The September 11 Terrorist Attacks


Omnigraphics' Defining Moments series was created for the express purpose of meeting the growing appetite for authoritative, useful resources on the nation's history. This series, which focuses on pivotal events that transformed the United States' political, cultural, and social landscape, will be of enduring value to anyone interested in learning more about America's past-and in understanding how these events continue to reverberate today.

The September 11 Terrorist ...

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Omnigraphics' Defining Moments series was created for the express purpose of meeting the growing appetite for authoritative, useful resources on the nation's history. This series, which focuses on pivotal events that transformed the United States' political, cultural, and social landscape, will be of enduring value to anyone interested in learning more about America's past-and in understanding how these events continue to reverberate today.

The September 11 Terrorist Attacks-like all volumes in the Defining Moments series-is arranged in three distinct sections. The Narrative Overview section provides a detailed, factual account of this "defining moment" in American history, from its earliest inception to its legacy today. The Biographies section includes valuable biographical background on leading figures involved in the era, concluding with a list of sources for further information on the individual. The Primary Sources section collects a broad range of essential and enlightening documents on the topic, from official documents to letters, memoirs, and more.

Other valuable features include a glossary of important people, places, and terms, a chronology of events; a bibliography; an annotated list of sources; and a subject index.

Students using Defining Moments: The September 11 Terrorist Attacks will find information on a wide range of topics suitable for historical research and writing reports.

Social and political factors that enabled Osama bin Laden to build his al-Qaeda terrorist network into an organization with cells operating around the world.

The importance of Ayman al-Zawahiri and other Islamic radicals in pushing terrorist activities that directly contradicted teachings of the Koran.

Key points in the development of the September 11 terrorist plot.

Reasons why the United States failed to uncover and derail the plot before it could be carried out, with special emphasis on failure within the FBI and CIA.

Ways in which America's clashes with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003 have influenced the trajectory of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

Impact of 9/11 on Americans' attitudes about their country and the wider world.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jennifer Rummel
Each book in the Defining Moments series focuses upon a relevant moment in American history, providing details of the culture surrounding the event and the history of the era. The history of the Arab conflict over the creation of Israel, politics in Egypt, and the forming of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group make The September 11 Terrorist Attacks a solemn but informative read. The book layout is helpful to students with a narrative portion explaining the conditions leading up to the pivotal moment in history, the event itself, and the aftermath. It contains a section of biographies involving key players of the time. Primary sources round out each book. Significant research and details make this series an outstanding resource for students, although the heavier topic of The September 11 Terrorist Attacks combined with the dense research weighs down the book, making it harder to read. (Defining Moments) Reviewer: Jennifer Rummel
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Hillstrom's well-written, objective examination opens with a lengthy overview that traces the origins and evolution of radical Islam, the birth and growth of Al Qaeda and its early attacks on the West, the events of September 11th, and the lasting social, political, and geopolitical effects of the attack, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The next section provides brief biographical sketches of eight terrorists and American political and intelligence officials. The primary-source section includes published manifestos of terrorists, harrowing recollections of first responders and attack survivors, and excerpts from investigations and official reports. Captioned black-and-white photos are dark and add little to the text. Documentation includes chapter notes and an extensive bibliography. Many of today's secondary students have only distant memories of the attacks, and this book, written with the perspective that time allows, does a fine job of placing the attacks into the larger context of Islamic terrorism and world politics and explaining how they forever changed the United States and its relationship with Islam. It is better suited to researchers than Andrew Langley's now-dated September 11: Attack on America (Compass Point, 2006) and will also draw readers who want to understand the continuing struggle between Islam and the West, making it a good choice for most collections.—Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780812406
  • Publisher: Omnigraphics, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Series: Defining Moments Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Sales rank: 1,072,407
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

How to Use This Book xiii

Research Topics for Defining Moments: The September 11 Terrorist Attacks xv

Narrative Overview

Prologue 3

Chapter 1 Rage and Despair in the Arab World 7

Chapter 2 Jihad in Afghanistan and the Birth of al-Qaeda 25

Chapter 3 Al-Qaeda Emerges as a Global Threat 41

Chapter 4 The September 11 Attacks on America 57

Chapter 5 Heartbreak and Heroism on the Ground 83

Chapter 6 Investigating 9/11 103

Chapter 7 Missed Clues and Opportunities 121

Chapter 8 Legacy of the September 11 Attacks 137


Mohamed Atta (1968-2011): Egyptian-born al-Qaeda Member Who Led the 9/11 Hijackings 157

Osama bin Laden (1957-2011): Founder and Leader of the al-Qaeda Terrorist Organization 161

George W. Bush (1946-): President of the United States during the September 11 Terrorist Attacks 165

Richard A. Clarke (1951-): Top Counterterrorism Official in the Clinton and Bush Administrations 169

Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (1964?-): Chief Architect of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks 173

Condoleezza Rice (1954-): National Security Advisor and Secretary of State to President George W. Bush 176

George Tenet (1953-): Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 1997 to 2004 180

Ayman al-Zawahiri (1951-): Egyptian Leader of Al-Jihad and Major Figure in al-Qaeda 184

Primary Sources

Osama Bin Laden and the World Islamic Front Call for a "Holy War" Against Jews and Crusaders 189

An al-Qaeda Manual Urges the Overthrow of "Apostate" Arab Rulers 192

The CIA Warns of al-Qaeda Attacks on American Soil 196

A New York Police Officer Endures the Fall of the South Tower 198

A North Tower Survivor Remembers His Narrow Escape 205

A Survivor Recalls the Attack on the Pentagon 209

Mourning Lost Firefighters and Police Officers in New York 213

President Bush Addresses the Nation after the 9/11 Attacks 217

Osama bin Laden Taunts America after September 11 219

Condoleezza Rice Defends the Bush Administration's Record on Terrorism 222

Richard Clarke's Explosive Testimony before the 9/11 Commission 226

The 9/11 Commission Issues Its Final Report 233

President Obama Announces the Death of Osama bin Laden 237

Important People, Places, and Terms 241

Chronology 247

Sources for Further Study 253

Bibliography 255

Photo and Illustration Credits 259

Index 261

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