Terrorist Attack on America

Report Homeland Security

Terrorist Attack on America

September 18, 2001 4 min read
The Heritage Foundation

Early responses by The Heritage Foundation

When terrorists struck the United States on the morning of September 11, our first responsibility at Heritage was to do our job as a public policy think tank. In a crisis of this magnitude, stunned Americans were turning by the millions to mass media for information. They also needed interpretation and analysis to help them make some sense of a catastrophe unlike any we've ever experienced. This update summarizes our activities from the time of the attack through about noon of Monday, September 17.

Print news media

As soon as we got word of the attacks, our Communications Department and Center for Media and Public Policy suspended all planned activities and focused on the attacks. Owing to credibility we've built over many years with news media nationwide, we received many calls from print and broadcast outlets for interviews with our defense policy experts. They gave interviews or provided articles for media that included:

Washington Post
Washington Times
Sacramento Bee
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
United Press International
Associated Press
Knight-Ridder/Tribune Wire Service
Scripps Howard News Service
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Hartford Courant
Houston Chronicle
Detroit News
Charlotte Observer
Financial Times (London)
New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
New York Post
St. Petersburg Times
Boston Globe
Boston Herald
Defense News
Channel NewsAsia
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Hokkaido Shimbun (Japan)
La Presse (Canada)
The Portland Oregonian
McClatchey News Service
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Xinhua News Agency (China)
Mobile Register
USA Today
Austin American-Statesman
San Diego Union-Tribune
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Broadcast News Media

Heritage policy experts provided interviews or background data on broadcast outlets (radio and television) that included the following:

NBC Nightly News 
American Family Radio Network
Korean Broadcasting  
"Ken Hamblin Show"
CBS News "48 Hours"  
CNN Money Morning 
Australian Broadcasting
"Stan Solomon Show"
"Jim Bohannon Show"
"Mike Gallagher Show"
"Armstrong Williams Show" 

Heritage Publications

We published documents on the following topics:

Implications of the terrorist attacks for U.S. policy.

An op-ed urging the president to declare war, distributed nationally by Scripps Howard News Service.

Facts and figures about terrorism, compiled by our Center for Data Analysis. Our CDA and Media Center are also responding to requests from news organizations for similar information.

Also, check out www.heritage.org for these upcoming reports:

  • Why the terrorist attacks make the case for missile defense.
  • Implications of the attack for the national defense budget.
  • Uprooting Bin Laden's terrorist network.
  • U.S.-Russian cooperation in fighting terrorism.
  • The U.S. needs no approval from the United Nations to wage this war against terrorism
Heritage Events

We will broadcast four seminars concerning America's security this month and you can watch them live from your computer:

Heritage's War against Terrorism

Our war against terrorism began way before last week's attacks:

In 1992 we wrote a Backgrounder Update on the importance of supporting the moderate Afghans against the Islamic radicals, who were bound to export international terrorism, Islamic revolution and drugs if they came to power.

In 1994, we wrote a Backgrounder analyzing the security threats posed by the rise of transnational pan-Islamic terrorist groups which anticipated the rise of bin Laden. This paper also examined the possibility that Iraq and Iran were behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which was considered a wacky idea at the time.

We called for the overthrow of the Taliban, not just a war against bin Laden, in last year's backgrounder, "Defusing Terrorism at Ground Zero: Why a New U.S. Policy is Needed for Afghanistan"

We published a lecture by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, Chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, on "New International Terrorist Threats and How to Counter Them", on July 31, 2000, that discussed the unconventional threats posed by terrorists such as bin Laden.

We called for a systematic strategy to uproot terrorist groups from sanctuaries and uproot regimes that give state support for terrorism in "The Yemen Bombing: Another Wake-Up Call in the Terrorist Shadow War"


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