US Rep. Pramila Jayapal includes hijackers in 9/11 death toll, deletes tweet

The democratic congresswoman was criticized by Republicans, who were quick to point out that she had made the same mistake last year.

 U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) participates in a television interview at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) participates in a television interview at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ELIZABETH FRANTZ)

US House Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D - Washington, 7th District) deleted her tweet commemorating 9/11 victims after Republicans slammed her for including the terrorists in the death toll, US media reported.

"Today we remember the 2,996 people who were killed on 9/11 and all those who lost their lives while serving our country in the forever wars that followed," Jayapal wrote in a tweet celebrating the memory of the tragic terror attack that shook New York City 21 years ago. 

The 2,996 figure includes the 19 hijackers who died in the attack – the number of victims from the 9/11 tragedy totaled 2,977.

Jayapal, who posted a similar tweet in 2021 with the same death toll of 2,996, was criticized by Republicans who were quick to point out – despite Jayapal deleting her tweet – that she had made the same mistake last year.

On September 10 of last year, Jayapal co-sponsored legislation meant to “acknowledge that individuals were targeted by the government on account of their faith, race, national origin and immigration status” after 9/11. The legislation, co-sponsored by fellow Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), and Judy Chu (California), outlines specific forms of relief to support victims of xenophobia after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) sits before the opening public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST) Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) sits before the opening public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)

“We must fully condemn all manifestations and expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious bigotry while also finally acknowledging the climate of hate that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities have experienced in the two decades since September 11, 2001,” the Congresswomen said in a statement announcing her legislation.

Not the first time 

While Jayapal has been on the receiving end of criticism for her since-deleted blunder, US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) appeared to have made the same error in his tweet commemorating the 9/11 attacks.

“We can never forget – not just the 2,996 souls we lost on 9/11 – but also the first responders who ran into the buildings and those who sacrificed to stop Flight 93,” McCarthy wrote in a since-deleted tweet. 

The Trump Organization also tweeted last year: “On the 20th anniversary of September 11th, we pause to remember the 2,996 innocent lives lost, and we pledge again to #NeverForget.”

A Google search for “how many people died on 9/11” typically shows a result preview with the 2,996 figure, though a visible Wikipedia preview marks the distinction between the number of victims and the number of total deaths – including the hijackers.