9/11 and Beyond ... A Timeline of Events
8 a.m. EDT - American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people on board, takes off from Boston's Logan International Airport for Los Angeles.
8:14 a.m. - United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people on board, takes off from Logan for Los Angeles.
8:21 a.m. - American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 with 64 people on board, takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport for Los Angeles.
8:40 a.m. - Federal Aviation Administration notifies North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) Northeast Air Defense Sector about suspected hijacking of American Flight 11.
8:41 a.m. - United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people on board, takes off from Newark International Airport for San Francisco.
8:43 a.m. - FAA notifies NORAD about suspected hijacking of United Flight 175.
8:46 a.m. - American Flight 11 crashes into north tower of World Trade Center.
8:55 a.m. - President George W. Bush is at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., as part of a scheduled visit to promote education when presidential advisor Karl Rove, who is with Bush, informs him that a small twin-engine plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. Before entering the classroom, the President speaks to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who is at the White House. She first tells him it was a twin-engine aircraft--and then a commercial aircraft--that had struck the World Trade Center, adding "that's all we know right now, Mr. President."
9:03 a.m. - United Flight 175 crashes into south tower.
9:05 a.m. - After brief introductions to the Booker elementary students, President Bush is about to begin reading "The Pet Goat" with the students when Chief of Staff Andrew Card interrupts to whisper to the president, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."
9:08 a.m. - FAA bans all takeoffs nationwide for flights going to or through its New York Center airspace.
9:21 a.m. - All bridges and tunnels into Manhattan are closed.
9:24 a.m. - FAA notifies NORAD about suspected hijacking of American Flight 77.
9:26 a.m. - FAA bans takeoffs of all civilian aircraft.
9:29 a.m. - President Bush makes his first public statements about the attacks, in front of an audience of about 200 teachers and students at the elementary school. He states that he will be going back to Washington, that "we've had a national tragedy", and leads a moment of silence.
9:31 a.m. - President Bush, in Florida, calls the airplane crashes an "apparent terrorist attack on our country."
9:37 a.m. - Flight 77 crashes into the western side of the Pentagon and starts a fire. The section of the Pentagon hit consists mainly of newly renovated, unoccupied offices. All 64 people on board are killed, as are 125 Pentagon personnel.
9:45 a.m. - FAA orders all aircraft to land at nearest airport as soon as practical. More than 4,500 aircraft are in air at the time.
9:48 a.m. - The U.S. Capitol and the White House's West Wing are evacuated.
9:52 a.m. - The National Security Agency intercepts a phone call between a known associate of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and someone in the Republic of Georgia, announcing that he had heard "good news", and that another target was still to be hit.
9:59 a.m. - The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
10:03 a.m. - United Flight 93 crashes in a Pennsylvania field.
10:28 a.m. - The north tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
11:00 a.m. - New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani orders evacuation of lower Manhattan.
1:04 p.m. - President Bush, at Barksdale Air Force base in Louisiana, announces U.S. military on high alert worldwide.
2:51 p.m. - The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York, and Washington, D.C.
3:07 p.m. - President Bush arrives at Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
5:25 p.m. - The now-empty 47-story 7 World Trade Center collapses.
8:30 p.m. - President Bush addresses the nation from the White House. Among his statements: "Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. 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. The search is under way for those who are behind these evil acts...we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
11:30 p.m. - Before sleeping, President Bush enters into his journal: "The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today...We think it's Osama bin Laden."
Sept. 13, 2001 - President George W. Bush says apprehending bin Laden is his top goal. "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden," he says. "It is our No. 1 priority and we will not rest until we find him."
Oct. 7, 2001 - The war in Afghanistan begins. Shortly after the first U.S. missiles hit Kabul, television news channels air footage of bin Laden that was clearly pre-recorded. Dressed in combat fatigues, he says: "I say these events have split the whole world into two camps: the camp of the faithful and the camp of the infidels. Every Muslim should support his religion."
Oct. 26, 2001 - President Bush signs into law the USA Patriot Act.
Nov. 2001 - U.S. soldiers start distributing leaflets in Afghanistan offering a $25 million reward for bin Laden. The bounty is later raised to $27 million with donations from the Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association.
Dec. 2001 - The Battle at Tora Bora rages in Afghanistan. Before escaping U.S. capture, bin Laden signs a last will and testament on Dec. 14, 2001.
Dec. 13, 2001 - The Pentagon releases a video it claims shows bin Laden discussing the Sept. 11 attacks with guests at an al-Qaida dinner at a house in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In the tape, he says the attack surpassed his expectations.
Dec. 26, 2001 - In a tape filmed to mark three months since Sept. 11, a tired-looking and gaunt bin Laden appears to take credit for the attacks. The background is a brown blanket used to hide any clues that could disclose his location.
January 11, 2002 - The first group of 20 detainees arrives at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray, where they are housed in open-air cages with concrete floors.
Jan. 29, 2002 - In his State of the Union address, President Bush describes an "axis of evil" between Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Osama bin Laden is not mentioned in the speech.
May 20-24, 2002 - The Bush administration issues an unprecedented series of terror warnings. Vice President Cheney warns it is "not a matter of if, but when" al Qaeda will next attack the United States, a warning repeated by Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that terrorists will "inevitably" obtain weapons of mass destruction, and FBI Director Mueller says more suicide bombings are "inevitable." Authorities also issue separate warnings that al Qaeda terrorists might target apartment buildings nationwide, banks, rail and transit systems, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
July 30, 2002 - Richard Butler, a former U.N. weapons inspector from Australia, tells the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "I have seen no evidence of Iraq providing weapons of mass destruction to non-Iraqi terrorist groups."
Sept. 25, 2002 - During a White House meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, George Bush claims that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden "work in concert. The danger is, is that al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world."
Oct. 11, 2002 - Congress passes a joint resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against Iraq.
Oct. 12, 2002 - More than 200 people, citizens of 21 countries, are killed in a terrorist bombing on the resort island of Bali. The blast is attributed to Jemaah Islamiah, a pan-Asian network of Muslim extremists with ties to al-Qaida.
Nov. 12, 2002 - Al-Jazeera broadcasts an audiotape purported to be by bin Laden in which he praises terrorist attacks on Bali, in Moscow and against a French tanker off the coast of Yemen. Doubts later emerge about the tape's authenticity.
Nov. 25, 2002 - President Bush signs legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge is promoted to Secretary of Homeland Security. The Department consolidates nearly 170,000 workers from 22 agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, the federal security guards in airports, and the Customs Service, but not the FBI and CIA.
Eighteen international arms monitors, including 12 inspectors from the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and eight from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, arrive in Baghdad.
Dec. 7, 2002 - Iraq submits an 11,807-page declaration of military and civilian chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities to the U.N. General Hussam Amin, the officer in charge of Iraq's National Monitoring Directorate, tells reporters: "We declared that Iraq is empty of weapons of mass destruction."
Jan. 9, 2003 - UNMOVIC inspectors say they have yet to uncover evidence indicating that Iraq has resumed its production of weapons of mass destruction. Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix tells reporters, "We have now been there for some two months and been covering the country in ever wider sweeps and we haven't found any smoking guns."
Feb. 11, 2003 - Al-Jazeera broadcasts an audiotape of bin Laden calling on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against U.S. forces. Washington calls it evidence of an alliance between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein.
Feb. 15, 2003 - Nearly 1.3 million people gather in cities around the world to protest war in Iraq.
Feb. 28, 2003 - In a report to U.N. Security Council members, Hans Blix says that there is no evidence to support the U.S. and British claim that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or that is has any programs to develop such weapons.
March 18, 2003 - In a televised speech, President Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq, or the U.S. will begin military action "at a time of our choosing."
March 20, 2003 - President Bush announces that he has ordered the coalition to launch an "attack of opportunity" against specified targets in Iraq...90 minutes after the 48-hour deadline expires, at 5:30 a.m. local time, explosions are heard in Baghdad.
March 23, 2003 - Jessica Lynch, Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army Quartermaster Corps, is injured then captured by Iraqi forces.
April 1, 2003 - U.S. Marines stage a diversionary attack and Pfc. Jessica Lynch is rescued. Lynch's was the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II and the first ever of a woman.
April 19, 2003 - Baghdad falls to U.S. forces. Some Iraqis cheer in the streets as American infantrymen pull down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein.
May 1, 2003 - In a speech from the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lincoln, President Bush declares that "major combat operations" in Iraq are over.
May 9, 2003 - Guantanamo Bay prison camp hits its peak population of 680. (The camp has processed 779 detainees, but 680 is the largest number of detainees there at one time.)
July 24, 2003 - The independent 9/11 Commission releases the declassified portion of an 800-page report on findings stemming from its investigation of the September 11 attacks. In an August radio interview, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says, "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it [9/11]."
Sept. 10, 2003 - Al-Jazeera airs a videotape that appears to show a gaunt bin Laden walking with his second-in-command, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, through mountainous terrain. The two men refer to the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Dec. 13, 2003 - Saddam Hussein is captured by the U.S 4th Infantry Division. He is brought to trial under the Iraqi interim government. On Nov. 5, 2006, he is convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites and sentenced to death by hanging.
Jan. 17, 2004 - The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since the start of the war reaches 500. Of those, 346 soldiers were killed in combat and 154 died from accidents.
March 11, 2004 - Ten bombs go off almost simultaneously in trains carrying commuters into Madrid. The attacks kill 190 people and wound about 2,000.
April 15, 2004 - In a purported tape of bin Laden, the speaker offers a truce to European nations that decide not to "interfere" in Muslim nations but rules out any such deal for the United States.
April 30, 2004 - Photographs published in U.S. media outlets bring to light the physical and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
May 7, 2004 - A recorded message attributed to bin Laden offers 10 kg of gold to anyone who kills the U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, or U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
May 8, 2004 - American contractor Nicholas Berg is beheaded by Iraqi militants, who claim the grisly murder was in retaliation for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
June 28, 2004 - The U.S. transfers power back to Iraq.
June 29, 2004 - The Pentagon announces plans to involuntarily recall over 5,000 retired and discharged soldiers to active duty for possible service in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the first major activation of the Individual Ready Reserve since the 1991 Gulf War.
Oct. 29, 2004 - A videotape surfaces days before the U.S. presidential election in which bin Laden admits responsibility for Sept. 11 and threatens new attacks on the U.S.
Jan. 2005 - Iraq holds its first democratic election in 50 years.
March 29, 2005 - The Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) process is complete. Of the 558 detainees who completing the process; 38 are judged as No Longer Enemy Combatants and eligible for release. Upon release each detainee receives a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home (or wherever they are going).
Sept. 2005 - Afghanistan holds its first parliamentary and provincial elections in more than 30 years. Seats are set aside for women and women comprise nearly half of the voters.
Oct. 15, 2005 - The Iraqi constitution is ratified.
Jan. 19, 2006 - After more than a year of silence from bin Laden, a tape purportedly recorded by the al-Qaida leader warns that a new wave of terror attacks are in preparation. It also offers a truce to the U.S. if it withdraws from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Feb. 20, 2006 - A new, more complete version of the Jan. 19 tape appears on a militant website in Egypt. In it, bin Laden vows never to be captured alive.
May 24, 2006 - A message purported to be from bin Laden claims that Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man convicted in the U.S. in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, had nothing to do with the plot. Moussaoui was sentenced to six consecutive life terms for not telling the FBI about the plot.
June 30, 2006 - An audiotape purported to be from bin Laden eulogizes Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike on June 7.
Dec. 30, 2006 - Saddam Hussein is hanged by Iraqi executioners. In a final moment of defiance, he refuses a hood to cover his eyes.
Jan. 10, 2007 - President Bush addresses the nation, saying the situation in Iraq is unacceptable, and announces a "troop surge."
May 2007 - U.S., NATO and Afghan forces kill Mullah Dadullah, a senior Taliban commander in southern Afghanistan.
April 2008 - NATO leaders reaffirm their "shared long-term commitment" to Afghanistan.
July 2008 - Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama makes a foreign policy address saying, "As president, I will make the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban the top priority it should be."
Jan. 14, 2009 - A public statement saying that a detainee was tortured is released for the first time by a senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantanamo Bay.
Jan. 22, 2009 - President Obama issues three executive orders--one ordering the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay in one year, another banning the use of controversial CIA interrogation techniques, and one ordering the review of detention policy options
Feb. 2009 - Shortly after his inauguration, President Barack Obama announces a plan to deploy 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
May 11, 2009 - An American soldier being treated at a counseling center in Baghdad kills 5 fellow servicemen. The shooter, Sergeant John M. Russell, is serving his third tour in Iraq, and had been ordered recently to undergo psychological counseling and relinquish his gun.
Sept. 2009 - Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, submits a grim assessment to the Pentagon and requests an additional 40,000 troops.
Dec. 2009 - President Obama, saying "our security is at stake" announces another 30,000 troops will be sent to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010 bringing the number of U.S troops to about 100,000. Obama also states that withdrawal will begin in the summer of 2011.
Jan. 2010 - An audiotape allegedly from bin Laden claims responsibility for an attempt to blow up a plane en route to Michigan on Christmas Day 2009, and it warns the U.S. of more attacks.
June 2010 - In a "Rolling Stone" article, Gen. Stanley McChrystal's staff mock top government officials. McChrystal apologizes for the article saying "it was a mistake reflecting poor judgment." Obama accepts McChrystal's resignation and replaces him with Gen. David H. Petraeus.
Aug. 2010 - On August 31, over seven years after the war in Iraq began, President Obama announced the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom with a withdrawal of combat troops. Obama emphasized that U.S. domestic problems, mainly the flailing economy and widespread unemployment, are more pressing matters to his country.
Nov. 2010 - U.S. officials announce that U.S. forces will begin to withdraw from Afghanistan in mid-2011 with what a Pentagon spokesman called "an aspirational" goal of removing most troops by 2014.
March 7, 2011 - President Obama formally creates an indefinite detention system at Guantanamo Bay
April 2011 - WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners detained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
May 1, 2011 - Osama bin Laden is killed in a U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan.
Sept. 11, 2011 - The long-awaited National 9/11 Memorial site is dedicated. The memorial opens to the public on Sept. 12.