9/11 Victim Identified After 17 Years

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Another victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been identified. According to the New York Daily News, the remains of 26-year-old Scott Johnson were identified by New York’s medical examiner, who used “advanced DNA testing” techniques. In 2001, medical examiners had tried to “identify a bone recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center a dozen times.” Now, new advancements in DNA allowed them to “extract DNA from the bone and compare it to a database containing 17,000 reference samples from victims and family members and make a positive identification.”

Johnson had been a security analyst for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, whose office was located on the 89th floor of the south tower. He was one of 67 employees of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods who passed away. According to the New York Post, “Johnson is the 1,642 person to be identified of the 2,753 people killed in the terror attack.” CBS New York reports that there are over “1,100 victims from 9/11” who are still unidentified.

Johnson’s parents, Thomas and Margaret Johnson, were notified last week.

“It was kind of a blow to the gut. Obviously, it brought up all those sad days we endured. The only thing we’ve had of his all these years was his wallet,” said Margaret. She urges officials to continue to identify other victims.

Prior to Johnson, the last identification of a 9/11 victim happened over a year ago.

The 9/11 attacks occurred on September 11, 2001. That morning, 19 members of al-Qaeda, an Islamic extremist group, took over four airplanes. Two of them destroyed the towers of the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon, and one landed in a field in Pennsylvania. According to History.com, nearly 3,000 people were killed.

The first tower of the World Trade Center was hit just above the 80th floor. Hundreds of people were killed instantly, and more were trapped on the floors above the crash. While the towers were being evacuated, the south tower was hit close to the 60th floor, just 18 minutes after the first tower was hit. Many people on the higher floors of the towers who were unable to be evacuated jumped from the building. Fifteen minutes after that, the south tower began to collapse, due to the immense amount of jet fuel from the airplanes. By 10:30, the north tower had begun to collapse as well. Former President George W. Bush issued a statement regarding the attacks that evening, saying that “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.”

Osama bin Laden, who had been the mastermind of the attacks, was at large until 2011. He was killed by American forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.