On 11th September 2001, four airlines were hijacked by a group of terrorists acting under orders from Osama Bin Laden in an attempt to cause widespread havoc, horror and destruction.
The world watched in horror after two planes flew into the World Trade Center, causing the two towers to collapse – while another plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed into a field after passengers fought with them to gain control.
Nearly 3000 people were killed on 9/11, making it the biggest terrorist attack in world history, and launching then-President George Bush to commence a “war on terror” that the world is still fighting until this day.
Now, to mark 20 years since these tragic events, a series of programmes are available to view for us to remember those who lost their lives during the attack, and to understand just why this happened.
1. Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror – Netflix
Netflix has released a new five-part documentary series exploring the run-up to the attacks and the history of terrorist organisation, Al-Qaeda.
The series will also look at the impact September 11th had on the American psyche, and the invasion of Afghanistan which followed shortly after the attacks.
Over the course of five hours, the documentary speaks to a diverse range of voices, including survivors, Taliban commanders and former CIA operatives, to piece together the full picture of the attacks and their aftermath.
2. 9/11 Inside the President’s War Room – BBC iPlayer
This hard-hitting documentary features interviews with then-president George W. Bush, his vice president, Dick Cheney and then-National Security advisor Condoleezza Rice among other senior figures about exactly what happened that fateful day.
Prepare to see what’s behind the curtain of the president’s day-to-day life, how Bush chose to react when he first heard the news about the attack, and the panic his team felt that he was going to be the next target.
Bush, who was widely criticised during his presidency for his actions, also explains why he chose to invade Afghanistan and the hugely difficult decisions he had to make with his team that day. An eye-opening, sickening and disturbing watch.
3. 9/11: Life Under Attack – ITV Hub
This 90 minute documentary features previously unseen footage from September 11th, interspersed with audio and phone recordings from the day. Often difficult to watch in places, the show focuses on giving a complete look over 24 hours, and how 9/11 was a completely normal early Autumn day before the planes hit, changing lives forever.
4. Surviving 9/11 – BBC iPlayer
This intimate look at the attacks follows 13 survivors who give their own account of what happened when the planes hit the Twin Towers, how they managed to escape the terrorist attacks, and the harrowing aftermath, trauma and guilt that they still carry with them this very day.
5. The Woman Who Wasn’t There – Amazon Prime Video
Of all the stories of survival that emerged from those who had lived through the 9/11 attacks, it was one tale of triumph and tragedy which really stuck out – that of Tania Head’s. Tania survived the attack on the South Tower, and was left with her arm hugely injured. There was just one problem with Tania’s story – it never happened. This documentary examines Tania’s rise to the Presidency of the 9/!! Survivors’ Network and how a New York Times article exposed her as a liar and a fraud.
You can read more about this incredible story here.