US releases 9/11 video of Pentagon jet crash
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Video images of a hijacked airliner
slamming into the Pentagon taken by two security cameras on
September 11 were released for the first time by the U.S.
government on Tuesday.
The video, released by the government in conjunction with a
Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Judicial Watch
legal activist group, was a longer, more complete version of
still-frame images that were leaked to the news media in 2002.
The front of the hijacked Boeing 757 can be seen entering
one video frame, with a massive explosion and orange fireball
erupting upon impact with the Pentagon, followed by a plume of
U.S. authorities have said five al Qaeda hijackers seized
control of American Airlines Flight 77, a flight from
Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia
bound for Los Angeles, and flew it into the Pentagon.
Killed in the crash were 125 people inside the Pentagon, 59
passengers and crew members and the five hijackers.
It was one of four commercial planes hijacked that day.
Others crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City and
in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. About 3,000 people
were killed in the 2001 attacks.
Judicial Watch said the Pentagon told the group it would
release the images “now that the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui is
over.” Judicial Watch said the government previously had
refused to release the video because it was “part of an ongoing
investigation” involving Moussaoui, sentenced this month to
life in prison for conspiracy in the September 11 attacks.
“We fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that
it was very important to complete the public record with
respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11,” Judicial
Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Finally, we
hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories
involving American Airlines Flight 77.”
Various claims have circulated that a commercial jet did
not strike the Pentagon, but rather a missile or something
The Pentagon posted the images at