Terror Attacks of 2001
A around a bad year to be around. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been had the terrorists decided to strike during tourist season.
On September 11th, 2001 the world watched in horror when not one, but two, aircraft struck the World Trade Center in New York City, one in each tower. Later in the day the Pentagon was struck as well, and a fourth airliner was brought down in a field in Pennsylvania, thought to be targeting the Us Capitol building. In response the US, and other countries worldwide, increased anti-terrorism legislation and law enforcement powers.
This did not have the desired effect.
On October 30th of that year Los Angeles suffered several terrorist bombings. The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and Dodger Stadium were all simultaneously struck with car bombs. Even the Hollywood sign was set ablaze, announcing to the world that celebrity would not keep safe the citizens of offending nations.
5 days later, on November 4th, San Francisco would fall victim as well as a large oil tanker passing under the Golden Gate bridge exploded and took out the center portion of the bridge causing it to collapse. Initially thought to be an accident, several terror groups quickly came forward and claimed responsibility. Due to the timing of the explosion corresponding with early morning commuter traffic, the US Government was inclined to agree.
A week afterwards, on November 11th, several federal agencies were able to stop numerous planned bombings in and around the national capitol. Unfortunately they did not stop them all and the Marine Corps Barracks at 8th and I, as well as the J. Edgar Hoover Building suffered in two blasts roughly 30 minutes apart. A group of gunmen also fired on crowds among the many landmarks of the District, killing and wounding many, and eventually working their way to the Marine Corps War Memorial where they took down and burned the US flag flown there before being shot and killed.
With the nation reeling from planned and orchestrated terror attacks, and many more happening across the globe, the US was not prepared for what was next.
On November 18th terror again struck the West Coast as each of the Washington State ferries, the Space Needle, the Columbia Center, the Washington Mutual Tower, and the Seattle Central Library were wracked by explosions. It was determined that each was caused by vans which had been packed with solid state explosives and set to synchronized timers before being dispersed to their targets.
By that time the reorganization of the US law enforcement and intelligence networks was finally completed and the blame could no longer be placed on a breakdown in communication. It was obvious further steps had to be taken.