Centre.

At 9:40, one more hijacked airliner rammed through the Pentagon building in the suburb of Washington. As a result of the strong fire, at 9:50 the South Tower of the World Trade Centre crashed, and at 10:29 - the North Tower.

The New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, declared a state of emergency.

At 10:15 part of the Pentagon building collapsed. Later, a state of emergency was declared also in Washington.

Another hijacked plane fell on the ground 128 kilometres to the south east from Pittsburgh, near the town of Shanksville (Pennsylvania state) at half past ten in the morning.

At six o'clock in the evening, another, 47-storey, building of the complex of the World Trade Centre collapsed. It stood in immediate proximity to the Twin Towers.

As a result of these terrorist acts all people who were in those buildings and in the hijacked airliners died.

On July 15, 2002, the work for searching the remains of the victims of the terrorist acts was officially completed.

On August 20, 2002, the first official list of the killed as a result of the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York was published. It consists of 2,801 people from eighty countries, including three Russians. In the two planes, which rammed through the Towers, a total of 157 people died.

The terrorist act in Washington took the toll of 184 lives: 125 staff-members of the Pentagon and 59 passengers and members of the crew. Forty-four people died as a result of the plane's crash in the state of Pennsylvania.

Many of those who died were on the peak of their career. Ten people were managers, founders or presidents of companies, 59 occupied the posts of vice presidents of corporations.

Apart from that, the accident took the toll of the lives of 343 firemen and policemen who managed to save about 30,000 people.

The total number of the victims topped 3,500.

According to the New York financial department, the total losses of the city as a result of the committed acts amounted to 95 billion dollars. As many as some 13 million square metres of office premises have been destroyed.

At 9:15, immediately after the terrorist acts in New York, US President George W. Bush made a statement, condemning the terrorist acts. In the evening he addressed the nation, saying that we must not make difference between those who committed these terrorist acts and those who give refuge to such terrorists.

The world community has unanimously condemned the actions of the terrorists.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first leader of a foreign state who expressed his condolences to the American people in connection with the terrorist acts.

On September 12, investigation started of the terrorist acts which were committed in New York and Washington. Soon after the beginning of the investigation the main suspects were announced: Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organisation which he had founded. As was also found out, the total number of hijackers, who had to take part in the terrorist acts, amounted to a minimum of thirty.

In the course of the investigation about 800 people were arrested. However, the FBI is confident that only four of them possess really valuable information. Among those four is French citizen Zacarios Moussaoui, a Morrocan by birth, arrested in August in Minnesota, who was officially charged in accordance with six articles on December 2001.

The punishment under the four of these accusations is death penalty.

On February 15, 2002, the Congress started investigating the supposed mistakes in the activity of the secrete services in connection with the events of September 11. Both investigations have not yet been completed. The search for the main suspect - Osama bin Laden - continues.

The reply by the United States to the terrorist acts was the anti-terrorist operation, started in October 2001, against bin Laden, who holed up in Afghanistan, and against the Taliban regime which supported him. For conducting the operation, an anti-terrorist coalition, including Russia, has been formed. The member countries of the coalition have been rendering all kind of aid to conducting the operation, including financial and military-technological support, and provided transport corridors.

As a result of the joint efforts of the countries of the anti-terrorist coalition and of the Afghan forces in opposition to the Taliban movement, an interim government, headed by Hamid Karzai, came to power in the country.

All the bases for training Al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan have been destroyed, and many members of this organisation were arrested and are now kept at the American base in Cuba.

The United States is gradually coming to normal after the tragic shock. The New York Mayor's Office is summing up the results of the contest for erecting buildings on the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre previously stood.

In June, this year, a month earlier than was planned, the restoration of the Pentagon was completed. The builders have restored more than 37,000 square metres. The burned part of the wall into which the plane slammed, has been installed on the restored western facade. The restoration work has cost 740 million dollars. At a special ceremony on this score a capsule was laid with the list of the names of all those killed by the act of terrorism.

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