At around 9:00am two planes crashed into the World Trade Center and subsequently both the towers have collapsed in what now turns out to be a terrorist attack. The president ordered a full-scale investigation to "hunt down the folks who committed this act."
Within the hour, an aircraft crashed at the Pentagon as well, and officials evacuated the White House and other major government building. One of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center had been hijacked after takeoff from Boston, a U.S. official said, citing a transmission from the plane.
Within the hour, an aircraft crashed on a helicopter landing pad near the Pentagon, and the West Wing of the White House was evacuated amid threats of terrorism. And another explosion rocked New York about an hour after the crash.
"Today we've had a national tragedy," Bush said in Sarasota, Fla. "Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country." He said he would be returning immediately to Washington.
Terrorist bombers struck the World Trade Center in February 1993, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.
Naturally the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon has raised a large numbers of questions. We've written an editorial that addresses some of the questions and issues at hand and takes a look at the bigger picture. Which can be found here:
The Aftermath of Evil