|Some dare call it|
September 11, 2001 was the day that the main two buildings of the World Trade Center in New York City and part of The Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. were destroyed by three passenger airliners hijacked by terrorists from the Islamic militant group Al-Qaeda. A fourth hijacked passenger airliner, which was intended to strike the United States Capitol, crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The death toll has been established at 2,996 people, including the 19 hijackers, making it the worst terrorist attack in United States history.
While the international community condemned the attacks, some Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East viewed them as part of a legitimate jihad. As a result of 9/11, the United States invaded Afghanistan to destroy Al-Qaeda and hunt down its leader Osama bin Laden. It has been occupying that country for the last 10 years, making it the longest war in U.S. history.
Sadly, 9/11 has become a magnet for conspiracy theorists.
 What really happened
The story as pieced together by government and civilian authorities was that 9/11 was a followup to the failed Bojinka plot, created by the Islamist terrorist organization al-Qaeda under the auspices of founder Osama bin Laden. On the morning of September 11, 19 men, mostly from Saudi Arabia, hijacked four planes out of Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC, and without giving away their intentions redirected the planes on kamikaze missions towards four American landmarks on the east coast—the Twin Towers of the WTC in New York, the Pentagon, and an unknown fourth location theorized by some to have been the White House or the Capitol building (the last plane was brought down through passenger interference, in an open field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania). The attacks resulted in the complete collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City (now known as Ground Zero) and heavy damage to one side of the Pentagon, and the deaths of just under 3000 people, some 400 of whom were police, fire fighters (with 3/4 of the responder casualties) and EMS workers in and around New York City alone.
Later analysis showed that the World Trade Center towers, constructed as a stack of floors anchored between the building's facade and a central steel girder cage, had much of their steel structure weakened (not melted) by large amounts of burning jet fuel, a lot of which had been atomized on impact; a third tower on the site, WTC 7, was badly damaged by falling debris from the tower collapses and was on fire, and collapsed several hours later of its own accord. The Pentagon, where the impact site was in an area of the building that had been recently renovated and not fully reoccupied, had heavy but highly compartmentalized damage and light casualties.
The cleanup took many months, complicated by the jet fuel fire under the WTC debris and the need to recover the bodies of the dead.
In the wake of 9/11, much criticism surrounded the actions of President Bush, who, after being informed of the attack, had returned to reading a children's book to a classroom in a Florida elementary school before boarding Air Force One for a complex and poorly-explained series of flights to random locations, and Vice President Cheney, who was evacuated to an "undisclosed location" (which quickly became a cliché of political comedy). Such criticism eventually gave rise to conspiracy theories, especially after Bush announced plans to invade Afghanistan (thought at the time to be harboring Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda's leadership) and later Iraq (which had no involvement at all in 9/11). This group of conspiracies, known collectively as the 9/11 Truth movement, makes varying assertions, most of which lay the culpability on Bush as either a plotter or enabler of the attack, and some of which implicitly or explicitly claim Jewish involvement in the attack, sometimes as part of an international Jewish conspiracy.
 Painful irony department
In a recent survey of 15- to 30-year-old men in Afghanistan's Kandahar and Helmand provinces by the International Council on Security and Development, 92% of those interviewed said that they had never heard of "this event which the foreigners call 9/11." 
 Other events that happened on September 11
- The Battle of Vienna was fought between 11-12 September 1683, between the Ottoman Empire and a Christian alliance led by the Holy Roman Empire. Andrew Schlafly suggests that this is directly related to the events of September 2001, but fails to explain why the apparent Muslim conspiracy took 318 years to materialise.
- It was on this day in 1973 that the military dictator Augusto Pinochet siezed power in Chile from the democratically elected Salvador Allende. Arguably a much more major event, but hey, it was so long ago, and not in America, so nobody cares.
- A number of people were born. It depresses many of them to have their birthday fall on the same day as the anniversary of a large-scale terrorist attack.
- Protests against World Economic Forum, at Melbourne Crown Casino, September 11 - 13, 2000 (known at the time as S11)
- Nickelback's breakthrough album Silver Side Up, widely regarded as one of history's greatest atrocities, was released September 11, 2001.
- 1957: September 11th saw a major plutonium fire at the Rocky Flats plant in Colorado. Plutonium dust caught fire and supposedly firefighters poured water on the fire, heedless of the danger of criticality (but there was no criticality). Do you believe that?
- See the Wikipedia article on the Bojinka plot.
- See the Wikipedia article on the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- 2001 Clear Channel memorandum
- The Encyclopedia of 9/11
- ↑ Some Palestinians celebrated the attack in refugee camps in Lebanon. Images of celebration from the BBC
- ↑ The remainder of the Pentagon held up quite well, because at the time it was constructed it was intended for use as a library, which requires a sturdier structure than an office building.
- ↑ WTC 7 contained several large tanks of diesel fuel stockpiled by New York City's emergency management agency, and the main towers were still on fire at the time of their collapses.
- ↑