Americans commemorated this week the loss of those who died at the hands of al Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. Their leader chimed in a day later with new threats against the United States.
Ayman al-Zawahiri called on his followers in an audio message posted on the Internet on Thursday to "land a large strike on it, even if it takes years of patience for this."
Officials from the Massachusetts Port Authority issued an apology Wednesday after conducting a fire training exercise at Boston Logan International Airport on the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
"The fire department will be training this morning. Smoke on the airfield is part of the training," the airport's Twitter account announced.
In response to negative reactions on social media sites, the port authority, which operates the airport, said in a statement, "Massport apologizes for conducting the fire training exercise and understands that it may have offended many of those touched by the events of Sept. 11."
"It's just dumb," Gov. Deval Patrick said. "The timing could not be worse."FULL STORY
Radical cleric Abu Qatada was released from jail on bail today, following a successful appeal Monday against deportation from the United Kingdom to face terror charges in Jordan.
It's the latest stage in a long-running battle over British efforts to deport the man accused of funding terrorist groups and said to have inspired one of the 9/11 hijackers.
Construction work has started again at ground zero, site of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, which was flooded by Superstorm Sandy.
About 750 workers are back at it, now that more than 95% of the storm surge at the 16-acre site has been pumped out, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the posts we noticed today.
As we look back on the September 11 attacks, the now-traditional twin beams of light seem to draw an 11 in the sky over New York. iReporter Rachel Cauvin shared the above image 11 years since this defining moment in U.S. history. We're hearing from readers on a variety of stories about this day.
Elizabeth and Stephen Alderman wrote an opinion article about their youngest child, Peter, who died on 9/11 at age 25. They established the Peter C. Alderman Foundation in his honor in 2003. We heard from several readers who were touched by the story.
Some could sadly relate and found hope from the story.
14thetruth: "We suddenly lost our son Bobby yesterday due to a senseless accident. He died a little after 9 a.m. He was 26 and was a wonderful husband, father and son. He leaves behind a wife and three children under 3 years old. Bobby had just started a promising business. Your story is an inspiration for us carry on our son's work in his spirit and honor and a compass to guide us to do good for all. Thank you."
JenLaw: "The family is in my heart and prayers. I also lost a son this year who was in his young 20's. I set up a scholarship in his name and it brings me joy. It is what he would have wanted. It is a wonderful thing you are doing and bless your hearts."
Others said they found inspiration. FULL POST
The new book "No Easy Day" by former U.S. Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who wrote under the name Mark Owen, gained widespread attention because of his firsthand account of how he and other members of SEAL Team Six killed Osama bin Laden.
On Sunday night, Bissonnette shared more of the intimate details of the mission in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes."
Bissonnette wore heavy makeup and his voice was disguised as he described what he said was not just a "kill-only" mission, but a chance to capture the mastermind of the September 11 attacks alive, if possible.
"We weren't sent in to murder him. This was, 'Hey, kill or capture,'" he told interviewer Scott Pelley. Bissonnette said that in the weeks leading up to the mission, the SEALs trained on a full-size model of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where they would eventually kill bin Laden. It was rare, Bissonnette said, to get 100 chances to train on a mock-up like that for three weeks.
Bissonnette said that while it was the most important mission he would ever be a part of, much of what the team members did was routine, until the moment they could finally exhale, knowing they had killed their biggest target.
Below are some of the most interesting exchanges between Bissonnette and Pelley, according to CBS transcripts, about the preparation for the mission, the raid itself and his reaction to it all when it was finally over.
On how they cleared the house as they hunted for bin Laden after taking early fire:
Matt Bissonnette: Guys start making their way up the stairs. And it's quiet. It's pitch black in the house. No lights. All night vision. Get to the second floor. Intel had said, "Hey, we think that Khalid, his son, lives on the second floor."
Scott Pelley: This is Osama bin Laden's son?
Bissonnette: Yeah. The guy in front of me who is point man, he sees the head pop out and disappear really quick around the corner. He's like, "OK, you know, what - who is it? What do you think?" "Yeah, I don't know." He literally whispers, not amped up, not yelling, not anything. He whispers, "Hey, Khalid. Khalid." He whispers Khalid's name. Doesn't know if it's Khalid or not. Khalid literally looks back around the edge of the hall. And he shoots him. What was Khalid thinking at that time? Look around the corner. Curiosity killed the cat. I guess Khalid too.
Pelley: Somebody started shooting at you from inside the house? And the bullets were coming through the door?
Bissonnette: Yep. Immediately, my buddy who was standing up started returning fire. I could - yeah, I kind of rolled away from the door, blindly returned fire back through. You couldn't see what was on the other side. And then it went quiet. Thankfully, the SEAL that was there with me, that initially returned fire with me spoke Arabic. So he immediately started calling out to the people inside. Started hearing the metal latch on the inside of the door. Are they gonna come out with a suicide vest? Are they gonna throw a hand grenade out? Are they gonna, you know, spray their AK? Door opens up, a female holding a kid, couple kids right behind her.
Pelley: You got your finger on your trigger and you're looking at a woman with her children?
Bissonnette: Yeah, yeah. Split second. I mean, we had just received fire. My buddy's speaking Arabic. And he's asking her, you know, "Hey, where's your husband? What's going on?" She - and - and she replies back to him, "He's dead. You shot him."
On how they killed bin Laden, but weren't sure it was him:
Pelley: Khalid is dead on this landing. The point man is stepping past Khalid. And now, you're No. 2 in the stack. You're right behind the point man?
Bissonnette: Yep. I'm kinda trying to look around him. Hear him take a couple shots. Kind of see a head - somebody disappear back into the room.
It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.
Like little kids with the latest Harry Potter sequel, Washington and the rest of the world will be eagerly thumbing through “No Easy Day” when it hits bookshelves Tuesday. The memoir of a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 purports to tell the full story of how the globe’s most-wanted terrorist met his end.
Mentions of the book's author spiked on Twitter on Thursday morning, as did the term "Navy SEAL book." About 4,500 mentions were made by mid-morning. The book was mentioned more than 8,000 times on August 22, when news broke of its release.
Carl Carver tweeted, "This sort of thing is NOT healing relations in Middle East, predicted as the starting point of WWIII !"
"It seems like once a year since I graduated college I get super excited for a book release, this year No Easy Day by Mark Owen is that book," Drake Stahr tweeted.
The RangerUp fan page on Facebook, a popular spot for military folks, had a range of comments.
With the under-construction One World Trade Center fast approaching its final height, President Barack Obama will visit the New York tower Thursday to get an update on its growth and help prepare one of the finishing touches.
Obama is expected to sign a beam that soon will be placed at the top of the tower, said Mike Pinelli, general superintendent of the Tishman construction firm.
"We're going to have our topping-out beam placed on the street" so Obama can sign it, Pinelli said. "It's typically signed by everybody on the project at some point, and then we're going to erect it shortly thereafter to signify the topping out of (the tower)."
Obama, accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, is due to arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in the late afternoon and at the construction site about 5:15 p.m. ET to get a briefing on the building, currently 104 stories and 1,300 feet tall - already the tallest structure in New York.
[Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET] More than a decade after a terrorist attack brought down New York's twin towers, their under-construction replacement became the city's tallest building on Monday.
The placement of a column of the 100th floor brought the colossal new steel structure of One World Trade Center tower to a height of 1,271 feet - surpassing the frame of the Empire State Building, which is currently New York's tallest skyscraper, by 21 feet.
Built on what was referred to as ground zero in Lower Manhattan, the building is expected to reach 1,776 feet when it is finished by early 2014. The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the country's current record holder at 1,450 feet.
The One World Trade Center building will have three top-floor observation decks. Its first 90 floors will be designated for office space, and the following 10 floors will be reserved for air conditioning, heating, and electrical equipment.
Despite years of political infighting and real estate squabbling that delayed its construction, more than half of the building has now been rented, with a tenant list that includes Conde Nast publishing company and a Chinese real estate investment firm called Vantone Holdings.
In its shadow, twin reflecting pools are situated in the footprints of where the twin towers once stood.
The names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 2001 attacks, as well as six people who died in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, are emblazoned across bronze panels ringing the pools.
The United States on Wednesday announced charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and four others accused of involvement in the plot.
"If convicted, the five accused could be sentenced to death," the Defense Department said in a statement.
Along with Mohammed, the others are Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin 'Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi.
The charges allege that the five are "responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York; Washington, D.C.; and Shanksville, Pa., resulting in the killing of 2,976 people," the statement said.
The five accused are charged with "terrorism, hijacking aircraft, conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, and destruction of property in violation of the law of war. The convening authority has referred all charges to a joint trial."FULL STORY
Unidentified human remains of people who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania eventually wound up in a landfill, the Defense Department said in a report Tuesday.
Parts of the cremated remains were handed over to a biomedical waste contractor and inadvertently dumped, the report said.
The September 11, 2001 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and in the hijacking and crash of a commercial jet in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The Pentagon report explored the handling of human remains at a U.S. military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
Lower Manhattan's controversial Park51 Islamic center is now in a court battle with utility Consolidated Edison, which says the center owes it $1.7 million in a dispute over back rent.
In court papers, Park51 says it owes Con Edison only $881,000 and calls the utility's demand "grossly inflated." The center has filed suit against the company over a default notice it was issued in September, and a New York state judge has stayed any action until after a hearing in November.
In a statement to CNN on Sunday, Con Edison said it "remains hopeful" that it can work out an agreement with Park51, which leases part of its property from the utility. Park51's developers did not return a phone call seeking comment.FULL STORY
It was an especially reflective weekend as the United States and much of the world looked back on the lives lost in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. CNN had a chance to talk to several young people who lost a parent that day. In today's Gotta Watch, we present highlights from those interviews, and look back at how children caught in the middle of another national disaster - Hurricane Katrina - looked at their city two years later.
'Nobody else has lost a parent on national television' - Some of the children who lost a parent on 9/11 say they have little or no memory of that day. Watch here as they talk about life growing without a mother or father, the "nightmare" talk that daddy wasn't coming home and the scrutiny they face as "9/11 kids."
'The lost city' - In February 2007, CNN's Soledad O'Brien handed out video cameras to a group of students who lived through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Here, they spoke with director Spike Lee about feelings of being forgotten and what the world didn't see two years after the storm.
The memorial for British victims of 9/11 stands in London's Grosvenor Square at the far end of a quiet park directly across from the U.S. Embassy.
There you can find the names of the 67 British victims who lost their lives in the attacks. A set of wooden pillars stands with these words carved above them: "Grief is the price we pay for love."
On Sunday, families of those victims gathered at Grosvenor Square. Prince Charles attended with his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Prime Minister David Cameron also came. They laid wreaths at the memorial and later took the time to speak with the families over scones and finger sandwiches. At the memorial, a white rose was laid for each of the 67 British victims.
The ceremony was marred somewhat by two competing protests. Muslims Against Crusades, the radical Islamic group led by Anjem Choudary, arrived shortly before the ceremony full of fiery speeches. There were fewer than 100 with him but their chants of "USA you will pay!" could still be heard over the music that played as families began arriving.
Among the memorials placed along Riverside Drive in Manhattan's Upper West Side is a massive statue - 12 feet long and 8 feet wide, and easily one of the most beautiful. It was dedicated in 1913 to firefighters who died on the job, but for the past 10 years it's become a focal point for members of the New York Fire Department. It's become a place to carve out a private ceremony where each year after 9/11 they've remembered the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the terror attacks of that day.
"It's not about speeches and it's not about politicians," FDNY Lt. Ken Durante told me. His title is "event organizer," but really he's the guy wrangling the dozen TV crews and cameras that have set up at 100th Street and Riverside Drive, about eight miles north of ground zero. They didn't want the media attention. This memorial was intended to be simple and to focus on the firefighters. But a bit of controversy - when firefighters were not invited to Sunday's ground zero ceremonies - focused more attention on this usually low-key event.
Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano says not going down to the site of the World Trade Center attacks is no big deal. Firefighters want to remember the day in their own way, with their own colleagues.
Twitter users and bloggers were keen Sunday to share tributes to the victims and heroes of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Frequently used Twitter hashtags included #Sept11, #NeverForget, #WTC, #FDNY, #Wherewereyou, #911whereiwas, #NYC, #godblessamerica, and #RIP 9 (which probably was supposed to be 9/11, but Twitter cut it off after the slash).
While many tweets sounded the same notes of honor for the dead and condolence to their families, a few stood out. Some examples:
FDNYnews: Today we honor the 343 #FDNY members & thousands of others killed 10 years ago. They were all heroes.
Queen Rania of Jordan: As we remember that tragic morning ten years ago today, let us work together for better understanding and reconciliation.
1PolicePlaza: Today we remember the 23 NYPD Officers, NYC's finest that were killed at the site of the WTC.
Anonym_Iran: On 2001/09/11, thousands and thousands Iranians went instantly in the streets with candles in homage to the victims.
Rachel Sklar, editor-at-large, Mediaite.com: Hold ya head, NYC ... still the greatest city in the world. Salute, 143 (143 is code for "I love you")
JennymontyinSD (Jennifer Montgomery): I was working in the US Capitol, the Let's Roll heroes of Flight 93 prob saved my life. Peace, Love, & Remembrance to all.
Pandaa_TC: It's hard to think that the victims of 9/11 were home sleeping in bed with their families 10 years ago. RIP 9/11.
Jeffhardyforevr, a New Yorker named Dawn: Unfulfilled unfinished undone and innocent. The sadness n stress is washing over me like a black cloud. Miss you SO much Joey RIP 9/11/01
New York poet Amalie Flynn completed a year-long project to post a short poem every day to remember 9/11 and honor its victims and heroes on her blog at http://septembereleventh.wordpress.com/.
A blogger called Star Bear on WordPress.com wrote, among other things, "Things are changing, some minds are changing. There are quiet, joyful voices singing in harmony. Peace to you this day, may your heart be filled with peace - and joy."
There’s no denying that New York is a changed place 10 years after the attacks that destroyed the twin towers and took the lives of 2,753 people.
The city has physically changed and people will forever mourn the losses. The psyche of the city has changed, too.
“We are more patient. We are more caring. I think people have bonded together,” said Sandy Levine, owner of the Carnegie Deli in midtown Manhattan. "I think we all think as one now."
Minas Polychronakis greets his customers every morning from behind the counter of his shoe shop on Wall Street. The store wasn’t always there. The original shop was on the lower concourse of the World Trade Center.
“It was raining glass, papers and bodies of course,” Polychronakis said. “I went outside and I saw the second plane hit the number two building.”
He saw a change in people that day, one that has lasted: "more kind."
"Sometime you have to pay the price to realize how good we are. They changed us for better," he said.
Newspaper columnist Pete Hamill has written about the people who make up the fabric that is New York for five decades.
“Because September 11 happened to us - not to me, not to he or she or you, but to us - that stayed in our character,” Hamill said.
“And I think with any kind of luck it will stay there as long as we’re here.”
Click the audio player to hear this story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum:
The Taliban have accused the United States of killing tens of thousands of Afghans and brutally torturing others in a defiant statement marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks against the United States.
The statement accuses the United States of using the September 11 attacks as a pretext for violence against Muslims and says the Afghan people have "an endless stamina for a long war" and could rise up as a nation "to send the Americans to the dustbin of history."
American spy networks have intercepted communications from a known al Qaeda operative in Pakistan that indicates plans for a potential terrorist strike in New York or Washington D.C, according to a senior U.S. official.
The communication comes from a source that has in the past provided accurate information, the official said, prompting intelligence officials to sift through communications from other known al Qaeda cells.
No corroborating evidence has been uncovered, the official added.
The information indicates that the strike - thought to come from a vehicle-borne bomb - is meant to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attack.FULL STORY