Osama bin Laden (Courtesy The Associated Press)

Osama bin Laden (Courtesy The Associated Press)

War on Terror: The FBI's New Focus

On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacked America, killing nearly 3,000 people. Nineteen hijackers commandeered four airplanes, drilling them into the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., and a field near Shanksville, Pa.

The attacks were the deadliest terrorist strike in the nation’s history and the biggest news story of our time. As reporters scrambled to provide coverage of the catastrophic news, FBI agents flooded the attack sites, launching the largest investigation in the bureau’s history. More than 7,000 agents sifted through tons of evidence and thousands of leads to find out who was behind the attacks and how to prevent the next one.

The events of 9/11 transformed the FBI. Though agents had long been chasing terrorists in the United States and abroad, terrorism had not been the top priority. The mass murder on American soil changed everything. Terrorism became the FBI’s Public Enemy No. 1, and Osama bin Laden the most hunted criminal on its Ten Most Wanted list. Nearly a decade later, bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.

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