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Portal:Terrorism

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United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks of 2001 in New York City.

Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a financial, political, religious or ideological aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity during the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981–89) after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings and again after the 2001 September 11 attacks and the 2002 Bali bombings.

There is no commonly accepted definition of "terrorism". Being a charged term, with the connotation of something "morally wrong", it is often used, both by governments and non-state groups, to abuse or denounce opposing groups. Broad categories of political organisations have been claimed to have been involved in terrorism to further their objectives, including right-wing and left-wing political organisations, nationalist groups, religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. Terrorism-related legislation has been adopted in various states, regarding "terrorism" as a crime. There is no universal agreement as to whether or not "terrorism", in some definition, should be regarded as a war crime.

According to the Global Terrorism Database by the University of Maryland, College Park, more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism, resulting in at least 140,000 deaths, have been recorded from 2000 to 2014.

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AA 11 flight path from Boston to New York City
American Airlines Flight 11 was a scheduled U.S. domestic passenger flight from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport. It was hijacked by five Islamic terrorists and deliberately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City as part of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Fifteen minutes into the flight, the hijackers injured at least three people, forcefully breached the cockpit, and overpowered the pilot and first officer. Mohamed Atta, who was a known member of al-Qaeda, and trained as a pilot, took over the controls. Air traffic controllers noticed the flight was in distress when the crew stopped responding to them. They realized the flight had been hijacked when Atta mistakenly transmitted announcements for passengers to air traffic control. On board, two flight attendants contacted American Airlines, and provided information about the hijackers and injuries to passengers and crew. The aircraft crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 08:46 local time; the impact killed all 92 people aboard, including the hijackers. Many people in the streets witnessed the collision, and the Naudet brothers captured the impact on video, as did Pavel Hlava, and Wolfgang Staehle had a webcam set up that captured the impact through a series of photographs. Before the hijacking was confirmed, news agencies began to report on the incident and speculated that the crash had been an accident. The impact and subsequent fire caused the North Tower to collapse, which resulted in thousands of additional casualties. During the recovery effort at the World Trade Center site, workers recovered and identified dozens of remains from Flight 11 victims, but many other body fragments could not be identified.

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Twin towers of the World Trade Center burning.

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Ziad Jarrah
Ziad Jarrah was named by the FBI as one of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is believed to have taken over as the pilot of the aircraft and made an unsuccessful attempt to crash the plane into either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. After a wealthy and secular upbringing, Jarrah became involved in the September 11 conspiracy in college. Unique among the hijackers, he had a girlfriend and was close to his family. There are disputes concerning whether or not Jarrah was actually on Flight 93, although the 9/11 Commission concluded that his was not a case of mistaken identity.

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Alberto Gonzales
"The war against terrorism is a new kind of war. In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."
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