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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?

What is a terrorist? Why do people become terrorist?

A terrorist is a person who advocates the use of terror in order to try and achieve a goal. This can take the form of frightening people and making use of violence. Most terrorists are members of a group. These groups plan and co-ordinate terror attacks. The types of crime that are considered to be terrorist attacks are wel illustrated by the FBI's most wanted terrorist list. At the time of writing (January 2011) these crimes included:

  • Murder
  • Attacking a Federal Facility resulting in deaths
  • Conspiracy to use Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Providing support to a terrorist organisation
  • Aircraft sabotague
  • Destruction of property
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Treason
  • Racketeering
  • Bombing resulting in deaths

The full, up to date, list of the FBI's most wanted can be accessed via the FBI website.

Source: Behjamin Netanyahu, Former Isreali Prime Minister, speaking in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks

Terrorism is defined not by the identity of its perpetrators, nor by the cause they espouse. Rather, it is defined by the nature of the act. Terrorism is the deliberate attack on innocent civilians. In this it must be distinguished from legitimate acts of war that target combatants and may unintentionally harm civilians. When the British bombed a Gestapo headquarters in 1944, and one of their bombs unintentionally struck a children’s hospital that was a tragedy, but it was not terrorism. When Israel fired a missile that killed two Hamas arch-terrorists, and two Palestinians children who were playing nearby were tragically struck down, that is not terrorism. But terrorists do not unintentionally harm civilians. They deliberately murder, maim, and menace civilians -- as many as possible. No cause, no grievance, no apology can ever justify terrorism. Terrorism against Americans, Israelis, Spaniards, Britons, Russians, or anyone else, is all part of the same evil and must be treated as such.


Terrorism Central - analysis of the reasons for different terrorist groups.

Terrorism Research - goals and motivations of terrorists.

The Lacksidaisical Blog - Women terrorists, what's the motivation?





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