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We mourn with the Americans: Terrorists have no religion and must be rooted out

13 September 2021
We mourn with the Americans: Terrorists have no religion and must be rooted out


It was early morning 20 years ago on September 11, 2001 in the United States, when Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and flew two of them as missiles into twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, another hit the Pentagon while the fourth plane crashed. About 3,000 people died as the 110-storied twin towers collapsed and burnt to ashes. Today, a generation of college students and young adults have no memory of these terrorist attacks. But even last month 18 US Marines died in Kabul in a war the memory of which will last their entire lives, a war in which some of their parents also worked.

This year the anniversary of 9/11 has come at a time when an exhausted America is trying to emerge from an array of calamities, such as, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 645,000 lives, a worsening climate crisis that threatens the West with drought and wildfires and the coastal communities with hurricanes and sea-level rise, plus growing discontent with policies that have worsened inequality and racial injustice. The end of the Afghan War is only one of many dreary headlines.

A new and deadly era began when Al-Qaeda terrorists attacked the three sites in America. The horrific tragedy triggered a multinational manhunt targeting Al-Qaeda everywhere it had operations, including Afghanistan. Terrorist cells needed to be rooted out, and their sources of funding, material and logistics cut off. Then US President George W Bush, in response, came up with deployment of soldiers from America and its NATO allies. But it took the US almost 10 years to seek out Osama bin Laden and kill him in a night raid, not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad in 2011. The US, then under the Barack Obama administration, did not pull out immediately.

The Taliban militants, who controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and have now retaken control of the country, were pitiless zealots who harboured Bin Laden and his associates. President Joe Biden commemorated the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on Saturday with visits to each of the sites where hijacked planes struck in 2001, honouring the victims of the devastating assault. Biden stood in somber silence with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at the New York City site.

However recalling the 9/11 victims will not be enough if the powerful countries of the West, including the United States, do not abandon their hands-off approach and tackle the growing turmoil caused by different terrorist organisations across the globe.

It is folly to expect core terrorists will change. The hard terrorists are mental cases and they should be treated going deep into the matter. They should be eliminated.

What is surprising is that the Taliban are not alone in their expansion; Al-Qaeda and other terror groups have also expanded their activities in many countries. They must be rooted out at any cost.

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