Tears, vows, and tragic memories consumed the emotional ceremonies Sunday at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a rural field in western Pennsylvania marking the 15th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history.
Bells rang out across the country at 8:46 A.M EST, the moment the first plane struck the North Tower. Thousands of people gathered here as family members and friends. After a moment of silence, the names of approximately 3,000 victims were read aloud and each presenter gave insight into each of their losses.
At the Pentagon President Obama participated in the wreath ceremony that paid tribute to the 184 victims killed when Flight 77 flew into the western part of the massive building. In his speech President Obama stated, “No deed we do can ever truly erase the pain of their absence.Your steadfast love and faithfulness has been an inspiration to me and our entire country.” 9/11 is a day that will infamy.
Approximately seven days later, several pressure cooker bombs filled with shrapnel and Christmas lights rocked the neighborhood of Chelsea in the southern part of Manhattan. However, only one bomb went off while the other failed to detonate. Twenty-nine people were injured in the first blast mainly due to shrapnel wounds. Both bombs were designed to create maximum chaos and fatalities. The bomb that exploded was found on 23rd Street while the other undetonated bomb was found on 27th Street. In a news conference Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “This is one of the nightmare scenarios. We are really lucky that there have been no fatalities.”
A few days later another bomb was found in the Elizabeth, New Jersey. Law enforcement claimed there was a link between both bombs. They were right. A few days later the man who caused terror across two states, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was arrested in Linden, New Jersey. The arrest was culmination of a connect-the-dots manhunt grew in urgency and priority as the police and the F.B.I agents pieced together clues using high-tech investigative techniques and other types of detective work.
Even with all of these clues, investigators are still in the earlier stages of trying to figure out the motive behind the attacks and why a street in Chelsea was one of the targets. One law enforcement official has stated that the bomb technicians involved in the investigations believe that Rahami constructed all of the devices, but that the handiwork raised the possibility that he may have had some assistance. The FBI has also examined the devices created by Rahami to determine if he was inspired by any Islamic terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and have reported that there is no indication of a terrorist cell operating in the area.
Recently, surveillance footage has been released showing two males with a suitcase that supposedly contained a wired pressure cooker bomb that they found in the street. Law enforcement is stressing the importance of both individuals. They are being sought as potential witnesses, not suspects, since investigators believe that they are in no way linked to Rahami. They have been identified and are currently out of the country. Authorities are trying to contact them for questioning.