On 9/11 anniversary, Biden remembers American unity, vows vigilance By Reuters

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© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks throughout a wreath-laying ceremony to honor victims of the September 11, 2001, assaults on the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., September 11, 2022. REUTERS/Cheriss Might

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By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden invoked the reminiscence of America’s united response to the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults by al Qaeda and vowed to “by no means quit” within the face of terrorist threats in a solemn commemoration on Sunday on the Pentagon.

Biden’s remarks about nationwide unity on the twenty first anniversary of the assaults stood in distinction to his warnings in current days about harmful divisions in American society, together with that some Republicans who help former President Donald Trump’s agenda pose a menace to democracy.

“I hope we’ll do not forget that within the midst of those darkish days, we dug deep. We cared for one another. And we got here collectively,” Biden mentioned, as rain fell on troops standing behind him, flanking his protection secretary and high common.

Practically 3,000 folks died within the assaults, when al Qaeda hijackers flew planes into the New York’s World Commerce Heart towers and into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, whereas a fourth aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania.

Passengers on United Airways Flight 93 overcame the hijackers and the aircraft crashed in a discipline, stopping one other goal from being hit.

The anniversary comes a 12 months after Biden ended the U.S.-led struggle in Afghanistan, launched twenty years in the past to root out the al Qaeda militant group that carried out the 9/11 assaults after plotting them from Afghanistan.

Biden’s chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops final 12 months and the ensuing speedy fall of the nation to the Taliban drew criticism from members of each political events.

However Biden vowed that the combat towards terrorism would proceed. “We is not going to relaxation. We’ll always remember. We’ll by no means quit,” he mentioned. Final month, Biden licensed a drone strike in Kabul that killed al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon who had a $25 million bounty on his head and helped to coordinate the Sept. 11, 2001 assaults.

The disclosure of Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul raised questions in regards to the diploma to which al Qaeda is receiving sanctuary from the Taliban.

U.S. army and intelligence officers had warned {that a} full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan might permit al Qaeda in addition to Islamic State to strengthen and, left unchecked, to finally plot towards the USA.

Biden and others argued that the menace from terrorism has unfold all through the world over the previous 21 years, and that there are higher methods to fight it than open-ended army deployments and struggle.

“Our dedication to forestall one other assault on the USA is with out finish,” Biden assured.

The primary girl, Jill Biden, attended a ceremony in Pennsylvania on Sunday morning, whereas Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended one in New York Metropolis.

In New York, key moments on 9/11, such because the occasions at which every tower of the World Commerce Heart fell, had been marked with a second of silence after the tolling of a bell.

Households of victims of the 9/11 assaults have waited for years to see a number of of the folks accused of planning and aiding the hijackers delivered to trial and convicted, together with self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 4 others imprisoned on the U.S. army base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

On Sunday, Biden advised reporters that “sure, there’s a plan for that” – to carry the accused plotters accountable – however declined to remark additional.

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