Plans to attack the World Trade Centre with hijacked passenger planes were found on a lap top six years before the tragedy. Police seized the laptop - it belonged to the terrorist who carried out the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. But the plot was not prevented. Why?
Now for the first time the incredible story of 9/11 can be told. Beginning with the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, we trace the deadly timeline leading up to the events of the fateful day: how the terrorists embedded themselves in US society, and the scores of warnings that were overlooked by the FBI and CIA. See how opportunities for US intelligence to kill Osama bin Laden were abandoned at the eleventh hour, and why an FBI memo alerting the White House to the presence of possible Islamic terrorists training as pilots on US soil, was not acted upon.
Ramzi Yousef, the bomber who tried to take down the Twin Towers in 1993, vowed to FBI agents that he would return to finish the job. His uncle, Kaleed Sheikh Muhammed, a US college graduate, was the brains behind the 2001 attacks. Why weren't they stopped?
It is a beautiful morning. Nathan Goldwasser is starting his usual day at work in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, as are Ed Nichols and Stanley Praimnath in the South Tower. Sheila Moody arrives at her office at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, the 19 terrorists are boarding planes in Boston, Newark and Dulles, Virginia.
They monitor the flight crews, waiting for the right moment to execute their evil plan. At 8:14 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 is hijacked. Relive the last precious moments as flight attendants call their supervisors on the ground to report the murders of fellow crew members. Listen as they describe the scene on board. Then go back to the North Tower as Nathan Goldwasser hears an enormous explosion when American Airlines Flight 11 crashes just a few floors above him. The building sways. Listen as Ed Nichols watches the tragedy unfold at the North Tower from sky lobby on the 78th floor of the South Tower. Firefighters are dispatched to the scene. But this is not a case of fighting fire; this is a mission to save as many lives as possible. Evacuations begin in the North Tower, but, in the confusion, people in the South Tower don't know whether to leave the building or return to their desks.
Stanley Praimnath makes it down to the ground lobby of the South Tower, only to be told by security that it is safe and he can return to his office. Then in what seems to be the blink of an eye, United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower. Praimnath sees the plane as it heads toward his office. There's no longer any doubt-this is an attack on America. "Zero Hour" then takes viewers to the Pentagon as Sheila Moody hears the roar of a plane rapidly descending.
American Airlines Flight 77 hits the Pentagon and bursts into a ball of fire. A fourth hijacking is taking place on United Airlines Flight 93. Likely targets include the White House or the Capitol building. Listen as Lyz Glick retells how her husband Jeremy and three other men planned to overtake the hijackers. "Zero Hour" captures the horror and the heroism witnessed on September 11, 2001, and takes viewers into the last moments of those who died that day and the thousands of others who survived the tragedy.