Review Of The 9-11 Attack
Dr. Prem Singh Basnyat
Terrorism is the weapon of weak group of nation. [i] In other words its main aim is to create an unrest and fearful situation rather than win any battle. The main principle is "Kill one and threaten to thousand". Accordingly "Terrorists want a lot of people watching and a lot of people listening and not a lot of people dead" [ii]. Similarly it suggests a post-modern terrorist, who plays an old game by new rules. [iii] Some writer says that the new players are generally assumed to be religiously motivated with no regards for human life, less of perception of the traditional linkages between victim, target and violence than traditional terrorist group. [iv] It goes without saying that America is 'Worlds' Super Power. It has proved in First and Second World Wars, Gulf War, Iraq invasion, many peace enforcement missions and other humanitarian areas too. The tragic incident happened on 11 September and it was not from only one reason. It must be from many reasons which is considered as main causes.
Firstly, the colonial period and cold war era are the root cause of terrorism. As the European powers colonized South East Asia, South Africa and Middle East they brought there many secular governments. They divided the Unified Custom in frictions. A writer writes that "Secular nationalism spread throughout the world with an almost missionary zeal and was shipped to the newly colonized areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America.. provided their colonies with the political and economical infrastructure to turn terrorists into nation states. [v] Secondly, the disintrigretion of former USSR caused the end of cold war era and which resulted stopping of financial and military assistances either by USA or USSR to the Third World countries. Then they started terrorism in the name of religion, ethnicity and colorism.
Thirdly, the development of super highway of Information Technology after 1990 is another root cause. Which eased to add different fundamentalist leaders by providing the free flow of secular ideas and terrorism plan.Fourthly, American foreign policy itself. America has been involving in Arab-Israel conflicts since last 31 years, long time involved in anti WARSAW Pact, 4 years intervention in former Yugoslavian States, keeping good relation with the ruling parties of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, hero of Gulf War, enmity with Iran, Libya, Cuba and many terrorist groups. [vi] On top of that its behaviour looks like World Police and American as a superior human beings as well as the policy of 'Big Brother'. [vii]
Finally, the rising terrorist power of Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida Organisation, Mr. Laden is very well known about America. Now he is resided in Afghanistan and providing to Taleban regime with material, financial and support. He has claimed credit for the many terrorist attack on US soldiers in Somalia in OCT 1993 and killed 18 persons, for the attack on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, killed 224 and injured about 5000 persons and liked to the attack on the USS Cole on 12 Oct.2000, in which 17 crew members were killed and 40 injured. [viii] Osama has claimed his success in different terrorist attacks against America. And he has linked with other many anti American Muslim organizations." Some of his anger against America are given as under" [ix]:-
"My Muslim brothers: yours brothers in Pakistan and in the land of the Holy Places (Saudi Arabia) are calling upon your help and asking you to take part in fighting against the enemy - the American and the Israelis. They are asking you to do whatever you can to expel the enemies out of the Sanctities of Islam."
b. "Terrorising the American occupiers of Islamic Holy Places is a religious and logical obligation"
c. "…. The killing of Americans and their civilian and military allies a religious duty for each and every Muslim to be carried out in whichever countries they are until Al Aqsa mosque has been liberated from their grasp and until their armies have left Muslim lands."
d. "We with god's help-call on every Muslim who believes on god and wishes to be rewarded to comply with god's order to kill Americans and plunder their money whenever and wherever they find it. We also call on Muslims … to launch the raid on Satan's US troops and the devil's supporters allying with them and to displace those who are behind them."
e. "….any thief or criminal who enters into the country to steal should expect to be exposed to murder at anytime….The US knows that I have attacked it, by the grace of god, for more than tem years now ….god knows that we have been pleased by killing of Americans… I am confident that Muslim will be able to end the legend of the so-called super power that is America". Moreover, 19 men have been identified as the hijackers from the passengers list of the four planes hijacked on 11 Sept.2001. At least three of them have already been positively identified as associates of Al Qaida. One has been identified as playing key roles in both the East African Embassy attacks and the USS Cole attack. More investigations have been running. [x] By many reasons Osama Bin Laden has second strong to launch terrorist activities against America. But he has not proved yet as confirmed culprit.
11 September, 2001
8:45 a.m.: A hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it afire.
9:03 a.m.: A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes, Both buildings are burning.
9:17 a.m.: The Federal Aviation Administration shuts down all New York City area airports.
9:57 a.m.: Bush departs from Florida
10:05 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris forms and slowly drifts away from the building.
10:10 A.M.: a Portion of the pentagon collapses.
10:10 A.M.: United Airlines Flight 93, also hijacked, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh.
10:28 a.m.: The World trade Center's north tower collapses from the top down as if it were being peeled apart, releasing a tremendous cloud of debris and smoke.
10:48 a.m.: Police confirm the plane crash in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, the following version was correct. Which was "we can assure that our enemies and future adversaries have learned from Gulf War. They are unlikely to confront us conventionally with mass armour formation, air superiority forces and deep-water naval fleets of their own, all area of US strength today. Instead, they will find new way to attack our interests, our forces, and over our citizens. They will look for ways to match their strength against our weaknesses". [xi]
The terrorists provided a great surprise due to their pattern of operation. The method they used was never happened before. The comparison of this tactics with Gulf war as by contrast, the operation now underway has the hallmark of the new kind of conflict that military experts have dreaded for years. Nations face an asymmetric war, in which the enemy is an elusive "non-state actor" with no recognizable military infrastructure to hit. The terrorist's paradigm has been changed due to following characteristics.
Super Terrorism. The terminology "Terrorism " has promoted into "Super Terrorism". If the terrorist uses chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological or WMD (weapons of mass destruction) as their means of terrorism is called Super terrorism. The terrorist did not use exactly as the definition. But, 24000 gallons of aircraft fuel had exploded as nuclear weapon. [xii] That cost many thousand lives.
Non State Actor. It was done by Osama Bin Laden and his associates and not by any nation. He used the soil of Afghanistan though Afghanistan did not do it. Moreover, Laden is not the citizen of Afghanistan. He himself and his associates do not belong to any proper nation. In fact Laden's Al-Quida network done it.
Equivalent to WMD. Again, it was equivalent to the nuclear weapon. Because 24000 gallons of aircraft fuel had exploded at a time. Which we can imagine about its power of mass destruction.
Asymmetric Warfare. Terrorists' attack was not based on any military principle of war in ratio. A minor terrorist group launched it against the World Super power America. In fact it was a big challenge against American big army, navy, missiles, fighters, armored wealth and democracy. An elusive enemy made a big disaster.
Anti Elite Action. It was done against a elite power. Which is known as 'World Police'. The nature is interstate terrorism though it is no-state actor.
Target of International Values. Terrorists had selected very important targets with sentimental values. The disaster was no co-incidence that the target of those hi-jacked planes were the very symbols of America's sense of itself and its own security - the Pentagon, symbol of their military might. Similarly the World Trade Center, twin pillars of their financial might. In other words they have selected the Economic Target (WTC), Military Target (Pentagon) and Political Target (Capital Washington D.C.).So, terrorist was matured for target acquisition.
Suicide Mission. The terrorists' attackers were motivated to launch suicide attack. It is just opposite of conventional tactics but highly coordinated terrorism on the same day.
There may be many reasons like political, ethnical or religious, behind this cruel disaster. Or they wanted to humiliate to USA. Because US has 4 % world population and 24% wealth American feel as they are superior human beings and strong in ballistic missile power. Even though, why terrorist launched this mass destruction of human lives? They were civilian and innocent people. So , it was very wrong deed.
Politics and policies run by politicians and that is from National level. In fact, the grass root people do not know what the policies are making? May be US Presidents Nixon, Clinton, Regan, father of George Bush or baby George Bush can be responsible for any policy. Of course they play politics and power. But the civilian innocent do not know. Obviously US President or other VVIPs (Very Very Important Person) may be targeted by any terrorist group. But prime suspect Laden and his group did by killing thousands of innocent civilian peoples a big blunder mistake
Every religion, ethnic group or person is equal in the world. There should not be discrimination. Moreover, any nation or their people should not go into other nation's internal problem. It will be a mistake. And developed nations are more aware about Human Rights too. So, the point is if that Osama and his associates would not have thought to US as not doing good job towards his group or let's say Muslims, why he could not give ultimatum or his demands through any media over US or UN? Any problem can solved by negotiation and understanding. But he will not be succeeding in his aim killing by human beings. It creats the stage of revenge and which makes more violence in the world. On top of that innocent Afghanistan people are going to get punitive action by NATO.
The thousands of innocent people died from terrorists attack and there is no solution now. But this incident has become a big problem for alived people. Because, it created a big misunderstanding against Muslims. But Muslims are lover of peace and they all are not warlords. This may lead to cultural conflicts and conventional wars. Terrorists group did biggest crime killing by thousands innocent people.Men modernized the world. Science has become as the god. I think, any scientific invention is for good cause. But the days have to be evaluated as 'Use and misuse of Science'. World has become sophisticated as well as problematic. So, future warfare cannot predict as a solution. Just we can guess or imagine. Therefore, any nation has not easy days against modern enemy. Future module of terrorism and modern warfare are considered as under.
Terrorism may be the modus operandi in future days. It is effective, easy and less costly than conventional warfare.
It may be more in transnational rather in neighboring nations.
Means of terrorism can be changed to achieve surprise. So that chemical, biological and nuclear (less likely) weapons can be used. Because these are easy to carry for mass destruction.
Future enemies may not be recognized by border or boundary. Non-state actors may be raised more.
There may not be distinction enemy in uniform. They may be hidden within the civil populace and makes difficulty to react them.
There may not be conventional battle front lines, which had in previous days. May absence of conventional battles.
There may not be choices of weapons to use against future enemies due to its asymmetric characteristics.
Hit and run tactics and rapid reaction troop may be raised for counter action.
Finally, we cannot predict about the types, means and size of future terrorism. It is dangerous than midnight earthquake. It hampers to International politics, economics and daily situation. This terrorism has brought economic disasters in aviation industries. Most of the air passengers have got terrorism phobia and frightening to travel by air. Now the world situation has become cold and powerful nationals are ready to destroy terrorist harbour. These all are man made troubles. Human beings do not want to see this type of disaster again. So, UN, Supra organizations and powerful nations must try to stop human violations. Some viable antiterrorist suggestions are giving as under-
America and other powerful nations should reconsider on different world conflicts e.g. Israel-Palestine problem, Indian and Pakistani disputes, Balkan problems, other Muslim problem and so on.
World super powers should review their foreign policies. Those might have some loopholes to be risen the world terrorism.
Should give emphasis on active and passive counter terrorism methods rather increasing in conventional troops and war equipments.
Emphasis on disaster management (preparedness).
Timely information collection in likely terrorists' harbours. Preventive information is more important than tactics.
Airport Security, border security, post officer, Customs officials, immigration services, non military intelligence services, diplomatic authorities etc should be activated on prevention of terrorism.
Developed nations should provide aids to abolish world hunger and illiteracy rather giving military help. Hunger and illiteracy is the enemy of society.
Army organization must have an International military intelligence organization like INTERPOL. Which can exchange information in time, etc.
To conclude, terrorism is back blast of colonial days, end of cold war era, foreign policies of super powers, rise of Osama Bin Laden as an International terrorist and development of information super high way, it has not developed at once. America has been targeted from some Islamic terrorist groups. So, she should rethink in her foreign policy too. America should not suffer from this type of horror terrorism. Every nation and everybody should help to stop and punish terrorist.
Terrorists have been changing their means and modus operandi of terrorism. So preventive measure must be inevitable. Moreover, UN Supra regional organization and Super powers should hear the voice of trouble spots. Everything is possible from persuasion. On top of that an International Military Intelligence Organization is needed to exchange the information in time.
[i] www. World Trade Center.html
[ii] Brian Michael Jenkins, will terrorist go nuclear, (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp, 1974) p.5541
[iii] Walter Laqueur, Postmodern Terrorism, (foreign Affairs 75/5 (Sept/Oct 1996), pp. 24-36.
[iv] Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (London: Victor Gollancz, 1998), pp. 200-205.
[v] Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State,(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), pp.154.
[vi] www. Comw.org
[vii] This is World vision.
[viii] http:// usinfo. State.gov.
[xi] www. Com.oorg, A clear and Future Danger.
[xii] Max Taylor and John Morgan, The Future of Terrorism,(London: Frank Cash Publisher, 2000),pp. 133-140.
Bellamy, Christopher. The Dawn of Assymetric Conflict. The Independent (Daily) Friday 21, September,2001.
Jenkins, Brain Michael. Will Terrorist Go Nuclear, Santa Monica CA: 1974.
Laqueur, Walter. Postmodern Terrorism, 1996
hoffman, Bruce. Inside Terrorism, London: 1998.
Taylor, Max and John Horgan, The Future of Terrorism London: 2000.
Juergensmeyer, Mark. The New Cold War Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular States, Berkeley: 1993
http://usinfo. State. Gov.
www. Com. org.
www. Com. Org, A Clear and Future Danger Gurr, Nadine and Benjamin Cole, The New Face of Terrorism, London: 2000