USA TODAY US Edition
Several aspects of life altered after 9/11 terror
Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks permanently changed the country’s course, people could walk freely throughout airport terminals without tickets. Most ticket takers did not bother to check passenger IDs before they boarded planes.
Today, that’s unthinkable.
For those born around or after Sept. 11, 2001, a pre-9/11 world is hard to comprehend. Even for those old enough to remember, it’s difficult to recall what it was like before – so much has changed since.
Sept. 11 fundamentally altered countless aspects of American life.
It’s likely that people don’t think twice about those changes because they’ve been the norm for the past 20 years.
Here are five things that grew out of 9/11.
Air travel transformed
Airport security once consisted of removing loose change from pockets.
Today, security lines can cause major headaches because of the amount of time it takes to get through.
Most people must remove their shoes and belts, walk through full body scan machines and often receive pat-downs
from security officers. These officers use high-tech scanners to look inside luggage.
Large containers of liquid, such as shampoos or body washes, and knives were banned as carry-ons on airplanes after 9/11, and loved ones are no longer allowed to meet passengers at arrival gates.
The Transportation Security Administration, known as TSA, was created by the Bush administration after 9/11. Before the attack, no single agency oversaw the safety of air travel.
The TSA operates under the Department of Homeland Security, and its agents are fixtures at airports.
Personal identification and Real ID
The fallout from the attacks is why you’ll soon be required to have a Real ID to board any domestic flight.
The Real ID requirement, set to go into effect in 2023, was part of the Real ID Act of 2005, which enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
The act established requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards that would be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes.”
The act includes four planned phases, and implementation began in 2014.
Beginning in 2023, all people 18 and older will require a Real ID to board a domestic flight, though a passport is a suitable replacement.
Privacy and surveillance
Almost immediately after 9/11, “the security/privacy pendulum began to swing wildly toward security and away from personal privacy,” Daniel Klau, a judge who teaches privacy law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, wrote on the school’s website.
The USA Patriot Act of 2001 is probably “the clearest example of how legal concepts of personal privacy changed after 9/11,” he said.
The multifaceted measure, a subject of fierce debate and signed into law weeks after 9/11, changed how the U.S. government could track and monitor Americans.
It expanded law enforcement authority to surveil and capture communications to prevent domestic terrorism. Authorities could do so without a court order.
The act expanded the ability of law enforcement to tap domestic and international phones and search email and financial records. It increased penalties for terrorism crimes and established an expanded list of what constitutes terrorism.
Public displays of Islamophobia and related violence soared after 9/11 and continued in the years since.
FBI data showed that hate crimes against Muslims jumped. After 9/11, the number of documented anti-Muslim hate crime incidents increased from 28 to 481 by year’s end.
Nearly 15 years later, in 2015, researchers at California State University, San Bernardino found a 78% increase in hate crimes against Muslim Americans over the prior year – a post-9/11 record. Scholars and experts cited a combination of terrorist activity, including attacks on civilians in Paris, and the rhetoric of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
The Biden administration set a formal end to the military presence in Afghanistan for Aug. 31, the conclusion of the country’s longest-running conflict after the Afghan government fell Aug. 15 to the Taliban.
Many question whether America’s decades spent in Afghanistan were worth it.
For many young people in the USA, their country has always been “at war.”
The global war on terror, launched by the federal government after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been an ongoing international military campaign.
In the past two decades, the United States has fought in wars or participated in combat operations in at least 24 countries.