New Delhi: When US President George W Bush announced “War on Terror” to avenge the catastrophic attacks on American landmarks on September 11, 2001, few would have thought that the global superpower would have to come to terms with the Taliban, who had sheltered al-Qaeda boss Osama bin-Laden after the attacks.
Eighteen years later, however, this is what has happened: despite collapse of an ad hoc deal with the Taliban after nine rounds of peace talks, America is still forging ahead with backchannel diplomacy, hoping to sign some sort of deal which US President Donald Trump could showcase to his electors at home for a possible second term next year.
Clearly, the ghost of 9/11 is still alive and kicking and War on Terror has actually turned into a nightmare for the USA which has invested over $900 billion so far to contain terror globally.
And so has the ‘spirit of terror’ survived: Pakistan has since emerged as an unstoppable global nursery of terror, with expanding footprints.
The liberals’ belief that unemployment drew youths to terror as a job had also since been belied, time and again, as well-educated youths, often westernized in attire, have been guards and guides of terror networks.
All 19 terrorists associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda, who hijacked four airplanes and carried out a series of suicide attacks in the United States in 2001, were educated in liberal western countries. In coordinated air attacks on America’s landmarks, they killed some 3,000 innocent Americans.
But why did al-Qaeda choose a particular date, September 11 (or 9/11)? Despite the widely circulated myth that the terror network selected it for its similarity to the American telecommunication emergency call number 9-1-1, the date was, apparently, important to the terrorist network because of its relationship with Islam.
As Lawrence Wright wrote in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Looming Tower”, it was on September 11, 1683, that the King of Poland launched a decisive war that turned back the advance of Muslim armies in Eastern and Central Europe.
“For the next three hundred years, Islam would be overshadowed by the growth of Western Christian societies,” Wright surmised. Osama bin-Laden saw the attack on the World Trade Centre of New York as Islam’s big comeback attempt. The date has since been used by other terrorists, including the jihadists who struck the U.S. compound in Benghazi, killing U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last year.