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Responsibility for the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

There were reports that the Palestinian group DFLP (Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) took responsibility for the crashes, but this was denied by a senior officer of the group soon after. There are filmed reports of celebrations on the West Bank, although according to articles in the German magazine Stern and the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter at least one of them was staged. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat denounced the attacks, saying it was counterproductive to any peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Next in line to claim responsibility were the Taliban of Afghanistan. The Taliban government subsequently denounced the attack and claimed that it was not connected to Osama bin Laden, the terrorist living in Afghanistan who the U.S. government declared the prime suspect.

Although bin Laden's Al-Qaida organization has never explicitly claimed responsibility, it has praised the attacks and hinted that it was behind them and planning more. The group's spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, said in a video sent to al-Jazeera and broadcast in October 2001: "Americans should know, the storm of the planes will not stop. ... There are thousands of the Islamic nation's youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live."

Furthermore, intelligence experts speak of a "short list" of prime suspects -- groups that possess both the means and the motive to carry out the crime. It appears certain that all hijackers have Arabic origins, and none are Afghani; moreover, both in their immense scale, careful planning and refraining from claiming responsibility, the attacks are reminiscent of Al-Qaida's previous attacks.

Virtually all world leaders, including traditional enemies of the United States such as Libyan president Moammar Qadhafi, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Iranian president Khatami, and the Afghanistan Taliban government, denounced the attacks and expressed sympathy for the American people. An exception was Saddam Hussein, then ruler of Iraq, who called the attacks the fruits of U.S. crimes against humanity.

Various Arab- and Muslim-world news sources carried opinion pieces and articles that pointed to some form of Zionist conspiracy to frame the Arab world to the benefit of Israel. It is interesting to note that in a Gallup survey of 10,000 inhabitants of sample countries with a Muslim majority, only 18% believed that the Arabs responsible.

Worldwide, a significant minority see the attack as an outcome of past United States involvement in the Middle East and surrounding area. They believe that such acts of terrorism are only to be expected given the economic and cultural power of the United States and the multinational corporations which are identified with it. The creation of pockets of hatred, according to this viewpoint, is an inevitable consequence of the overwhelming outside economic pressure placed on poor countries with minimal control of their political destiny. Notwithstanding this, the majority of people in most nations also believe that terrorism is an absolute evil, and that cause does not equal justification. However, some people who believe this also criticize the US's War on Terrorism, fearing that a violent response will only continue the cycle.

While Jemaah Islamiah head Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, would not get the spotlight in the United States until after the Bali nightclub bombings, he had a hand in the planning of September 11. His front company, Konsojaya, which was founded in 1994, helped fund Manila-based Operation Bojinka, which was a massive planned terrorist attack that would be foiled on January 5, 1995, when Filipino police found the project on honcho Ramzi Yousef's laptop in his apartment after a chemical fire broke out in the apartment. Yousef would get arrested in Pakistan the following month, but Khalid Sheik Mohammed ran away, and used plans and lessons learned to help shape September 11. Hambali's company was narrowly overlooked, so Hambali was able to go underground. He met with two of the September 11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in the 2000 Al Qaeda Summit in January 2000. He also gave money to alleged "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui. Hambali got arrested in Thailand on August 11, 2003.

September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack - Full Timeline

In Memoriam - Casualties - Missing Persons - Survivors - Personal experiences

Donations - Assistance - Closings and Cancellations - Memorials and Services

US Governmental Response - Responsibility - Hijackers - Political effects - Economic effects

See also: "War on Terrorism" -- U.S. invasion of Afghanistan -- 2001 anthrax attack -- World Trade Center -- The Pentagon -- New York City -- Washington, D.C -- AA Flight 11 -- UA Flight 75 -- AA Flight 77 -- UA Flight 93 -- U.S. Department of Defense -- Operation Bojinka -- terrorism -- domestic terrorism -- Osama bin Laden -- Taliban -- Islamism -- Afghanistan -- collective trauma -- September 11

External Links & References

Official document containing information from intelligence and criminal investigation as released by the British PM Tony Blair on his official webside, October 4, 2001: Responsibility for the terrorist atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001. See:

Also see

For a non-Islamic perspective unreservedly justifying the attacks, see Indian communist revolutionary Vaskar Nandy's article in the Oct 27, 2001 issue of Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, India.([1])