23 February 2019
Tribute in Lights commemorates the victims of the 9/11 terror attack in New York. Photo:AFP
Tribute in Lights commemorates the victims of the 9/11 terror attack in New York. Photo:AFP

13 years after 9/11, terror threat still haunts US

A sense of normalcy has taken root in the part of New York City where crowds will gather on Thursday morning to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Rebuilding efforts at the site of the former World Trade Center’s twin towers, where 2,753 people died, are nearing completion, Reuters reported.

The area, by turns a smoldering grave and an off-limits construction site for more than a decade, is now increasingly reconnected with the surrounding streets.

Politicians, families of those who died in the attacks and other dignitaries will gather on Thursday to observe moments of silence and hear recitations of the names of the nearly 3,000 victims who died on that day when two airliners hijacked by militants from al Qaeda crashed into the two skyscrapers.

Similar ceremonies will also be held in Washington, where a hijacked plane plowed into the Pentagon, and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where another hijacked plane crashed.

In New York, it is the first commemoration ceremony since the opening of the 9/11 museum and the adjoining repository for unidentified human remains at the site.

“For the first time this year, because the museum opened in May, family members will be able to visit the museum as part of the commemoration,” museum spokesman Michael Frazier was quoted as saying.

While lower Manhattan may look and feel different this year, the external threat to the US represented by the 9/11 attacks still weighs. Islamic State, a militant group that began as an offshoot of al Qaeda, is viewed by Washington as a growing danger.

The Islamist group, which released videos of its fighters beheading two American hostages, has even revived fears of an attack on American soil, the report said.

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