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September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack
Timeline of Events
|September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack
Timeline of Events
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the world occurred concurrently in New York City, Washington, D.C. and near Pittsburgh. Four passenger jets were hijacked and three were deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Both towers of the World Trade Center subsequently collapsed, and part of the Pentagon was destroyed in the ensuing fire. The fourth hijacked plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field after passengers and crew tried to retake control of the plane from hijackers. Casualties were in the thousands: 265 on the planes; 2650 people, including 343 firefighters who had rushed in, at the World Trade Center; and 125 at the Pentagon.
Some passengers on the doomed flights were able to make phone calls reporting on events on board. They reported that there was more than one hijacker on each plane (a total of 19 were later identified) and that they took control of the planes using box-cutter knives.
The terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 had immediate and overwhelming effects upon the United States population and resulted in a global outpouring of memorials and services as well as tolerance of the US need for retaliation upon those found culpable of the attacks. Political effects included legal and budget reforms to enable government agencies to arrest foreign nationals in other countries or members of the public who might be inciting improper thoughts. There was also a significant amount of celebration in some communities hostile to US policies, which Americans generally found puzzling, disturbing and highly offensive. The massive undertaking of rescue and recovery took months, with the clean up continuing through May. The task of providing assistance to the survivors and the families of victims is ongoing.
Though no group has claimed responsibility, the U.S. government immediately launched a full-scale response, stating its intentions to go to war against those responsible. In late September, British Prime Minister Tony Blair released evidence compiled by Western intelligence agencies connecting Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi terrorist with close ties with the Afghan Taliban leadership, and bin Laden's Al Qaida organisation. After trying and failing to get the Taliban to extradite Osama bin Laden and all other al Qaida leaders based in Afghanistan, a coalition led by the United States launched an attack in Afghanistan on October 7. After the U.S. attack removed the Taliban from power, a videotape was discovered abandoned in Kabul, the Afghan capital, which showed bin Laden discussing the attacks in a context which makes clear he had foreknowledge.
Following the attack, the United States government has been on heightened alert for new terrorist attacks, periodically warning of "imminent attacks". In late September, cases of anthrax started breaking out; no connection to the September 11 attack has been found, though reports emerged in March 2002 that one of the hijackers was infected with cutaneous anthrax.
The fires at the World Trade Center site continued to burn for three months while rescue workers removed and sifted through debris. Five months after the attack, the last survivors were released from the hospital. By six months afterwards, the 1.5 million tons of debris had been removed from the WTC site and work continued below ground level despite concerns that the seawall around the site might collapse. Ceremonies marking the end of the debris removal took place at the end of May 2002.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Ironically, the United Nations International Day of Peace
8:46 AM EDT, American Airlines flight 11 (a fully fueled Boeing 767) crashes with a speed of roughly 490 miles per hour into the north side of the northern tower of the World Trade Center, approximately between floors 94 and 98 (there are differing statements as to the exact moment of impact, some claiming as late as 8:48-- the strongest evidence, based on seismic data collected at the Palisades of the Hudson, points to 8:46:26). Due to the building's structural type, pioneered in the late 1960s to maximize rentable floorspace and featuring lightweight tubular design with no masonry elements in the facade, the jetliner literally enters the tower, mostly intact. It plows to the building core, severing all three gypsum-encased stairwells, dragging combustibles with it. The combustibles as well as the remnants of the aircraft are ignited by the burning fuel. Since the building lacks a traditional full cage frame and depends almost entirely on the strength of a narrow cross-sectional area running up the center, the fire at the core is in a position to compromise the integrity of all the internal columns. People below the severed stairwells in the northern tower start to evacuate. Officials in the South Tower tell people shortly afterwards by megaphone and office announcements that they are safe and can return to their offices. Some people don't hear it; others ignore it and evacuate anyway; others congregate in common areas like the 78th floor sky lobby to discuss their options.
9:02:54 AM EDT, United Airlines flight 175 (another fully fueled Boeing 767) crashes with a speed of about 590 miles per hour into the south side of the southern tower, banked between floors 78 and 84. Parts of the plane leave the building at its east and north sides, falling to the ground six blocks away. A passenger on the plane, Peter Burton Hanson, had called his father earlier from the plane reporting that hijackers were stabbing flight attendants in order to force the crew to open the cockpit doors. A number of huge explosions are reported. Some observers, like Bryant Gumbel of CBS, cling to the idea this is some kind of double accident. Others, like WNYW's Jim Ryan and NBC's Matt Lauer, immediately describe it as a terrorist attack.
Between 8:46 and 10:29 AM EDT at least twenty people, primarily in the northern tower, trapped by fire and smoke in the upper floors, jump to their deaths. There is some evidence that large central portions of the floor near the impact zone in the northern tower collapsed soon after the plane hit, perhaps convincing some people that total collapse was imminent. One person at street level, firefighter Daniel Thomas Suhr, is hit by a jumper and dies. No form of airborne evacuation is attempted as smoke is too dense for a successful landing on the roof of either tower, and New York City lacks helicopters specialized for horizontal rescue.
9:24 AM EDT, President George W. Bush is interrupted with the news of the second crash as he participates in a class with Florida schoolchildren. He waits out the lesson, then rushes into another classroom commandeered by the Secret Service. Within minutes he makes a short statement, calling the developments 'a national tragedy', and is hurried aboard Air Force One.
9:37 AM EDT, American Airlines flight 77 (Boeing 757) crashes into the western side of the Pentagon and starts a violent fire. The section of the Pentagon hit consists mainly of newly renovated, unoccupied offices. Barbara K. Olson had called her husband, Solicitor General Theodore Olson at the Justice Department twice from the plane to tell him about the hijacking and to report that the passengers and pilots were held in the back of the plane.
9:40 AM EDT, United States airspace is cleared (some accounts say 9:50). No civilian aircraft are allowed to lift off. All air traffic headed for the U.S. is redirected to Canada. Later, the FAA announces that civilian flights are suspended until at least noon, September 12. The groundings last until September 14, and there are exemptions for Saudi families who fear retribution if they stay in the United States. Military and medical flights continue. This is the fourth time all commercial flights in the U.S. have been stopped, and the first time a suspension was unplanned. All previous suspensions were military-related (Sky Shield I-III), from 1960 to 1962. Many reporters in the press (including the NY Times) mistakenly print that this is the first time flights have been suspended.
9:45 AM EDT, the White House and the Capitol are closed.
9:50 AM EDT (approximately), the Associated Press reports that American Airlines Flight 11 was apparently hijacked after departure from Boston's Logan Airport. Within an hour this is confirmed for both Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
9:57 AM EDT, the president is moved from Florida.
9:59:04 AM EDT, the southern tower of the World Trade Center collapses. It is later widely reported that the collapse was not directly caused by the impact but that the intense, sustained heat generated by the fuel fire was mostly or wholly responsible for loss of structural integrity. Later, a growing number of structural engineers assert that the fire alone would not have caused the collapse. Both buildings made use of external load-bearing mini columns and on one face of each building approximately forty of them were severed by the jetliners. If those columns had been intact to efficiently distribute the increasing gravity load as the bunched core columns weakened, the towers might have stood far longer or perhaps indefinitely. Investigations that may radically change skyscraper design (or result in a radical retreat to full cage construction with high concrete-to-steel ratios as in pre-1960s skyscrapers) are ongoing.
10:03 AM EDT, United Airlines flight 93 (Boeing 757) crashes southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset county, Pennsylvania. Some accounts say that the time was 10:06 or 10:10 AM. The first reports from the police indicate that no one on board survived. A passenger reached officials on his cell phone from the plane's rest room, repeatedly claiming that the plane was hijacked and that the call was not a hoax. Later reports indicate that passengers speaking on cell phones had learned about the World Trade Center and Pentagon crashes and at least three were planning on resisting the hijackers. One passenger told his wife that one person had already been stabbed to death by the hijackers. It is likely that the resistance led to the plane crashing before it reached its intended target (probably the Capitol, according to the latest evidence). A black box recording, retrieved and later played to relatives of the victims, supports this scenario, and it further suggests that the passengers succeeded in entering the cockpit. The jetliner most likely crashed while a struggle for the controls was underway or with a passenger at the controls.
There have been reports of an eyewitness seeing a white plane resembling a fighter jet circling the site minutes after the crash. These reports have limited credibility, although fighter jets had been scrambled from the Washington D.C. region some time before.
10:10 AM EDT, part of the Pentagon collapses.
10:13 AM EDT, Thousands are involved in an evacuation of the United Nations complex in New York.
10:15 AM EDT (approximately), the Palestinian group DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) is reported to take responsibility for the crashes, but this is denied by a senior officer of the group soon after.
10:28:31 AM EDT, the northern tower of the World Trade Center collapses from the top down, as if being peeled apart. Probably due to the destruction of the gypsum-encased stairwells on the impact floors (most skyscraper stairwells are encased in reinforced concrete), almost no one above the impact survives. The fact that the northern tower stood much longer than the southern one is later attributed to three facts: the region of impact was higher (which meant the gravity load on the most damaged area was lighter), the speed of the airplane was lower, and the affected floors had had their fire proofing partially upgraded. It is also likely that the hottest part of the fire in the southern tower was closer to the building core, which in tubular construction, unlike full cage construction, constitutes the jugular of the structure.
10:35 AM EDT (approximately), police are reportedly alerted about a bomb in a car outside the State Department in Washington, D.C.. Later reports claim that nothing happened at the State Department.
10:39 AM EDT, another hijacked jumbo jet is claimed to be headed for Washington, D.C. F15s are scrambled and patrol the airspace above Washington, D.C. while other fighter jets sweep the airspace above New York City. They have orders, first issued by Vice President Cheney and later confirmed by President Bush, to shoot down any potentially dangerous planes that do not comply with orders given to them via radio.
10:45 AM EDT, CNN reports that a mass evacuation of Washington D.C. and New York has been started. The UN headquarters are already empty. A few minutes later, New York's mayor orders an evacuation of lower Manhattan.
10:50 AM EDT, five stories of the Pentagon collapse due to the fire.
10:53 AM EDT, New York's primary elections are canceled.
11:15 AM EDT (approximately), reports that the F-15s over Washington had shot something down. There was no later confirmation of these reports.
11:16 AM EDT, American Airlines confirms the loss of its two airplanes.
11:17 AM EDT, United Airlines confirms the loss of Flight 93 and states that it is "deeply concerned" about Flight 175.
11:53 AM EDT, United Airlines confirms the loss of its two airplanes.
11:55 AM EDT, the border between the U.S. and Mexico is on highest alert, but has not been closed.
12:00 PM EDT (approximately), President Bush arrives at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. He was on a trip in Sarasota Florida to speak about education, but is supposedly now returning to the Capital. He makes a brief and informal initial statement to the effect that terrorism on U.S. soil will not be tolerated, stating that "freedom itself has been attacked and freedom will be protected."
12:02 PM EDT, the Taliban government of Afghanistan denounces the attacks.
12:04 PM EDT, Los Angeles International Airport, the intended destination of American Airlines flight 11 and flight 77, as well as United Airlines flight 175, is shut down.
12:15 PM EDT, San Francisco International Airport, the intended destination of United Airlines flight 93, is shut down.
1:00 PM EDT approx. At the Pentagon, fire crews are still fighting fires. The early response to the attack had been coordinated from the National Military Command Center, but that had to be evacuated when it began to fill with smoke.
1:04 PM EDT, President Bush puts the U.S. military on high alert worldwide. He speaks from Barksdale Air Force Base and leaves for SAC bunker in Nebraska. Later in the day several commentators and journalists, most notably ABC's Peter Jennings, express frustration with Bush's seemingly random wandering. After the arrival in Nebraska Jennings asks the ABC correspondent on the scene exactly where the President is. She answers, "Peter, the President has gone down the rabbit hole".
1:27 PM EDT, Mayor Anthony A. Williams of Washington, D.C., declares a state of emergency; the D.C. National Guard arrives on site.
2:30 PM EDT, Senator John McCain characterizes attack as an "act of war."
2:49 PM EDT, At a press conference New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is asked to estimate the number of casualties at the World Trade Center. He replies, "More than any of us can bear."
4:00 PM EDT, National news outlets report that high officials in the federal intelligence community are stating that Osama Bin Laden is suspect number one.
4:25 PM EDT, The New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and the American Stock Exchange report that they will remain closed Wednesday September 12.
5:20 PM EDT, Salomon Brothers 7, commonly referred to as "7 World Trade Center", a 47 story building which had sustained what was originally thought to be light damage in the fall of the twin towers and was earlier reported on fire, collapses. Structural engineers are puzzled and investigation continues. The building was not designed by the same team responsible for the Twin Towers.
6:00 PM EDT, Explosions and tracer fire are reported in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan by CNN and the BBC. The Northern Alliance, involved in a civil war with the Taliban government, is later reported to have attacked Kabul's airport with helicopter gunships.
6:00 PM EDT, Iraq announces the attacks are the fruit of "U.S. crimes against humanity" in an official announcement on state television.
6:54 PM EDT, President Bush finally arrives at the White House. Executive authority through much of the day had rested with Vice President Cheney.
7:00 PM EDT, frantic efforts to locate survivors in the rubble that had been the Twin Towers continue. Fleets of ambulances have been lined up to transport the injured to nearby hospitals. They stand empty. 'Ground Zero' is the exclusive domain of the NYFD and NYPD, despite volunteer steel and construction workers who stand ready to move large quantities of debris quickly. Relatives and friends displaying enlarged photographs of the missing printed on home computer printers are flooding downtown. The New York Armory at Lexington Avenue and 26th Street and Union Square Park at 14th Street become centers of vigil.
7:30 PM EDT, U.S. Government denies any responsibility for reported explosions in Kabul.
8:30 PM EDT, President Bush addresses nation from the White House. Among his phrases: "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
11:00 PM EDT, There are reports of survivors buried in the rubble in New York making cell phone calls. These rumors are difficult to substantiate.
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
2:30 AM EDT, CBS reports that a van packed with explosives has been stopped on the George Washington Bridge. The New Jersey police claim there were enough explosives to destroy the entire bridge. Apparently the FBI has denied the report. According to a later report, three men have been arrested but there were no explosives involved. They were arrested because they had been seen celebrating the attack.
Before 3:15 AM EDT, Boston Herald reports that at least five Arab men have been identified as suspects. Two of them were brothers, and one a trained pilot. Their passports have been traced to the United Arab Emirates. A car, rented in Portland, Maine, has been seized from the Logan Airport garage, containing flight training manuals in Arabic. According to CNN, FBI can neither confirm nor deny this. The men had been in a fight with a man shortly before take-off; this man later recalled the incident and called the police.
Before 3:50 AM EDT, Jerusalem Post reports that Osama Bin Laden has given a speech denying any connection to the attacks, which he called admirable.
4:35 AM EDT, CNN reports that search warrants have been issued in south Florida because of information from the passenger lists of the hijacked planes.
10:00 AM EDT, Congress reconvenes.
1:10 PM EDT, FBI agents storm the Westin Hotel in Boston to investigate a room rented by a passenger on one plane. They encounter and detain three people in the room and call in a bomb squad to investigate a suspicious package.
3:58 PM EDT FBI announces they have evidence showing the White House and Air Force One were intended targets of the attacks. Later this is recanted, and blamed on administration staffers misunderstanding the security information they received.
5:00 PM EDT, Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that some of the hijackers were pilots trained in the U.S.
7:00 PM EDT Candlelight vigils are held in Washington Square, Union Square, Central Park, and various other locations in New York City.
Late evening: Chicago Tribune reports that an anti-Arab rally was held by a crowd of a few hundred people near Bridgeview mosque in Chicago. Three were arrested by the over 100 policemen there, two for disorderly conduct and one for reckless driving.
Thursday, September 13, 2001
Before 1 AM EDT, German police raid an apartment in Hamburg, apparently at the behest of the FBI, believed to have been used by suspect passengers on the airline flight list. It is believed to be the first action outside the U.S. connected with the attack. Two people are taken into provisional custody, one is an airport worker. Both were later released. Both are arrested in late 2002.
The data recorder from United Airlines flight 93 is recovered.
Between 4:15 and 5:00 PM EDT, 10 people were detained at New York airports, reportedly including persons who had boarded planes under false pretenses, persons who had been trained to fly aircraft at the same schools as the previous terrorists, and people who had attempted to bring knives and other weapons past airport security. Some of these persons had already been identified by the FBI as potential suspects. Three were removed from planes ready for departure by police swat teams, one resists arrest. It is later found that none of them were planning a hijacking.
Ahmed Shah Massoud, a military leader of the Northern Alliance, dies from his wounds (from Taliban suicide attack September 9).
On the orders of Elizabeth II, the 'Star-Bangled Banner' is played during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. This was witnessed by a huge crowd, many singing along.
Friday, September 14, 2001
Church and memorial services held throughout the world. These include a special service held in London, which was attended by a black-clad Queen and 15000 mourners. A three minute silence at 11 o'clock was oberved throughout Europe. The 'Star-Bangled Banner' is performed in front of the Brandenburg Gate and at mass gatherings in Paris and Ottowa. National days of mourning are observed in Ireland and South Korea. Ireland was reportedly bought to a standstill on the day.
AM, The United States Department of Defense (DoD) releases a revised estimate and the names of unaccounted. 125 people are missing: 74 Army, 42 Navy, 9 Defense agency. The original estimate for Defense Agencies was 10, which inadvertently included one DoD employee on American Airlines Flight 77, Mr. Bryan C. Jack.
AM, Resumption of package deliveries from national carriers such as UPS and Federal Express.
AM, Nine of the ten detained at New York airports were released. One is still being questioned about immigration status. Authorities suspected one of them was holding a false pilot's license, but he was a pilot. He was carrying papers, including a visa, which were owned by his brother in Boston, who happened to live in the same building as three of the people suspected of involvement in the hijackings. There was no hijacking attempts at either airport on the 13th, only suspicious circumstances.
AM, The Pentagon reports recovering both black boxes from flight AA 77 which crashed into the Pentagon.
AM, The names of the suspected hijackers are released by the US government.
AM, Arrests are made in the Netherlands and Belgium and apartments searched in the Philippines and on a Carnival cruise ship in Florida. The connection to the Sept. 11th attack is not immediately clear.
12:00 PM EDT approx. Service led by Rev. Billy Graham at Washington National Cathedral, with George W. Bush, the former presidents other than Reagan, Congressional leaders, other top officials in attendance. Bush gave remarks, beginning with 'We are here in the middle hour of our grief'.
2:20 PM EDT Colin Powell press briefing
3:40 PM EDT President George W. Bush arrives in New York City.
PM EDT The United Airlines flight 93 flight recorder is found at the bottom of the 25-foot deep crater.
Saturday, September 15, 2001
The Department of Defense releases a casualty update: Aerographer's Mate First Class Edward Thomas Earhart, 26, Salt Lick, Ky., is confirmed dead. Herbert W. Homer, a civilian employee of the Defense Contract Management Agency, was previously listed in error as unaccounted for at the Pentagon; he was among the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 175. 
Before 8:00 AM EDT, New York authorities end request for donations of emergency supplies.
Before 2:30 PM EDT, Iran announces that it has closed its border with Afghanistan.
Before 2:30 PM EDT, the official New York City missing count has risen to 4972. Over 150 bodies have been found, 92 positively identified.
Before 2:30 PM EDT, the official death count at the Pentagon has risen to 189, including the 64 in the plane.
3:00 PM EDT approx., a funeral mass is held for Rev. Mychal Judge.
3:00 PM EDT approx., a funeral is held for fire chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr. in New Jersey. Afterwards mayor Rudy Giuliani breaks his policy of never making public comments after the funeral, saying "All eyes are on New York City."
Before 3:00 PM EDT, The New York Stock Exchange is successfully tested for its morning open at 9:30 AM EDT.
Before 3:00 PM EDT, Colin Powell says both Pakistan and Iran have closed their borders with Afghanistan. After intensive pressure from the Bush administration, Pakistan has agreed to act as a staging area for American air strikes or forces.
Afternoon: Four gunmen, including Francisco Roque, 42, go on a shooting rampage, they drove up in two pick-up trucks to a Chevron station in Mesa, AZ owned by Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 52 year old Sikh from Punjab, India, and shot him dead, possibly mistaking him for an Arab because of his turban. They don't kill anyone else, but hit another gas station and a home.
Afternoon: An Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, Adel Karas, 48, was shot dead by two white males inside his International Market grocery store in San Gabriel, CA.
22:05 Dallas time, a Pakistani immigrant and businessman, Waquer Hasan, 46, was shot dead in his store, Mom's Grocery, in downtown Dallas, TX - again, possibily because of his turban. His family's immigration status is in limbo, as he was the petitioner.
Sunday, September 16, 2001
Day of mourning in Australia for victims of September 11. This had been proclaimed by Australian Prime Minister John Howard earlier that week. He had been in Washington at the time of the attacks.
The Department of Defense releases a casualty update: Cmdr. Dan Frederic Shanower, 40, of Naperville, Ill. is confirmed dead. The number of dead or unaccounted at the Pentagon remains 124, not including the 64 passengers on American Airlines flight 77. 88 remains have been recovered from the Pentagon and transported to Dover Air Force Base, Del. for identification. 
Lower Manhattan east of Broadway is opened to pedestrians.
Tens of thousands of Afghani refugees stream toward the closed borders with Iran and Pakistan (there are already two million refugees in each country already from twenty years of Afghani-Soviet War then Afghan Civil War). Food and other aid can no longer get in.
PM, A 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student is stabbed three times in Boston by assailants yelling anti-Arab abuse as he leaves a nightclub.
Monday, September 17, 2001
The U.S. had demanded that Pakistan close its borders to Afghan refugees. Pakistan complies.
Major League Baseball games recommence.
The Department of Defense (DoD) releases a casualty update: 9 DoD employees and 2 passengers accounted for, and 124 DoD employees still unaccounted for. To date, 97 remains have been recovered and transported to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. for identification. Eleven have been identified. Search and rescue operations continue. 
The Northern Alliance in Afghanistan offers fifteen to thirty-thousand troops in support of attacks on the Taliban.
6:00 AM EDT Staten Island ferry reopens. New Brooklyn ferry opens.
8:30 AM EDT approx. The US Federal Reserve cuts the prime interest rate by half a percent to three percent.
9:30 AM EDT The NYSE, Mercantile Exchange, and NASDAQ open for the first time after the longest hiatus in history after two minutes of silence. The markets plummet.
11:08 AM EDT The World Bank and IMF cancel the annual meeting scheduled for September 29th and 30th at Washington D.C.
4:00 PM EDT Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 684.81 points (7.13%) in heavy trading. NASDAQ was down 6.84%, S&P500 4.93%. Airline stocks were down over 40 percent. Insurance, financial, and travel and leisure stocks were also down heavily. Military contractor, savings and loans, telecom, and pharmaceutical stocks enjoyed gains
4:00 PM EDT Rudy Giuliani conference: 5422 missing, 201 known dead, 135 identified. For the week to date, crime in New York City has been down 34 percent over the same week last year. 40,000 tons of debris have been removed.
Conference of many Islamic leaders to meet in Afghanistan to determine their response to the U.S. ultimatum.
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning a ten day period to consider the sins of the past year and do better.
12:30 PM EDT Rudy Giuliani press briefing: 49,553 tons removed to Fresh Kills in 3,788 trucks. 218 confirmed dead, 152 identified. 37 uniformed officers, 32 firefighters, 2 E.M.T.'s, 2 Port Authority Police officers and one New Jersey Fire Department firefighter. For small businesses: http://sba.gov/disaster or FEMA at 1.800.462.9029. 17,000 people took the Staten Island Ferry, 1,037 took Sunset Park Ferry, 8,200 came to Pier 11. The phone number for the Twin Towers Fund for the search and recovery effort is 1.877.870.4278. 
2:30 PM EDT Ari Fleischer press briefing. The U.S. intends to go after terrorism whenever it threatens the United States, not all terrorism.
2:50 PM EDT US Attorney General John Ashcroft press briefing: 96,000 tips. There may have been more than four planes targeted for hijacking. INS will have 48 hours (or unlimited time under emergencies) instead of the previous 24 in which to decide whether to charge detained individuals. This will allow them to detain the 75 individuals held in connection with the investigation indefinitely. Permanent anti-terrorism task forces under the US Attorney General and FBI will be established to blur the lines between local and federal law enforcement and the federal intelligence agencies.
In the previous week more than 540 attacks on Arab-Americans and at least 200 on Sikhs, nearly all directly related to the terrorist attack were reported. Mosques, Hindu temples and community centers have been vandalized in countries across the globe.
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
The Department of Defense orders over 100 combat aircraft, including fighters, bombers, and support aircraft to military bases in the Persian Gulf. Three aircraft carrier groups will soon be within operational distance of west Asia.
2:20 PM EDT approx. Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki press briefing: two lanes of Brooklyn Bridge into city to open Thursday. That morning, there were 1000 people on the Brooklyn ferry and 10,000 people on Pier 11 ferry. The government is opening up 5.5 million sq. feet of real estate for business. Individual family grants of up to $14,000 are availabe from the Dept. of Labor (1.800.462.9029). Unemployment assistance is also available at (1.888.209.8124). The State Dept. of Health is giving $60 million to NYC hospitals. The business assistance center at 633 Third Ave. has received 5000 calls and 700 visitors (1.800.ILOVENY). The city is hoping to get Battery Park North and South open in the next two days. The prayer service Sunday 9/23 at Yankee Stadium will be by ticket for families and the uniformed services (fire, police, etc.), and simulcast at Jumbotrons at Staten Island and Brooklyn baseball stadiums. The city has determined it would be too early for the Central Park memorial service originally planned.
4:00 PM EDT Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 144.27 (1.62%) to 8759.13. Other indexes are down similarly. At its lowest point, the Dow Jones was down over 420 points.
Thursday, September 20, 2001
Stock markets continue dramatic slide.
Pakistan general/president Musharraf gives speech asking country to go along with government decision to support United States -- allowing flights over airspace, supplying intelligence, etc.
40 Senators visit New York City to see the rescue and recovery effort firsthand.
The official number of missing persons at the WTC rises dramatically to 6333, due to reports coming in from foreign countries.
President Bush gives speech to joint session of Congress, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Rudy Giuliani, and Governor Pataki in attendance. He announces that the US is at war with terrorism and demands countries choose to be "with us or with the terrorists." He limits the enemy to terrorist groups with "global reach." He creates a new cabinet-level office, Homeland Security and names Pennslyvania Governor Tom Ridge as its head.
Conference of Afghani Islamic clerics advise Taliban leader Mohammad Shah to invite Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan by his own choice.
New York Philharmonic memorial concert of the 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 going to disaster relief. At the request of the Philharmonic director, all applause was held, and the audience filed out in silence.
Friday, September 21, 2001
4 AM EDT: Final version of airline assistance bill is written.
In the morning hours, the Congress approve a bill to prop up the airline industry and establish a federal fund for victims. The cost of the mostly open-ended fund may reach about $15 billion. Victims of earlier terrorist attacks, including those linked to al-Qaida, were not included in the fund.
Afganistan press conference announces willingness to forcibly turn Osama bin Laden over only with evidence. United States reiterates it will not negotiate on demands.
Tens of thousands demonstrate in Pakistan against the government's cooperation with United States.
Rumors abound in Arab Muslim countries to the effect that 'the Jews' were the true perpetrators of the attacks. In 2002, a majority of those polled state this is their belief.
The official number of missing persons at the WTC continues to fluctuate, 6300s to 6500s. They come from over 60 countries.
Stock markets continue dramatic slide. (for the United States, worst week since 1930s).
A two-hour live telethon entitled "America: A Tribute to Heroes", with musical performances and spoken tributes by top American performers, is simultaneously broadcast on nearly every network. Controversy over disbursement of the funds raised will later arise.
Yemeni-American, Mr. Ali M. Al-Mansoob/Mr. Ali Al Mansouri, 44, is fatally shot 12 times in the back in Detroit, allegedly by a man angry about the terrorist attacks.
Saturday, September 22, 2001
United Arab Emirates cuts diplomatic ties with Taliban.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of donations have been raised for American relief agencies.
United States reschedules Pakistan's debt, and drops sanctions against Pakistan and India in return for their help with the "war on terror." (the sanctions began in response to the South Asian nuclear proliferation)
Sunday, September 23, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 261; 194 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 6,453.
Taliban claim they cannot find Osama bin Laden to deliver request that he leave the country of his own will.
Monday, September 24, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 276; 206 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center remains 6,453.
week of Monday, September 24, 2001
United States freezes assets of a list of terrorist groups included in this "war" (not the same as the existing 30-country list of terrorist organizations). The list: Al-Qaida/Islamic Army, Abu Sayyaf Group, Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM), Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Asbat al-Ansar, Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI), Islamic Army of Aden, Usama bin Laden, Muhammad Atif (aka, Subhi Abu Sitta, Abu Hafs Al Masri) Sayf al-Adl, Shaykh Sai'id (aka, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad), Abu Hafs the Mauritanian (aka, Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, Khalid Al-Shanqiti), Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi, Abu Zubaydah (aka, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, Tariq), Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (aka, Abu Abdallah), Ayman al-Zawahiri, Thirwat Salah Shihata, Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad (aka, Fathi, Amr al-Fatih), Muhammad Salah (aka, Nasr Fahmi Nasr Hasanayn), Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al Kifah, Wafa Humanitarian Organization, Al Rashid Trust, Mamoun Darkazanli Import-Export Company
Taliban shoot down an unmanned United States spy plane.
U.S. stock markets rebound somewhat.
Over 100,000 tons of debris have been removed from the World Trade Center site. It is clear that no remains will be found for a significant number of people.
United States to present evidence of Osama bin Laden's connection secretly to some coalition governments.
Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Afghanistan.
Hundreds of people, mostly in the United States and European Union, have been arrested or detained in the ongoing investigation.
Legislation granting intelligence operations more latitude (in wiretapping, working with known criminals, etc.) is debated in Washington, D. C. Many are concerned about damaging civil liberties and the general atmosphere of American openness, which are, after all, the whole point.
Shimon Peres and Yasser Arafat meet Wednesday, and agree to pursue a more permanent ceasefire. Wednesday evening marks the beginning of Yom Kippur.
United Nations warns of humanitarian disaster if 1.5 million expected Afghan refugees have nowhere to go, or in any case in two-three weeks when food relief supplies run out. All borders have been closed, Pakistan may accept more refugees although there are already 2 million from the previous 23 years of war.
Jesse Jackson reports receiving an invitation from the Taliban to come to Afghanistan as part of a peace delegation. They deny making the invitation, but welcome him to come. The United States government frowns on it, but will not stand in the way.
Significant fighting is going on between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. Russia pledges to increase aid to the Northern Alliance.
United States reveals that special forces are now, and/or have been recently, operating in Afghanistan already or in recent days.
Tuesday, September 25, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 279; 209 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 6,398.
FBI is investigating over 90 claims of hate violence related to 9/11 attacks.
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 300; 232 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 6,347.
Thursday, September 27, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 305; 238 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 5,960.
Friday, September 28, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 306; no new identifications are made. The official missing count at the World Trade Center remains 5,960.
Saturday, September 29, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 309; 248 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 5,641.
Al Gore makes his biggest speech since he lost his bid for the presidency, and strongly supports President Bush and the the bipartisan atmosphere prevailing since the attack. 
Sunday, September 30, 2001
The official count of bodies found at the site of the World Trade Center is 314; 255 have been identified. The official missing count at the World Trade Center is 5,657.
Senator Charles Schumer proposes holding the 2002 Super Bowl at Giants Stadium.
The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, admits that the Taliban is protecting Osama bin Laden in an unknown location in Afghanistan, that he had been given the ulema recommendation that he leave the country voluntarily, and that the Taliban would be open to negotiation given evidence of bin Laden's culpability. John Ashcroft explains the US position of skepticism and refusal to accept conditions.