9/11: The Preparation And Realisation Process

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This report will explore how the 9/11 hijackers prepared and how they were able to bypass airport security before executing the attack.

Introduction on 9/11

At 8:46 am the nation of America was turned upside down when American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked and flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center killing over 1500 people. 57 minutes later at 9:00 am United Airlines Flight 175 was spotted by media channels flying over New York before it was hijacked and flown into the south tower of the trade towers which soon collapsed sending a large plume of smoke through the city. While New York was still in shock, 28 minutes later at 9:37 American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the western side of the Pentagon killing 165 people. Just when the people of Washington and New York thought that the attacks were over, at 10:00 am -despite the efforts of crew and passengers,- United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a farm field at Somerset Country (Pennsylvania) killing all onboard. The aftermath of America’s deadliest terrorist attack resulted in 2977 people dead, 6000 injured, and over $40 billion dollars lost in insurance claims and rebuilding New York and Washington making it one of the largest insured events ever.

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How Did The 9/11 Pilot Hijackers Get Selected?

Mohammed Atta, Marwan-al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah were the first three pilots who were selected to fly the hijacked planes on September 11. All three came from the Hamburg Cell, which (quote Google) is “The Hamburg cell (German: Hamburger Zelle) or Hamburg terror cell (German: Hamburger Terrorzelle) was, according to U.S. and German intelligence agencies, a group of radical Islamists based in Hamburg, Germany that included students who eventually came to be key operatives in the 9/11 attacks.” Their experience in terrorism and extensive knowledge of American culture and language skills is what helped the mission get a higher success rate. The intended fourth pilot was a Yemen citizen, called Ramzi bin Al-Shibh (who was also a member of the Hamburg Cell ) but due to receiving a declined visa on multiple occasions, he was soon replaced by Hani Hanjour a Saudi National who had successfully entered America with his visa. As for the other 15 ‘muscle’ hijackers, they would enter America in the late 2000s and early 2001 to train for the attack that they were about to pull off.

Planning/Preparations Of 9/11

Initially proposed in 1996 by Khalid Sheikh Mohammad the 9/11 plot was approved by Mohammad Bin–Laden (Osama Bin-Laden’s dad) in late 1998/early 1999. In 1999 Bin-Laden’s deputy, Mohammad Atef held a series of meetings to organize and make the plot. Travel arrangements and target selection was all arranged by the same man, Mohammad Atef. By December 8th, 2000 the 1st pilot hijacker, Hani Hanjour had arrived in San Diego to then go and start his refresher course in Arizona. At the end of May 2000, Marwhan Al-Sheri arrived in America to join Hanjour in Arizona, while Mohmmad Atta (the main pilot hijacker) arrived in America on the 3rdof June2000. After Ziad Jarrah had arrived in America on the 27th of June 2000, all four pilot hijackers went to South Florida to train and get their pilot’s license at Huffman Aviation. As for the ‘muscle’ hijackers, they would arrive in America in early 2001. After extensive training in aviation and fighting, the 19 hijackers were ready to pull off 9/11.

How the 9/11 Hijackers Bypassed Airport Security.

According to the Los Angeles Times article, the 19 hijackers were carrying small box cutters which in 2001 was not against the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) rules. Upon checking in, the CAPS system which uses a computer algorithm to detect whether a passenger is a high risk to other people, came up as non-suspicious which then became a 19/19 success rate at check-in for the hijackers. Due to their Arabic backgrounds, the hijackers were subjected to a search of all their bags where no suspicious weapons (excluding the box cutters) or documents were found. From the video ‘Air Crash Investigation 9:11 Attack on America,’ and the 9/11 commission report, it can be seen that the hijackers had done extensive research on the TSA rules and regulations before checking in at the airport. Evidence of this can further be found in the Air Crash Investigation video where the TSA regulation clearly states that the blade of the box cutter must be less than 4 inches (10.16cm) and all of the hijacker’s blade was 3 inches (7.62cm) which is why no suspicion was aroused upon the discovery of the box cutters. After the screening process there was no other form of security measures or technology the hijackers had to go through before boarding the plane which therefore lead to the hijackers boarding the plane with dangerous weapons in their possession. In 2001 the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft’s cockpit doors didn’t have any lock mechanism which meant that access to the cockpit was very simple, because of this the hijackers were easily able to gain control of the aircraft and fly it into their planned targets.


With the evidence provided above the question of how the 9/11 hijackers slipped past airport security can now be successfully answered. With extensive research of the TSA rules and the lack of strict weapon regulations at airports, the hijackers were easily able to bypass airport security. The aftermath in 9/11 created a colossal change in TSA rules like how no weapons are allowed on aircraft helped to ensure that the skies passengers fly in today are safe.


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