By Ramona Mănescu

HOW IT ALL BEGAN?

15 years ago, the whole world witnessed the shocking images of the two planes hitting the Twin Towers in New York. It was the most deadly terrorist attack in history by far and also the event with the biggest impact at global level.

9/11 can be considered as a turning point and the starting point for today’s global war against terrorism. But the roots of what happened that day are much deeper and extremely complex. They go beyond the two fatwas, issued by Osama bin Laden in 1996 and 1998, calling for Jihad against the United States and its allies. Some of these roots go back a century to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, some even further, to the days of the colonial rule of much of Africa and the Middle East, and some further still, to the bloody times of the Crusades and to the schism between Sunni and Shia.

There is no singular or main cause. On a deeper analysis, looking at the details, we notice that the reality is even more complicated, being influenced by the personal likes and dislikes of some individuals or the way today’s allies become tomorrow’s enemies and vice versa.

Still, we can consider 9/11 as the initial point for a new phase of international terrorism and the fight against it. Since then, terrorism is not just a localised threat but a global one, and it gets tangled into a new kind of conflict, characterized by asymmetry. Fights are conducted through proxies or over the internet, which terrorist attacks are carried out thousands of kilometres away from those who initiate them.

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This text is an extract from the volume „Security and Terrorism”, published by GICT in June 2018 with the support of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. The volume contains a collection of 16 texts, written and published by Ramona Mănescu between 2015 and 2017. The extract represents the intro to „15 Years Of Global War Against Terrorism: Where Are We And Where We Are Heading?”, text first published on 12 October 2016.

„Security and Terrorism” volume can be found under ISBN: 978-973-587-201-4 and if you are interested in a copy of this volume, please contact GICT.