September 11

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Posted by kaori 03/01/2009 @ 20:41

Tags : september 11, tragedy, crime, us

News headlines
ENROLLMENT FOR POST-9/11 GI BILL BENEFITS OPENS TODAY - TMCnet
Members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and members of the National Guard, are eligible to receive up to four academic years of education benefits, including stipends for housing...
Controversial Group Re–Examines 9/11 In Clovis - KMPH Fox 26
Gage spoke and presented evidence on why his group, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth wants the US Congress to look into how and why the Twin Towers and another building, known as WTC-7, fell. Some video was provided to KMPH News by the group,...
Norm Coleman's Donors and Remembering 9/11 - Harper's Magazine
A horrible event occurred on September 11. It shocked a city, a nation, and a globe. The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place, it is already known that each persons decisions affect everyone. The world is at a crossroads....
Cornish hero of 9/11 attack honoured - Cornish Guardian
A CORNISH hero killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 has been honoured with the most prestigious civilian award in the United States, writes WMN chief reporter Andy Greenwood. Rick Rescorla, who was born and raised in Hayle,...
Swine Flu and the Paradox of Intention - Huffington Post
Remember the period immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when we were also called upon to be hyper-vigilant? Good intentions aside, because we were afraid of "terrorists" and were on high alert, in our mind's eye we increased the...
Attention Dick Cheney - OpEdNews
Maybe you explained why you, the person in charge of federal agencies for the purpose of fighting terrorists, scheduled training drills for stopping terrorists on September 11 th . The training drills baffled our air defense and helped to render them...
Canada, US fortify border - AFP
Last month, Napolitano incorrectly said in a television interview that terrorists who participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks slipped into the United States from Canada, to justify increased security at the United States' northern frontier....
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac bill sale calendar - Reuters
... 26 NA Freddie Mac* 3-month/6-month Aug 28 Aug 31 NA SEPTEMBER ISSUES: Fannie Mae 3-month/6-month Aug 31 Sept 2 NA Freddie Mac* 3-month/6-month Sept 4 Sept 8 NA Fannie Mae 3-month/6-month Sept 4 Sept 9 NA Freddie Mac* 3-month/6-month Sept 11 Sept 14...
9/11 scare as Sydney Centrepoint tower engulfed in smoke - NEWS.com.au
By Adam Walters IT had all the appearances of a towering inferno, chillingly reminiscent of September 11 as a column of thick black smoke shrouded Sydney's tallest building yesterday. But there were no evacuations from Centrepoint Tower,...
'He would have found bin Laden' - CNN International
Watch how images of Massoud are everywhere in Afghanistan » Massoud was assassinated two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks by agents linked to al Qaeda. Though he died eight years ago, his legacy looms over any would-be leader in...

Memorials and services for the September 11 attacks

A series of hand-painted tiles, dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attacks, on the fence of a car-lot in New York City.

The first memorials to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks began to take shape online, as hundreds of webmasters posted their own thoughts, links to the Red Cross, and other rescue agencies, photos and eyewitness accounts. Numerous online September 11 memorials began appearing a few hours after the attacks, although many of these memorials were only temporary.

Around the world, U.S. embassies and consulates became makeshift memorials as people came out to pay their respects. Many U.S. ambassadors have said that they will never forget the outpouring of people as they showed their sympathy to the American people and their opposition to terrorism.

The Tribute in Light was the first major physical memorial at the World Trade Center site. A permanent memorial and museum, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site are planned, as part of the design by overall WTC site redevelopment. The Memorial will consist of two massive pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers with 30-foot waterfalls cascading downt their sides. The names of the victims of the attacks will be inscribed around the edges of the waterfalls.

One of the places that had many memorials and candlelight vigils was Pier A in Hoboken, New Jersey, where many people saw the events of September 11 (Pier A had a good view of the World Trade Center.) There was also a memorial service on March 11, 2002, at dusk on Pier A when the Tribute in Light first turned on, marking the half-year anniversary of the terrorist attack. A permanent September 11 memorial for Hoboken, called Hoboken Island, was chosen in September 2004.

The first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks brought numerous memorials and services.

Eighty-one streets in New York City, mostly in Staten Island, were renamed after victims.

George Clooney arranged a televised benefit concert called America: A Tribute to Heroes which aired ten days after the attacks.

In New York City, candlelight vigils were held across the city on Wednesday night (September 12) and Friday night (September 14) at 7:00 p.m.

In Washington, DC, several thousand citizens marched in a candlelight procession through the Adams Morgan district, through Dupont Circle, past dozens of embassies and onto the National Mall, where they joined additional thousands of their fellow citizens holding vigil over The Pentagon, just across the Potomac River.

In the UK, in a break with the long-standing procedures at Buckingham Palace, the Queen ordered the Changing of the Guard to be paused for a two minute silence on September 13, followed by the playing of the American national anthem (On June 4, 2002, to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations for the Queen, New York City lit the Empire State Building in purple and gold, thanking the queen for having the American national anthem played). A memorial service was held in Saint Paul's Cathedral, London, attended by the Queen and politicians on September 14. A three minute silence at noon Paris time was held throughout Europe on the fourteenth. The Rev. Billy Graham led a service at Washington National Cathedral, with President George W. Bush, past and present leaders, and other politicians in attendance. Bush spoke, beginning with the memorable phrase, "We are here in the middle hour of our grief." A similar memorial service was mounted on Parliament Hill in Canada, presided over by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci, and which over 100,000 people attended. The service included 3 minutes of silence across Canada at 12:20 p.m., ET. When Bush made his visit to Canada in 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin said that the service on Parliament Hill was the largest single vigil ever seen in the nation's capital.

Vigils and memorial services continued to be held in the following days. On Sunday the families of the victims of the crash of United Airlines flight 93 gathered at the crash site in Pennsylvania for a private ceremony, then joined in a service attended by governor Tom Ridge and First Lady Laura Bush.

Church services are held across the United States and much of the world.

On October 4, a memorial Mass was held in St. Patrick's Cathedral for NYFD captain Terence Hatton; Mayor Rudolf Giuliani and Governor George Pataki were attendance. A service was also held in Madison Square Garden for the 74 employees of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who were missing and presumed dead.

A memorial was constructed and then set ablaze at the Playa del Fuego event on the October 19-October 21 weekend.

At noon on November 29, a national memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey in London, attended by relatives of the British dead, and broadcast on UK television and radio.

On May 28, the last steel beam standing at the site was cut down and placed on a flatbed truck in a quiet ceremony.

On September 11, 2002 an eternal flame was lit in Battery Park by Mayor Bloomberg, accompanied by delegates from over 90 countries.

On September 11, 2002, various memorials and services across the world marked the first anniversary of the attacks, the greatest number being in Manhattan. Church bells tolled at 8:46 am, when the first plane struck, and 10:29 am, when the second tower fell. Churches and other public spaces were open the entire day.

Remembrance services were held throughout the USA.

The ceremony at New York, broadcast throughout the world, fell an hour behind schedule, but was well attended. The ceremony included the reading out of the names of all the persons who died there (on both the planes and the World Trade Center) and the recitals of American historical speeches such as the Gettysburg Address. Moments of silence were observed at 8:46 AM and 9:03 AM, the moments when the two planes struck the two towers, and church bells rang at 10:29 AM, the moment at which the second tower collapsed. The names were read by various dignitaries, including former mayors Rudy Giuliani, who started the reading of the names, and David Dinkins, actor Robert De Niro, and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The private ceremony at the Pentagon was also well-attended, and included the President among its participants. A prayer was said at the end that referred to Todd Beamer's "Let's Roll" remark.

The public ceremony at Shanksville also had a large turnout. It included two flybys and a release of doves. President George W. Bush attended a private follow up service for the families of Flight 93's victims in the afternoon.

Bush then went to New York and met with relatives of the victims at Ground Zero to pay his respects, as did his wife, Laura. That evening, he would address the nation from Ellis Island.

Powell, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien led foreign dignitaries who gathered in Battery Park for the lighting of the eternal flame there at sunset. Bush addressed the nation about an hour and a half after the ceremony ended.

However, ceremonies and services commemorating were disrupted by a violent windstorm mainly in the New York City area, as a result of a hurricane's tail end. Numerous power outages occurred around the northeast and many people were not able to watch the television coverage.

On September 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks was observed. While some chose to mourn, protests were also observed at some of the memorials, most noticeably at the World Trade Center, in NYC.

At the World Trade Center, the names of the victims were read in alphabetical order, by the family members of the victims.

By the PATH station, there were a mix of protesters and mourners. While some chose to mourn and remember attacks, some demonstrated their feelings, in forms of dance, paintings, therapy or speeches. Many heated arguments broke out between attendees, ranging from the political to the personal, only aggravated by the emotional nature of the memorial. In a few incidents, police intervention was required.

President Bush and first lady visit the World Trade Center site.

Impromptu memorials are put up at Washington Square, with hundreds of candles and flowers, and Union Square, where people write messages on large rolls of paper taped to the ground amidst candles, including a 6 feet (1.8 m) high concrete candle. A mural is spray-painted on a wall in the Lower East Side. In the coming days the memorials continue to grow, especially at Union Square Park, where thousands come to congregate, grieve, and celebrate--the statue George Washington in Union Square overtaken as a shrine for peace, memory and the United States, thousands of candles are added, a metal sculpture of the American flag and 2500 roses planted in the shape of the World Trade Center towers. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Hangar 17 holds the remains of the Twin towers including Column 1001-B of the south tower the last column to be removed. The Stars and Stripes appeared on front stoops, flagpoles, cars, clothing, and on public buildings across the United States.

A statue in honor of fallen firefighters, commissioned in 2000 by the Firefighters Association of Missouri, was in New York City en route to Missouri at the time of the attack. It was since donated to New York City in honor of the hundreds of firefighters who lost their lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

On October 4, Reverend Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest, blessed two beams at the crash site which had formed a cross spontaneously, and then had been welded together by iron-workers.

On October 13, the North Charleston Coliseum raised a special banner featuring the retired number of Mark Bavis, who was on United Airlines Flight 175. Bavis had played for the ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays, and his retired number hangs in a special corner, independently from the Stingrays' retired numbers (#14, #24) and awards banners (1997 and 2001 Kelly Cup Championships), with the years he played for the team (1994-96), the date of his death (September 11, 2001), and an American flag.

On March 11, the damaged Sphere sculpture formerly in the World Trade Center was dedicated by the city as a temporary memorial in Battery Park City.

Beginning March 11, the Tribute in Light project, 88 searchlights placed next to the site of the World Trade Center created two vertical columns of light, lasting until April 14. This tribute is now made every year on September 11.

Also in New York City, a commuter bus that was heavily damaged in the collapse of the World Trade Center was repainted with a special American flag scheme on its sides and rear (as shown to the right).

On September 11, 2002, representatives from over 90 countries came to Battery Park City as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lit an eternal flame to mark the first anniversary of the attacks. Leading the dignitaries were Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bloomberg, and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Although people from around the world were lost, communities in the New York City area lost many citizens in the attack. Colts Neck, New Jersey lost five members of their tiny community and commissioned sculptor Jim Gary, a lifetime resident, to create a memorial garden featuring his central sculpture of brass, copper, and stained glass—where each victim is represented by a colorful butterfly among plants in a water garden. The contemplative garden was dedicated at the municipal center of Colts Neck on November 10, 2002.

Similar permanent memorials are being constructed around the world, and a list of them is being updated as new ones are completed. 911 Memorials is a site that features the newest as they are added and provides a directory of each by community, state, and country in the column on the right of the site page.

On September 11, 2004 at 9:15am, Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli dedicated his sculpture, "Tear of Grief", a 10-story high tribute to be erected on the Jersey City waterfront across the Hudson River from where the World Trade Center towers fell. The sculpture is an official gift of the Russian government to commemorate the victims of the attacks. That evening, the Empire State Building went dark for 11 minutes at 9:11 p.m. in remembrance.

The Pentagon Memorial was opened on September 11, 2008, the seventh anniversary of the attacks. It is a 1.93-acre (7,800 m2) park, with 184 benches, in memory of the 184 victims at The Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77, arranged according to the victims' ages, ranging from 3 to 71. Construction on the Pentagon Memorial began on June 15, 2006. An additional memorial inside the Pentagon, along with a chapel, was constructed at the site of the attack when the building was rebuilt in 2002.

At Shanksville, a permanent Flight 93 National Memorial is in planning stages, which will include a sculpted grove of trees forming a circle around the crash site, bisected by the plane's path, while wind chimes will bear the names of the victims. A temporary memorial is located 500 yards (457 m) from the Flight 93 crash site near Shanksville. New York City firefighters donated a memorial to the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company. It is a cross made of steel from the World Trade Center and mounted atop a platform shaped like the Pentagon. It was installed outside the firehouse on August 25, 2008.

The Texas State Cemetery has a monument to the September 11 victims.

The Official Pennsylvania Memorial to the Victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (www.9-11memorialgarden.org) The Garden of Reflection 9-11 Memorial was created to remember and honor our loved ones and all 2,973 killed on September 11, 2001. It is situated in Memorial Park amid the natural beauty of Historical Bucks County farmland in Lower Makefield Township, PA.

The Memorial designed by Yardley architect Liuba Lashchyk AIA invites us on a walking Memorial Journey symbolizing “After Darkness…Light”. This Memorial Journey leads from sorrowful reminders of tragedy and grief towards luminous symbols of Hope, Peace and Celebration of Life.

The dedication and support of so many individuals, organizations and volunteers has made this Memorial Garden possible. We thank you. We hope the spirit and symbolism of the Garden of Reflection will endure in your hearts as it endures in ours.

The LeRoy Homer Foundation (www.leroywhomerjr.org) The LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Foundation, established in memory of United 93 First Officer LeRoy Homer by his widow Melodie Homer. The Foundation awards up to three scholarships annually from applicants ages 16 - 23 residing within the United States as citizens or resident aliens. The scholarship program is funded through private donations, corporate contributions and grant requests. The Foundation also promotes awareness of aviation as a career choice, with a focus on providing information to women and minorities who are underrepresented in the US pilot population.

On Thursday, September 20, the New York Philharmonic performed a memorial concert of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in Avery Fisher Hall. The concert was led off by the national anthem, and on the stage was a flag which appeared on stage during all Philharmonic World War II concerts. All proceeds went to disaster relief. At the request of the Philharmonic director, all applause was held, and the audience filed out in silence.

On October 17, Marvel Comics and other members of the comic industry release a tribute book, primarily with drawings of firefighters and police officers, with proceeds going to the victims. Other charity books are also in production.

On October 20, 21 Volunteers For America was a benefit concert held on October 20, in Atlanta Georgia and October 21 at the Smirnoff Music Center Dallas Texas The concerts were held in tribute to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Styx band members, Tommy Shaw, James Young along with others put the benefit concert together in a short period of time. The Concert was in Atlanta Georgia October 20th and moved over night to Dallas, Texas for the October 21st show. Proceeds from the concerts went to Families of Fireman killed in the 9-11 Terror attacks.

On February 23, 2003, the 45th Annual Grammy Awards were held at Madison Square Garden and paid tribute to those who died during the 9/11 attacks, to whom the ceremony was dedicated. Ceremony host Bruce Springsteen performed "The Rising" at the Awards.

On September 11, 2007, a virtual reality World Trade Center Memorial will be presented to the people of the world. The location is in Second Life, on the island we have named after the original design: Celestial Requiem NYC. We have built this memorial because, to be blunt, the world needed it done years ago, and the two years longer to await the completion of the "Reflected Absence" memorial in New York city (by Michael Arad and Peter Walker) was in our opinion two years too long.

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Responsibility for the September 11 attacks

Aftermath of the bomb detonation on the World Trade Center in 1993

Soon after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to identify the 19 hijackers and connect them to al-Qaeda. In a number of video, audio, interview and printed statements, Osama bin Laden and senior members of al-Qaida have also admitted responsibility for organizing the September 11 attacks.

The FBI investigation into the attacks, codenamed operation PENTTBOM, was able to identify the 19 hijackers within days, as they made little effort to conceal their names on flight, credit card, and other records. By checking flight manifests and comparing them with other information, like watch lists, customs officials were able to quickly find the names of all 19 hijackers.

Passengers and crew aboard the flights provided information about the hijackers while the hijacking was in progress. Two flight attendants on American Airlines Flight 11, Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney, contacted airline personnel on the ground. Sweeney provided the seat numbers of the hijackers, and descriptions of the men, identifying Muhammad Atta as one of the hijackers. A flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 called a United Airlines mechanic and reported that hijackers had killed the crew. While the hijacking was in progress on American Airlines Flight 77, several passengers, including a flight attendant, Renee May, contacted and reported details of the hijacking to persons on the ground. Sales clerks identified two individuals to whom they sold tickets on Flight 77 as the hijackers Hani Hanjour and Majed Moqed. During the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, Jeremy Glick identified the hijackers as Arabic-looking and carrying knives.

Mohamed Atta's luggage did not make the connection from his Portland flight to American Airlines Flight 11. In his suitcase, authorities found a handwritten letter in Arabic. As well, a handwritten letter was found at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and another in Hazmi's vehicle. When examining Mohamed Atta's left-behind luggage, the FBI found important clues about the hijackers and their plans. Atta's luggage contained instructional videotapes for flying large aircraft, a fuel consumption calculator, and a flight plan, along with a copy of the Quran. His luggage also contained papers that revealed the identity of all 19 hijackers, along with a copy of Atta's last will and testament. The passport of hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari was also found in Mohamed Atta’s left-behind luggage.

Various items of evidence were found in vehicles left behind at the airports, in luggage that did not make it onto the flights, and at the crash scenes. A rental car belonging to the hijackers was found at Boston's Logan International Airport, which contained an Arabic language flight manual and documents from Huffman Aviation in Florida. There, investigators were able to find Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi's previous address in Hamburg, Germany. Nawaf al-Hazmi's 1988 blue Toyota Corolla was found on September 12 in Dulles International Airport's hourly parking lot. Inside the vehicle, authorities found a letter written by Mohamed Atta, maps of Washington, D.C. and New York City, a cashier's check made out to a Phoenix flight school, four drawings of a Boeing 757 cockpit, a box cutter-type knife, and a page with notes and phone numbers.

In New York City, a passport belonging to Satam al-Suqami was found by a passerby before the towers collapsed, and given to a NYPD detective. The passports of two of the hijackers of Flight 93 were also found intact at the crash site.

On September 27, 2001, the FBI released photos of the 19 hijackers, along with information about the possible nationalities and aliases of many.

As media covered the 9/11 attacks unfolding, many quickly speculated that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks. On the day of the attacks, the National Security Agency intercepted communications that pointed to Osama bin Laden, as did German intelligence agencies. Authorities in the United States and Britain also obtained electronic intercepts, including telephone conversations and electronic bank transfers, which indicate that Mohammed Atef, a bin Laden deputy, was a key figure in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. Intercepts were also obtained that revealed conversations that took place days before September 11 between bin Laden and an associate in Pakistan. In those conversations, the two referred to "an incident that would take place in America on, or around, September 11" and they discussed potential repercussions. In another conversation with an associate in Afghanistan, bin Laden discussed the "scale and effects of a forthcoming operation." These conversations did not specifically mention the World Trade Center or Pentagon, or other specifics.

Based on the evidence, authorities in the United States quickly asserted that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization were solely responsible for the attacks, and other suspects were ruled out. The Government of the United Kingdom reached the same conclusion. Although he denied the attacks at first, Osama bin Laden has since claimed full responsibility.

Intelligence experts speak of a "short list" of prime suspects -- groups that possess both the means and the motive to carry out the crime. Two of the passengers had been identified as al-Qaeda members and were on the FBI's terrorist-alert list prior to 9/11: Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf Alhazmi. It appears certain that all hijackers had Arabic origins, and none were Afghani; moreover, both in their immense scale, careful planning and refraining from claiming responsibility, the attacks are reminiscent of al-Qaeda's previous attacks such as the 1998 US embassy bombings that killed over 200 people.

In the World Trade Center bombing (February 26, 1993) a car bomb was detonated by Arab Islamist terrorists in the underground parking garage below Tower One of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,500-lb urea nitrate-fuel oil device killed six and injured over a thousand people. It was intended to devastate the foundation of the North Tower, causing it to collapse onto its twin.

The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, El Sayyid Nosair, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Ahmad Ajaj, and Abdul Rahman Yasin. They received financing from al-Qaeda member Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, Yousef's uncle, who would later allegedly admit to planning the September 11 attacks.

Since 1996 Osama bin Laden has stated in public proclamations (fatwas) and in interviews with journalists his common list of grievances which he cites as the reason for his declaration of war against the United States.

The International Islamic Front for Jihad against the US and Israel has issued a crystal-clear fatwa calling on the Islamic nation to carry on jihad aimed at liberating holy sites. The nation of Muhammad has responded to this appeal. If the instigation for jihad against the Jews and the Americans in order to liberate Al-Aksa Mosque and the Holy Ka'aba Islamic shrines in the Middle East is considered a crime, then let history be a witness that I am a criminal.

According to interviews by Al-Jazeera as well as United States interrogations of al-Qaeda members Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (captured in 2002 and 2003 respectively), Khalid Mohammed was the instigator and prime organizer of the attacks. Binalshibh may have been picked as a hijacker but he failed to get into the United States.

Khalid Mohammed had provided funding to his nephew Ramzi Yousef for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. In addition, he collaborated on Oplan Bojinka which called for ten or more airliners to be bombed in mid-air or hijacked for use as missiles. Planning for Oplan Bojinka began in 1994, and was funded in part by Osama bin Laden, but was thwarted by an accidental fire in 1995.

In mid-1996, Khalid Mohammed presented a new plan to the leadership of al-Qaeda that called for several airplanes on both east and west coasts to be hijacked and flown into targets.

I didn't imagine that they would ram a 757 aircraft into the World Trade Center. I thought the suicide mission a Cessna light aircraft loaded with several kilos of explosives, like a Japanese Kamikaze World War II pilot diving into a target.

The targets ultimately chosen were the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the United States Capitol. Flight 93 was apparently meant to crash into the Capitol. The White House was considered as a target; initially dismissed as being too difficult to locate from the air, it was later included in the plans. In the communications that developed as the scheme took form, the Pentagon's code name was the Faculty of Arts, Capitol Hill was the Faculty of Law, and the World Trade Center was coded as the Faculty of Town Planning.

The Americans should know that the storm of plane attacks will not abate, with God's permission. There are thousands of the Islamic nation's youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live.

I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation.

In a interview with Osama bin Laden, published in the Pakistani newspaper Ummat Karachi on September 28, 2001, he stated: "I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act." There was reportedly no way to prove the e-mail published in Pakistan came from bin Laden. The Taliban denied he had access to any communications.

If inciting people to do that is terrorism, and if killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists ... We will work to continue this battle, God permitting, until victory or until we meet God before that occurs.

In late November 2002, a letter attributed to Osama bin Laden and translated by British Islamists surfaced, often called bin Laden's 'letter to America'. It states the of motive behind the September 11 attacks as being: "because you attacked us and continue to attack us" and justifies the selection of a civilian target. Itemizing a list of perceived Western wrongdoings, the letter concludes that "the oppressed have a right to return the aggression" and hinted at further attacks. Also included are a list of demands, advice, and a statement of grievances against the American government and its people.

On February 11, 2003, Al Jazeera broadcast an audio tape purportedly from bin Laden.

As of 2004, several people including Mohammed, Binalshibh and Mohamed al-Kahtani, the 20th hijacker, were being held by the US as illegal combatants; however, the United States had no one on trial for the attacks. In Germany, Mounir El Motassadeq was convicted of over 3000 counts of accessory to murder for helping finance the hijackers but the verdict was put aside and a new trial scheduled. Abdelghani Mzoudi was acquitted in Germany on the same charges.

The United States requested the Taliban to shut down all al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, open them to inspection and turn over Osama bin Laden. The Taliban refused all these requests. Instead they offered to extradite Osama bin Laden to an Islamic country, for trial under Islamic law, if the United States presented evidence of his guilt. However the Taliban had previously refused to extradite bin Laden to the United States, or prosecute him, after he was indicted by the US federal courts for involvement in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The Taliban deemed eyewitness testimony and satellite phone call recordings entered in the public record in February 2001 during a trial as insufficient grounds to extradite bin Laden for his involvement in the bombings.

Because of the Bush Doctrine, which stated "We will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them", the United States and Britain invaded and overthrew the Taleban regime in 2001, using air power, special forces and the Northern Alliance as a land army.

On November 29, 2007 a videotape was released that The Central Intelligence Agency says is likely to be from Osama bin Laden. In it the speaker claims sole responsibility for the attacks and specifically denies any prior knowledge of them by The Taliban or the Afghan people.

CNN and other news outlets reported in September and October 2001 that $100,000 was wired from the United Arab Emirates to lead hijacker Mohammad Atta prior to the attacks, by Ahmed Omar Saeed (Syed) Sheikh, a long time Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence asset.

The day after this report was published, the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, was fired from his position. Indian news outlets reported the FBI was investigating the possibility that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta, while most Western media outlets only reported his connections to the Taliban as the reason for his departure.

The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "to date, the US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance." It concludes: "we have seen no evidence that any foreign government - or foreign government official - supplied any funding." The difficulty in tracking the funding is due to the traditional means of zakat, a Muslim form of charitable giving essential to proper following of the faith and hawala, another ancient system of transferring funds based on trust and connections, including family, clan, and regional affiliations.

There have been suggestions that Saudi Arabia has some responsibility, having helped finance al-Qaeda, and allowing the organization to flourish. There have been claims that pre-9/11 investigations into al-Qaeda were deliberately blocked via high-level interference from Washington, and that this extends to other groups outside al-Qaeda, in particular individuals from Saudi Arabia. In June 2001, a "high-placed member of a US intelligence agency" told BBC reporter Greg Palast that "after the elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals".

Although the wealthy bin Laden family disowned Osama in 1994 after his alleged involvement in terrorism like the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, the events of 9/11 brought to attention connections between the bin Laden family and the Bush family. It has been alleged that Osama was never disowned and that his family were aware of his activities in the years preceding 9/11. The connections between the bin Laden family and Bush family have led to conspiracy theories that President George Bush was also aware of Osama's activities and deliberately allowed 9/11 to take place.

The movie Fahrenheit 9/11 shows some business connections between the Bush family and the bin Laden family. It relates how Salem bin Laden invested heavily in Arbusto Energy, a company run by George W. Bush, through his friend James R. Bath. Several members of the Bush family are investors in the Carlyle Group, a defense contractor and investment fund with numerous interests in the Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and connections to the Saudi Binladen Group, run by former Bush administration Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci. On September 10, 2001, former President George H.W. Bush and several members of his cabinet had been present at a Carlyle Group business conference with Shafig bin Laden, a half-brother of Osama bin Laden, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel located several miles from the Pentagon. The conference was continuing with the remaining cabinet members and bin Laden's brother at the time of the Pentagon attack. George H.W. Bush remained an advisor to the Carlyle Group for two years after the attacks.

The New York Times reported that members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks. The 9/11 commission later concluded that "the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights" and that the exodus was approved by special advisor Richard Clarke after a request by Saudi Arabia who feared for the safety of their nationals. On June 20, 2007 the public interest group Judicial Watch released FBI documents that it says suggested that Osama bin Laden himself may have chartered one of the flights. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton accused the FBI of conducting a "slapdash" investigation of the flights.

Author Steve Coll in his 2008 book The bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century writes that most members of the family barely know Osama. Richard Clark in a column about the book notes that because it was custom at that time for successful Muslim men to have multiple wives this claim rings true. Clark also theorizes that the FBI did not question the bin Ladens before they were flown out of the US and have not questioned them since because they already had extensive knowledge about them.

On June 29, 2005 Robin Hayes, a Republican Congressman from North Carolina and vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism at that time, stated "evidence is clear" that "Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11". Senator John McCain reacting to the Congressman's statement said "I haven't seen compelling evidence of that." The 9/11 Commission Report stated that there is "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq collaborated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network on any attacks on the United States. In September 2006, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that "there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein had prewar ties to al-Qaeda and one of the terror organization’s most notorious members, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" and that there was no evidence of any Iraqi support of al-Qaeda or foreknowledge of the September 11th attacks.

Despite this, a number of 9/11 opinion polls have shown that a significant minority of the American public believe that Saddam was "personally involved". In 2002, NewsMax.com reported that people within and outside the US government believed that then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein conspired in the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City Bombing. The theory extended from the one advanced by investigative journalist Jayna Davis in her book The Third Terrorist linking Hussein to the Oklahoma City Bombing. It was discussed in a 2002 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.

The 9/11 Commission Report concluded that both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had been "not well served" by the FBI and CIA prior to 9/11. It also explained that the military response protocols were unsuited for the nature of the attack, and identified operational failures in the emergency response.

The FBI had advance indications of plans to hijack US airliners and use them as weapons, but neither acted on them nor distributed the intelligence to local police agencies. From the moment of the September 11th attacks, high-ranking federal officials insisted that the terrorists’ method of operation surprised them. Many stick to that story. Actually, elements of the hijacking plan were known to the FBI as early as 1995 and, if coupled with current information, might have uncovered the plot.

The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "the 9/11 attacks were a shock, but they should not have come as a surprise. Islamic extremists had given plenty of warnings that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers." During the spring and summer of 2001, US intelligence agencies received a stream of warnings about an imminent al-Qaeda attack; according to George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, "the system was blinking red." The warnings varied in their level of detail and specificity, and included warnings from both domestic intelligence operations and warnings from foreign governments and intelligence agencies.

Existing protocols on 9/11 were unsuited in every respect for an attack in which hijacked planes were used as weapons. What ensued was a hurried attempt to improvise a defense by civilians who had never handled a hijacked aircraft that attempted to disappear, and by a military unprepared for the transformation of commercial aircraft into weapons of mass destruction.

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Reactions to the September 11 attacks

A museum panel showing headlines on September 12 in America and around the world. Most of the images on the headlines are images of United Airlines Flight 175 hitting the South Tower.

The Reactions to the September 11 attacks included condemnation from world leaders, other political and religious representatives and the international media, as well as numerous memorials and services all over the world. The attacks were denounced by the governments of countries traditionally considered hostile to the United States, such as Cuba, Iran, Libya and North Korea. However in some cases celebrations of the attacks were also reported, and some groups and individuals accused the United States in effect of bringing the attacks on itself.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks support for the United States' right to defend itself was expressed across the world, and by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368. Many countries introduced "anti-terrorism" legislation and froze the bank accounts of businesses and individuals they suspected of having connections with al-Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin-Laden, the presumed perpetrators of the attacks.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the Bush administration declared a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing. Immediately after the September 11 attacks US officials speculated on possible involvement by Saddam Hussein; although unfounded, the association contributed to public acceptance for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The second-biggest operation of the US Global War on Terrorism outside of the United States, and the largest directly connected to terrorism, was the overthrow of the Taliban rule from Afghanistan, by a US-led coalition.

American Muslims utterly condemn the vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.

Following the attacks television evangelist Jerry Falwell called the event a punishment from god and laid the blame on "paganists", "abortionists", "feminists" and "gays and lesbians", claiming that they "helped this happen". He subsequently apologised. The Westboro Baptist Church sent a group to the World Trade Center site to protest the rescue efforts while holding signs with slogans thanking God for the event.

In the following day of the attacks, the Security Council members condemned the terrorist attacks on the United States and adopted resolution 1368 (2001), by which they expressed readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the attacks of September 11 and to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with their Charter responsibilities.

Then-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, said: We are all traumatized by this terrible tragedy.

Reactions to the attacks in the Muslim world were mixed. Most Muslim political and religious leaders condemned the attacks. The leaders included the Presidents of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Libya, Syria, Iran and Pakistan. The then-president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, said of the attacks that "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity". Saddam would later offer sympathy to the Americans killed in the attacks.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) immediately condemned the attacks. Shortly after the attacks began, about 3,000 Palestinians poured into the streets of Nablus, chanting 'Allāhu Akbar' (God is (the) greatest), passing along sweets, honking car horns, holding up the V sign for victory and holding up Palestinian flags. Also, in Ein el-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, revelers fired weapons in the air, with similar celebratory gunfire heard at the Rashidiyeh camp near the southern city of Tyre as well.

Reports and images of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Nablus, and Lebanon taking to the streets in celebration, were broadcast around the world. with many newspapers, magazines, Web sites and wire services running photographs. The PNA claimed such celebrations were not representative of the sentiments of the Palestinian people, and the Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the PNA would not allow "a few kids" to "smear the real face of the Palestinians". In an attempt to quash further reporting, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority could not "guarantee the life" of an Associated Press (AP) cameraman if footage he filmed of post-9/11 celebrations in Nablus was broadcast. Rahman's statement prompted a formal protest from the AP bureau chief, Dan Perry.

Annette Krüger Spitta of the ARD's (German public broadcasting) TV magazine Panorama states that footage not aired shows that the street surrounding the celebration in Jerusalem is quiet. Furthermore, she states that a man in a white T-shirt incited the children and gathered people together for the shot. The Panorama report, dated September 20, 2001, quotes Communications Professor Martin Löffelholz explaining that in the images one sees jubilant Palestinian children and several adults but there is no indication that their pleasure is related to the attack. The woman seen cheering (Nawal Abdel Fatah) stated afterwards that she was offered cake if she celebrated on camera, and was frightened when she saw the pictures on television afterward.

There was also rumour that the footage of some Palestinians celebrating the attacks was stock footage of Palestinian reactions to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. This rumour was proven false shortly afterwards, and CNN issued a statement to that effect.

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Health effects arising from the September 11 attacks

September 12 from space: Manhattan spreads a large smoke plume

There has been growing concern over the health effects arising from the September 11 attacks in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. Within seconds of the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 of the World Trade Center, pulverized building material, electronic equipment, and furniture was spread throughout the area.

Additionally, in the five months following the attacks, dust from the pulverized buildings continued to fill the air of the World Trade Center site. Increasing numbers of New York residents are reporting symptoms of Ground Zero respiratory illnesses.

The dust from the collapsed towers was "wildly toxic", according to air pollution expert and University of California Davis Professor Emeritus Thomas Cahill. The thousands of tons of toxic debris resulting from the collapse of the Twin Towers consisted of more than 2,500 contaminants, more specifically: 50% non-fibrous material and construction debris; 40% glass and other fibers; 9.2% cellulose; and 0.8% of the extremely toxic carcinogen asbestos, as well as detectable amounts of lead, and mercury. There were also unprecedented levels of dioxin and PAHs from the fires which burned for three months. Many of the dispersed substances (asbestos, crystalline silica, lead, cadmium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are carcinogenic; other substances can trigger kidney, heart, liver and nervous system deterioration. This was well known by the EPA at the time of collapse.

This has led to debilitating illnesses among rescue and recovery workers, and the pulmonary fibrosis death of NYPD member Cesar Borja. Increasing numbers of cases are appearing in which first responders are developing serious respiratory ailments. Health effects also extended to some residents, students, and office workers of Lower Manhattan and nearby Chinatown.

Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital said "Why isn't the whole nation mobilizing to take care of the chronic health impact of this disaster?". Dr. Norton cited the 70 percent illness rate among first responders as "a wake up call." Dr. Nathaniel Hupert of Weill Cornell Medical College, quoted by Jill Gardiner of the October 4, 2006 issue of the New York Sun said that premature deaths and other ailments of dogs in the area are "our canary in the coalmine." Richard Clapp and David Ozonoff, professors of environmental health at Boston University School of Public Health; Michael Thun, director of epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society; Francine Laden, assistant professor of environmental epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health; Jonathan Samet, chairman of the epidemiology department at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Charles Hesdorffer, associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine argue that the cancer incidence among monitored individuals cannot be called a coincidence. They assert that the Ground Zero cloud was likely the cause of the illnesses. The American College of Preventative Medicine is concerned that malignant mesothelioma will develop among persons exposed to Ground Zero air.

There is scientific speculation that exposure to various toxic products and the pollutants in the air surrounding the Towers after the WTC collapse may have negative effects on fetal development. Due to this potential hazard, a notable children's environmental health center (Columbia University Center for Children's Health) is currently analyzing the children whose mothers were pregnant during the WTC collapse, and were living or working near the World Trade Center towers. The staff of this study assesses the children using psychological testing every year and interviews the mothers every six months. The purpose of the study is to determine whether there is significant difference in development and health progression of children whose mothers were exposed, versus those who were not exposed after the WTC collapse.

Mount Sinai Medical Center is conducting an ongoing monitoring program, World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program. A leader of Mt. Sinai monitoring efforts is Stephen M. Levin, Medical Director of the Mount Sinai – Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. First responders met in a conference, November 11, 2006 in an effort to monitor responders' health. The event was organized by the World Trade Center Monitoring Program.

An ongoing Pennsylvania State University/Monmouth University study reported that respiratory illnesses grew by more than two hundred percent in the year and a half after the September 11 attacks. (This was the first study that monitored police officers at the Ground Zero site. It was published in the "Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.") In this study of 471 police officers, 19 percent of the officers in October 2001 experienced shortness of breath; 44 percent of the officers experienced shortness of breath in April 2003. The percentage of the 471 officers coughing up phlegm increased from 14 percent in October 2001 to 31 percent in 2003.

A 2006 medical study of fire fighters reported that those personnel who inhaled Ground Zero air essentially lost 12 years of lung function. Additionally, a Mount Sinai report found that 70 percent of recovery and rescue workers reported an increase in debilitated respiratory function between 2002 and 2004.

A 2008 report by New York City's Department of Health indicated that up to 70,000 people might have long term health problems due to the dust. The findings were the result of the city's health registry of September 11 first responders, residents, and others.

40 percent of the World Trade Center workers being monitored by a Mount Sinai Hospital study lack health insurance.

Apparently, out of at least 100,000 eligible, fewer than 14,000 have registered, as reported by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. The final registration deadline for September 11-related workers' compensation was August 14, 2007.

On July 12, 2007, Governor Eliot Spitzer extended to August 14, 2008 the filing deadline for worker's compensation claims, for people who worked or volunteered at Ground Zero. Individuals would register with the State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Dr. Edwin M. Kilbourne, a high level federal scientist, issued a memo on September 12, 2001 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against the speedy return to buildings in the area because of possible hazards from various toxic materials.

Associate City Health Commissioner Kelly McKinney on October 6, 2001 said that proper safety protocol for WTC site workers was not being enforced.

President George W. Bush has been faulted for interfering with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) interpretations and pronouncements regarding air quality.

An August 2003 report by the Office of the Inspector General of the EPA claimed that the Bush administration pressured the EPA to remove cautionary information about the air quality at Ground Zero.

Numerous key differences between the draft versions and final versions of EPA statements were found. A recommendation that homes and businesses near ground zero be cleaned by professionals was replaced by a request that citizens follow orders from NYC officials. Another statement that showed concerns about "sensitive populations" was deleted altogether. Language used to describe excessive amounts of asbestos in the area was altered drastically to minimize the dangers it posed.

In September 2006, the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security held a two day long hearing on the subject of illnesses caused by post-9/11 air quality and former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman was a frequent target of criticism.

EPA scientist Dr. Cate Jenkins appeared on CBS television on September 8, 2006 and said that agency officials lied about the air quality in the weeks following September 11, 2001. She said that in her opinion the EPA knew about the toxicity of the air, and that WTC dust included asbestos and disturbingly high PH levels. She said that some of the dust was "as caustic and alkaline as Drano." Dr. Marjorie Clarke also warned of the consequences of breathing toxic dust and fumes. Yet, agencies did not heed her warnings.

On September 13, 2006, Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (NY), Anthony Weiner (NY), Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ) filed a request with US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to investigate whether criminal charges may be brought against Whitman for lying about air safety in the Ground Zero area.

Critics assert that government officials – notably Bush, Christine Todd Whitman (former head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency), and then-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani – downplayed the health risks of the area and rushed to reopen the area around Ground Zero, although this posed a grave and immediate health risk to first responders. Many corporations were eager to hear the news of the New York Stock Exchange being reopened only a few days after the collapse. On June 25, 2007, Whitman testified before a House of Representatives committee chaired by Jerrold Nadler. She said that a White House official informed her that President Bush expected that the Financial District would reopen within three days, that is, by September 14. She said that she replied that this would be cumbersome, since the EPA was still judging the health situation in the area. Investigations after the attacks suggest that the Bush administration pressured Whitman and Giuliani to provide health reassurances in order to keep Wall Street operating.

In November 2001, Giuliani wrote to the city's Congressional delegation and urged that the city's liability for Ground Zero illnesses be limited, in total, at $350 million. Two years after Mayor Giuliani finished his term, FEMA appropriated $1 billion to a special insurance fund to protect the city against 9/11 lawsuits.

In a September 18, 2006 New York Daily News article titled, "Rudy's Black Cloud: WTC health risks may hurt Prez Bid", Sally Regenhard, mother of Firefighter Christian Regenhard, who died on September 11, is quoted, "There's a large and growing number of both FDNY families, FDNY members, former and current, and civilian families who want to expose the true failures of the Giuliani administration when it comes to 9/11." She told the New York Daily News that she intends to "Swift Boat" Giuliani.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is contemplating calling Giuliani to testify before a Senate committee on whether the government failed to protect recovery workers from the effects of polluted Ground Zero air.

A May 14, 2007 New York Times article, "Ground Zero Illness Clouding Giuliani's Legacy", gave the interpretation that thousands of workers at Ground Zero have become sick and that "many regard Mr. Giuliani's triumph of leadership as having come with a human cost." The article reported that he seized control of the cleanup of Ground Zero, taking control away from established federal agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He instead handed over responsibility to the "largely unknown" city Department of Design and Construction. Documents indicate that the Giuliani administration never enforced federal requirements requiring the wearing of respirators. Concurrently, the administration threatened companies with dismissal if cleanup work slowed.

First responders and other individuals are suing the City of New York. Lawyers are criticizing the city for failing to provide proper facial ventilators to clean-up workers. On October 17, 2006, federal judge Alvin K. Hellerstein rejected New York City's motion to dismiss lawsuits that requested health payments to the first responders.

On October 28, 2007, Jim Riches reported that the City of New York and litigating first responders have shown interest in a legal settlement, to resolve lawsuits against the city. The settlement would yield a financial settlement apportioned in the following manner: forty percent to lawyers, and sixty percent to litigants.

In June 2008, New York City argued in federal court that 30 percent of the September 11 plaintiffs did not have serious injuries. This is part of a larger debate over the number of people sickened by the collapse of the Twin Towers.

The lead researcher of a New York State Department of Health study informed The New York Post of a study documenting at least 204 deaths of rescue and recovery workers since September 11, 2001. The researchers for the study confirmed 98 deaths with death certificates. The researchers showed that 77 persons died of illnesses, including 55 from lung and various other cancers. Kitty Gelberg, New York state Bureau of Occupational Health's chief epidemiologist said, "We're not saying they are all World Trade Center related; we're just saying this is what people are dying from." Many of the 55 responders who passed away from cancer had cancer before September 11, 2001, but most of the cancer patients developed the disease afterward.

Cesar Borja, a veteran of the NYPD, died, falling ill from lung disease. He had spent 16 hour days at the smoldering wreckage of Ground Zero. Detective Robert Williamson, 46, died from pancreatic and lung cancer on May 13, 2007. He worked for 16 hour days, without taking days off, in performing recovery work at the Ground Zero site. After the clean up effort, he was among individuals that lobbied Governor George Pataki to sign a bill permitting retirees suffering from Ground Zero illnesses to have their illnesses reclassified and to receive additional pension benefits. His family and union believe that his cancers were directly caused by exposure to Ground Zero dust at the World Trade Center site.

20 year veteran of the NYPD, Officer Kevin Hawkins, 41, died in May 2007 from kidney cancer, soon after filing for a Ground Zero disability pension. He had worked two months at the Ground Zero site. NYPD Officer Frank Macri died of lung cancer that spread throughout his body on September 3, 2007. Macri's lungs were filled with dust when the towers collapsed and he later spent two months working on the site. The long hours on the site gave him vomiting spells and he was diagnosed with an already rapidly progressing stage four cancer only one year after the attack, despite being a non-smoker and cancer free before the attacks.

Surviving first responders and their advocates are asserting that their illnesses have resulted from exposure to toxins at Ground Zero. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) filed a lawsuit to secure benefits for Officer Christopher Hynes, 36. In March 2004 he was diagnosed as having sarcoidosis. However, the NYPD has refused to bestow line-of-duty injury status to him. Hynes had worked for 111 hours at Ground Zero and its vicinity. He claims that he was never given a proper respirator for his work at Ground Zero. He has had difficulty in paying medical bills because of the denial of line-of-duty status. One medical provider sued him for $3,094 for medical bills. The provider eventually settled out of court for $1,625. The PBA noted that firefighters, by contrast, have been given line-of-duty status for their injuries.

Hundreds of volunteer firefighters, construction workers, health professionals, clergy, and other individuals descended upon the scene in the days immediately following the attacks. These individuals volunteered directly at the Ground Zero site or cared for traumatized responders. Among individuals in the latter group, newspaper accounts have cited South Carolinian Episcopal nun, Sister Cindy Mahoney’s death as a fatality of Ground Zero illness. Mahoney spent several months attending to first responders’ spiritual needs. Two weeks prior to her death, she was cut off from her insurance. She choked to death on November 1, 2006, following five years of lung troubles.

Communications recovery worker Mark DeBiase, aged 41, died on April 9, 2006 from a Ground Zero illness. He worked without protective gear for restoring communications at the site. "DeBiase's work was so crucial in emergency workers to communicate that he was shuttled between locations in a military helicopter," according to his father, Angelo DeBiase.

Manuel Checo is one of many janitors that performed cleanup work who now suffer from World Trade Center cough. He spent six months at the site. Compounding janitorial workers’ troubles, three-quarters of them lack health insurance.

Civil rights attorney Felicia Dunn-Jones, 42, died February 10, 2002, from sarcoidosis. The city's chief medical examiner belatedly attributed her death to her being engulfed in the dust cloud from the collapse of the Twin Towers, one block from her office.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani acted quickly to "reopen Wall Street." The Wall Street area reopened for business on September 17.

Students and staff at Stuyvesant High School returned to the school which lies within one-third of a mile north of the World Trade Center site, while fires were still burning at Ground Zero. Alumni are circulating a petition for greater attention to health problems related to the Ground Zero air. There is a debate over whether the 2002 Class President Amit Friedlander's developing cancer is related to Ground Zero air.

In addition, the students and staff members at the Murry Bergtraum High School returned to the building a couple of days after the attack, with the air system in the school severely affected and damaged from the debris and dust from the World Trade Center site (the school is three-quarters of a mile east of the site). Several teachers, particularly from the business department, and students have developed Asthma and other breathing problems because of the lack of unpolluted air and the failure of cleaning the school's central air system thoroughly years after the attack.

By June 2007, the number of people filing claims against the city, regarding exposure to Ground Zero toxins, reached 10,000. Attorney David Worby is leading a class action lawsuit representing 8,000 people. By September, 2007, the number of plaintiffs in the case reached 10,000. "I started this suit on behalf of one cop that got sick." He continued, "Nobody would touch the case with a 10 foot pole because it was considered unpatriotic to say anything against the cleanup or the EPA.

Various bills are sitting before Congress: The Remember 9/11 Health Act and the James Zadroga Act. The sponsor of the Remember 9/11 Health Act is Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. The sponsors of the Zadroga Act are Senator Bob Menendez and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

On September 13, 2006, Sen. Clinton brought an amendment to a piece of ports security legislation, aiming to create a five-year, $1.9 billion treatment program for sufferers of Ground Zero dust and fumes after-effects.

Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn residents brought a 111-page lawsuit against the EPA for purported deception of the public about hazards of Ground Zero air and dust. A major force behind this effort is Brooklyn resident Jenna Orkin of the World Trade Center Environmental Organization. On February 2, 2006 Federal Court Judge Deborah Batts issued an 83 page statement, indicating that there are sufficient grounds for the case to proceed. She also rejected granting Whitman immunity from the lawsuit.

On December 10, 2007, legal proceedings began in a case on the question of responsibility of government officials in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Former EPA Director Whitman is among the defendants in the suit; plaintiffs in the suit allege that Whitman is at fault for saying that the downtown New York air was safe in the aftermath of the attacks.

On April 22, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that EPA head Whitman could not be held liable for saying to World Trade Center area residents that the air was safe for breathing after the buildings collapse. The appeals court said that Whitman had based her information on contradictory information and statements from President Bush. The U.S. Department of Justice had argued that holding the agency liable would establish a risky legal precedent because future public officials would be afraid to make public statements. Judge Deborah Batts had previously declined to dismiss Whitman as a defendant, saying that her actions were "conscience-shocking".

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Source : Wikipedia