Terrorists destroy the World Trade Center

It happened on September 11 2001 - 9/11 - as Americans and others say. At just after 9 a.m. a passenger plane crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and most of us thought it was a terrible accident. When a second jet hit the other tower a few minutes later, it was clear that these were acts of terrorism. It was not long before we heard that a third aircraft had hit the Pentagon and that a fourth had crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, failing to reach its target in Washington DC.

Ground Zero, 11 September 2001 (Copyright: Scanpix) Ground Zero, 11 September 2001 (Copyright: Scanpix)

All the planes had been hijacked by members of Al-Qaeda and used as weapons in suicide attacks. All the 19 hijackers died in the attacks, as did 2,974 innocent people from a total of 90 countries. The material damage, of course, was enormous, and the American economy suffered huge losses.

The USA and its allies immediately started the "“War on Terror”" and invaded Afghanistan, where the hijackers had been trained. As far as the material damage is concerned, the Pentagon has already been repaired, but it is still not certain if and when the towers of the World Trade Center will be replaced.



Correct the information in these sentences. Use your own words. 

  1. The 9/11 attacks happened at night.
  2. Two hijacked planes destroyed one of the towers of the World Trade Center.
  3. It was a long time after the Center was hit that the Pentagon was attacked.
  4. The fourth plane hit its target in Pennsylvania.
  5. The terrorists escaped.
  6. All the victims were American citizens.
  7. The hijackers then attacked targets in Afghanistan.
  8. The World Trade Center has been rebuilt.


Activities for the links below

1) On the first website you will find accounts by a number of people on how they reacted when they heard about the 9/11 attacks. Read the first six. As you read them, choose the correct sentence from each pair below.

A1. Colin and his wife were glad their son was with them.

A2. Colin and his wife were sad about the state the world was in.

B1. When David received a call from a co-worker, he could not believe the news.

B2. When David called his eldest son, he did not believe what he was told.

C1. Michael and his wife found it difficult to leave home at such a sad time.

C2. Michael and his wife were glad to get away from the USA.

D1. Stan reacted very strongly to 9/11.

D2. Stan was mildly upset about 9/11.

E1. Dana was playing religious music when he heard the news.

E2. Dana played religious music for comfort after he had heard the news.

F1. Jesse was asleep on his ship when the news broke.

F2. Jesse was on shore when the news broke.

2) Terrorism is nothing new. Go to the about.com site and read the text on the history of terrorism. Then identify the following:

  1. They were Muslims who killed political opponents hundreds of years ago.
  2. They blow themselves up in attempts to gain independence for their South Asian region.
  3. This group committed several murders at an international sporting event.
  4. These young people committed acts of terrorism because the USA was fighting a war they thought was wrong.
  5. Before committing an act of terrorism, this person was doing something which is against the teachings of his religion.

This group wanted independence for their country, which is not far from England.