On 11 September 2001 planes destroyed the World Trade Centre, a chunk of the Pentagon and the myth of American invincibility. Ten years on, the US is preparing for the anniversary of 9/11 in a mood of mixed caution and commemoration. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The New York Times reported this week the White House had released detailed guidelines to government officials on the protocol to be followed to appropriately mark the tenth anniversary. They want to honour the memory of those who died in the attack, remind people that terror is still a threat and engage in some muted backslapping that they’ve succeeded in preventing a similar disaster in America since then.
AP notes security is being stepped up around the country, even though there is no specific intelligence that any terror threat is planned. Their fear is that the date is the perfect opportunity for a group of al-Qaeda sympathisers to make a statement. Obama’s own concern is that a “lone-wolf terrorist” – think Norway’s Anders Breivik – may attempt some kind of attack.
The national mood around the date seems to be uneasy. The anniversary takes place in a month that has seen the release of a study that shows one in seven people in the UK and America believe the US government was involved in a 9/11 conspiracy. In the build-up, tensions in and around the Muslim community have also been growing with the revelation last week that the NYPD has been targeting Muslim neighbourhoods for extra surveillance. Just yesterday the NY Daily News reported that an amusement park in New York had to be shut down after a fight erupted between police and Muslim visitors who were told that the wearing of headscarves was banned on certain rides. In this atmosphere, government will be taking no chances on anything going wrong. DM
"Man is by nature a political animal" ~ Aristotle