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How Biden, then a Senator, had reacted after planes flew into World Trade Centre on 9/11

The Democratic senator from Delaware was on a train from Wilmington to Washington when two planes, hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists, flew into the World Trade Centre.
The September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers by hijackers loyal to Al-Qaeda killed more than 2,750 people.(Reuters File Photo)
Published on Sep 11, 2021 12:01 AM IST
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

US President Joe Biden, one of the most powerful men on the planet, was a Senator when the Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. In his memoir titled ‘Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics’, Biden has recounted the tragic day when he was serving as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Democratic senator from Delaware was on a train from Wilmington to Washington when two planes, hijacked by Al Qaeda terrorists, flew into the World Trade Centre, turning the twin towers into rubble. He was talking to his wife, now the First Lady, Jill Biden.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God."

"Jill, what is it?"

"Another plane ... the other tower."

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Moments after a third plane hit the Pentagon, Biden got off the train at Union Station from where he saw a brown haze of smoke in the sky, according to the memoir. He rushed to the Capitol and insisted that it was the safest place to be even as the buildings were being evacuated. Biden said he tried to enter the Capitol building but was refused entry by a police officer. At that point, he felt it was important to “show the country we were still doing business", as per the memoir.

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After 20 years, Biden will visit all three memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He will visit ground zero in New York City, the Pentagon and the memorial outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the White House said last Saturday. He will be accompanied by Jill Biden, who was on phone with her husband on the fateful day when nearly 3,000 people were killed.

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