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United Airlines Flight 93
260px
UA93 flight path
Hijacking summary
Date September 11, 2001
Type Hijacking
Site Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Passengers 37 (including 4 hijackers)
Crew 7
Fatalities 44 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 757 Wikipedia-222
Operator United Airlines
Tail number N591UA
Flight origin Newark International Airport (now Newark Liberty International Airport)
Destination San Francisco International Airport

United Airlines Flight 93 was a United States domestic passenger flight from Newark International Airport to San Francisco International Airport that was hijacked on September 11, 2001. Approximately 40 minutes into the flight the hijackers breached the cockpit, overpowered the pilots[who?] and took control of the aircraft, diverting it toward Washington, D.C. Several passengers and crew members made telephone calls aboard the flight and learned about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. As a result of this knowledge, the passengers decided to mount an assault against the hijackers in an attempt to regain control of the aircraft.

The plane crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, near Shanksville, about 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., killing all on board including the four hijackers. Many witnessed the impact from the ground[citation needed] and news agencies began reporting on the event within an hour.[citation needed] The plane fragmented upon impact, leaving a crater, and some debris was blown miles from the crash site. The remains of everyone on board the aircraft were later identified. Subsequent analysis of the flight recorders revealed how the actions taken by the passengers prevented the aircraft from reaching the hijackers' intended target, thought to be either the White House or the United States Capitol Wikipedia. A permanent memorial is planned for construction on the crash site, with dedication scheduled for 2011.

Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11, United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that failed to reach its intended target.

HijackersEdit

The hijacking of Flight 93 was led by Ziad Jarrah, a member of Al-Qaeda.[1] Jarrah was born in Lebanon to a wealthy family and experienced a secular upbringing.[2] He intended to become a pilot and moved to Germany in 1996, enrolling at the University of Greifswald to study German.[3] A year later, he moved to Hamburg and began studying aeronautical engineering at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.[4] While living in Hamburg, Jarrah became a devout Muslim and associated with the radical Hamburg cell.[4][5]

In November 1999, Jarrah disappeared from Hamburg and went to Afghanistan, where he spent three months.[6] While there, he met with Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in January 2000.[7] Jarrah returned to Hamburg at the end of January, and obtained a clean passport in February by reporting his passport as stolen.[8][9]

In May, Jarrah received a visa from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin,[10] and he arrived in Florida in June 2000. There, he began taking flying lessons[where?] as well as training in hand-to-hand combat[where?].[11][12] Jarrah maintained contact with his girlfriend[who?] in Germany and his family[who?] in the months preceding the attacks.[13] This close contact upset Mohamed Atta, the tactical leader of the plot, and al-Qaeda planners may have considered another operative, Zacarias Moussaoui, to replace him if he backed out.[14] Soon after the attacks, Jarrah's family asserted that he was an "innocent passenger" onboard the flight.[15]

Three "muscle" hijackers trained to storm the cockpit and overpower the crew accompanied Jarrah on Flight 93.[16] One of them, Ahmed al-Nami, arrived in Miami, Florida, on May 28, 2001, on a six-month tourist visa with United Airlines Flight 175 hijackers Hamza al-Ghamdi and Mohand al-Shehri. Another Flight 93 hijacker, Ahmed al-Haznawi, arrived in Miami on June 8 with Flight 11 hijacker Wail al-Shehri. The third Flight 93 muscle hijacker, Saeed al-Ghamdi, arrived in Orlando, Florida, on June 27 with Flight 175 hijacker Fayez Banihammad.[11] Passports of Ziad Jarrah and Saeed al Ghamdi were recovered from the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93.[17]

FlightEdit

File:N575UA-2008-09-13-YVR.jpg

United Airlines Flight 93 aircraft was a Boeing 757 Wikipedia-200, registration number N591UA.[18] The airplane had a capacity of 182 passengers, but the September 11 flight carried only 37 passengers and seven crew. This represented a load factor of 20 percent, considerably below the 52 percent average Tuesday load factor for Flight 93.[19] The seven crew members were pilot Jason Dahl, First Officer LeRoy Homer, Jr., and flight attendants Lorraine Bay Wikipedia, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green Wikipedia, CeeCee Lyles, and Deborah Welsh.[20] There will only be 37 passengers on Flight 93, including the four hijackers. This is 20 percent of the plane’s passenger capacity of 182 and, according to the 9/11 Commission, “is considerably below the 52 percent average load factor for Flight 93 for Tuesdays in the three-month period prior to September 11.” [21]

BoardingEdit

The four hijackers checked in for the flight between 07:03 and 07:39 Eastern Time.[22] At 07:03, al-Ghamdi checked in without any luggage while al-Nami checked in two bags.[19] At 07:24, Al-Haznawi checked in one bag and at 07:39, Jarrah checked in without any luggage. Al-Haznawi was the only hijacker selected for extra scrutiny by the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS).[22] His checked bag underwent extra screening for explosives, with no extra scrutiny required by CAPPS at the passenger-security checkpoint.[23] None of the security checkpoint personnel reported anything unusual about the hijackers.[19][24]

Al-Haznawi and al-Ghamdi boarded the aircraft at 07:39 and sat in first class seats 6B and 3D respectively. Al-Nami boarded one minute later and sat in first class seat 3C. Jarrah boarded at 07:48 and sat in seat 1B.[19][22] The aircraft was scheduled to depart at 08:00 and pushed back from its gate A17 at 08:01.[25] It remained delayed on the ground and did not take off until 08:42 because of airport congestion.[26] The three other hijacked flights all departed within fifteen minutes of their scheduled time. By the time Flight 93 became airborne, Flight 11 had already been commandeered and Flight 175 was being hijacked; Flight 77 was climbing normally and would be hijacked in 9 minutes.[27] By 09:02, the aircraft reached its cruising altitude of 35,000 feet (11,000 m).[18] With the attacks unfolding, air traffic officials began issuing warnings through the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS). Ed Ballinger, the United flight dispatcher, began sending text cockpit warnings to United Airlines flights at 09:19, after he became aware of the second World Trade Center impact by Flight 175.[19] As Ballinger was responsible for multiple flights, he did not send the message to Flight 93 until 09:23. Ballinger received a routine ACARS message from Flight 93 at 09:21.[19] At 09:22, after learning of the events at the World Trade Center, LeRoy Homer's wife, Melody Homer, had an ACARS message sent to her husband in the cockpit asking if he was okay.[28] At 09:24, Flight 93 received Ballinger's ACARS warning: "Beware any cockpit intrusion—two a/c [aircraft] hit World Trade Center".[29] At 09:26, Captain Jason Dahl sent an ACARS message back: "Ed, confirm latest mssg plz -- Jason".[29] At 09:27:25, the flight crew responded to routine radio traffic from air traffic controllers. This was the last communication made by the flight crew before the hijacking.[30]

HijackingEdit

The hijacking on Flight 93 began at 09:28.[31] By this time, Flights 11 and 175 had already crashed into the World Trade Center and Flight 77 was within minutes of striking the Pentagon. The hijackers on those flights had waited no more than 30 minutes to commandeer the aircraft, most likely striking after the seat belt sign had been turned off and cabin service had begun.[19] It is unknown why the hijackers on Flight 93 decided to wait approximately 46 minutes to begin their assault. The flight suddenly dropped 685 feet (209 m) in half a minute.[19] At 09:28:17, First Officer Leroy Homer began shouting, "Mayday! Mayday! Get out!" over the radio amidst sounds of violence.[32] A Cleveland Air Traffic Controller[who?] replied, "Somebody call Cleveland?" but received no reply.[19]

Thirty-five seconds after the first Mayday call, the crew made another transmission. Homer shouted, "Mayday! Mayday! Get out of here! We're all gonna die here!"[32] There is no conclusive evidence that points to an exact moment when Flight 93 was under the hijackers' control. Officials believe the hijackers assaulted the cockpit and moved the passengers to the rear of the plane at the same time to minimize any chance of either the crew or the passengers from interfering with the attack.[19] While the other hijacked flights were taken by five-man teams, Flight 93 only had four hijackers, leading to speculation of a possible 20th hijacker Wikipedia. The 9/11 Commission believes that Mohammed al Qahtani was the likely candidate for this role, but was unable to participate as he was denied entry into the United States one month earlier.[22] With many passengers saying in phone calls that they saw only three hijackers, the 9/11 Commission believes Jarrah remained seated until the crew were overpowered and then took over the flight controls out of sight from any of the passengers.[22]

The flight recordings revealed that Captain Jason Dahl and First Officer LeRoy Homer survived the initial attack and were still alive after the hijackers took over the plane. Dahl and Homer took actions to interfere with the hijackers, including putting the plane on autopilot just before the hijackers took over, and switching the output of the pilots' microphones from the cabin address speakers to the radio transmitter so that Jarrah's attempts to communicate with the passengers would instead be heard by air traffic controllers. Dahl "stayed in the cockpit alone with the hijacker-pilot, injured but not dead", while Homer was "knocked unconscious and dragged from the cockpit".

The cockpit voice recorder began recording the final 30 minutes of Flight 93 at 09:31:57.[33] At this moment, it recorded Jarrah announcing, "Ladies and gentlemen: here the captain, please sit down keep remaining seating. We have a bomb on board. So sit."[34] The controller[who?] understood the transmission, but chose to respond, "Calling Cleveland center, you're unreadable. Say again, slowly."[35] The cockpit recording captured Dahl moaning and Jarrah talking at him in English to sit down and to stop touching something (presumably the controls); Jason Dahl's wife, Sandy Dahl, listening to the cockpit voice recorder determined that Jarrah "was fussing at my husband...he was speaking in English, and he spoke Arabic anytime he was talking with the other hijackers. Jason made moaning sounds after that. It sounded like he was trying to mess with stuff or get up, because the hijacker pilot kept telling him to stop and to sit down."

A flight attendant being held captive is heard pleading, "Please, please, don't hurt me".[36] Jarrah turned the plane and head east at 09:35:09.[37] The aircraft ascended to 40,700 feet (12,400 m) and air traffic controllers immediately moved several aircraft out of Flight 93's flightpath.[35] The flight attendant in the cockpit is heard to say, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die" followed by one of the hijackers saying in Arabic: "Everything is fine. I finished."[36]

At 9:39 air traffic controllers overheard Jarrah say, "Hi, this is the captain. I would like you all to remain seated. There is a bomb on board and are going back to the airport, and to have our demands [inaudible]. Please remain quiet."[35][38] Air traffic controllers did not hear from the flight again. Passengers and crew began making phone calls to officials and family members starting at 09:30 using GTE airphones and mobile phones. Altogether, the passengers and crew made 35 airphone calls and two cell phone calls from the flight.[39] Ten passengers and two crew members were able to successfully connect, providing information to family, friends, and others on the ground.[22] Tom Burnett made several phone calls to his wife Deena Burnett beginning at 09:30:32 from rows 24 and 25, though he was assigned a seat in row four.[32][40] Burnett explained that the plane had been hijacked by men claiming to have a bomb. He also said that a passenger had been knifed and that he believed the bomb threat was a ruse to control the passengers.[40] During one of Burnett's calls, his wife informed him of the attacks on the World Trade Center and he replied that the hijackers were "talking about crashing this plane ... Oh my God. It's a suicide mission."[41] He ended his last call by saying, "Don't worry, we're going to do something."[41] An unknown flight attendant attempted to contact the United Airlines maintenance facility at 09:32:29. The call lasted 95 seconds, but was not received as it may have been in queue.[19] Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw called the maintenance facility at 09:35:40 from row 33.[32] She reported the flight had been hijacked by men with knives who were in the cabin and flight deck and had stabbed another flight attendant.[40]

"Jack, pick up sweetie, can you hear me? Okay. I just want to tell you, there's a little problem with the plane. I'm fine. I'm totally fine. I just want to tell you how much I love you."
Message left by passenger Lauren Grandcolas at 09:39:21.[42]

Mark Bingham called his mother at 09:37:03 from row 25. He reported that the plane had been hijacked by three men who claimed to have a bomb.[43] Jeremy Glick called his wife Lyzbeth Glick at 09:37:41 from row 27 and told her the flight was hijacked by three dark-skinned men that looked "Iranian", wearing red bandanas and wielding knives.[22][40] Glick remained connected until the end of the flight.[32] He reported that the passengers voted whether to "rush" the hijackers.[19] The United air traffic control coordinator for West Coast flights, Alessandro "Sandy" Rogers, alerted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Herndon Command Center in Herndon, Virginia, that Flight 93 was not responding and was off course. A minute later, the transponder was turned off, but the Cleveland controller[who?] continued to monitor the flight on primary radar.[35] The Herndon Center relayed information on Flight 93 to FAA headquarters. Joseph DeLuca called his father[who?] at 09:43:03 from row 26 to inform him the flight had been hijacked.[19] Todd Beamer attempted to call his wife,Lisa Beamer, from row 32 at 09:43:48, but was routed to GTE phone operator Lisa D. Jefferson.[40] Beamer told the operator that the flight was hijacked and the pilots were on the floor dead or dying. He revealed one of the hijackers had a red belt with a bomb strapped to his waist.[44] Meanwhile, the hijackers were not able to disengage the autopilot. Dahl continued to struggle in the cockpit, refusing to allow a hijacker to deactivate the autopilot so he could fly the plane manually. The hijackers were heard to say "Inform them, and tell him to talk to the pilot; bring the pilot back", possibly referring to Homer (CVR transcripts). A United employee in San Francisco[who?] , sent an ACARS message to the flight at 09:46: "Heard report of incident. Plz confirm all is normal."[19] Linda Gronlund called her sister, Elsa Strong, at 09:46:05 and left her a message saying there were "men with a bomb".[45]

Flight attendant CeeCee Lyles called her husband[who?] at 09:47:57 and left him a message saying the plane had been hijacked.[32] Marion Britton called her friend, Fred Fiumano, at 09:49:12. Fiumano recalled, "she said, 'We’re gonna. They’re gonna kill us, you know, We’re gonna die.’ And I told her, 'Don’t worry, they hijacked the plane, they’re gonna take you for a ride, you go to their country, and you come back. You stay there for vacation.' You don’t know what to say—what are you gonna say? I kept on saying the same things, ‘Be calm.’ And she was crying and—you know—more or less crying and screaming and yelling."[25] Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw called her husband at 09:50:04 and told him she was preparing scalding water to throw at the hijackers.[32] Passenger Lauren Grandcolas called her husband twice, once before take off and once during the hijacking. He missed both of her calls. She then passed her phone to Honor Elizabeth Wainio.[25] Wainio called her stepmother[who?] at 09:53:43 and concluded, four and a half minutes later, by saying, "I have to go. They're breaking into the cockpit. I love you."[46] Jarrah dialed in the VOR frequency for the VOR navigational aid at Reagan National Airport at 9:55:11 to direct the plane toward Washington, D.C.[28] Bradshaw, on the phone with her husband, said "Everyone is running up to first class. I've got to go. Bye."[47]

During the hijacking, flight 93 passed within 1,000 feet (300 m) (instead of the normal 2,000 feet (610 m)) of a NASA KC-135 returning from a microgravity flight over Lake Ontario. NASA pilot Dominic Del Rosso recalled the how odd the silence on the radio was that morning.[48]

RevoltEdit

"Are you guys ready? Okay. Let's roll!"
Todd Beamer's words heard by operator Lisa Jefferson at 09:55.[49]

The revolt on Flight 93 began at 09:57.[22] The hijackers in the cockpit became aware of the revolt at 09:57:55, exclaiming, "Is there something? A fight?"[33] Edward Felt dialed 9-1-1 from his cell phone from the lavatory of the aircraft seeking information.[32] His call was answered by dispatcher John Shaw, and Felt was able to tell him about the hijacking before the call was disconnected.[50] There were reports of Felt hearing an explosion and seeing smoke coming into the lavatory from under the door.[51] These reports were reported to be false in other sources.[52] Lyles called her husband[who?] once more from a cell phone and told him the passengers were forcing their way into the cockpit.[19] Jarrah began to roll the airplane left and right to knock the passengers off balance. He told another hijacker in the cockpit at 9:58:57, "They want to get in here. Hold, hold from the inside. Hold from the inside. Hold."[33] Jarrah changed tactics at 9:59:52 and pitched the nose of the airplane up and down to disrupt the assault.[22]

The cockpit voice recorder captured the sounds of crashing, screaming, and the shattering of glass.[53] Jarrah stabilized the plane at 10:00:03.[22] Five seconds later, he asked, "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?" Another hijacker responded, "No. Not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."[33] Jarrah once again pitched the airplane up and down. A passenger in the background cried, "In the cockpit. If we don't, we'll die" at 10:00:25. Sixteen seconds later, another passenger yelled, "Roll it!"[22] Jarrah ceased the violent maneuvers at 10:01:00 and recited the takbir Wikipedia several times. He then asked another hijacker, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?" The other hijacker responded, "Yes, put it in it, and pull it down."[22] Nevertheless, the passengers continued their assault and at 10:02:17, a male passenger said, "Turn it up!". A second later, a hijacker said, "Pull it down! Pull it down!" At 10:02:33, Jarrah was heard to plead, "Hey! Hey! Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me. Give it to me." The airplane descended with the yoke turned hard to the right. The airplane rolled upside down, and one of the hijackers began shouting the takbir. Amidst the sounds of the passenger counterattack, the aircraft plowed into an empty field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania, about 20 minutes' flying time from Washington, D.C.[22] The last entry on the voice recorder was made at 10:03:09.[33] The last piece of flight data was recorded at 10:03:10.[54] There is some controversy between some of the family members of the passengers and the investigative officials as to whether the passengers managed to breach the cockpit. The 9/11 Commission Report asserts that "the hijackers remained at the controls but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them".[22] However, many of the passengers' family members, having heard the audio recordings, believe that the passengers breached the cockpit; some interpted the audio as suggesting that both the passengers and hijackers struggled for control of the yoke.[55]

CrashEdit

File:Flight93Crash.jpg

The plane crashed into a reclaimed coal strip mine in Stonycreek Township at 10:03:11.[56] The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the flight impacted at 563 miles per hour (906 km/h) at a 40 degree nose-down, inverted attitude.[18] The impact left a crater eight to ten feet deep (c. 3 m), and 30 to 50 feet wide (c. 12 m).[57] All 44 people died.[58] Many media reports and eyewitness accounts cited the time of the crash at 10:06,[59][60] as did an analysis of seismographic data in the area[61] but which the 9/11 Commission report states was not definitive.[62] Other media venues and the 9/11 Commission reported the time of impact as 10:03,[63][64] based on when the flight recorders stopped, analysis of radar data, infrared satellite data, and air traffic control transmissions.[22]

Kelly Leverknight was watching news of the attacks when she heard the plane. "I heard the plane going over and I went out the front door and I saw the plane going down. It was headed toward the school, which panicked me, because all three of my kids were there. Then you heard the explosion and felt the blast and saw the fire and smoke."[65] Another witness, Eric Peterson, looked up when he heard the plane, "It was low enough, I thought you could probably count the rivets. You could see more of the roof of the plane than you could the belly. It was on its side. There was a great explosion and you could see the flames. It was a massive, massive explosion. Flames and then smoke and then a massive, massive mushroom cloud."[66] Val McClatchey had been watching footage of the attacks when she heard the plane. She saw it briefly, then heard the impact. The crash knocked out the electricity and phones. McClatchey grabbed her camera and took the only known picture of the smoke cloud from the explosion.[67][68]

The first responders[who?] arrived at the crash site after 10:06.[49] Cleveland Center controllers, unaware the flight had crashed, notified the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) at 10:07 that Flight 93 had a bomb on board and passed the last known position. This call was the first time the military was notified about the flight.[19] Ballinger sent one final ACARS message to Flight 93 at 10:10: "Don't divert to DC. Not an option." He repeated the message one minute later. The Herndon Command Center alerted FAA headquarters that Flight 93 had crashed at 10:13.[19] NEADS called the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center for an update on Flight 93 and received notification that the flight had crashed.[69]

At 10:37, CNN correspondent Aaron Brown, covering the collapse of the World Trade Center, announced, "We are getting reports and we are getting lots of reports and we want to be careful to tell you when we have confirmed them and not, but we have a report that a 747 is down in Pennsylvania, and that remains unconfirmed at this point."[70] He followed that up at 10:49 by reporting that, "We have a report now that a large plane crashed this morning, north of the Somerset County Airport, which is in western Pennsylvania, not too terribly far from Pittsburgh, about 80 miles or so, a Boeing 767 Wikipedia jet. Don't know whose airline it was, whose airplane it was, and we don't have any details beyond that which I have just given you." While the transcript cites 10:45, actual air time was 10:49AM; see http://www.archive.org/details/cnn200109111011-1053 In the confusion, he also erroneously reported a second hijacked plane heading for the Pentagon after the crash of the first.[71]

AftermathEdit

File:Flight93Engine.jpg

Flight 93 fragmented violently upon impact. Most of the aircraft wreckage was found near the impact crater.[72] Investigators found some very light debris including paper and nylon scattered up to eight miles (13 km) from the impact point in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania.[73] Other tiny aircraft fragments were found 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away at Indian Lake, Pennsylvania.[74] All human remains were found within a 70 acre (28 ha) area surrounding the impact point.[74] Somerset County Coroner Wally Miller was involved in the investigation and identification of the remains. As he walked through the wreckage, the only recognizable body part he saw was a piece of spinal cord with five vertebrae attached.[75] Miller later found and identified 1,500 pieces of human remains totaling about 600 pounds (272 kg), or eight percent of the total.[76] The rest of the remains were consumed by the impact.[77] Investigators identified four victims[who?] by September 22 and eleven[who?] by September 24.[78][79] They identified another[who?] by September 29.[80] Thirty-four passengers[who?] were identified by October 27.[81] All the people on board the flight were identified by December 21. Human remains were so fragmented investigators could not determine if any victims were dead before the plane crashed. Death certificates for the 40 victims listed the cause of death as homicide and listed the cause of death for the four hijackers as suicide.[82] The remains and personal effects of the victims were returned to the families.[83] The remains of the hijackers, identified by the process of elimination, were turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as evidence.[84]

P200061

Piece of fuselage found at crash site

Investigators also found a knife disguised as a cigarette lighter.[85] They located the flight data recorder on September 13 and the cockpit voice recorder the following day.[86][87] The voice recorder was found buried 25 feet (8 m) below the crater. The FBI initially refused to release the voice recording, rejecting requests by congresswoman Ellen Tauscher Wikipedia and family members of those on board.[88] The FBI subsequently allowed the relatives of the Flight 93 victims to listen to the recording in a closed session on April 18, 2002.[89] Jurors for the Zacarias Moussaoui trial heard the tape as part of the proceedings and the transcript was publicly released on April 12, 2006.[90]

The intended target of Flight 93 has never been decisively confirmed.[91] Before the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Atef developed a list of potential targets.[8] Bin Laden wanted to destroy the White House and the Pentagon. Sheikh Mohammed wanted to strike the World Trade Center and all three wanted to hit the Capitol. No one else was involved in the initial selection of targets.[8] Bin Laden told 9/11 planner Ramzi Binalshibh Wikipedia to advise Mohamed Atta that he preferred the White House over the Capitol as a target.[92] Atta cautioned Binalshibh that this would be difficult, but agreed to include the White House as a possible target and suggested they keep the Capitol as an alternate in case the White House proved too difficult. Eventually, Atta told Binalshibh that Jarrah planned to hit the Capitol.[92] Atta briefly mentioned the possibility of striking a nuclear facility, but balked after the other attack pilots voiced their opposition.[92] Based on an exchange between Atta and Binalshibh two days before the attacks, the White House would be the primary target for the fourth plane and the Capitol the alternate.[28]

File:P200062.jpg

Immediately after the attacks, there was speculation that Camp David was the intended target.[93] According to testimony by captured al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah Wikipedia, U.S. officials believed the White House was the intended target.[94] A post-9/11 interview with Sheikh Mohammed and Binalshibh by Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda Wikipedia revealed that Flight 93 was headed for the Capitol.[95] The ''9/11 Commission Report'' cited the actions of the crew and passengers that prevented the destruction of either the White House or the Capitol.[22] According to another testimony by Sheikh Mohammed, bin Laden preferred the Capitol over the White House as a target and Sheikh Mohammed revealed that the interview to Fouda was a lie to make the 9/11 attacks seem larger than they were.[28] Salim Hamdan, bin Laden's driver, told interrogators that he knew the flight was headed for the Capitol.[96]

The 9/11 Commission found that North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the FAA gave inaccurate testimony.[97] NORAD insisted that fighters would have intercepted Flight 93 before it reached its target in Washington, D.C., but the commission disagreed concluding that "had Flight 93 not crashed in Pennsylvania, it would have arrived in the Washington area 10 to 20 minutes later".[98] The 9/11 Commission Report stated that NEADS fighters pursued Delta Air Lines Flight 1989, a flight thought to be hijacked.[22] All passengers and crew on board Flight 93 were nominated for the Congressional Gold Medal on September 19, 2001.[99] Congressman Bill Shuster introduced a bill to this effect in 2006,[100] however as of 2008 these awards have not been granted.[101]

Beamer's final words, "let's roll", became a national catchphrase.[46] The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey changed the name of Newark's airport from Newark International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.[102] Flight 93 has been the subject of various films and documentaries including The Flight That Fought Back, Flight 93, and United 93.[103][104]

In keeping with standard airline practice after disasters, the flight number "93" was discontinued by United Airlines after the hijacking. United's early-morning nonstop from Newark to San Francisco is now Flight 91 using an Airbus A319.[105]

MemorialsEdit

Main article: Flight 93 National Memorial

TimelineEdit

Main article: United Airline Flight 93 complete timeline

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Kennedy,Helen (2002-09-10). "Hijack Plot Bared on Al Qaeda Video". Daily News. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  2. Yardley,Jonathan (2005-05-01). "The 9/11 Hijackers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  3. "The Story of Ziad Jarrah". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2005-01-19. Archived from the original on 2005-02-15. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Hamburg cell reveals details". CNN. 2001-09-18. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  5. Freedberg, Sydney P (2001-10-14). "He seemed like such a nice boy". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  6. Fouda, Yosri and Nick Fielding (2003). Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack. Arcane Publishing. pp. 128. 
  7. Popkin,Jim (2006-10-01). "Video showing Atta, bin Laden is unearthed". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland". 9/11 Commission Report. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  9. Fouda, Yosri and Nick Fielding (2003). Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack. Arcane Publishing. pp. 130. 
  10. "George Tenet's al-Qaida testimony". The Guardian (London). 2002-10-18. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Chronology" (PDF). Monograph on 9/11 and Terrorist Travel. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. pp. 40. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  12. Candiotti,Susan (2001-09-19). "FBI returns to suspected hijacker's gym". CNN. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  13. Locy,Toni (2005-04-22). "Al-Qaeda's Moussaoui pleads guilty in plot to strike U.S. buildings with planes". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
  14. Savage,Charlie (2004-06-17). "9/11 Panel Says Plot Eyed 10 Planes; No Iraq Tie Seen". The Boston Globe. 
  15. Sadler,Brent (2001-09-17). "Uncle calls hijack suspect 'innocent passenger'". CNN. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  16. Serrano, Richard A (2006-04-12). "Moussaoui jury hears struggle to the death". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2008-08-24. 
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