The Media and Terrorism
The media do not inform us about the everyday, common events of the world,
there is no sensation in them. It means that they cannot sell their newspapers and
there are not enough TV viewers if they do not provide something bloody.
It happens many times that we do not the reality and the truth.
Young people gather in gangs to terrify and threaten other people. The media
make films of their actions because they want to get the world’s attention.
We made interviews with some people to see what they think about the
relationship of terrorism and media. We are enclosing some parts of these
1/ ‘I think contemporary terrorists do not think over their actions. They risk their
own lives when committing their plots and other people even do not understand
/a 17-year old student/
2/ ‘As I am growing older I begin to understand more and more young people
against terror attacks. In my view, terrorists do not have the right to horrify
others. In some countries there are leaders giving orders to others to commit
plots and kill innocent people.’
/a 41-year old teacher/
3/ ‘I have no idea why they attack innocent people and what it is good for.’
/an 18-year old student/
4/ ‘I heard an expert the other day tell: There are religious leaders in Islamic
countries who promise happy eternal life to terrorists in order to get them
commit suicide explosions. I cannot understand how human beings can be so
/a 16-year old student/
5/ ‘Terrorism cannot be understood. Just consider the death of so many innocent
people who had not done anything against terrorists, had never even met them.
Their death cannot be explained.’
/a 38-year old teacher/
6/ ‘When will somebody stop it??? It is high time, believe me.
/a 18-year old student’
Let us focus on the following scaring example: September 11 th
The September 11, 2001 attacks consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist suicide
attacks by Islamic extremists on the United States on September 11, 2001. The victims were
On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda
hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Each team of hijackers included a trained
pilot. The hijackers intentionally crashed two of the airliners (United Airlines Flight 175 and
American Airlines Flight 11) into the World Trade Center in New York City, New York, one
plane into each tower (1 WTC and 2 WTC), resulting in the collapse of both buildings soon
afterward and irreparable damage to nearby buildings. The hijackers crashed a third airliner
(American Airlines Flight 77) into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, near
Washington D.C. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft (United
Airlines Flight 93) attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane
crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. In
addition to the 19 hijackers, 2,973 people died; another 24 are missing and presumed dead.
Main article: September 11, 2001 timeline for the day of the attacks
Four commercial airliners were hijacked en route to California from Logan International,
Dulles International, and Newark airports. Each of the airliners had a jet fuel capacity of
nearly 24,000 U.S. gallons (91,000 liters) or 144,000 pounds (65,455 kilograms). Two of
the airliners were flown into the World Trade Center, one each into the North and South
towers, one was flown into the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed near Shanksville,
American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767-223 wide-body aircraft, crashed into the
northern side of the North Tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) at 8:46:30 a.m.
local time (Eastern Daylight Time, 12:46:30 UTC).
United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767-222, crashed into the South Tower at
9:02:59 a.m. local time (13:02:59 UTC), an event covered live by television
broadcasters and amateur filmers from around the world who had their cameras
trained on the buildings after the earlier crash.
American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757-223, crashed into the Pentagon at
9:37:46 a.m. local time.
United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757-222, crashed in a field in southwest
Pennsylvania just outside of Shanksville, about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of
Washington, D.C., at 10:03:11 a.m. local time (14:03:11 UTC). The crash in
Pennsylvania resulted from the passengers of the airliner attempting to regain control
from the hijackers.
Three buildings in the World Trade Center Complex collapsed due to structural failure on the
day of the attack. The south tower (2 WTC) fell at approximately 9:59 a.m., after burning for
56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175 at 9:03 a.m. The north
tower (1 WTC) fell at 10:28 a.m., after burning approximately 102 minutes in a fire caused by
the impact of American Airlines Flight 11 at 8:46 a.m. A third building, 7 World Trade Center
(7 WTC) collapsed at 5:20 p.m., after being heavily damaged by debris from the Twin Towers
when they fell and subsequent fires. Numerous adjacent buildings to the complex also
had substantial damage and fires and had to be demolished. The Deutsche Bank Building is
the only remaining large structure that suffered damage and fires at ground zero that has yet to
be fully demolished, though this is expected to be completed by mid 2007.´
During the hijacking some passengers and crew members were able to make phone calls using
the cabin GTE airphone service. They reported that several hijackers were aboard each
The terrorists reportedly took control of the aircraft by using knives and box-cutter knives to
kill flight attendants and at least one pilot or passenger, including the captain of Flight 11,
Some form of noxious chemical spray, such as tear gas or pepper spray, was reported to have
been used on American 11 and United 175 to keep passengers out of the first-class cabin.
Bomb threats were made on three of the aircraft, but not on American 77. According to the
9/11 Commission Report, the bombs were probably fake. The 9/11 Commission established
that two of the hijackers had recently purchased Leatherman multi-function hand tools.
On United Airlines Flight 93, black box recordings revealed that crew and passengers
attempted to seize control of the plane from the hijackers after learning through phone calls
that similarly hijacked planes had been crashed into buildings that morning. According to the
transcript of Flight 93's recorder, one of the hijackers gave the order to roll the plane once it
became evident that they would lose control of the plane to the passengers. Soon afterward,
the aircraft crashed into a field near Shanksville in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County,
Pennsylvania, at 10:03:11 a.m. local time (14:03:11 UTC). The 9/11 Panel reported that
captured al-Qaeda leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said that Flight 93's target was the
United States Capitol, which was given the code name "the Faculty of Law."
The attacks created widespread confusion across the United States. Unconfirmed and often
contradictory reports were aired and published throughout the day. One of the most prevalent
of these reported that a car bomb had been detonated at the U.S. State Department's
headquarters, the Truman Building in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C. This erroneous
report, picked up by the wire services, was reported on CNN and in a number of newspapers
published that day. Soon after reporting for the first time on the Pentagon crash, CNN and
other media also briefly reported that a fire had broken out on the Washington Mall. Another
report went out on the AP wire, claiming that a Delta 767—Flight 1989—had been hijacked.
This report, too, turned out to be in error; the plane was briefly thought to represent a hijack
risk, but it responded to controllers and landed safely in Cleveland, Ohio.[17
There were 2,973 fatalities, not including the 19 hijackers: 246 on the four planes (no one on
board any of the hijacked aircraft survived), 2,602 in New York City in the towers and on
the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon. Among the fatalities were 343 New York City Fire
Department firefighters, 23 New York City Police Department officers, and 37 Port Authority
Police Department officers. An additional 24 people remain listed as missing.
World Trade Center - 1366 people died who were at or above the floors of impact in the
North Tower (1 WTC); according to the Commission Report, hundreds were killed instantly
by the impact while the rest were trapped and died after the tower collapsed.
As many as 600 people were killed instantly or trapped at or above the floors of impact in the
South Tower (2 WTC). Only about 18 managed to escape in time from above the impact zone
and out of the South Tower before it collapsed.
An estimated 200 people jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as depicted in the
photograph "The Falling Man"), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings
hundreds of feet below. To witnesses watching, a few of the people falling from the towers
seemed to have stumbled out of broken windows. Some of the occupants of each tower
above its point of impact made their way upward toward the roof in hope of helicopter rescue,
however; no rescue plan existed for such an eventuality, the roof access doors were locked
and thick smoke and intense heat would have prevented rescue helicopters from landing.[
Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., an investment bank on the 101st–105th floors of One World Trade
Center, lost 658 employees, considerably more than any other employer. Marsh Inc., located
immediately below Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 93–101 (the location of Flight 11's impact),
lost 295 employees, including one on Flight 175. Additionally, Marsh lost 38 consultants.
Approximately 400 rescue workers, most of them of the FDNY, died when the towers
According to the Associated Press, the city identified over 1,600 bodies but was unable to
identify the rest (about 1,100 people). They report that the city has "about 10,000 unidentified
bone and tissue fragments that cannot be matched to the list of the dead." Bone fragments
were still being found in 2006 as workers prepared the damaged Deutsche Bank Building for
demolition. The average age of all the dead in New York City was 40.
The dead included 8 children: 5 on American 77 ranging in age from 3 to 11, 3 on United 175
ages 2, 3, and 4. The youngest victim was a 2 year-old child on Flight 175, the oldest an 82
year-old passenger on Flight 11. In the buildings, the youngest victim was 17 and the oldest
In the suburbs around New York City many schools closed for the day, evacuated, or were
locked down. Other school districts shielded students from watching television because many
of their parents held jobs in the World Trade Center towers. In New Jersey and Connecticut,
private schools were evacuated. Children in schools of Maryland, those nearest to DC, were
sent home. Scarsdale, New York schools closed for the day. Greenwich, Connecticut, about
20 miles north of the city, had hundreds of school children with direct ties to victims of the
attacks. Greenwich and nearby New Canaan, two of the wealthiest towns in the area along
with neighboring Darien, had more residents killed, as a percentage of total population, than
any other Connecticut town. After New York, New Jersey was the hardest hit state, with the
town of Hoboken sustaining the most fatalities. All of the fatalities were civilians except
some of the 125 victims in the Pentagon.
In addition to the 110-floor Twin Towers of the World Trade Center itself, five other
buildings at the World Trade Center site, including 7 World Trade Center and the Marriott
Hotel, two New York City Subway stations, and St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church were
destroyed or badly damaged. In total, in Manhattan, 25 buildings were damaged and all seven
buildings of the World Trade Center Complex had to be razed. Two additional buildings were
later condemned: the Deutsche Bank Building across Liberty Street from the World Trade
Center complex, due to the uninhabitable, toxic conditions inside the office tower and
Borough of Manhattan Community College's Fiterman Hall at 30 West Broadway due to
extensive damage in the attacks. These buildings are both (as of September 2006) slated for
Communications equipment, such as broadcast radio, television and two-way radio antenna
towers, were damaged beyond repair. In Arlington County, a portion of the Pentagon was
severely damaged by fire and one section of the building collapsed.
According to the 9/11 Commission, approximately 16,000 people were below the impact
zones in the World Trade Center complex at the time of the attacks. The vast majority of
those below the impact areas survived, evacuating before the towers collapsed.
See also: Survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks
See also: Organizers of the September 11, 2001 attacks
Nineteen men boarded the four planes, five each on American Airlines Flight 11, United
Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 77, four on United Airlines Flight 93.
Fifteen of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one
from Egypt, and one from Lebanon.
The group consisted of six core organizers, which included the four pilots, and thirteen others.
Unlike many stereotypes of hijackers or terrorists, most of the attackers were educated and
came from well-to-do backgrounds.
Other potential hijackers
27 members of al-Qaeda attempted to enter the United States to take part in the September 11
attacks, but only 19 participated. Other would-be hijackers are often referred to as the 20th
Zacarias Moussaoui was reportedly considered as a replacement for Ziad Jarrah, who at one
point threatened to withdraw from the scheme because of tensions amongst the plotters. Plans
to include Moussaoui were never completed because the al-Qaeda hierarchy allegedly had
doubts about his reliability. He was arrested on August 16, 2001, about four weeks before the
attacks, ostensibly for an immigration violation, but FBI agents suspected he had violent
intentions after receiving flight training earlier that year. In April 2005, Moussaoui pleaded
guilty to conspiring to hijack planes, and to involvement with al-Qaeda, but he denies
foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks. Moussaoui, at his sentencing hearing in March 2006,
claimed that, upon the personal directive of Osama bin Laden, he and Richard Reid were due
to hijack a fifth plane and fly it into the White House.
His defense lawyers dismissed this as fantasy on the part of Moussaoui, saying that he was not
an operative in al Qaeda, but only a "hanger-on." In a video tape released in May 2006,
Osama bin Laden claimed that Moussaoui had "no connection whatsoever with the events of
September 11" and that he knows this because "I was responsible for entrusting the 19
brothers" who carried out the attacks. On May 3, 2006, a federal jury rejected the death
penalty and sentenced Moussaoui to 6 life terms in prison without parole.
Buildings surrounding the World Trade Center were heavily damaged by the debris and
massive force of the falling twin towers
At Moussaoui's sentencing trial, FBI agent Greg Jones testified that prior to the attacks, he
urged his supervisor, Michael Maltbie, "to prevent Zacarias Moussaoui from flying a plane
into the World Trade Center." Maltbie had refused to act on 70 requests from another agent,
Harry Samit, to obtain a warrant to search Moussaoui's computer.
Potential hijackers denied entry into U.S.
Ramzi Binalshibh allegedly meant to take part in the attacks, but he was repeatedly denied a
visa for entry into the U.S. Mohamed al-Kahtani, a Saudi Arabian citizen, may also have
been planning to join the hijackers, but U.S. Immigration authorities at Orlando International
Airport refused his entry into the U.S. in August 2001. He was later captured in Afghanistan
and imprisoned at the U.S. military prison known as Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay,
Other names of potential hijackers
Other al-Qaeda members who may have attempted, but were unable, to take part in the attacks
include Saeed al-Ghamdi (not to be confused with the successful hijacker of the same name),
Mushabib al-Hamlan, Zakariyah Essabar, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Tawfiq bin Attash.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the attack's
mastermind, wanted to remove at least one member—Khalid al-Mihdhar—from the
operation, but he was overruled by Osama bin Laden.
Background history of the attacks
Main articles: Background history of the September 11, 2001 attacks and Planning of
the September 11, 2001 attacks
Main article: Responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks
Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, mid-day. Emergency vehicles of the first responders
have been destroyed, and fires can be seen in the immediate area.
Damage and fires at Ground Zero on September 11.
Within hours of the attacks, the FBI was able to determine the names and in many cases
details such as dates of birth, known and/or possible residences, visa status, and specific
identity of the suspected pilots and hijackers. Few had made any attempt to disguise
their names on flight and credit card records, and they were some of the few people of Arabic
descent on the flights. Mohamed Atta's luggage, which did not make the connection from his
Portland flight onto American Airlines Flight 11, contained papers that revealed the identity
of all 19 hijackers, and other important clues about their plans, motives, and backgrounds.
On the day of the attacks, the National Security Agency intercepted communications that
pointed to Osama bin Laden, as did German intelligence agencies.
On September 27, 2001, the FBI released photos of the 19 hijackers, along with information
about the possible nationalities and aliases of many. The FBI investigation into the
September 11, 2001 attacks, code named operation PENTTBOM, was the largest and most
complex investigation in the history of the FBI, involving over 7,000 special agents. The
United States government determined that al-Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, bore
responsibility for the attacks, with the FBI stating that evidence linking Al-Qaeda and bin
Laden to the attacks of September 11 is clear and irrefutable. The Government of the
United Kingdom reached the same conclusion, regarding Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden's
culpability for the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Osama bin Laden's declaration of a holy war against the United States, and a Fatwa signed by
bin Laden and others calling for the killing of American civilians in 1998, are seen by many
as evidence of his motivation to commit such acts.
Bin Laden initially denied, but later admitted involvement in the incidents. On September 16,
2001, bin Laden denied any involvement with the attacks by reading a statement which was
broadcast by Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite channel: "I stress that I have not carried out this act,
which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation." This
denial was broadcast on U.S. news networks and worldwide.
In November 2001, U.S. forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Jalalabad,
Afghanistan, in which Osama bin Laden is talking to Khaled al-Harbi. In the tape, bin Laden
admits foreknowledge of the attacks. The tape was broadcast on various news networks
from December 13, 2001.
On December 27, 2001, a second bin Laden video was released. In the video, he stated
"Terrorism against America deserves to be praised because it was a response to injustice,
aimed at forcing America to stop its support for Israel, which kills our people," but he stopped
short of admitting responsibility for the attacks.
Shortly before the U.S. presidential election in 2004, in a taped statement, bin Laden publicly
acknowledged al-Qaeda's involvement in the attacks on the U.S, and admitted his direct link
to the attacks. He said that the attacks were carried out because, "We are a free people who do
not accept injustice, and we want to regain the freedom of our nation."
In a videotape aired on Al Jazeera, on October 30, 2004, bin Laden said he had personally
directed the 19 hijackers. Another video obtained by Al Jazeera in September 2006 shows
Osama bin Laden with Ramzi Binalshibh, as well as two hijackers, Hamza al-Ghamdi and
Wail al-Shehri, as they make preparations for the attacks.[