Terrorism is aggression as well as wickedness incorporated to create destruction, threaten, and destabilize the ruling class and civil society, and the environment at large, to fundamentally advance stealth ideological reasons. This evil purpose, includes all operations of hatred unreasonably dedicated by personalities, assemblages or positions in opposition to individual persons including attacks on their religion, existence, mental power possessions or honor.
Terrorism spreads out in numerous forms; nevertheless it rears its ugly advent in the United States of America, which is on record as the cardinal purveyor of the extremism that threatens the social fabric of any democracy globally. Historically, the US has been engaging in acts of terrorism, as a conduit through which they perpetuate dominion and also by promulgating the autocratic capitalism ideologies. Terrorism was employed during the cold war in trying to contain the enormous communist empire (USSR). During this period in time Osama Bin Laden was used to spy on the Soviet Union.
The attack on Iraq by George Bush is also an act of terrorism, since the US intrusion into Iraq is yet to be justified. Consequently, the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, on September 11 could be viewed as terrorism renegade against the US. According to research findings, various schools of thought have emerged to construct divergent opinions in regard to why terrorism has been predominantly advanced by the Arabs. This paper delves deep and wide into the exposition of contemporary terrorism. Sean K. Anderson & Stephen Sloan, (2003).
The concept of new terrorism
The concept of new terrorism emerged during the 1990s: the 1997 World Trade Centre bombings in the New York and related conspiracies, the 1996 Oklahoma City bombing; the 1998 East Africa bombings; and the Tokyo Sarin-gas attack in 1995.The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on 11 September were the most suicidal and destructive in world history that left about 3,000 people dead. Previous terrorist attack had claimed 380.This deadly attack came at a time when experts were defining the notion on a new form of terrorism focussed on millennial apocalypse and mass casualties. Sean K. Anderson & Stephen Sloan, (2003).
New terrorism is thought to be networked, ad hoc and more dangerous than the old. It has the likelihood of using chemical, biological and nuclear weapons although this does not mean that terrorism is more dangerous than it was before. Over the past decade, there has been an increased argument among those who study terrorism that it is changing and has become new.
One of the major characteristics of this kind of terrorism is the apparent lack of state backers. It is assumed that the willingness to use severe violence shows these terrorists do not have an organization or state sponsor to protect, so they see no reason to limit their violence as they do not fear a backlash. Cindy C. Combs, (2000)
Therefore, the financing of new terrorism is not based on money received from state sponsors, but on illegal sources such as credit card fraud, drug trafficking, video piracy, as well as legal business investments, donations from wealthy individuals, and charities.
The most stressed character of new terrorism is its loose networked and less hierarchical organizational structure. The amateur terrorist is a manifestation of a new network structure that is facilitated by the appearance of new advanced telecommunications technology. Each group within this network becomes relatively independent but is still related by advanced communication and their common intention. Therefore they become more flexible and can adapt and react more easily to different situations. Although members do communicate with their leadership, groups can, to a certain extent, operate self-sufficiently. Stefan M. Aubrey, (2004)
Threats of attack
The Mises Institute’s Jon Basil Utley was saying in the year 2000, that the US disrespect of international law was breeding terrorist counterattacks. In the preceding year the LEW Rockwell stated that the American foreign policy and global arrogance made the US the most hated in the world and open to terrorist attacks. Cindy C. Combs, (2000).
In 1996, Cato analyst Stanley Kober warned of the growing terrorist threats from someone named Osama bin Laden, whose “motivation stems from the American assistance to Saudi Arabia when it was threatened by Iraq.”Kober recommended that terrorist “bombings in Saudi Arabia should not be viewed as isolated aberrations. The danger for the United States is that it will have become the target of those extremists.”
Cato’s Doug Bandow (2000), observed that instead of using threats the US ought to review its policies that encourage terrorism saying the al Qaeda threatened to take action against “this wicked and unfaithful force, the U.S., which has spread troops through Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia,”. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
The Libertarian Party in its 1990 convention called on the US to halt all interventions in the Middle East including military, foreign aid and diplomatic meddling. The party also opposed the stationing of the American military troops in the Sinai Peninsula which could easily start a third world war.
US intelligence agencies were on alert for evidence of a specific Project Bojinka style operation that would target key buildings in Washington and New York. The White House National Coordinator for Counterterrorism had alerted all domestic security and intelligence agencies of an approaching Al-Qaeda attack, to be implemented in several weeks, at the beginning of July. The FBI appeared to have had precise information showing that the World Trade Centre was the most likely target.
French intelligence also warned of the coming attack in September. The French daily Le Figaro reported that: “According to Arab diplomatic sources as well as French intelligence, very specific information was transmitted to the CIA concerning terrorist attacks against American interests around the world, including on U.S. soil. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
According to David Martin a CBS reporter, the CIA had personally warned Bush of Osama Bin Laden’s intention to use hijacked planes to attack the US. This was after the revelation by The Associated Press’s John Solomon of a pre-9/11 FBI memo from an officer in Phoenix warning of some people from Middle East training at flight school. This warning was ignored. In fact in a briefing in 2001 the CIA gave a very terrifying and prophetic account that bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist attacking a few the coming weeks,. The intelligence briefing went on to say: ‘The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.’
All these multiple warnings of an awaiting attack by Osama bin Laden should have increasingly reinforced the overall intelligence confirmation of the attacks. One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike in a few weeks. The intelligence briefing went on to say: ‘The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
The US government was aware of all these threats by al-Qaeda as it was actively engaged in attacking Americans. There was evidence that agents linked to al-Qaeda were responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and that in 1996 bin Laden had made a blatant declaration of war against America. Regardless of all this the government did not adopt a proper approach to avoid this deadly threat from a sworn enemy. Instead of taking logical counterattacks to wipe out organizations as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Fatah or destroy enemy nations like Iran the government took short-sighted and contradictory approaches.
For example, at first the government expelled Iranian diplomats but with time sought conciliatory rapport with the ayatollah-led government. From time to time trade with Iran was cut off, but secretly, weapons-for-hostages deals were struck, at the same time the attackers were treated as secluded criminals rather than soldiers engaged in warfare. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
Motivations behind the 9/11 attacks
The ill intentions for the September 11 attack were well known since were rumored all over about the looming disaster; Osama relentlessly put more emphasis on the attacks on the U.S until certain amendments were ratified by the U.S foreign policy. (American open support for Israel and its foreign policy in the Middle East have been the most serious threats to its attacks by terrorists.) These attacks were in line with the 1998 fatwa issued by bin Laden to kill Americans anywhere.The fatwa condemned the US for plundering the resources of the Arab countries, oppressing people in these regions by supporting regimes seen as oppressive and dictating policy to legitimate leaders. In a video released in 2004 bin Laden said he was motivated by the Lebanon war in 1982 for which he held the US responsible. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
The FATWA which was issued in 1998 set three grievances against the US
- U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people.
- U.S. occupation of the Arabian Peninsula.
- US support for Israel.
President Bush’s attack on Iraq was nothing more than part of the US foreign policy that has brought deep antagonism and loathing of the US by the Middle East people, as a result it should not astonish anyone that such a deliberate invasion and occupation that led to millions of deaths and countless suffering would breed deep resentment and confrontation to the US Sean K. Anderson & Stephen Sloan, (2003).
The sanctions imposed against Iraq for more than a decade, contributed to the deaths and desolation of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi children. The aim of the sanctions, and therefore the rationale for all the deaths and misery they produce, was nothing more than the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and his replacement by a U.S-approved government. For decades U.S. government’s views itself as democratic that has a universal right to impose leaders of its choice to other nations even by force if necessary. Those foreigners who refuse to accept its presence and its policies are extinguished by imperial troops for being terrorists
Invasion of the holy land and sites
The U.S arrogantly took troops to the Islamic holy lands in Saudi Arabia with the ultimate aim of moving them to Iraq after change of government. To send non-Muslim soldiers, the US was geared towards helping one Muslim country to fight another was seen as insulting to the Muslim countries and their people. America’s stand is opposed to Islam which stands for unity among Muslim people. This invasion became one of the motivating aspects for Laden’s hatred of America and the West.
This has agitated for a massive action by the International Islamic Front in advancing, Jihad against the U.S. and Israel issued fatwa, by amalgamating all Islamic nations to wedge jihad warfare as a move to liberating holy sites especially Al-Aksa mosque and the Holy Kaaba Islamic sites
Support for Israel
In 1998 the Mujahideen warned America to halt its support to Israel and leave two holy sanctuaries.Since the Americans did not heed the warning the group retaliated by attacking US embassies in East Africa. Again the USS Cole was destroyed in Aden for reasons that the US was still adamant toeing along Arabs demands. Cindy C. Combs, (2000).
The unqualified U.S.-taxpayer subsidization, both financial and military, of the Israeli government, regardless of its policies is another reason for Osama bin Laden’s hatred which he sees as an open support for Israel against the Palestinian people. Of concern is why the US acted on UN resolutions pertaining to Iraq and on the other hand failed to act resolutions calling for Israel withdrawal from the west bank.
The Arabs have always shown that the Middle East policy must be a zero-sum game whereby support for Israel by the US automatically puts them at a disadvantage. The Arab states have tried to persuade the United States to choose between support for them or Israel but all have been fruitless. Cindy C. Combs, (2000).
Change in foreign policy
One of the best ways to prevent future attacks is my review of the US foreign policy. The security threat can not be solved by bombings, sanctions or overthrowing foreign governments. Such actions only increase the complicity of the problem because the US government can not justify the killing of innocent people in Afghanistan many of whom are starving due to years of war and drought. Thomas Copeland, (2003).
Therefore it is the American foreign policy that has provoked the attacks, and not anything intrinsic in Muslim fundamentalism. There are millions of Muslims in the world who don’t believe in killing non-Muslims. In fact, Muslims have been killed in Arab terrorist attacks, just as non-Muslims have. Therefore the Americans ought to avoid deadly retaliations and lead the world to a freer, more peaceful and pleasant place through the restoration of the philosophy of individual liberty, free markets, limited government, and noninterventionist no militarism. Stefan M. Aubrey, (2004).
Cindy C. Combs, (2000). Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, 2nd Edition, London: Prentice-Hall.
Sean K. Anderson & Stephen Sloan, (2003). Terrorism: Assassins to Zealots, (Lanham: Scarecrow Press,).
Thomas Copeland, (2003). “Is the New Terrorism Really New? An Analysis of the New Paradigm for Journal of Conflict Studies.
Stefan M. Aubrey, (2004) the new Dimension of International Terrorism, (Zurich: Vdf Hochschulverlag.