It’s the 9/11 20th Anniversary today. The September 11 attacks in 2001 froze the entire world. It was after this attack that the world came face-to-face with the ugly face of terrorism. We also understood the scale and magnitude of devastation that could be unleashed if unscrupulous elements were left unchecked. It was a wake-up call for the US since they intensified their crackdown on global terrorism, tightened airport security, and even went on to undertake an operation to find and kill Osama bin Laden. But did you know that the second tower collapsed immediately and that the first tower took a while before crumbling? Here are astonishing facts about 9/11 that you may not know.
1. 19 hijackers and 4 planes:
It’s astonishing how a total of 19 9/11 hijackers managed to infiltrate 4 planes. TSA was not as stringent as they are now but it’s a fact that groups of 4 terrorists managed to infiltrate 4 large commercial airliners on the same day.
2. The White House was saved:
Despite the White House being a no-fly zone, one of the 4 planes which was headed for DC luckily missed its target. This was due to the quick thinking of passengers inside the plane who somehow got word of the Twin Tower and Pentagon attacks and stormed the cockpit to take down the terrorists. And even though the White House was already evacuated, it was saved by a hairline. Unfortunately, the fourth plane crashed in an open field, killing all on board.
3. The Pentagon was also destroyed:
When we think of 9/11, we remember the Twin Towers collapsing. But the Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense in DC was also destroyed. Although it wasn’t a high rise like the twin towers, it was a small building where Plane No. 3 crashed and a lot of people died here as well.
4. The Gruesome details:
The crashing of the planes was just the beginning. A lot of people died gruesome deaths getting burned by jet fuel coming down the elevator shafts, and falling to their deaths from the windows of high floors. Some people were also trapped under the debris of the collapsed towers and died because they couldn’t be rescued on time.
5. The US had funded the Taliban before 9/11:
Not many know this fact but the Taliban was formed in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet forces that had taken over the country. The US assisted them in the fight by providing military weapons and training them to become fighters. It was not until Al-Qaeda was formed under the leadership of Osama that the tables turned against the US and the world was left facing an enemy they had created.