The Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on the 11 September 2001 Were a Totally New Phenomenon That Changed the World. Critically Evaluate This Claim

Topics: September 11 attacks, Terrorism, Al-Qaeda Pages: 6 (2391 words) Published: January 25, 2011
The terrorist attacks on the world trade centre and the pentagon on the 11 September 2001 were a totally new phenomenon that changed the world. Critically evaluate this claim Ever since the attack of 9/11 in which two of America’s most famous landmarks (world trade centre and pentagon had been destroyed, the world has been on edge. Till then the terrorism was sought to be phenomenon where little is known . However this event changed the course of the history and the way the western civilization looks at terrorism and security. Tension which was always present between the western and Islamic nations escalated to a new level of paranoia. The American government generated fear and propaganda with the help of mass media coverage. This in end helped to spread hate and disdain over Islamic countries. This essay will evaluate the post 9/11 syndrome and its impact on the world in terms of security, media and emergence of ‘Islamphobia’. Historically terrorism is not a new phenomenon; the world has been experiencing it since the late 1960’s. However terrorist and acts of terrorism rarely had an impact beyond national borders (Baylis, Smith & Owen 2008). So how did it transcend to a global threat? It can be said that act of terrorism and the orchestration of it become more sophisticated than before through access to new and advanced technology thanks to globalisation. Also the expansion of commercial air travel which suited terrorist groups due to little security. However terrorism is nothing without a major political agenda .This serves as terrorist motivation and justification for their attack. All these factors gave birth to 9/11 phenomena. The September 11 attack or as we today know it 9/11 were a series of coordinated suicide attacks orchestrated by Al-Qaeda up on the united states in an act of vengeance. 19 Al-Qaeda terrorist hijacked four commercial passenger jet airlines (Roger 2009). The hijackers then internationally crashed two of the airlines into the Twin towers of the World trade centre in New York City, killing everyone on board and many other working in the buildings. Both buildings collapsed within two hours, destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. A third plane was into the pentagon in Arlington, Virginia just outside Washington D.C. The last plane which was directed towards Washington D.C crashed into a rural field. Why was the Pentagon and world trade centre chosen for this attack to be carried out? These terrorist could have crashed their planes into the white house. Is it simply because these buildings “reek of American hegemonic power and are the symbols of it” (Roger 2009 pg 34. The Pentagon is headquarters of United States defence system. This security sector is the ultimate example of military power around the world. It is understandable to conclude why this particular building was targeted, if this building was destroyed than the supreme power of America would be defenceless. In order to understand the attack one must fathom the motives behind it. In this sense ‘the phenomenon of 9/11 was a postmodern act of terrorism which encapsulates the attackers radical religious believes. New terrorism or the global Jihad is seen as a reaction to the perceived “oppression of Muslims worldwide and spiritual bankruptcy of the west” (Baylis, Smith &Owens pg 377). Islamic nations sought only two things either to conform or rebel against western values. This concept triggered and espoused new interpretations to religion and served as moral justification for religious fanatics. A link has been established between culture and terror. According to Al-Queda this new act of terrorism is a patriotic duty and must be carried out in the name of Alah (Dywer 1994). In this respect, “the killers who struck at the New York on September 11 2001 and the regimes that claim absolute moral superiority over them share some common traits” (Nandy 2004 pg 168). They believe that when it comes to satanic others all...
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