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Name___________________________________ Directions: For the ...



Published by
Reads 87
Language English
Directions: For the following questions(s), use this passage adapted from Mark Kishlansky’s,
Patrick Geary’s, and Patricia O’Brien’s text,
Civilization in the West
September 11, 2001: A Turning Point
On September 11, 2001, four U.S. passenger planes were hijacked and used as flying bombs in a coordinated action
that targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon outside of Washington, DC.
Two of the four hijacked planes
slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and a third plane hit its mark by diving into the Pentagon.
The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, its suicide attack
by passengers who opposed their
More than 3,000 people were killed, thousands more were wounded, and the loss of property was
in the worst terrorist attack in history.
The events horrified people around the world who understood that two symbols of American global, financial, and
military dominance had been singled out in a carefully planned and executed mission of destruction.
Osama bin
Laden was identified as the source of terrorist devastation.
The event was immediately compared to the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which provoked the entry of the United States into World War Two.
George W. Bush declared, in the wake of the terrorist attacks, that the United States was entering “a new kind of
war,” one not waged between nations but one whose
stateless enemy
would be sought out and hunted down.
Terrorism had long plagued Europe and the Middle East, but the September 11 attacks marked the first time in
history that an act of terrorist warfare by an external enemy took place on American soil.
This terrorist attack event
marked a turning point in the struggle against terrorism and a new focus in state security measures of western
It also marked the beginning of a new war.
Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian millionaire, who had been trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, had
fought against the Russians in Afghanistan between 1980 and 1989.
In June 2001, bin Laden called on the Muslims
of the world to mobilize themselves into a general
or holy war, against their enemies.
It was three months
after this call-to-arms, that terrorists dealt their most extreme blow against the United States.
Because of this new threat, the Americans and their allies in Europe and throughout the world joined forces in
pledging to eradicate terrorism.
Stringent security measures in airports and public places were instituted worldwide
as nations faced harsh new political realities, including incidents of bioterrorism—��germ warfare against civilians—��
that took
place in the United States in the months following the September terrorist attacks.
When the European
Union and the United States passed new laws and directives to combat terrorism, critics feared the curtailment of
civil liberties.
Racist incidents against Muslims and Arabs mounted, even as European and American leaders
stressed that bin Laden and his network was nonrepresentative and fanatical fringe within the Muslim world.
October 2001, less than a month after the attacks, the United States and Great Britain began massive bombing of
Afghanistan, the small mountainous country said to be
bin Laden, after the Taliban, the fundamentalist
Muslim ruling group, refused to hand bin Laden over to the United States.