Compare the Wall Street attack with the 911 attack.

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Several points of comparison are that the 1920 attack was in one location, primarily damaged one building, and killed fewer than 40 people; the 2001 attacks were in four locations, destroyed two buildings and damaged the surrounding neighborhood, damaged another building, and killed several thousand people. The motive for the...

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Several points of comparison are that the 1920 attack was in one location, primarily damaged one building, and killed fewer than 40 people; the 2001 attacks were in four locations, destroyed two buildings and damaged the surrounding neighborhood, damaged another building, and killed several thousand people. The motive for the 1920 attack was never learned and no one was even charged, while some of the 2001 attackers were tried and convicted.

On September 16, 1920, a bomb exploded on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, outside the offices of J. P. Morgan and Company. 38 people were killed and more than 300 were injured from the explosion, which had come from a horse-drawn carriage parked outside the building, the front of which was seriously damaged. No one claimed responsibility so the police had to pursue many different leads, and speculation about the motive—including the targeting of Morgan himself—was rampant. Communist involvement in a “Red” plot was widely assumed, including a conceptual attack on capitalism. An Italian radical named Pietro Angelo, who had been connected to a bombing the previous year, was suspected. Despite thousands of police and FBI interviews, however, ultimately no one was charged and the investigation finally was closed 20 years later.

The attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, were made by hijacked airplanes on four targets. Two were the World Trade Center Towers in lower Manhattan; the third was the Pentagon, in northern Virginia; and the fourth was undetermined, as the airplane was forced down in Pennsylvania. In New York, the impact from the two planes hitting the upper floors of the two towers initially killed several hundred people, and when both buildings disintegrated, about 2,800 people in the buildings and nearby area died at that time. In Virginia, when the plane hit the Pentagon, about 125 people in the planes and the building were killed. Flight 93’s crash in Pennsylvania was near rural Shanksville, and the fatalities were the plane’s 40 passengers. The hunt for the perpetrators began at once, and, while all the actual hijackers were killed in the attacks, some al-Qaeda planners, including Zacarias Moussaoui, were tried and convicted.

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