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The World Trade Center Attack: The Official Documents


This is a selective guide to the official government documents related to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, NY, on September 11, 2001. There is also a more general research guide on terrorism available, titled Terrorism: Information Resources.

You may also want to consult Understanding 9/11: a Television News Archive from the Internet Archive or The September 11 Digital Archive, two collaborative efforts by libraries and archival institutions, which have compiled hundreds of images, collections, and web sites which reported on the September 11 attacks. Both archives can be searched in a number of useful ways. The Library of Congress has aggressively acquired a vast range of materials related to the attacks on September 11 in its collection, Witness and Response. The New York Times has published an extensive series, Portraits of Grief, which presents short biographical profiles of many of the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Finally, there is an extensive two-volume bibliography, Annotated Bibliography of Government Documents Related to the Threat of Terrorism & the Attacks of September 11, 2001, compiled by Kevin D. Motes, Oklahoma Department of Libraries. It is much broader in scope than this guide, and includes much general background information.

Note: This guide is not being updated. Most of the documents listed were issued 2001-2006, although there are a few titles which were published more recently.

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.


National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the U.S.

  • National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the U.S.
    The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002, is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
  • 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Implementation Status
    A review conducted by the Congressional Research Service, December 4, 2006

Presidential Action

The full texts of President Bush's remarks, executive orders, proclamations, addresses, and other statements are available on the George W. Bush White House archive site. They can also be found in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. Some of the more important items (in chronological order) are:

There is also a compilation of President Bush's speeches relating to the World Trade Center Attack:

  • Our Mission and Our Moment: Speeches Since the Attacks of September 11.
    Washington, D.C. : The White House, 2001.
    PREX 1.2:M 69 - Offsite

Executive Branch Agencies

Other executive branch departments and agencies also have responsibilities in this area:

America Responds
Outlines the Bush administration initiatives in several areas: diplomatic, Federal recovery, financial, homeland security, humanitarian, investigative, and military.
    Note: This link leads to an archive of the site as of September 13, 2002, from the Internet Archive. After this date, the site broadened its focus to national security in general.

Congressional Response

Legislation Passed Into Law

Print versions of the following Public Laws can be found in the United States Statutes at Large, located in the Law Library.

Proposed Legislation

Legislation Related to the Attack of September 11, 2001, from Thomas

The following links are for major legislation introduced in Congress during the 107th Congress, 2001-2002.
They are in order by House Bill Number, then Senate Bill Number.

In order by House Bill Number

  • House Bill 525, introduced February 8, 2001
    To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to provide for improved Federal efforts to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks, and for other purposes.
    • Forwarded to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from the subcommittee, September 20, 2001
    • Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote, November 7, 2001.
  • House Bill 2940, introduced September 21, 2001
    To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to encourage the patronage of the hospitality, restaurant, and entertainment industries of New York City.
    • Referred to Ways and Means Committee, September 21, 2001.
  • House Bill 2975, introduced October 2, 2001
    To combat terrorism, and for other purposes.
  • House Bill 3026, introduced October 4, 2001
    To establish an Office of Homeland Security within the Executive Office of the President to lead, oversee, and coordinate a comprehensive national homeland security strategy to safeguard the Nation.
    • Also known as the Office of Homeland Security Act of 2001.
    • Referred to House Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, October 15, 2001. Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, April 18, 2002.
  • House Bill 3825, introduced February 28, 2002
    To provide for the sharing of homeland security information by Federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies with State and local entities.
    • Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, April 18, 2002.
  • House Bill 5005, introduced June 24, 2002
    To establish the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.

In order by Senate Bill Number

  • Senate Bill 1371, introduced August 3, 2001
    A bill to combat money laundering and protect the United States financial system by strengthening safeguards in private banking and correspondent banking, and for other purposes.
    • Hearing on S. 1371, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, September 26, 2001
  • Senate Bill 1428, introduced September 14, 2001
    An original bill to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2002 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account of the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
    • Cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, September 14, 2001.
    • Senate Report 107-63, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, September 18, 2001
    • Hearings held September 24, 2001.
    • Senate floor actions: Returned to the Calendar. Calendar No. 214. (The Senate incorporated S. 1428 in H.R. 2883 as an amendment.), November 8, 2001.
    • For further action, see H.R. 2883, which became Public Law 107-108 on 12/28/2001.
  • Senate Bill 1444:, introduced September 21, 2001 and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    A bill to establish a Federal air marshals program under the Attorney General.
  • Senate Bill 1448, introduced September 21, 2001
    A bill to enhance intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government in the prevention of terrorism, and for other purposes.
    • S. Hrg. 107-449, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, September 21, 2001
  • Senate Bill 1500, introduced October 4, 2001
    To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax and other incentives to maintain a vibrant travel and tourism industry, to keep working people working, and to stimulate economic growth, and for other purposes.
    • Referred to the Finance Committee, October 4, 2001.
  • Senate Bill 1510, introduced October 4, 2001
    To deter and punish terrorist acts in the United States and around the world, to enhance law enforcement invetigatory tools, and for other purposes.
    • Also known as the Uniting and Strengthening of America Act of 2001.
    • Statement of Administration Policy on S 1510, Office of Management and Budget, October 11, 2001.
    • Passed in the Senate, October 11, 2001. (On October 30, 2001, the Senate vitiated previous passage of S.1510.)
  • Senate Bill 1624, introduced November 1, 2001
    To establish the Office of World Trade Center Attack Claims to pay claims for injury to businesses and property suffered as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City that occurred on September 11, 2001, and for other purposes.
    World Trade Center Attack Claims Act.
    • Cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, December 5, 2001.
      Senate committee/subcommittee actions: Committee on Environment and Public Works. Ordered to be reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute favorably, November 8, 2001.
  • Senate Bill 2452, introduced May 2, 2002
    A bill to establish the Department of National Homeland Security and the National Office for Combating Terrorism.

Judicial Proceedings

Background Documents

The International Community

New York State

New York City