The devastation of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks dominates the front page of USA Today the next day.
Like other newspapers in America and around the world, USA Today used huge headlines and dramatic images to capture the destruction and raw emotions of that dark day. Nineteen terrorists from the Islamic extremist group al-Qaida had hijacked four commercial airplanes to launch coordinated attacks on U.S. landmarks. Two of the planes were intentionally flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, N.Y., and another into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. Flight 93, the remaining plane thought to have been headed toward the U.S. Capitol, crashed in a rural field in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overtake the hijackers. Nearly 3,000 people, including more than 400 firefighters and police officers, perished in the initial attacks.
President George W. Bush responded to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history with a call for a “war on terror.” Less then a month after 9/11, U.S. and allied forces began Operation Enduring Freedom with airstrikes on Taliban and al-Qaida targets in Afghanistan.
In May 2011, U.S. special forces killed the mastermind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, during a raid on his hideout compound in Pakistan.