Inside 9-11: What Really Happened
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Publish Year note: First published in 2002
Some of the finest writing and reporting on the events of September 11 was done by Der Spiegel, Germany's magazine of record. With its main office in Hamburg, base of operations for terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta and many of the others, Der Spiegel's journalists were on the front lines of the earliest investigation into the identities of those who brought holy war to America.
The award-winning team from Spiegel was also at Ground Zero, talking to people, gathering stories, interviewing survivors, seeking the words that might express the interconnections of horror and heroism. The words come from those who had been inside and somehow gotten out. Inside 9-11 gives us some of their accounts, taking us as close as we can get to what happened.
The "why" of September 11 may remain beyond understanding. But here we learn who the terrorists were, and how they were able to take so many innocent lives by sacrificing their own. The profiles in this book render a chilling, alien mindset that has become part of our daily reality. Combining first-class investigative journalism and writing of great clarity, Inside 9-11 is a heartbreaking and gripping reconstruction of the events that changed us all.
Translated from the German by Paul De Angelis and Elisabeth Kaestner, with contributions from Margot Dembo and Christopher Sultan.
strip bar in Daytona Beach called the Pink Pony, again with an unidentified companion. They ordered several beers, slipped some bills under the strippers’ garter belts, stared at them as if hypnotized, and left after about an hour. They appeared to have stopped worrying about being discovered. They felt invulnerable, powerful. They were challenging America head-on and no one knew it. Minneapolis, August 2001 And indeed, for the most part, the CIA, National Security Agency, and FBI suspected
been visiting the East Coast and was flying home. Jeffrey Coombs was off on a business trip to Los Angeles for Compaq. A full day lay ahead of him; behind him were the good-byes from his wife, Christie, and their children: Meagan, ten; Julia, seven; and Matt, twelve. Mary Wahlstrom, seventy-five, and her daughter Carolyn Beug, forty-eight, waited to begin their trip home. The thirty-year-old Tara Creamer, married, mother of Colin, four, and Nora, one, also waited. Brian Dale, forty-three, from
Potter answered phone calls, doing her best to console those on the other end of the line. Mothers, wives, sons, daughters looking for the men. Three hundred and forty-three firefighters lost their lives. Peter Langone. Forty-one, he had promised his daughters a trip to Disney World. Joseph Leavy. Forty-five, an aficionado of skyscrapers, one of the first firefighters to arrive at the World Trade Center. Ronnie Gies. Forty-three, a firefighter for twenty-five years. His children later saw him
Right at the moment she’s free to act like a normal dog. Mrs. Hingson is sitting at the dining room table in a wheelchair; she and three woman friends are bent over bits of fabric and a color wheel. Today’s quilting day. They’re sewing blankets in patriotic colors, to be sold at a bazaar for a September 11 benefit. Three quilts have already been completed. Hingson prefers that we have lunch at a Chinese restaurant, where we can sit and talk undisturbed. He takes a walking stick and leaves
(until July 1997). December 31: Atta registers himself as residing in Hamburg. 1993 February 26: A car bomb explodes in the underground garage of the World Trade Center in New York, killing five. July 28: Atta moves into “Am Centrumshaus,” a student housing complex in Hamburg. 1994 Atta takes a trip to Istanbul, and continues on the journey to Syria. 1995 Atta takes a pilgrimage to Mecca. August 1 to October 31: Atta in Cairo on a study program. September 22: The Yemeni Ramzi