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In Pictures: The world marks 13th anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks Close

The Tribute in Light rises behind the Brooklyn Bridge and buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center complex, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 in New York. The tribute, an art installation of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, is a remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The Tribute in Light rises behind the Brooklyn Bridge and buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center complex, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 in New York. The tribute, an art installation of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, is a remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, a photograph of the original twin towers, bottom, is shown in the window of the National September 11 Museum, behind a reflection of One World Trade Center in New York. Much has transpired at the site since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, a photograph of the original twin towers, bottom, is shown in the window of the National September 11 Museum, behind a reflection of One World Trade Center in New York. Much has transpired at the site since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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Port Authority Police Officer Donna Przybyszewski takes a moment to herself before family members are let in for the memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2014. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and on Flight 93. (AP Photo/POOL, Andrew Burton)

Port Authority Police Officer Donna Przybyszewski takes a moment to herself before family members are let in for the memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2014. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and on Flight 93. (AP Photo/POOL, Andrew Burton)

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Storm clouds obscure the top of 1 World Trade Center seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., at sunrise, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Storm clouds obscure the top of 1 World Trade Center seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., at sunrise, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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A wilting rose is left in remembrance of those lost before the memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2014. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and on Flight 93. (AP Photo/POOL, Andrew Burton)

A wilting rose is left in remembrance of those lost before the memorial observances held at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 11, 2014. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and on Flight 93. (AP Photo/POOL, Andrew Burton)

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Storm clouds roll over 1 World Trade Center, center, seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., at sunrise, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Storm clouds roll over 1 World Trade Center, center, seen from The Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J., at sunrise, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2013 file photo, the Tribute in Light rises above buildings during a test in New York. While the plaza at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will be closed to the public, during the September 11 commemoration ceremony and much of the rest of the day, it will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight for those who want to pay respects and view one of the anniversary's most evocative traditions, the twin beams called the Tribute in Light. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE- In this Sept. 10, 2013 file photo, the Tribute in Light rises above buildings during a test in New York. While the plaza at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum will be closed to the public, during the September 11 commemoration ceremony and much of the rest of the day, it will be open from 6 p.m. to midnight for those who want to pay respects and view one of the anniversary's most evocative traditions, the twin beams called the Tribute in Light. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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FILE - This Sept. 8, 2008 file photo shows the early stages of reconstruction starting at the World Trade Center site in New York. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - This Sept. 8, 2008 file photo shows the early stages of reconstruction starting at the World Trade Center site in New York. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, 1 World Trade Center, center, is viewed from the 62nd floor of Four World Trade Center in New York. On the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 1 World Trade Center will soon open to its first tenants and Four World Trade Center is open. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, 1 World Trade Center, center, is viewed from the 62nd floor of Four World Trade Center in New York. On the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 1 World Trade Center will soon open to its first tenants and Four World Trade Center is open. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

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In this Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 photo, the Tribute in Light rises behind buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center in New York. The art installation consists of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, in memory of the former twin towers. Four World Trade Center is at left. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

In this Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 photo, the Tribute in Light rises behind buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center in New York. The art installation consists of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, in memory of the former twin towers. Four World Trade Center is at left. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, people run from a collapsing World Trade Center tower in New York. For over a decade after the autumn of 2001, America, with its allies, has been at war against factions of Islamist militants and terrorists, including the Taliban and al-Qaida, as well as offshoots in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, people run from a collapsing World Trade Center tower in New York. For over a decade after the autumn of 2001, America, with its allies, has been at war against factions of Islamist militants and terrorists, including the Taliban and al-Qaida, as well as offshoots in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett, File)

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Street artist Thierry Guetta poses for a portrait in front of the mural "9/11" that he installed on the facade of the Century 21 department store, Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014, in New York. The installation, which will last three weeks, is an homage to New Yorkers who endured the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Los Angeles-based artist who goes by the name, "Mr. Brainwash." The store faces the World Trade Center where the 9/11 anniversary ceremony will be held Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Street artist Thierry Guetta poses for a portrait in front of the mural "9/11" that he installed on the facade of the Century 21 department store, Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014, in New York. The installation, which will last three weeks, is an homage to New Yorkers who endured the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Los Angeles-based artist who goes by the name, "Mr. Brainwash." The store faces the World Trade Center where the 9/11 anniversary ceremony will be held Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

AP

Pedestrians pass the mural "9/11" that is installed on the facade of the Century 21 department store, Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014, in New York. The installation, which will last three weeks, is an homage to New Yorkers who endured the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Los Angeles-based artist, Thierry Guetta, who goes by the name, "Mr. Brainwash." The store faces the World Trade Center where the 9/11 anniversary ceremony will be held Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Pedestrians pass the mural "9/11" that is installed on the facade of the Century 21 department store, Wednesday, Sept 10, 2014, in New York. The installation, which will last three weeks, is an homage to New Yorkers who endured the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Los Angeles-based artist, Thierry Guetta, who goes by the name, "Mr. Brainwash." The store faces the World Trade Center where the 9/11 anniversary ceremony will be held Thursday. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

AP

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights are seen from Brooklyn on September 10, 2014 in New York City. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights are seen from Brooklyn on September 10, 2014 in New York City. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Lower Manhattan is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Lower Manhattan is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights and the Statue of Liberty are seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights and the Statue of Liberty are seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  People walk by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: People walk by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Logan Hurwitt, 11, of Bergen County, New Jersey, touches the name of his uncle, Jeremy Logan Glick, who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Logan will read his uncle's name as part of ceremonies tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Logan Hurwitt, 11, of Bergen County, New Jersey, touches the name of his uncle, Jeremy Logan Glick, who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Logan will read his uncle's name as part of ceremonies tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Logan Hurwitt, 11, of Bergen County, New Jersey, touches the name of his uncle, Jeremy Logan Glick, who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Logan will read his uncle's name as part of ceremonies tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Logan Hurwitt, 11, of Bergen County, New Jersey, touches the name of his uncle, Jeremy Logan Glick, who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Logan will read his uncle's name as part of ceremonies tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014  in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Visitors walk along the wall of names of passengers who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the attacks at the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex September 10, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights  is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights  is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights  is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: The World Trade Center Tribute in Lights is seen from Liberty State Park on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City New Jersey. Tomorrow marks the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 people in New York City, Washington, DC and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Jeff Reinbold (R), superintendent of the National Park Service in Western Pennsylvania; and Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex attend a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Jeff Reinbold (R), superintendent of the National Park Service in Western Pennsylvania; and Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex attend a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10:  Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

SHANKSVILLE, PA- SEPTEMBER 10: Keith Newlin, deputy superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex conducts a media tour of the construction site at the complex on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 10, 2014, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The complex includes a visitor center, Flight Path Walkway and learning center. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: People walk by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park with the new World Trade Center tower standing in the background on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Tomorrow the nation will mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: People walk by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park with the new World Trade Center tower standing in the background on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Tomorrow the nation will mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: A man rides a bike as he pass by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park with the new World Trade Center tower standing in the background on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Tomorrow the nation will mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

JERSEY CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: A man rides a bike as he pass by the 9/11 memorial in Liberty State Park with the new World Trade Center tower standing in the background on September 10, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Tomorrow the nation will mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10:  (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on as the color guards retire during a Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony at the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center September 10, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in honor to the men and women who were killed during the September 11th attacks for their heroic sacrifices.  One of the three medals will be provided to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the second will go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the third one will be directed to the Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: (L-R) U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) look on as the color guards retire during a Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony at the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center September 10, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in honor to the men and women who were killed during the September 11th attacks for their heroic sacrifices. One of the three medals will be provided to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the second will go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the third one will be directed to the Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10:  U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) listen to remarks during a Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony at the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center September 10, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in honor to the men and women who were killed during the September 11th attacks for their heroic sacrifices.  One of the three medals will be provided to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the second will go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the third one will be directed to the Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (L) and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (R) listen to remarks during a Congressional Gold Medal presentation ceremony at the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center September 10, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded in honor to the men and women who were killed during the September 11th attacks for their heroic sacrifices. One of the three medals will be provided to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the second will go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the third one will be directed to the Pentagon Memorial at the Pentagon. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11:  People attend an interfaith memorial as the "Tribute in Light" shines from the Manhattan skyline next to One World Trade Center to commemorate all those who were lost on 9/11 on September 11, 2013 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The lights are located at West and Morris streets in lower Manhattan. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. HOBOKEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: People attend an interfaith memorial as the "Tribute in Light" shines from the Manhattan skyline next to One World Trade Center to commemorate all those who were lost on 9/11 on September 11, 2013 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The lights are located at West and Morris streets in lower Manhattan. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

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FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Friends and family members gather at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2013 in New York City. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Following the attacks in New York, the former location of the Twin Towers has been turned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  (Photo by Alejandra Villa-Pool/Getty Images)

FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Friends and family members gather at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2013 in New York City. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Following the attacks in New York, the former location of the Twin Towers has been turned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. (Photo by Alejandra Villa-Pool/Getty Images)

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FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Carrie Bergonia of Pennsylvania looks over the name of her fiance, firefighter Joseph Ogren at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies for the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2013 in New York City. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Following the attacks in New York, the former location of the Twin Towers has been turned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  (Photo by Chris Pedota-Pool/Getty Images)

FILE - SEPTEMBER 10, 2014: This year marks the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Various events this week will honor those who lost their lives. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Carrie Bergonia of Pennsylvania looks over the name of her fiance, firefighter Joseph Ogren at the 9/11 Memorial during ceremonies for the twelfth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2013 in New York City. The nation is commemorating the anniversary of the 2001 attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Following the attacks in New York, the former location of the Twin Towers has been turned into the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. (Photo by Chris Pedota-Pool/Getty Images)

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The Tribute in Light rises behind the Brooklyn Bridge and buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center complex, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 in New York. The tribute, an art installation of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, is a remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

On the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, US President Barack Obama has set out his administration’s strategy for military action against the Islamic State (Isis) in a televised address to the American public.

Vowing to target Isis militants “wherever they exist,” he said: “Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, [Isis] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

In the speech, broadcast from the White House last night, Mr Obama outlined plans that will begin by expanding US airstrikes against the Sunni militant group, from Iraq into northern Syria, where its camps and fighters are largely based. Isis recently declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, after seizing control of swathes of both countries. Around 100 Americans are thought to have travelled to the Middle East to join the group.

The President faced criticism from political opponents last week when he admitted that his administration had yet to decide on a strategy to combat the Isis threat. Last night Mr Obama described that strategy, since formulated, as “a steady, relentless effort to take out [Isis] wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.” He added: “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”

According to a report from the New York Times, Pentagon officials believe the planned long-term intervention could last as long as three years, outlasting Mr Obama’s presidency. The US-led campaign is likely to face multiple military and political complications, such as how to defeat Isis without appearing to assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s side in his country’s vicious civil war.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is currently in the Middle East to drum up regional support for the campaign against Isis, and on Wednesday met with the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Ababi. Speaking in Baghdad, Mr Kerry said the US would help prepare Iraqi security forces to fight the militants. The President ruled out deploying US combat troops, but pledged to send 475 US service members to provide training, intelligence and equipment to Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

Mr Kerry is expected to meet with officials from 10 Arab states and Turkey during his trip, which comes on the heels of last week’s NATO meeting in Wales, where the US recruited nine international allies including the UK to the anti-Isis effort. “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” Mr Obama said last night.

His speech also sought to shore up US public support for military action, which has grown following the recent beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, two American journalists kidnapped in Syria. Isis militants claimed the murders were in retaliation for US airstrikes on their forces in neighbouring Iraq; Mr Obama said the US and its allies have launched more than 150 such strikes to date. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll this week found that 61 per cent of Americans believe further military action would be in the national interest.

The President briefed senior members of Congress on the plan at the White House on Tuesday. But with bad memories of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq still lingering in the public mind, and with the midterm Congressional elections mere weeks away, the issue is considered too divisive to be put to a vote by Democrat and Republican leaders alike. Mr Obama said he has the authority to launch a wider offensive against Isis without Congressional approval, though he urged Congress to provide funds to train and equip the moderate Syrian opposition against Isis and President Assad’s forces.

Source: Independent

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Graphic shows US air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq since August 8, and areas of IS operations and control in both Iraq and Syria

Graphic shows US air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq since August 8, and areas of IS operations and control in both Iraq and Syria

Graphic shows US air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq since August 8, and areas of IS operations and control in both Iraq and Syria

Belfast Telegraph