WI: The Original Plan For 9/11 Went Through?

During my visit the 9/11 memorial, a tour guide told me that the original plans for 9/11 would've also targeted attractions across both coasts of America. Naturally, I was curious and after doing a bit of research on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's original plans for the terror attacks, I found out that he envisioned that twelve planes would be hijacked and eleven of those planes would crash into buildings across America.
According to the September 11 Commission, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed envisioned a hijacking of twelve airplanes on both the East and West coasts, and for eleven of them to be crashed into the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building in New York City; The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; the Prudential Tower in Boston, Massachusetts; the White House and the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.; the Willis Tower (then Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois; the U.S. Bank Tower (then Library Tower) in Los Angeles, California; the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, California; and the Columbia Center in Seattle, Washington.

If I remember correctly, the last plane would land safely and Khalid Mohammed (or some other terrorist) would deliver a speech on live television calling for people to reject the west and fight for Al-Qaeda. While the grand schematics of such a plan were certainly unfeasible (there was a reason why Osama rejected it), there might be some major repercussions had Al-Qaeda attacked a larger range of targets after gaining more resources and hijackers.
 
During my visit the 9/11 memorial, a tour guide told me that the original plans for 9/11 would've also targeted attractions across both coasts of America. Naturally, I was curious and after doing a bit of research on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's original plans for the terror attacks, I found out that he envisioned that twelve planes would be hijacked and eleven of those planes would crash into buildings across America.


If I remember correctly, the last plane would land safely and Khalid Mohammed (or some other terrorist) would deliver a speech on live television calling for people to reject the west and fight for Al-Qaeda. While the grand schematics of such a plan were certainly unfeasible (there was a reason why Osama rejected it), there might be some major repercussions had Al-Qaeda attacked a larger range of targets after gaining more resources and hijackers.

More doable would be using the OTL 4 planes but attacking a few hours later in the day when Manhattan and the WTC would have been at peak capacity and casualties would have been much higher. You'd be looking at something like a probably minimum of 50K dead with the possibility of nearly doubling that for the maximum.
 
More doable would be using the OTL 4 planes but attacking a few hours later in the day when Manhattan and the WTC would have been at peak capacity and casualties would have been much higher. You'd be looking at something like a probably minimum of 50K dead with the possibility of nearly doubling that for the maximum.
Somehow I really doubt Tora Bora wouldn't have been glassed in this timeline by multiple tactical nukes
 

kernals12

Banned
During my visit the 9/11 memorial, a tour guide told me that the original plans for 9/11 would've also targeted attractions across both coasts of America. Naturally, I was curious and after doing a bit of research on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's original plans for the terror attacks, I found out that he envisioned that twelve planes would be hijacked and eleven of those planes would crash into buildings across America.


If I remember correctly, the last plane would land safely and Khalid Mohammed (or some other terrorist) would deliver a speech on live television calling for people to reject the west and fight for Al-Qaeda. While the grand schematics of such a plan were certainly unfeasible (there was a reason why Osama rejected it), there might be some major repercussions had Al-Qaeda attacked a larger range of targets after gaining more resources and hijackers.
More planes to hijack means more opportunity to get caught.
 
The US plays whack-a-mole with various Arab countries until the whole region is burning, gas averages 10 dollars a gallon, and the US is left looking even dumber on the world stage.
 
KSM's original planning foresaw a number of the strikes to hit things like chemical and nuclear plants of low symbolic value, but that could potentially depending on the target cause panic or mass death orders of magnitude higher then the original attacks.

Too large a 911 is likely to be caught. But, if its not we probably see some kind of draft and war economy. Add at least two other regimes in the Middle East we topple.
 
KSM's original planning foresaw a number of the strikes to hit things like chemical and nuclear plants of low symbolic value, but that could potentially depending on the target cause panic or mass death orders of magnitude higher then the original attacks.

Too large a 911 is likely to be caught. But, if its not we probably see some kind of draft and war economy. Add at least two other regimes in the Middle East we topple.

I believe Bin Laden opposed hitting nuke plants out of environmental concerns.
Somehow I really doubt Tora Bora wouldn't have been glassed in this timeline by multiple tactical nukes

You might be right. I have to figure that after burying 50+ thousand dead from the Twin Towers that America would go crazy for a good bit afterwards.
 
Somehow I really doubt Tora Bora wouldn't have been glassed in this timeline by multiple tactical nukes

:idontcare:

This whole "America is a step away from nuking someone" thing needs to be buried already.

In all honesty can we really expect a more serious response to 9/11, even if we multiplied the casualties by ten or fifteen? Afghanistan was run by militias with rusty AKs and moving around in aged pickups, didn't have full control over the country, and was scorned by the international community for years by the time the towers went down. Iraq had a military that was humbled twelve years prior to the invasion in 1991 and nothing changed in the interim, and like Afghanistan was hated by the international community and had a leader who while not explicitly aiding terrorists certainly seemed to sympathize with them. Who else is America gonna go after? Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest oil exporters in the world and (for better or worse) a steadfast American ally? Pakistan, a nuclear armed state? The only other two options here are Syria and Iran, both of whom had nothing to do with 9/11*, both of whom could be expected to fight a more painful conventional and unconventional war than Iraq or Afghanistan, and would be stretching American resources to the limit.

The only other real military actions I can foresee America taking even in the aftermath of a 9/11 with much greater casualties is perhaps a few excursions in Yemen, Somalia, and maybe Lebanon. AKA, war torn shitholes that can't really resist American boots on the ground and have actual terrorists operating in their borders. If you really want to push it I can also accept the possibility of American troops working with Pakistani security forces to stamp out terrorists operating in the northwest region. But further than that I'm having trouble envisioning.

*I know, I know, people are going to be saying "well Iraq didn't participate in 9/11 and we still invaded". But the circumstances were way different.
 
Too large a 911 is likely to be caught. But, if its not we probably see some kind of draft and war economy. Add at least two other regimes in the Middle East we topple.

Which two?

Like I outlined above I can't see any of the countries besides the ones we invaded IOTL earning America's wrath. Even if the American people would support such an action - dubious as I think that is - I don't see George Bush miscalculating on that scale. Maybe Cheney but even he has to acknowledge that America has its limits and shouldn't be trying to conquer half the Middle East.

Short of nuking a major city, killing off close to all of the legislative and/or executive branches of government, or unleashing a bioweapon that's about as deadly as the Spanish Flu or Black Death, I can't envision a world where America can get any more aggressive with al-Qaeda and others.
 
Which two?

We probably occupy Yemen. No light footprint and occasional drone strike there. Even in 2002 there was all sorts of problems with Sunni jihadists and militias of all sorts and I think Yemen was the first non-Afghanistan drone strike we did after 911.

Pakistan is an interesting one. A 911 on steroids I think we follow with troops into the mountains of Western Pakistan the Taliban and al-Qaeda in a way we didn’t sans a few raids at the time. We probably don’t go outside the FATA.

I see the U.S. setting up a beach head in North Africa for bulked up operations and making a symbol of someone like Omar Bashir for terror financing and his humanitarian crimes.

In terms of Iraq it will happen, but it’s a crap shoot on if it speeds up the war or delays it by the US focusing on bigger footprint battles.
 
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We probably occupy Yemen. No light footprint and occasional drone strike there. Even in 2002 there was all sorts of problems with Sunni jihadists and militias of all shorts and I think Yemen was the first non-Afghanistan drone strike we did after 911.

Pakistan is an interesting one. A 911 on steroids I think we follow with troops into the mountains of Western Pakistan the Taliban and al-Qaeda in a way we didn’t sans a few raids at the time. We probably don’t go outside the FATA.

I see the U.S. setting up a beach head in North Africa for bulked up operations and making a symbol of someone like Omar Bashir for terror financing and his humanitarian crimes.

In terms of Iraq it will happen, but it’s a crap shoot on if it speeds up the war or delays it by the US focusing on bigger footprint battles.

Yeah, sounds about what I was thinking. Some notable deviance from OTL but nothing extreme like nukes or something.
 
The United States goes on a (and mostly justified) warpath, dragging in NATO and all of its allies (like the Philippines which has an Islamic insurgency). Nuclear weapons are an absolute certainty, and might even be supported by countries such as Russia and China, or be completely ignored diplomatically.

Islamophobia in the US probably skyrockets, with attacks on Mosques and the like. Iraq falls harder than it did in OTL, and probably a few more regimes and groups worldwide. (The US crushes the MILF in the Philippines, for instance)
 
The only other real military actions I can foresee America taking even in the aftermath of a 9/11 with much greater casualties is perhaps a few excursions in Yemen, Somalia, and maybe Lebanon.
Don't forget Sudan. Bush was seriously considering action after he found out about the Darfur genocide, but decided not to intervene. However, with an alt-9/11 creating an even greater sentiment against Islamic terrorism in America, we might see an intervention happening.
 
More doable would be using the OTL 4 planes but attacking a few hours later in the day when Manhattan and the WTC would have been at peak capacity and casualties would have been much higher. You'd be looking at something like a probably minimum of 50K dead with the possibility of nearly doubling that for the maximum.
I believe that OBL was aiming for maximum symbolism rather than maximum casualties. As I recall, he wasn't expecting the towers to actually collapse.
 
Nuclear weapons are an absolute certainty

See:

This whole "America is a step away from nuking someone" thing needs to be buried already.

Even if fifty thousand people die on 9/11, just who are we gonna use nukes on? What target? For what reason? You're telling me what, we're gonna nuke Kabul, Kandahar? Baghdad? And destroy the international community's opinion on us in an instant, kill tens of thousands of civilians who had no relation with terrorists for literally nothing, and set one hell of a dangerous precedent? The other guy was trying to push the idea that tactical nukes would get dropped on Tora Bora but that's equally as ludicrous, because there's absolutely no reason for the United States to do it when IOTL we were more than convinced that conventional arms could do the job. And that aside it would still be setting a dangerous precedent. George Bush wouldn't do it. Dick Cheney wouldn't do it. Donald Rumsfeld wouldn't do it. Using nukes in this context is straight up stupid, and the people in charge, for all their faults, knew that.

This entire "nukes nukes nukes" mindset is so terribly flawed that I can't understand how people get it in their heads to begin with.
 
Which two?
Well, besides the OTL options of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the aforementioned possibility of Yemen, I would nominate two African peri-Middle Eastern countries as "next targets": Libya and Sudan. Both of them had dictatorial regimes that had been involved in terrorism (Sudan had even hosted Osama just the same way Afghanistan did) and there were calls to intervene against both IOTL for somewhat different reasons not necessarily very related to the War on Terror. And, of course, we did end up going in and toppling Gaddafi in 2011.

But I really think that's about it. Saudi Arabia is, as you note, a US ally; Pakistan is as well (at least nominally) and has nuclear weaponry; Syria is probably too tough; Iran is definitely too tough; Egypt and the other countries of the Arabian Peninsula aside from Yemen are US allies like Saudi Arabia; Algeria is fighting Islamic terrorists itself; and Morocco is, yet again, a US ally or at least not supporting terrorism. So there's really no other targets that the United States could plausibly intervene in other than the other countries and the three others mentioned above.
 
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