Challenges that Remain After 9/11

WTC Memorial

September 11th is a day of courage and selfless bravery in the face of adversity. So many people showed an audacity and boldness that sunny day seventeen years ago.  From police and firefighters who ran into the World Trade Center Towers, to those who carried injured individuals out of the Pentagon there were hundreds of examples of courage. The best of America rises during adversity.

In the skies over Pennsylvania, America’s response to terrorism was about to begin. A group of passengers aboard a hijacked aircraft knowing what their fate might be courageously attacked Al-Qaeda terrorists seeking to regain control of Flight 93. Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick, and other passengers bravely came together knowing that the terrorists were seeking to crash their flight into another American target. “Are you Ready? Okay. Let’s Roll” are the words Todd Beamer used as Americans began fighting back on September 11th. We owe them and all those who lost their lives on September 11th a greater duty. America came together in the days after September 11th but there is still so much more that needs to be accomplished. We, as Americans need to come together as those aboard Flight 93 did and rally to finish what those Al-Qaeda terrorists started. If we don’t our children’s children will be hampered by terrorism forever. Here are a few challenges that remain outstanding:

1. Capture or Kill Ayman al-Zawahiri– Today there is still a $25 million dollar reward on the current leader of Al-Qaeda. Zawahiri is just as responsible as Bin Laden for Al-Qaeda’s attacks on America. The US should give Pakistan an ultimatum-Either your government captures Al Qaeda’s leader or prepare for another Abbottabad Operation. Zawahiri is hiding in Pakistan just like Bin Laden was.

2. Capture or Kill Saif al-Adel-This Egyptian is one of a handful of Al-Qaeda’s remaining old leaders and is more effective and dangerous than Zawahiri. After Tora Bora, Saif al-Adel took members of Bin Laden’s family and numerous terrorists to Iran where they were all given sanctuary. Adel was a “guest of the Iranians” under “house arrest” until he was released totally by the Iranians.

3. Capture or Kill Hamza Bin Laden-The heir apparent to Ayman al-Zawahiri who will one day step into the shoes of his father. Zawahiri is grooming him for the future. Not long ago he put out a statement calling for attacks on the west.

4. Try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed-Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in 2003. We are still awaiting his trial and justice. KSM wired money for Ramzi Yousef’s first WTC attack and was part of the Bojinka Plot. He was the
mastermind of the 9-11 attacks which killed 2983 people 17 years ago. KSM sent Richard Reid, the Shoe bomber to blow up a plane flying from Paris to Miami. KSM beheaded Daniel Pearl and videotaped the horrific act among other terror plots.

5. Try the following terrorists still awaiting Justice at Guantanamo:

Abd al Hadi al Iraqi
Abd al Aziz Ali
Abd al Rahim al Nashiri
Mustafa Ahmed al Hawsawi
Ramzi Bin al Shibh
Walid Bin Attash
Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani
Haroon al-Afghani
Abdelrazak Ali Abdelrahman
Riduan Isamuddin Hambali
Abdul Malik
Abu Faraj al Libi
Ismael Ali Farag al Bakush
Mohd Farik Bin Amin Zubair
Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep Lillie
Mohammed Ahmad Ghulam Rabbani
Saifullah Paracha
Abdul Rabbani Abd al Rahim Abu Rahman
Abu Zubaydah
Mohammed al Qahtani
Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi
Gouled Hassan Dourad
Abdu Ali al Haji Sharqawi
Abdul al Salam al Hilal
Hassan Mohammed Ali Bin Attash
Sanad Yislam al Kazimi
Omar Mohammed Ali al Rammah
Said Salih Said Nashir
Zuhail Abdo Anam Said al Sharabi
Khaled Qasim
Moath Hamza Ahmed al Alwi
Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman

6.Need to take better Care of those first responders who worked the WTC, the Pentagon and Shanksville sites after the September 11th attacks. Seems every month there are individuals who because they breathed in asbestos, chemicals, pulverized steel, debris, are becoming sick with various 9/11 related cancers, diseases, respiratory problems not to mention the post-traumatic stress associated with working on the scenes. I think of individual heroes like Fire Fighter Ray Pfeifer, Arlington County Police Corporal Harvey Snook, and FBI Agent Melissa Morrow who all passed due to working a 9/11 terrorist scene. There is a long-term impact from this terrorist attack from seventeen years ago. They are all missed but not forgotten.

We must never forget those who lost their lives 17 years ago. But we must also remember that every day there are people who are fighting for their lives due to the long-term medical implications associated with those attack. We owe it to them to teach the next generation that with freedom comes responsibilities and that we still have challenges to overcome. We owe the next generation of Americans a world that we grew up in-one without fear of terrorism. The best of America will rise with courage and bravery despite these challenges. America came together after September 11th but there is still so much more that needs to be accomplished.