Reactions to the September 11 attacks: Wikis


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The Reactions to the September 11 attacks included condemnation from world leaders, other political and religious representatives and the international media, as well as numerous memorials and services all over the world. The attacks were denounced by the governments of countries traditionally considered hostile to the United States, such as Cuba, Iran, Libya and North Korea. However in some cases celebrations of the attacks were also reported, and some groups and individuals accused the United States in effect of bringing the attacks on itself.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks support for the United States' right to defend itself was expressed across the world, and by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368.[1] Many countries introduced "anti-terrorism" legislation[2] and froze the bank accounts[3] of businesses and individuals they suspected of having connections with al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden, the presumed perpetrators of the attacks.


United States

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the Bush administration declared a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing. Immediately after the September 11 attacks US officials[4] speculated on possible involvement by Saddam Hussein; although unfounded, the association contributed to public acceptance for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The second-biggest operation of the US Global War on Terrorism outside of the United States, and the largest directly connected to terrorism, was the overthrow of the Taliban rule from Afghanistan, by a US-led coalition.

Muslim Americans

In a Joint Statement by American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers, Association of Muslim Social Scientists, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Medical Association of North America, Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Society of North America, Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Muslim American Society and Muslim Public Affairs Council, stated: [5]

American Muslims utterly condemn the vicious and cowardly acts of terrorism against innocent civilians. We join with all Americans in calling for the swift apprehension and punishment of the perpetrators. No political cause could ever be assisted by such immoral acts.


Following the attacks television evangelist Jerry Falwell called the event a punishment from God and laid the blame on "paganists", "abortionists", "feminists" and "gays and lesbians", claiming that they "helped this happen". He subsequently apologized.[6][7][7] The Westboro Baptist Church sent a group to the World Trade Center site to protest the rescue efforts while holding signs with slogans thanking God for the event.

Western world

After the attacks many governments and organizations in the West expressed shock and sympathy, and were supportive of burgeoning efforts to combat terrorism. Among them:

  • NATO held an emergency meeting of the alliance's ambassadors in Brussels. The secretary general, Lord Robertson, promised the United States that it could rely on its allies in North America and Europe for assistance and support, and pledged that those responsible would not get away with it.[8]
  • European foreign ministers scheduled a rare emergency meeting the next day of the attacks to discuss a joint response, as officials expressed solidarity with the United States. The external relations commissioner, Chris Patten, called the attacks the work of a madman.[8]
  • British security forces across the world were placed on maximum alert. Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged that Britain would stand full square alongside the US in the battle against terrorism. Queen Elizabeth expressed growing disbelief and total shock.[8] In London, the US national anthem was played at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. However the BBC apologised after an edition of its political panel programme Question Time, held two days after the attacks, saw the US ambassador to the UK Philip Lader face hostile criticism of US foreign policy from audience members.[9]
  • In Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder described the attacks as a declaration of war against the civilized world. Authorities urged Frankfurt, the country's financial capital, to close all its major skyscrapers. The new Jewish museum in Berlin canceled its public opening.[8] In Berlin, 200,000 Germans marched to show their solidarity with America.
  • The French newspaper of record, Le Monde, ran a front-page headline reading "Nous sommes tous Américains", or "We are all Americans".
  • A National Day of Mourning was held in Ireland on Friday, September 14, the only country other than the USA and Israel to do so.
A museum panel showing headlines on September 12 in America and around the world. Most of the images on the headlines are images of United Airlines Flight 175 hitting the South Tower.
  • In Canada, hundreds of United States-bound flights were diverted to Canadian airports, including a plane carrying President Glafkos Klerides of Cyprus, who landed in Montreal. and Operation Support
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark stated "It's the sort of thing the worst movie scenario wouldn't dream up,"[10] and a New Zealand Herald DigiPoll revealed that after the attacks 2/3 of New Zealanders supported a NZ pledge of troops to Afghanistan.[11]
  • In 2003, New Zealand began administering a "Pacific Security Fund" to vulnerable nations in the Pacific region aiming at securing and preventing terrorism from entering the region, there is an annual fund of NZD$3 million that is paid by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and is used to provide support to Pacific Island countries.[12]

United Nations

In the following day of the attacks, the Security Council members condemned the terrorist attacks on the United States and adopted resolution 1368 (2001), by which they expressed readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the attacks of September 11 and to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with their Charter responsibilities. [13]

Then-Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, said: We are all traumatized by this terrible tragedy.[8]

Islamic world

Reactions to the attacks in the Muslim world were mixed. Most Muslim political and religious leaders condemned the attacks. The leaders included the Presidents of Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, Libya, Syria, Iran and Pakistan.[5][14] The then-president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, said of the attacks that "the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity".[15] Saddam would later offer sympathy to the Americans killed in the attacks.[16]

  • Renowned Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi denounced the attacks and the killings of hundreds of civilians as a "heinous crime" and urged Muslims to donate blood to the victims. He did however criticise the United States' "biased policy towards Israel" and also called on Muslims to "concentrate on facing the occupying enemy directly", inside the Palestinian territories.[17]
  • Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas -- a Palestinian Islamist[18] movement responsible for carrying out a series of suicide bombings in Israel and which has been officially designated as a terrorist organization by Canada,[19] Israel,[20] Japan,[21] and the United States,[22] --, said he was not interested in exporting such attacks to the United States, however he criticized the "unfair American position".[23]
  • Afghanistan's Taliban rulers condemned the attacks and rejected suggestions that Osama bin Laden, who had been given asylum in Afghanistan, could be behind them.[23]
  • Huge crowds attended candlelit vigils in Iran, and 60,000 spectators observed a minute's silence at Tehran football stadium.[24][25]

Palestinian celebrations

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) immediately condemned the attacks. Fox News reported that in Ein el-Hilweh, Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp, revelers fired weapons in the air, with similar celebratory gunfire heard at the Rashidiyeh camp near the southern city of Tyre as well.[23]

Reports and images of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Nablus, and Lebanon taking to the streets in celebration, were broadcast around the world.[23] with many newspapers, magazines, Web sites and wire services running photographs.[26][27] The PNA claimed such celebrations were not representative of the sentiments of the Palestinian people, and the Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the PNA would not allow "a few kids" to "smear the real face of the Palestinians". In an attempt to quash further reporting, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Arafat's Cabinet secretary, said the Palestinian Authority could not "guarantee the life" of an Associated Press (AP) cameraman if footage he filmed of post-9/11 celebrations in Nablus was broadcast. Rahman's statement prompted a formal protest from the AP bureau chief, Dan Perry.[28][27]

Annette Krüger Spitta of the ARD's (German public broadcasting) TV magazine Panorama states that footage not aired shows that the street surrounding the celebration in Jerusalem is quiet. Furthermore, she states that a man in a white T-shirt incited the children and gathered people together for the shot. The Panorama report, dated September 20, 2001, quotes Communications Professor Martin Löffelholz explaining that in the images one sees jubilant Palestinian children and several adults but there is no indication that their pleasure is related to the attack. The woman seen cheering (Nawal Abdel Fatah) stated afterwards that she was offered cake if she celebrated on camera, and was frightened when she saw the pictures on television afterward.[29]

There was also rumour that the footage of some Palestinians celebrating the attacks was stock footage of Palestinian reactions to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.[30] This rumour was proven false shortly afterwards,[31] and CNN issued a statement to that effect.[32]

Rest of the world

  • Israel: the day after the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged the world to fight terrorism and declared a national day of mourning in solidarity with the United States.[8] Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "linked the attacks to [Israel's] plight" and speculated that the attacks might improve Israel–United States relations.[33]
  • India declared high alert across most of its major cities and conveyed "deepest sympathies" to the US and condemned the attacks.[34]
  • Mexico increased its security, causing enormous traffic jams at the United States border and officials said they were considering closing the entire border. President Vicente Fox expressed "solidarity and our most profound condolences".[8]
  • The Cuban government expressed its pain and solidarity with its longtime adversary and offered air and medical facilities to help.[8]
  • Chinese President Jiang Zemin said he was "shocked" and sent his condolences to President Bush, while the Foreign Ministry said China opposed all manner of terrorism.[8]
  • Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed "great anger" and said that "these acts of terrorism should not be forgiven." Special security precautions were ordered at all United States military installations.[8]
  • Russia put troops on alert. President Vladimir Putin held an emergency meeting of security officials and said he supported a tough response to these "barbaric acts".[8]


  1. ^ UN Security Council Resolution 1368 (2001)
  2. ^ Hamilton, Stuart (August 18-24, 2002). "September 11, the Internet, and the effects on information provision in Libraries" (pdf). 68th IFLA Council and Conference. Retrieved 2006-09-08.  
  3. ^ "G8 counter-terrorism cooperation since September 11 backgrounder". Site Internet du Sommet du G8 d'Evian. Retrieved 2006-09-14.  
  4. ^ "Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11". CBS News. September 4 2002. Retrieved 2007-01-08.  
  5. ^ a b CrescentLife - Muslim Reactions to September 11th
  6. ^ - Falwell apologizes to gays, feminists, lesbians - September 14, 2001
  7. ^ a b NY1: Top Stories
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k NY Times - Reaction From Around the World
  9. ^ BBC News | TV AND RADIO | BBC chief apologises for terror debate
  10. ^ World leaders united in condemnation - 12 Sep 2001 - NZ Herald: World / International News
  11. ^ Pledge NZ forces says poll - 01 Oct 2001 - NZ Herald: New Zealand National news
  12. ^ Pacific - Security - NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  13. ^ Security Council Condemns, ‘In Strongest Terms’, Terrorist Attacks On United States
  14. ^ September 11 - International Reaction - The 09-11-2001 Attacks on the USA With Archived News, Images, Photos, & Newspapers from the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks on New York City & the Pentagon
  15. ^ - Attacks draw mixed response in Mideast - September 12 2001
  16. ^ Saddam Hussein emails American citizen | World news | The Guardian
  17. ^ Islam Online- News Section
  18. ^ "Hamas Mickey Mouse Teaches Jihad".,1518,481940,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-29.  
  19. ^ Keeping Canadians Safe, Public Security and Emergency Preparedness Canada, National Security, Listed entities. Accessed July 31, 2006.
  20. ^ The Financial Sources of the Hamas Terror Organization (Israel MFA)
  21. ^ Japan's Diplomatic Bluebook 2005 states that it has frozen the assets of "terrorist organisations, including... Hamas".
  22. ^ "Country reports on terrorism 2005", United States Department of State. Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. US Dept. of State Publication 11324. Released April 2006
  23. ^ a b c d - Arafat Horrified by Attacks, but Thousands of Palestinians Celebrate; Rest of World Outraged - US & World
  24. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran's gulf of misunderstanding with US
  25. ^ Iran mourns America's dead Time Inc.
  26. ^ BBC: In pictures: Atrocities' aftermath
  27. ^ a b 'Palestinian Officials Quash Pictures of Arab Celebrations' by Catherine Donaldson-Evans (FOX News)
  28. ^ Personal website at
    'Attacks celebrated in West Bank' by The Times, UK
    'Palestinians in Lebanon Celebrate Anti-US Attacks' by Ain-al-Helweh, Lebanon (AFP)
    'Palestinians Celebrate Attacks with Gunfire' by Joseph Logan (Reuters)
    'AP protests threats to freelance cameraman who filmed Palestinian rally' (The Associated Press)
    'Foreign journalists 'deeply concerned' by PA harassment' (The Associated Press)
    'Palestinian Authority has muzzled coverage of Palestinian celebrations' (MIDDLE EAST NEWSLINE)
    'Israel to AP: Release film of Palestinian celebrations' (Jerusalem Post/The Associated Press)
    'Bin-Laden Poster Seen at Gaza Rally' (The Associated Press)
  29. ^ 'Pictures, reports, embarrassment - the media and the disaster' by Annette Krüger Spitta for Panorama (ARD, Germany) (Babelfish translated), (Google translated), (source article)(German)
  30. ^ 'The power of the TV-pictures, What is the truth?' by Lisa Erdmann (Der Spiegel) (Google Translated), (translation original) - (source article)(German)
  31. ^ 'Claim: CNN used old footage to fake images. Status: False.' (
  32. ^ CNN statement about false claim it used old video, CNN.
  33. ^ Adrian Guelke (2006). Terrorism and Global Disorder: Political Violence in the Contemporary World. I.B.Tauris. p. 133. ISBN ISBN 185043803X, 9781850438038.  
  34. ^ INDIAN NEWSPAPER HIGHLIGHTS - SEPT 12, 2001. | AsiaPulse News (, 2001)

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