September 11, 2001 attacks timeline for September

From Academic Kids

Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
Background history
September 11, 2001
Rest of September
Missing people
Foreign casualties
Rescue workers
Hijacked Airlines
American Airlines Flight 11
United Airlines Flight 175
American Airlines Flight 77
United Airlines Flight 93
Sites of destruction
World Trade Center
The Pentagon
Government response
World political effects
World economic effects
Airport security
Closings and cancellations
Audiovisual entertainment
Rescue and recovery effort
Financial assistance
Memorials and services
Slogans and terms
Misinformation and rumors
U.S. Congress Inquiry
9/11 Commission

All times, except where otherwise noted, in New York Time (EDT). This is four hours (instead of five) behind GMT because of Daylight savings time.


September, 2001

Wednesday, September 12

  • 2:30 AM, 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, The 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 International 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.
  • 4:35 AM, 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, Congress reconvenes.
  • 10:53 AM, President George W. Bush holds a cabinet meeting, saying that the attacks "were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war."
  • 1:10 PM, 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, 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, Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that some of the hijackers were pilots trained in the U.S.
  • 7:00 PM, Candlelight vigils are held in Washington Square, Union Square, Central Park, and various other locations in New York City.
  • Late evening, The 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

  • Before 1:00 AM, 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 police 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, but re-arrested in late 2002.
  • The data recorder from United Airlines flight 93 is recovered.
  • Between 4:15 and 5:00 PM, 10 people were detained at New York airports, reportedly including people who had boarded planes under false pretenses, people 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 people had already been identified by the FBI as potential suspects. Three were removed from planes ready for departure by police SWAT teams, one resisted arrest. It was later found that none of them were planning a hijacking.
  • At the orders of Vladimir Putin, Russia observes a moment's silence at noontime (Moscow time) with flags placed at half-staff throughout Russia "in memory of terrorist acts' victims" .

Friday, September 14

  • 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 1,500 mourners. A three minute silence at noon Paris time was observed throughout Europe. "The Star-Spangled Banner" is performed or sung in front of the Brandenburg Gate and at mass gatherings in Edinburgh, Paris, and Ottawa. National days of mourning are observed in Ireland and South Korea. Ireland was brought to a standstill on the day, because the government had ordered schools, offices, and stores across the country closed because a public holiday as part of the national day of mourning had been declared.
  • The New York City office of Emergency Management completes setup of an Emergency Operations Center after a 32 hour construction marathon, at Pier 92. This facility served to replace the Office of Emergency Management office formerly housed in the basement of 7 World Trade Center, and destroyed on the afternoon of September 11.[1] (
  • 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.
  • 3:40 PM President George W. Bush arrives in New York City.

Saturday, September 15

  • 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. [3] (
  • Before 2:30 PM, Iran announces that it has closed its border with Afghanistan.
  • Before 2:30 PM, the official New York City missing count has risen to 4972. Over 150 bodies have been found, 92 positively identified.
  • Before 2:30 PM, the official death count at the Pentagon has risen to 189, including the 64 in the plane.
  • 3:00 PM approx., a funeral mass is held for Rev. Mychal Judge.
  • 3:00 PM 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, The New York Stock Exchange is successfully tested for its morning open at 9:30 AM EDT.
  • Before 3:00 PM, 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. In October 2003, Roque is sentenced by an Arizona jury to death by lethal injection.[4] (
  • 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, Waqar Hasan, 46, was shot dead in his store, Mom's Grocery, in downtown Dallas, TX - again, possibily because of his turban. Congress subsequently passed a private bill granting his family permanent residence. [5] (

Sunday, September 16

  • 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. [6] (
  • 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

  • The U.S. had demanded that Pakistan close its borders to Afghan refugees. Pakistan complies.
  • 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. [7] (
  • 6:00 AM Staten Island ferry reopens. New Brooklyn ferry opens.
  • 8:30 AM approx. The US Federal Reserve cuts the prime interest rate by half a percent to three percent.
  • 9:30 AM 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 The World Bank and IMF cancel the annual meeting scheduled for September 29th and 30th at Washington D.C.
  • 4:00 PM 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

  • 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 Rudy Giuliani press briefing: 49,553 tons removed to Fresh Kills Landfill 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.[8] (
  • 2:30 PM Ari Fleischer press briefing. The U.S. intends to go after terrorism whenever it threatens the United States, not all terrorism.
  • 2:50 PM 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.
  • In Karachi, Pakistan more than 5,000 radical Islamist students mount the largest demonstration yet against possible U.S. military action against Afghanistan. By the standards of Karachi politics, where rallies of over fifty thousand people are common, this is regarded as unexpectedly small. Hundreds of police and paramilitary troops prevent the protesters from marching on the US consulate. An effigy George W. Bush is alit.

Wednesday, September 19

  • 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 approx. Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki press briefing: two lanes of Brooklyn Bridge into city to open Thursday. The government is opening up 5.5 million ft² (511,000 m²) of real estate for business. Individual family grants of up to $14,000 are available from the Dept. of Labor. 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. 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, 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

  • 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 thanks the world for its support of the US, and 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." Five unconditional demands are imposed on the Taliban, including the immediate closedown of all terrorist training camps and the delivery of all al-Qaeda leaders to US authorities. He creates a new cabinet-level office, Homeland Security and names Pennslyvania Governor Tom Ridge as its head. His speech is interrupted with applause on many occasions. For a transcript of this speech, see this White House webpage (
  • 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

  • 4 AM EDT: Final version of airline assistance bill is written.
  • In the morning hours, the Congress approves 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.
  • Afghanistan press conference announces willingness to turn Osama bin Laden forcibly 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.
  • The official number of missing persons at the WTC continues to fluctuate, 6300s to 6500s. They come from over 60 countries.
  • 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

  • Hundreds of millions of dollars of donations have been raised for American relief agencies.

Sunday, September 23

  • 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.
  • NFL games recommence.
  • Interfaith memorial service, known as "Prayer for America," is held at Yankee Stadium.

Monday, September 24

  • 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.
  • After losing upwards of 1,300 points in the previous week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posts its eighth biggest net gain in its history. It gains 368.05 points to 8,603.86.

Week of Monday, September 24

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 bipartisan atmosphere prevailing since the attack. [9] (

Sunday, September 30

  • 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.
  • 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.

Overview -- Background history -- Planning and execution -- September 11 -- Rest of September -- October -- Aftermath

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