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Basics of 9/11.

The U.S foreign policy change after the 9/11 attacks were essential, but the civil liberties and human right controversy around the lack of privacy due to some of the policies was substantial.

September 11, 2001 - Al-Qaeda operatives (multinational militant Sunni Islamic extremist group) hijack 4 commercial airliners and crash them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane crashes in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Close to three thousand people die in the attacks. Although Afghanistan is the base for al-Qaeda, none of the nineteen hijackers are Afghan nationals. The hijackers included Mohammed Atta who was an Egyptian and led the group, and fifteen of the hijackers originated from Saudi Arabia. President George W. Bush vows to “win the war against terrorism,” and later zeros in on al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

September 18, 2001 - President Bush signs into law a joint resolution authorizing the use of force against those ‘responsible’ for attacking the United States on 9/11. This joint resolution will later be cited by the Bush administration as legal rationale for its decision to take sweeping measures to combat terrorism, from invading Afghanistan, to eavesdropping on U.S. citizens without a court order, to standing up the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

December 5, 2001 - After the fall of Kabul in November 2001, the United Nations invites major Afghan factions, most prominently the Northern Alliance and a group led by the former king (but not the Taliban), to a conference in Bonn, Germany. On December 5, 2001, the factions sign the Bonn Agreement, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 1383. The agreement installs Hamid Karzai as interim administration head, and creates an international peacekeeping force to maintain security in Kabul. The Bonn Agreement is followed by UN Security Council Resolution 1386 on December 20, which establishes the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF.

In Afghanistan mosques were burned or destroyed and death threats and harassment followed many Muslims in the weeks following the attacks, according to congressional testimony from the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2011. Some victims were beaten, attacked or held at gunpoint for merely being perceived as Muslim, the organization said. According to US Air Force statistics released in February 2020, the US dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than in any other year since 2013. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, who is Muslim, reflected on 9/11 and the discrimination that followed in an interview with ABC News. "As Americans, as people who are living here, we were also attacked," she said. "This is our community, this is our country, and there were Muslims who lost their lives in those towers, who were Muslim firefighters, who lost their lives." 9/11 affected millions of people, regardless of their age, ethnicity or religion - and that is the most important thing to realize.

- Aria. K

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