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How significant was 9/11?

What is a terrorist? Why do people become terrorist?

What are the causes of terrorism?

How has the nature of terrorism changed in the 20th and 21st Century?

What were the events that led to 9/11?

What happened on 9/11?

How was 9/11 portrayed by the US government and the western media?

How was 9/11 portrayed by al –Qaeda and other terrorist groups?

How was 9/11 portrayed in the media in non-Western countries?

How did the US and the West respond to 9/11 in the short term?

Why is 9/11 significant today?

How was 9/11 portrayed by al –Qaeda and other terrorist groups?

Source: excerpt from a transcription of a video released by Al-Qaeda following the 9/11 attacks

BIN LADEN: (...Inaudible...) we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for.

SHAYKH: Allah be praised.

BIN LADEN: We were at (...inaudible...) when the event took place. We had notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that day. We had finished our work that day and had the radio on. It was 5:30 p.m. our time. I was sitting with Dr. Ahmad Abu-al-((Khair)). Immediately, we heard the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We turned the radio station to the news from Washington. The news continued and no mention of the attack until the end. At the end of the newscast, they reported that a plane just hit the World Trade Center.

SHAYKH: Allah be praised.

BIN LADEN: After a little while, they announced that another plane had hit the World Trade Center. The brothers who heard the news were overjoyed by it.

SHAYKH: I listened to the news and I was sitting. We didn't...we were not thinking about anything, and all of a sudden, Allah willing, we were talking about how come we didn't have anything, and all of a sudden the news came and everyone was overjoyed and everyone until the next day, in the morning, was talking about what was happening and we stayed until four o'clock, listening to the news every time a little bit different, everyone was very joyous and saying ``Allah is great,'' ``Allah is great,'' ``We are thankful to Allah,'' ``Praise Allah.'' And I was happy for the happiness of my brothers. That day the congratulations were coming on the phone non-stop. The mother was receiving phone calls continuously. Thank Allah. Allah is great, praise be to Allah.

Full transcription is available here.

Source: Radio interview with Spozhmai Maiwandi, voice of America's Afghanistan expert.

View from Afghanistan

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And what are you hearing, Ms. Maiwandi from the people you're talking to in Afghanistan -- their view of what's happening right now and what bin Laden's role is in all of this?

SPOZHMAI MAIWANDI: The view of the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban and including their leader Mullah Omar is --

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: I'm sorry. Let me just be clear. You're talking by phone to some officials in the government, is that right?

SPOZHMAI MAIWANDI: On a daily basis, yeah. We actually yesterday had a reaction from Mullah Omar himself on this incident. He strongly condemns the incident and calls it terrorism and he says that the Taliban and the people of Afghanistan are against any kind of terrorism, wherever it may happen; and those who are responsible for it should be punished severely. But they think that Osama bin Laden is not involved, and so do the people of Afghanistan. They say that the people who are responsible for this attack must be punished, but the U.S. has to think a lot before going after Osama in Afghanistan. And they think that this is something that needs a lot of more study and more review.





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