Rappler Talk: 9/11 attacks, 20 years later

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On September 11, 2001, two hijacked airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City. One hijacked plane later crashed into the Pentagon office building in Washington, DC, and another 80 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

These attacks were carried out by militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda, masterminded by Osama bin Laden. Over 3,000 people were killed, including more than 400 police personnel and firefighters.

Twenty years later, the impact of these attacks are still felt not only in the United States, but all over the world. Recently, US President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of documents related to the attacks. This is seen as a move to investigate suspicions that the Federal Bureau of Investigation lied about evidence linking Saudi Arabia to the hijackers. Saudi has said it had no role.

Rappler news editor Paterno Esmaquel II sits down with CEO Maria Ressa as the world commemorates the 20th anniversary of that fateful day in America.

Ressa covered terrorism in Southeast Asia for a long time and wrote two books on the subject – Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism. She also reported on the Bojinka plot – the plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines in 1995 that served as blueprint for the 9/11 attacks. – Rappler.com