Terrorism Attack Essay Examples & Outline

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The 9/11 Attack

The events of the ninth of September, 2001 are a gruesome memory that will remain in the American history, now and for centuries to come. The damage caused in the American soil on that day caused shock not only to the American soil but also the whole world. The attack was unexpected and happened to get the American government cornered since they did not have any time to react. Within no time, the damage had already been done, and US the government left with no option rather than pointing fingers, in the direction they think the attack arose (Bodden 76). The blame of the attack fell entirely on the al-Qaida terrorist group, who have been identified to have a growing grudge with the United States of America.

The main reason for the attack on American soil is not till now very clear, but there are a couple of reasons that can be affiliated with the attack. First would be the hatred between the al-Qaeda, Taliban terrorist groups and the United States of America which rose as a result of the involvement of the US troops in Afghanistan soil (Kellner 54). The al-Qaeda viewed this invasion as an in intrusion and the fact that they were searching for their leader, Osama Bin Laden made the United States an enemy. The al-Qaeda is a terrorist group and their leader the late Osama Bin Laden was top on the United States most wanted criminal list.

Another reason that made the attack possible is the fact that the FBI, CIA, NCIS and all other intelligence organizations in the States were treating the terrorists like criminals. Therefore, any information they had about them did not move around among the forces but concealed. The CIA for example, knew that two of the suicide bombers involved in the attacks had a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, and they had pictures of the two men in the company of another terrorist, a top ranking Bin Laden Lieutenant (Posner 40). The breakdown in the sharing of information is one of the reasons that led to the attack happening.

The third reason that might have caused the attack is the United States foreign policies in the Middle East with emphasis to its support of Israel. Bin Laden was not happy with the support the US offered Israel which was a potential enemy to the Islamic states. This is very evident with the constant fights with Palestine over the Gaza strip that every nation wanted to own. The US had also supported Israel to attack Lebanon in 1982. In 1980, Osama Bin Laden was already leading a protest for the American goods in Afghanistan. The sending of over 500,000 US troops to Saudi Arabia, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 also did not make Bin Laden happy.

There is also another reason that can be attributed to be a cause of the 9/11 attacks and that would be the discrimination of the Muslims living in the West. The society was not very welcoming, and these angered the Muslims, those living in America and also in other nations. Two of the pilots who executed the attacks, Ramzi bin al Shibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed also happened to have lived in the US before the attacks. However, the discrimination and alienation made them more radical, and their urge for terrorist attacks rose.

On a bright Tuesday morning on September 11 2001, nineteen al-Qaeda suicide bombers coordinated four terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C metropolitan area. The attacks were very well coordinated, and the nineteen terrorists overtook the control of four airliners; American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93. Two of the hijacked planes were aiming to hit the World Trade Center in New York, and the other two to aim Washington DC (Posner 89). The timeline for what happened on that gruesome Tuesday is below:

7:59am ET - American Airlines Flight 11 leaves Logan Airport in Boston heading to Los Angeles. The plane strikes the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46am. Eleven crew members, seventy-six passengers and five hijackers on board.

8:14am ET - United Airlines Flight 175 leaves Logan Airport in Boston heading to Los Angeles. The plane strikes the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York City at 9:03am. Nine crew members, fifty-six passengers and five hijackers on board.

8:20am ET - American Airlines Flight 77 leaves Dulles International Airport in Virginia heading to Los Angeles. The plane strikes the Pentagon Building in Washington at 9:37am. Six crew members, fifty-three passengers and five hijackers on board.

9:59am ET - South tower of World Trade Center crumbles down in approximately 10 seconds.

08:42am ET - United Airlines Flight 93 leaves Newark International Airport in New Jersey heading to San Francisco. Crashes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 10:03am. Seven crew members, thirty-three passengers and four hijackers on board.

10:28am ET - North tower of World Trade Center collapses. The time difference between the first attack and the collapse of both World Trade Center towers is one hour and forty two minutes.

United Airlines Flight 93 was targeting to strike Washington DC, but the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. This was as a result of resistance from the hostages in the plane and the attempt of the passengers to overpower the hijackers. The delay is what led to the plane not striking its initial target (Zelikow 57). The destination of Flight 93 is thought to be either the White House or the Capitol. The collapse of the World Trade Center caused the surrounding ten building around them significant damage. American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense led to the collapse in the western side of the building.

The damage caused by the attacks was massive and very fatal with the death of approximately three thousand people recorded. All the passengers onboard in the planes did not survive the ordeal and the two hundred and forty six plus nineteen hijackers all found dead. At the pentagon, fifty five military officers also lost their lives and the remaining portion were those who passed away in New York. The twin towers contributed to the largest number of casualties, and most of them died as a result of being trapped or the smoke from the building.

About four hundred and forty one emergency workers also met their death in their efforts to try and rescue the people trapped and those caught in the fire. The deaths affected about ninety citizens with other nations of origin other than the state. A few weeks after the attacks, the death toll was over six thousand and had even doubled. The collected bodies that could be identified were roughly about one thousand six hundred.

The hit on the twin towers, which comprised of a hundred and ten floors, also affected other buildings found in the World Trade Center Complex. Buildings three, four, five six, and seven of the World Trade Center Complex were affected by the strike. The pedestrian bridges used to connect the two buildings and the Deutsche Bank Building located on Liberty Street just across the World Trade Center also suffered damage.

The World Trade Center building seven however came down the same day at around 5:20pm. In less than three seconds, the building fell apart, and there are claims that its demolition was in a controlled manner since it could not have mysteriously collapsed in such an organized manner (Howie 67). Fire was ruled out to be the cause of the building coming down since it does not have the power to bring down a steel frame building to collapse. The steel used for the building was flown overseas and melted showing intent to hide evidence. If the steel could have been tested, it could have shown the effects of the explosives. The fires caused by the strikes took the New York fire fighters about a hundred days to put out the fire completely.

Normally, if a plane loses contact with the plane service, fighter jets are sent in the air, to analyze the situation and bring the feedback (Zelikow 26). In this case, it took more than two hours for the fighter jets to react after the plane had lost contact. In a normal case, the fighter jets are sent in less than 20 minutes, but in this case they were delays. There was also a communication breakdown between the fighter jets and the commanders. After the first hit on the twin towers, the fighter jets were under the command to launch fire at any airplane that seemed to be hijacked. This was in contradiction whereas as they were sent out, they did not carry any weapons.

Another reason that raised controversy is that even after hearing that America was under attack the Secret service did not take the then president, George W. Bush away from a well publicized classroom. The Bush administration restricted the formation of an inquiry to investigate the attacks and only did so after four hundred and forty one days. Surprising enough, inquiries into the Pearl Harbor attack of the assassination of the late president John F. Kennedy started barely after a week (Kellner 8). These controversies show that the US government, might have been aware of the attack, but decided to discard the information they possessed. The reason why the government did not beef up security on the September first is still a mystery that is yet to be discovered. Why the Bush administration let the attack proceed right under their skin makes it harder to understand.

Osama Bin Laden had first denied either his involvement, or that of the al-Qaeda in the attack. He however released a video that showed on Al-Jazeera claiming that the al-Qaeda’s involvement in the attacks (Dixon 439). In his video, the attack was as a result of the involvement of the US troops in the Middle East and their support for Israel. Bin laden claimed that the idea of bombing the twin towers had hit him in 1982, during the Lebanon-Israel war after he saw Israel bring down high-rise apartments in Lebanon. Osama had declared a ‘jihad’, holy war against America in 1998 for the following reasons:

US support for the attacks on Muslims residing in Somalia

The presence of the US troops in Saudi Arabia

Economic and political sanctions placed on Iraq

US support of the oppression against the Muslims in Kashmir

US unending support for Israel who Bin Laden claimed that they were responsible for killing their people

US support of the Russian attacks on Muslims in Chechnya

Osama Bin Laden claimed that if the United States troops had not intruded Saudi Arabia, there would have been no need to attack the US. However, their intrusion in Saudi Arabia was a violation of Islam because they were again too close to Mecca, the Islam Holy Temple. His aim of attacking the World Business Center and all other targets was very strategic. Its aim was to paralyze the economy of the US and making the nation bankrupt, just like the US had intended when it made sanctions on Iraq (Howie 25). FBI investigations into one of the bags belonging to one of the terrorists after the attacks revealed that of the nineteen suicide bomber, fifteen of them were from Saudi Arabia.

The results of the attacks were both short term and long term. The Bush administration launched a War on Terror with the aim of punishing Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda. This was to prevent the emergence of more terrorist groups and even try to reduce the occurrence of another terrorist attack. On October the same year, US and British troops attacked bases thought to be held by al-Qaeda starting their war in Afghanistan (Dixon 313). Culturally, the elite Muslims living in the US condemned the attacks and helped the other citizens in trying to save the lives of those affected by the attack. There were some complains that rose all over the nation of innocent Muslims facing discrimination after the September eleventh attack.

The US government set up the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, and the congress on the other hand, passed the USA PATRIOT Act. The act claimed that it would help in the detection and prosecution of crimes and acts of terrorism. The act has however, faced a lot of protest from civil society groups. They claim that the law has the power to invade the privacy of citizens and overrides the power of the judiciary in terms of law enforcement. The government also awarded the National Security Agency the power to carry out surveillance, over telecommunications without having to provide a warrant. This was faced by another protest since it seemed as another way of violation of privacy.

The economic effects on the United States were long term and the New York Stock Exchange remained closed from the eleventh of September up to the seventeenth when it reopened. In the next three months after the attacks, $2.8 billion dollars was lost in wages due to the loss of 430,000 jobs (Dixon 156). The small businesses in Manhattan severely suffered with approximately eighteen thousand businesses getting affected. The North American airspace remained closed for a few days after the attack and this affected air travel in a significant way. Even after the re-opening, the levels of air travel had reduced. The attacks in Afghanistan and the set up of the Homeland security caused around $5 trillion.

In conclusion, the events of the September 11 2001, is one which is going to remain in the American History for quite a while. The US special troops in an attack in Pakistan in May 2 2011 left Osama dead and his body dumped in the sea. He was wanted for the attacks on US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and his killing was a success to the US though it cannot reclaim all the lives the attacks took. Since his death, the activities of the al-Qaeda have gone underground, and they have not been involved in any other major terrorist attacks (Bodden 63).

The United States has scheduled the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan next year. The building of the World Trade Center that will involve a museum is under construction, and just a few sections do the complex are complete. The US might have recovered from the attack, but the memory is still very new in the minds of those that were affected or lost their families and friends.


Howie, Luke. Terror on the Screen: Witnesses and the Re-Animation of 9/11 As Image-Event, Popular Culture, and Pornography. Washington, DC: New Academia Pub, 2011. Print. Pg 25,67.
Kellner, Douglas. From 9/11 to Terror War: The Dangers of the Bush Legacy. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003. Print. Pg 8, 54.
Bodden, Valerie. The 9/11 Terror Attacks. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2006. Print. Pg 63, 76.
Dixon, Lloyd S, and Rachel K. Stern. Compensation for Losses from the 9/11 Attacks. Santa Monica, Calif.
Posner, Richard A. Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11. Stanford, Calif: Hoover Institution, Stanford Univ, 2005. Print. Pg 40 ,89.
Zelikow, Philip. The 9/11 Commission Report: The Attack from Planning to Aftermath : Authorized Text. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2011. Print. Pg 26, 57.

Narco Terrorism in USA

    Narco terrorism refers to acts of violence and terrorism carried out to prevent interference with or to divert attention from illegal drug trafficking. It can also refer to terrorism financed by profits obtained from illegal drug trafficking activities. In the USA, both of these forms of narcoterrorism are constant features in the lives of many Americans and the security agencies involved. There have been numerous attempts from the police and drug agencies to fish out these groups and individuals responsible for drug trafficking (Forest 99). However, many at times most of these individuals and groups have managed to escape the long arm of the law, resulting in more widespread cases of narcoterrorism. It is necessary to understand the effects and causes of narcoterrorism in the United States of America if it is to be stopped.

Causes of Narcoterrorism

    Narcoterrorism has long been one of the many headaches that the United States government suffers from perennially. In the global economic picture, there are always two sides of the economy coin. On one, side, people and businesses make their money legally while, on the other side, people make money illegally such as from the sale of narcotics. The drug trade is a constant sphere of influence that has not only policy, but also political implications on the United States of America. The prohibition of the drug trade is, more often than not, at the root of narcoterrorism.

    It is worth noting that only drugs that are branded illegal are the ones at the center of conflict between the United States government and drug cartels. The prohibition of these drugs is responsible for fuelling the fire in which the government and the cartels perennially burn. Many of these drugs are the sources of livelihood for the cartels involved in their trafficking (Davids 82). Sadly, they are also the sources of funding that quite a number of terrorist groups depend on to finance their terror activities. This results in a situation in which the government is fighting the trafficking of drugs while some individuals and cartels are fighting to have their way with the government on the sale of drugs. In many of the countries that suffer from narcoterrorism, the United States included, prohibition of drugs is the cause of conflict.

    In the United States, terror activities against the Federal government have been witnessed in recent years. The worst example of this terrorist attacks was the September 11 attack in which many civilians lost their lives with the bombing of the World Trade Center. However, local law enforcement and anti drug agencies have also felt the pinch of narcoterrorism. In the case of the 9/11 attacks, it is believed that the terrorist group responsible for the attack draws most of its revenue from the sale and trafficking of drugs.

The sale of poppy and opium in Afghanistan has long been a constant source of revenue for the Taliban group. The insurgents of this group sell the drugs, and also tax the sale of these drugs by other individuals (Forest 177). Needless to say, the revenue is in millions of dollars. It is this same revenue, which the Taliban group uses to fund, and support its sleeper insurgents who reside in USA. Through elaborate money laundering procedures, these insurgents receive the funding they need to carry out terrorist attacks in America.

    The manufacture and sale of narcotics within the United States of America is controlled by local drug cartels that have monopolized the drug business in their respective turfs. Many of these cartels comprise of ethnic groups that have banded together to form cartels that control the drug trafficking in their neighborhoods. Most of the cartels are either Hispanic or black in ethnic composition. The result is a large number of drug cartels that are responsible for the trafficking of drugs into, as well as out of USA.

These cartels also control local distribution of drugs. Many of the cartels are pursued by the law enforcement agencies involved, in a bid to end the drug trade (Davids 132). The result is often in the form of fatal shoot-outs between the cartel members and the law enforcement officers. Many lives are lost in the course of these drug wars in the USA, seeing that many innocent civilians are often caught in the crossfire of these shoot-outs.

    Rampant corruption and terrorism in the law enforcement agencies is primarily responsible for the increased levels of narcoterrorism in the United States. Many at times, officers who are fully against the drug business end up facing intimidation and terrorism. The drug cartels may forcefully bribe the officers while threatening them and their families. Many are times when law enforcement officers working against drug trafficking have lost close relatives and family members, in dubious circumstances, as a means of intimidation from the cartels. The cartels are often made of locals who know the neighborhoods and the people well enough to know personal details about them.

The cartels even go through the trouble of finding out the homes and relatives of these individuals, and use this as leverage to prevent law enforcement from taking action against them. This results in a weakened law enforcement force that is often ‘fully’ bribed from the highest to the lowest ranking officer. The fact that accepting bribes is a federal offence puts the officers in a tough spot insofar as pursuing these cartels is concerned. Many of the cartels also intimidate by challenging the law enforcement agencies to take action. They intimidate the police bosses who in turn force their subordinates to loosen the reins on the fight against drug trafficking.

    The fight against narcoterrorism in the United States is one that faces a myriad of challenges. It is necessary to take the right steps to stop this form of terrorism in the USA. In order to, efficiently, deal with narcoterrorism in the USA, the fight against narcotics trafficking and trade must first be won. The first step towards winning the battle against narcotics is to eradicate corruption in law enforcement agencies. The number of officers that are on the payroll of drug trafficking cartels is very high. There is a need to deal with this corruption since it is the biggest stumbling block towards dealing with narcoterrorism (Davids 176). Many officers are moles to these cartels and inform them of the measures the government is taking towards fighting the cartels. By ensuring that all bribed officers are punished, and that all present officers are all focused on one goal, this fight stands a chance on being won.

    Secondly, intelligence will be vital in fighting drug cartels. By having reliable intelligence on the revenue portfolios of these cartels, stopping them will be easier than it is at present. This will require in-depth penetration of these cartels by undercover agents that will secretly gather intelligence on the activities of these cartels. This will help to stop the trafficking and shipment of drugs by these cartels.

    The constant presence of state security will be vital in fighting the cartels, drugs trafficking and, in turn, narcoterrorism. Many drug cartels thrive in regions that lack adequate security. The inability of the government to provide intensive security plays a key part in the success stories of these cartels. In order to address this matter, ensuring that police and anti-narcotics officers are present at all times, in all neighborhoods, will help reduce the chances of success of these cartels. This is because the heavy law enforcement presence discourages the development of any cartels whatsoever.

    The cartels and individuals that are responsible for narcoterrorism are often just individuals looking to survive in a tough world. The lack of jobs and opportunities to further themselves economically poses a great challenge to the government (Forest 45). Many cartels recruit such individuals and the offer of making a good amount of money is very lucrative to these individuals. The fight against narcoterrorism will receive a big boost once the labor force of the cartels is no longer working for them. By ensuring that many of the individuals offering service to the cartels no longer do so, narcoterrorism in USA will be well on its way to doom.


Narcoterrorism continues to be a civil problem in the United States of America. However, government efforts to alleviate this problem will be very important today and in the future.

Works Cited

Forest, James J. F. Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century: International Perspectives. Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International, 2007. Internet resource.
Davids, Douglas J. Narco-terrorism: A Unified Strategy to Fight a Growing Terrorist Menace. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, Inc, 2002. Print.