September 11, 2001 is a day the unthinkable happened; 19 terrorist from the militant group Al-Qaeda hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 & United Airlines Flight 175, and crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed the third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
These attacks sparked FBI & CIA investigations, incorporated 22 agencies into what is now The Department Homeland Security, and created The US Patriot Act to extend the laws of the enforcement agencies ability to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records; in addition to easing the restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States.
Five important things to remember after 9/11 includes:
- The power of the government and the presidency has increased
- There is a new appreciation of the courage and service of police, firefighters and other first-responder heroes of 9/11
- Americans are more aware than in the past that this is a very dangerous world
- We have reassessed and tried to organize our intelligence infrastructure
- Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks