Incident Summary:

09/11/2001: This was one of four related attacks that occurred in the United States that are known collectively as the 9/11 Attacks. In the first attack, which occurred at 8:46 am local time, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center Complex in New York City, New York. Five hijackers belonging to Al-Qaida took control of the Boeing 767 aircraft on a flight originating from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, and destined for Los Angeles International Airport. There were 76 passengers, 11 crew members and five hijackers on the plane, all of whom died upon impact. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. local time after the South Tower had collapsed at 9:59 a.m. local time. At least 2,770 people died as a result of the attacks in New York City, including 10 hijackers as well as responders who contracted cancer and respiratory illnesses at the attack site and passed away years later. More than 21,000 others were injured, according to information reported by the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. Al-Qaida leaders including Osama bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attacks in multiple videotaped interviews.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New York

New York City

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hijacking
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Airports and Aircraft
Name of Entity American Airlines
Specific Description American Airlines-owned Boeing 767 passenger jet aircraft
Nationality of Target United States
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity World Trade Center Complex
Specific Description Businesses operating inside the Twin Towers
Nationality of Target United States
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Passengers and crew members on American Airlines Flight 11 and the people working in the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City
Nationality of Target Multinational
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 88
US Hostages 86
Hours of Kidnapping 1
Outcome Hostage(s) killed (not during rescue attempt)
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Catastrophic (likely > $1 billion)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Vehicle (not to include vehicle-borne explosives, i.e., car or truck bombs)
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
The attackers reportedly gained control of the plane using sharp objects resembling knives or other sharpened metal objects. The attackers turned the airplane into a missile when flying it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center Complex. The airplane's jet fuel ignited the building and resulted in a massive fire that contributed to the collapse of the North Tower. Mace may have also been used in subduing the passengers and crew members.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information This attack was one of four related incidents (cf. 200109110004-07). Three people including two attendants, Karen Martin and Barbara Arestegui, were stabbed or had their throats slashed by the hijackers. American Airlines Flight 11 departed from Boston's Logan International Airport at 7:59 am local time. The 9/11 Commission estimated that the hijacking began at 8:14 am. Since the aircraft crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 am, the hijacking lasted 32 minutes. Details on the number of people wounded in the attacks are very difficult to confirm The numbers reported in the GTD are conservative estimates for immediate casualties, first responders, and residents, based on documentation for the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF).
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Al-Qaida Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 5
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1385 Fatalities / 10878 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1385
Number of U.S. Fatalities 1361
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 5
Total Number of Injured 10878
Number of U.S. Injured Unknown
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
United States Government, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2004.
Lindsay Kines, “United States on high alert after thousands feared dead: Airlines initially blame hijackers for attacks on the Pentagon in Washington, New York's World Trade Center,” The Vancouver Sun, September 11, 2001.
Joe Frolick, “Hijackers Ram Two Airliners Into World Trade Center, Third Plane Slams Into Pentagon, Fourth Crashes Near Pittsburgh; Thousands Die; Bush Vows Swift Revenge,” The Plain Dealer, September 12, 2001.